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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 - Halloween Story - Sleepy Hollow

Today's story is called "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It is about something strange that happened long ago in a valley called "Sleepy Hollow". It was written...

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...

Luyen nghe tieng anh qua voa special english economic report bai 1

Luyen nghe tieng anh qua voa special english economic report.

voa special english 2013 today full

voa special english 2013 today full.

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 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 ...

Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V Tag Force Special English Introduction

just having some fun ^_^ DO NOT ASK ME FOR A PATCH OR FOR THE ISO OR FOR THE ENGLISH ISO ! All rights to konami for owning the series, the tcg and whatever e...

Learning a 2nd Language - Immersion vs Classroom - VOA Special English 2014

From VOA Learning English this is As It Is. I'm Anna Matteo in Washington. Today on, As It Is, we will hear about something our listeners do every day they h...

voa special english 1

1000000 videos foundNext > 

13812 news items


Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:16:51 -0800

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Thu, 29 Jan 2015 02:27:54 -0800

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Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:37:30 -0800

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Japan's Foreign Ministry's Director General for Asian and Oceanian Affairs Junichi Ihara (C) shakes hands with U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim (R) and South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and ...


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