October 04, 2015 19:47 UTC

About Us

What is Learning English?


Learning English is VOA’s multimedia source of news and information for millions of English learners worldwide. Our audio programs and captioned videos are written using vocabulary at the intermediate and upper-beginner level. Our programs are read one-third slower than normal English speed. Online texts, MP3s and podcasts let people read, listen and learn American English and much more.

Learning English began as Special English, which Voice of America launched in 1959. Special English newscasts and features were a primary fixture of VOA’s international shortwave broadcasts for more than half a century. In 2014, our line of products was expanded to include more English teaching materials, and the service became known as Learning English.

Some language teaching methods are dull and disconnected from real life. People soon forget what they learn, or focus on words and phrases without context. VOA Learning English maintains a loyal following among learners, teachers and educational publishers worldwide by using journalism to engage people's interests. Learners absorb American English through content drawn from world news, business, science, U.S. life, popular culture and other topics. People build their vocabulary, strengthen their speaking skills and improve their ability to communicate for work, school and everyday life.


Learning English texts, MP3s and videos are in the public domain. You are allowed to reprint them for educational and commercial purposes, with credit to learningenglish.voanews.com. VOA photos are also in the public domain. However, photos and video images from news agencies such as AP and Reuters are copyrighted, so you are not allowed to republish them.


High-resolution audio and video files can be downloaded for free through BBG Direct an online service providing original multimedia content from Voice of America for publication across all platforms: online, mobile, print and broadcast. Access to BBG Direct requires user registration. If you have any questions about our policies, or to let us know that you plan to use our materials, write to learningenglish@voanews.com.

Learning English programs are also broadcast on radio and satellite TV and posted at youtube.com/voalearningenglish, facebook.com/voalearningenglish and twitter.com/voalearnenglish.