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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.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
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 Special English 2014 - AS IT IS - International Students - Community Colleges and Alternatives

VOA AS IT IS - 5 April 2014 Just as the name states, community colleges are local. So, they are easy to get to. A person does not need to move to a different...

VOA Special English 2014 - AS IT IS - All About the World Wide Web - Internet Future

It all started in March of 1989. British scientist Tim Berners-Lee was working at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Switzerland. Scient...

voa special english 2013 today full

voa special english 2013 today full.

VOA Khmer Special English on 31 July 2013, Obesity Rises Among Children in Developing Countries

Please subscribe for free to get hot news,voa news and rfa news. Please Subscribe this channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/AsiaFreeNews VOA Burmese news TV ...

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...

Christmas Story - Gift of the Magi - VOA Special English

12/23/2010 Short Story: 'The Gift of the Magi' by O. Henry by June Simms SHIRLEY GRIFFITH: Now, the VOA Special English program AMERICAN STORIES. (MUSIC) We ...

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, 516 Technology

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

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...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

1487 news items

The Japan Times
Tue, 26 Aug 2014 07:00:38 -0700

An expert committee proposed Tuesday that Japan create “special English zones” to enhance communication in English as part of the government's strategy to promote Japanese culture abroad. In a proposal submitted to administrative reform minister ...
Thu, 14 Aug 2014 21:41:15 -0700

This is NEWS Plus Special English. I'm Yun Feng in Beijing. Here is the news. The Authority of the Panama Canal has announced potential new investment plans to ensure the key waterway stays competitive in the future. The plans include a possible fourth ...
Inside Japan Tours
Fri, 29 Aug 2014 01:48:45 -0700

English speakers holidaying in Japan may find they are afforded a little extra knowledge about the local culture thanks to new "special English zones" to be implemented in large cities across the country. The idea comes from Tomomi Inada, the ...
Mon, 01 Sep 2014 20:56:15 -0700

My Chinese Life · Travel · Destinations · Photo Gallery · Recommended · Learn Chinese · "In" Chinese · Chatting in Chinese · Pop Culture · Traditional Culture · Living Chinese · Chinese Studio · Chinese Class · Learn English · Special English · Pop Chart


Sun, 31 Aug 2014 18:30:00 -0700

Apple has revealed that its latest product launch will be held in the same Silicon Valley venue where its late co-founder, Steve Jobs, took the wraps off the original Mac computer 30-years ago. The launch of what is expected to be the new iPhone6 and a ...


Mon, 01 Sep 2014 16:06:02 -0700

Li Fei (C), vice secretary-general of the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee, Zhang Rongshun (L), vice-chairperson of the Legislative Affairs Commission of the NPC Standing Committee, and Feng Wei, deputy director of Hong Kong and ...
Scoop.co.nz (press release)
Sun, 31 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

Join us for 10 days of wonderful music making with international artists Kathryn Stott(England-), the Ying Quartet (USA), The Song Company(Australia) and David Griffiths (Australia) as well as some of New Zealand's leading chamber musicians including ...

Bangor Daily News

Bangor Daily News
Thu, 28 Aug 2014 14:11:15 -0700

1, at Heritage Park at the Belfast Public Landing, where they will hear some history and walk up Main Street hill to Alexia's Pizza. There, history and pizza lovers can enjoy a special English pizza or mosey back down the hill to sample the special ...

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