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BBC Six minute English (opens in new window)

BBC Learning English audio programme in which two presenters discuss an item of topical interest for six minutes and bring out language points of interest. Includes difficult word list.

audio (36)

Good news
Two presenters discuss the prevalence of bad news in the media, look at some good news stories and focus on some useful language.

TV addicts
Two presenters discuss UK viewing habits and television history while highlighting useful language.

Drinking around the world
Two presenters discuss the language related to places where people drink socially: bars, pubs etc.

When does adulthood start?
Two presenters discuss the question and focus on language areas that arise.

The Loch Ness Monster
Two presenters discuss the mystery.

Two presenters discuss why British people sometimes don't complain and what they complain about when they do.

Smells and memories
Two presenters discuss smells and memories and explain some of the language they use.

language learning  
Speak any language instantly
Two presenters discuss a Japanese machine that allows you to speak any language. They also explain some of the language they use.

Marathon running
Two presenters discuss marathon running and explain some of the language they use.

Secrets of the rainforest
New discoveries from the rainforests of Borneo.

space travel  
Moon landing
Two presenters talk about memories of the moon landings on the 40th anniversary of the event.

royal family  
Restart parties
The forgotten art of repairing gadgets and appliances

Tweet of the day
The benefits of listening to birdsong

Suspended coffee
Scheme where you pay for a coffee for a less fortunate person to drink later

information technology  
information technology  
feelings / emotions  
language learning  
Learning in the womb
How babies learn in the womb, and how they pick up accents at a young age

nationality/ nationalism  
Global waste: food for thought
Presenters discuss food waste in the light of a recent report that shows we waste 25% of our food.

Plastic pollution
Presenters discuss the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The extinction of men
Discussion that is both scientific (mentions chromosomes) and lighthearted - banter between presenter about male and female failings etc.

Women-only train carriages
Discussion about female-only train carriages to avoid sexual harassment.

travel / holidays  
Day trip with a difference (i.e. space trips)
Two presenters talk about commercial space carriers offering day trips into space

travel / holidays  
space travel  
Day trip with a difference (i.e. space trips)
Two presenters talk about commercial space carriers offering day trips into space

Prison restaurants
Two presenters (British English) discuss language aspects of a news story about a restaurant that has opened in a prison. 6 minutes. MP3 download available. Difficult words glossary.

information technology  
Cyber crime
26 March 2008 Presenter and guest talking about Internet crime. 6 minutes. MP3 download available. Difficult words glossary.

Air travel and the environment
Two presenters discuss the pros and cons of the air travel boom with reference to Heathrow airport. Focuses chiefly on the environmental impact vs economic considerations.

Two presenters talk about what it is to be a manager, the language of management and hear from Lucy Kellaway, a management journalist who thinks that management is a job that is 'intrinsically miserable'.

intelligence (mental ability)  
Are you intelligent?
Two presenters discuss a study that shows that men are more likely to overrate their ability than women.

information technology  
Mobile phones
Two presenters discuss the importance (or not) of mobile phones.

Two presenters talk about diets and in particular, the low carb diet.

Tired of grammar?

Reading simplified stories is one of the best ways to improve vocabulary and see how words and grammar are actually used.

For intermediate readers and above (CEFR B1-B2).

Vocabulary based on the 2000 most commonly used words in English.

Six famous stories in one book - 220 pages.

Notes, wordlist and a summary after each story.

Download for Amazon Kindle. (Read on your phone or tablet with the free Kindle app.)

The enjoyable way to improve your English.

Read a sample now (pdf)