digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















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 - Studying in America - 34 - Foreign US Universities - Middle East

Thanks to manythings.org for audio/text This is the VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT. This week in our series on American higher education, we discuss programs that are available in the...

VOA Special English - Studying in America - 33 - Agricultural Major

This is the VOA Special English EDUCATION REPORT. In the United States, the area of study with the fewest international students is agriculture. The number was about 9000 during the last school...

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 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 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...

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 2013 today full

voa special english 2013 today full.

VOA Special English + 395 Health Report

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 ...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

1515 news items

Gazette Live

Gazette Live
Fri, 26 Sep 2014 09:05:09 -0700

Former Boro defender Andre Bikey has played in Spain, Portugal, Russia and Greece - but says nothing is as "special" as the English game. The bruising defender left Boro at the end of the 2012/13 season and signed for Panetolikos in the Greek Super ...

BBC News

BBC News
Mon, 22 Sep 2014 07:07:26 -0700

It is probably the very last thing Labour Party members would want to to be talking about at their final conference before a general election. But English-votes-for-English MPs, the West Lothian Question, or whatever you want to call it, is suddenly ...


Mon, 29 Sep 2014 01:48:45 -0700

As part of the National Day celebrations, Taiwan Folk Customs Lantern Festival is set to take place at Chaoyang Park in Beijing from September 27 to October 7 to promote communication between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan. Visitors are able to ...
Times of India
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 02:45:00 -0700

A special English training course has been designed for the girls who are being trained by faculty provided by GAIL. The course has been designed by National Skill Development Centre (NSDC) and the initiative has been taken under Suraksha Setu project ...
Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:48:45 -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
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, 29 Sep 2014 04:26:15 -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, 28 Sep 2014 05:00:00 -0700

Taiwan academics and media are busy analyzing remarks made by Xi Jinping, general secretary of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, to a visiting Taiwan delegation of pro-reunification groups on Friday. Xi's speech, in line with the mainland ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!