Material Detail

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab

Helps ESL/EFL students improve their English listening comprehension skills through practice with self-grading quiz pages.


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Becky Bonarek
Becky Bonarek (Faculty)
45 weeks ago
I've used this resource on and off for years for multiple levels of English language learners. There have been a lot of changes to the site since I first started using it in 2015, and they're all good changes. It's a good repository for listening exercises categorized by themes and difficulty. Other users have described the recordings as authentic, and I would disagree to an extent: the recordings are very much scripted, which is great for lower level learners, but for higher levels, there isn't any negotiation of meaning, etc that would occur in real dialogue. Additionally, nearly all the topics are more real life than academic, so if you have students looking for more academic listening practice, this wouldn't necessarily be for them. However, it has a variety of comprehension assessment and ways to interact both with the recording and with other listeners from around the world. The audio files are not downloadable, so students would need an internet connection in order to interact with all of the materials, and I haven't tried accessing it on a mobile phone, so I'm not sure how it displays there. Overall, this website has great supplemental materials for self-study and may offer some opportunities for in-class use as well.
Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: Years
shihua li
shihua li (Faculty)
8 years ago

This is a great website for ESL/EFL students to practice their listening after class. The listening materials are well organized based on level of difficulty and different themes, which allow students to choose the listening materials that they find interesting and appropriate for their level. This website also has video files which are shot in real-life settings. Students prefer this kind of authentic listening materials and they love to learn what they can directly apply in real-life situations. Audio and video files at this website are not downloadable so one needs to connect to the Internet in order to use these materials. Therefore, it's better to use this as additional listening practice materials for students after class.

Time spent reviewing site: 45 minutes
Matthew Daly
Matthew Daly (Student)
9 years ago

As an ELS teacher I am always looking for authentic uses of English for my students to listen to. The great thing about Randall's ELS lab is that it has a huge collection of just such audio. It would impossible for my students to get enough listening time from just me.


Randall's gives me a resource to send my student to get supplemental listening practice with a great set of built in evaluation tools. Lessons are clearly cataloged by content and difficulty level making it easy to find appropriate lessons. It's a great website and one I will be using a lot in the future. 


Time spent reviewing site: 1 hour
Yvonne Spencer
Yvonne Spencer (Faculty)
10 years ago

Easy to challenging short essays for ESL learners. It allows them to self check and work at a self-faced rate.

Josh Overcast
Josh Overcast (Faculty)
14 years ago
Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab is one of the better sites I have come across for listening practice for ESL/EFL learners. The wide variety of skill levels and cultural topics provide fertile ground for any number of learning assignments, whether instructor-led in the classroom or as autonomous student practice. The single (and minor) negative point of using this site--as one commenter has already mentioned--is the somewhat distracting nature of the Google ads on each page. In particular, these interrupt the physical "flow" of individual activity pages; for example, there are ads that separate pre-listening and listening exercises, which may confuse lower level learners or even more advanced learners not overly familiar with the physical layout of web pages.

Technical Remarks:

While I have not yet used the "Long Conversations with RealVideo," there could conceivably be a problem with in-class use of these with numerous students attempting simultaneous downloads in a language lab with lower connection speeds.
Used in course? Yes
Time spent reviewing site: 4-5 hours over the course of several classroom sessions.
Zdravko Avdalovic
Zdravko Avdalovic (Student)
16 years ago
What I like is the structure of the activity. Thhis is attask-based activity.with pre-listening, listening and post-listening excercises.Each activity has topic, level of difficulty, what type of activity (conversation ,etc),the length of listening passage. At the end of the listening portion you can check your multiplechoice answers promptly and receive imediate feedback.

Technical Remarks:

It is very user-friendly.
Chi-Hua Tseng
Chi-Hua Tseng (Student)
16 years ago
Overall rating: 5 out of 5

Randall's ESL Cyber Listening Lab an interactive website free to students and teachers of English as a Second or Foreign language. This site is designed to help ESL/EFL students improve their English listening comprehension skills through practice with self-grading quiz pages. This site is also appropriate to all age levels. This is a good site for teacher to use as teaching resource and for students to use as independent study. This is an effective teaching-learning tool.

