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Special English is a controlled version of the English language first used on October 19, 1959, and still presented daily by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America (VOA). World news and other programs are read one-third slower than regular VOA English. Reporters avoid idioms and use a core vocabulary of about 1500 words,[1] plus any terms needed to explain a story. The intended audience is intermediate to advanced learners of English. Transcripts, MP3s, archives and podcasts of programs are provided at voaspecialenglish.com


VOA Special English has multiple daily newscasts and 14 weekly features. These include reports on agriculture, economics, health and current events. Other programs explore American society, U.S. history, idiomatic expressions, science, and arts and entertainment.

For example, a May 18, 2010, script described rheumatoid arthritis this way:

"Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful disease that can destroy joints. Women are three times more likely to get it than men. Rheumatoid arthritis is considered an autoimmune disease, a disease where the body attacks healthy cells. The exact cause is unknown. But in a recent study, an experimental drug showed signs of halting the disorder in laboratory mice."

A program from July 15, 2010, dealt with patent law:

"Recently, the United States Supreme Court decided a case on the property rights of inventors. The question was whether a business method is enough of an invention to receive a patent. Patents are a form of intellectual property. They give legal protections to individuals and companies against the copying of their inventions.”

A remembrance of Michael Jackson aired on July 5, 2009, shortly after his death:

"Today we tell about one of the most famous performers in the world, Michael Jackson. Known as the 'King of Pop,' Jackson sold more than seven hundred fifty million albums over his career. Michael Jackson redefined popular culture with his energetic music, dance moves and revolutionary music videos. But Jackson’s huge success as a performer was not always easy. He was a complex individual with an often troubled private life."

For English learners, the service not only provides clear and simple news and information, it also helps them improve their use of American English. In some countries such as the People's Republic of China, VOA Special English is increasingly popular for junior and intermediate English learners. Many teachers around the world, including at the university level, use the programs for language and content.

The BBC and China Radio International have both used the name "Special English" for their slow speed English broadcasts, but they do not appear to have applied the full methodology of the VOA original.

Specialized English[edit]

Specialized English is a dialect of Special English developed and used by Feba Radio, and now used by Words of Hope and The Back to God Hour. The same parameters apply as for Special English — slow speed, short sentences and restricted vocabulary. The word list has over 90% commonality with that of VOA Special English.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ [1] Wordlist at VOA

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special_English — Please support Wikipedia.
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1000000 videos foundNext > 

VOA Special English, Age Happiness Sleep

http://www.youtube.com/user/esliq?sub_confirmation=1 http://learnenglishworld.com https://www.facebook.com/ESLEnglishIQ https://twitter.com/LearnEnglishNet.

VOA Learning English - Development Report: A Service Group Built on 'Friendship'

This is the VOA Special English Development Report. Amizade means friendship in Portuguese. It is also the name of a service organization in the United State...

News for January 2, 2013 - VOA News in Special English

Thanks to http://gandalf.ddo.jp/ for text conversion and audio VOA NEWS IN SPECIAL ENGLISH January 2, 2013 From Washington here is the news in VOA Special En...

voa special english 2013 today full

voa special english 2013 today full.

VOA Special English - Economics Report - Học nghe tiếng Anh có phụ đề

http://worldlinkedu.vn From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report in Special English. Can you think your way to wealth and success? Napoleon Hil...

Bank and Banking (VOV special English)

Special English 2013.

AS IT IS - January 28, 2013 - VOA News Program in Special English

From VOA Learning English, welcome to AS IT IS! AS IT IS our new magazine show in Special English. Today and in the days to come, we will be expanding on maj...

VOA Special English + Development Report A Service Group Built on 'Friendship'

VOA special English - Education report - Học nghe tiếng Anh có phụ đề

Millions of students have been taught a formula that has nothing to do with chemistry. The formula is for how to write a five-paragraph essay. First, write a...

VOA Special English, Child Obesity In Increasing Worldwide

http://www.youtube.com/user/esliq?sub_confirmation=1 http://learnenglishworld.com https://www.facebook.com/ESLEnglishIQ https://twitter.com/LearnEnglishNet.

1000000 videos foundNext > 

810 news items

Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:00:00 -0700

Liverpool moved to within one point of top placed Chelsea this evening, and Daniel Sturridge put in a sublime individual performance. He bagged an excellent goal from the edge of the box, and hit the bar with his right foot, which would have been a ...
SportsLogos.Net News
Tue, 01 Apr 2014 02:30:27 -0700

It is not yet known if the Padres opponents that night, the Arizona Diamondbacks, will join in on the special English jersey fun by wearing road uniforms with “The Arizona” across the front, but they totally should. San Diego Padres English The Padres ...
Online Athens
Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:59:46 -0700

He also said the official Masters invitation was going to be special. English received it around Christmas. “It got me very excited to play because it's always been a dream of mine to play in the Masters. To finally get invited to it in such a formal ...
Greater London Authority (press release)
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 03:52:30 -0700

The café on the square will also be doing a special English menu with strawberries and cream, afternoon tea and scones, Pimms and traditional soft drinks. COOKS' CORNER. 1.00 – 1.45 - Andy Bates, Eat My Pies & Food Network's Street Feasts - Custard ...
Informationsdienst Wissenschaft (Pressemitteilung)
Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:15:00 -0700

DJI Impulse Special English Edition 2013: Youth in Germany. Stephanie Vontz DJI-Verlag Deutsches Jugendinstitut e.V.. Wie geht es Jugendlichen in Deutschland heute? Wie verläuft ihr Übergang von der Schule in den Beruf, wofür engagieren sie sich, was ...


Fri, 28 Mar 2014 12:52:30 -0700

... fluently, but I had only greeted him in English." The centre plans to provide stickers to drivers who finish special English conversation training and allow those drivers to wait in a priority lane at taxi terminals at the international terminal of ...
Westword (blog)
Mon, 24 Mar 2014 13:09:47 -0700

This special English-style Barleywine was aged for a year in old whiskey barrels. In the fourth round of all-out brewery brawls in the Battle of the Breweries series, Grist Brewing Company takes on Caution: Brewing Co. tonight at Historian's Ale House.
Insurance News Net (press release)
Wed, 09 Apr 2014 08:24:06 -0700

The case involved a class-action suit brought by non-English-speaking Chinese students living in San Francisco , who alleged a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act because only 1,700 of about 35,000 Chinese students in need of special English ...

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