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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 Khmer Special English It's Been Ages Since I Saw You!

www.youtube.com/khornyoura always make you know about social action politic and hot news in cambodia. finally thank for visit. help to subscription for suppo...

voa special english 2013 today full

voa special english 2013 today full.

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...

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 ...

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 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...

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...

VOA Special English, 492 Education

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

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...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

1587 news items


Mon, 21 Jul 2014 17:00:00 -0700

These special English lessons use up teachers' valuable time and cost money that could be spent on things that would benefit all pupils. Teachers have also raised concerns about how they communicate with immigrant parents saying that they often need to ...
The New Indian Express
Sun, 20 Jul 2014 17:22:30 -0700

Visit the VOA Special English website at www.voaspecialenglish.blogspot.in and www.learningenglish.voanews.com. These sites have many downloadable audio and video files. The transcripts are also available. You can follow the transcripts while listening ...
Huffington Post
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:43:53 -0700

You surely don't need any convincing to procrastinate for a bit, but why not waste some time acquiring more completely random knowledge? Much like those name-specific keychains at gift stores, you might not actually find yours on this list. But if you ...


Wed, 23 Jul 2014 05:00:00 -0700

The first plane carrying bodies of some of the victims of the Malaysia Airlines plane crash have left from eastern Ukraine. The 200 bodies will be transported to the Netherlands for further examination. At least 50 of those are expected to be placed on ...


Tue, 22 Jul 2014 05:56:15 -0700

They were also equipped with special English-language manuals, prepared by the Israel Defense Forces' Home Front Command, providing guidance on how to talk to children about the situation. In a last-minute decision, and at the instruction of the ...
Huffington Post
Mon, 21 Jul 2014 10:37:30 -0700

You surely don't need any convincing to procrastinate for a bit, but why not waste some time acquiring more completely random knowledge? Much like those name-specific keychains at gift stores, you might not actually find yours on this list. But if you ...
Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:13:22 -0700

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Cuban leader Raul Castro pledged Tuesday that the two countries will be long-term, staunch friends and partners for reciprocal cooperation. "We will resolutely deepen our friendship and treat each other with ...


Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:45:00 -0700

Director Ning Hao's latest film, "Breakup Buddies," is set to make its world premiere at this year's Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), while both Zhang Yimou's "Coming Home" and Wang Xiaoshuai's "Red Amnesia" will be making their respective ...

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