The site has hundreds of free interactive lessons for self-study or classroom use. The amount of and the depth of material is adequate. Materials include quizzes, games, and exercises for practicing reading, writing, and listening skills at the beginning through advanced levels. This site adheres to a clear organizing principle, in which listening activities are categorized by topic, proficient level, academic purpose, and the length of audio. Each listening activity includes audio, script, quiz, pre-listening exercises and post-listing exercises. The variety of listening activity is wide, which is from daily uses to academic purpose.

Overall, this site is excellent except one concern. There are too many advertisements on each page. The advertisement blocks are beside to this site’s navigation blocks. This is not easy to tell which one is internal page link, and which one is external advertisement link. This might be annoying.

Technical Remarks:

Overall rating: 5 out of 5

The quality of audio is excellent. The author provides two audio formats (Real Player and Windows Media Player), which allows many users to use the audio. In addition, script is provided in each activity, which helps students to read and listen to the content simultaneously. Moreover, activities are organized by subjects, which is easy to navigate. Finally, quiz has interactive feedbacks, which could increase learners’ interests and motivation. Overall, this site is easy to use.
Used in course? Yes
Marie Iwasaki
Marie Iwasaki (Student)
20 years ago
As I am a non-native speaker of English, I enjoyed listening to conversations in this
material and found this site excellent. Being in a foreign country it is hard
to encounter English speakers to communicate with. According to
students in Japan they need to go to a private English school to improve their
listening skills because of a lack of listening materials and less opportunities
to communicate with English speakers in Japan. Normally the tuition at the
English school is really expensive, more than academic at schools. As far as I
know, the
tuition cost is over $170 for eight hours for
group lessons and private lessons cost twice as much and its lessons are usually
less than five
hours. In addition at academic schools usually there is only a native speaker
and the native speaker speak in Japanese to students rather than in English.
Therefore students need to find
materials for their self-study. This site is
suitable for not only self-study but also group study. The students can
exchange information about conversations in the group. As long as learners have
access to use a computer, this site is free to use and computer skill is not
required. This site is appropriate for any
learners even though their listening skill is tremendous or considerable. In
the end, I
strongly recommend this site for international students or learners who need to
take TOEFL or TOEIC exam because the conversation in this material is basic for
listening skill and
questions are similar to the questions on these exams. I encourage learners to
visit this site and find interests.

Technical Remarks:

This site includes listening quizzes, text
completion quizzes, script of quizzes, and post listening exercises. On the
first screen, there are many listening topics that learners can
choose. The topics are separated into colloquial and academics listening
activities. After they choose a topic for their needs, they are able to know
how long the conversation will take place, and the number and gender of
speakers. The speech is recorded very clearly. There is no noise and speakers
don?t have strong accents so that learners can easily focus on the pronunciation
of the speakers. The varieties of levels help learners to choose the best for
their skill. When they answer questions they just need to click a circle to
select their answer. I would like to encourage many learners to use this site
to challenge their English listening skills and prepare themselves to able to
communicate with native speakers of English.
John Rhoe
John Rhoe (Student)
20 years ago
I spent a significant portion of time reviewing this site. I like the concept of
this site when I first it and decided to look to whole site over and
participate with it as if I were a student. I selected one exercise from each
category in each section. By doing this I developed a basic understanding of why
these exercises were grouped the way that they were. I found the exercises to
be broad their overall scope and that they covered many pertinent topics of
interest and use to early ESL students. The quality of content in these lessons
is high, although, I feel that the exams at the end of the presentations could
be more extensive. Perhaps more such exams could be offered in the future and I
would suggest that this be done to upgrade this site and keep it in the
high-ranking category that it currently occupies. I found that this site is easy
to use and promotes user interaction by maintaining a high quality of audio
reproduction. Furthermore, the audio files downloaded quickly and I found that
that feature also promoted continued user interaction by avoiding the
frustration that comes from using poor or slow materials. Maintaining this
feature is particularly important in keeping first time users interested in
continuing with these exercises. The potential for enhancing teaching
effectiveness and learning by using these tools could be dramatic. I do not know
that this is true, as I have not yet tried this in a classroom. But, given the
breadth and depth of these fine materials, I believe that they will be quite
impactful and I conclude that this site should be maintained and expanded in
order truly fulfill its full potential.

John T. Rhoe

Technical Remarks:

The primary difference between the difficulty levels seems to be a matter of
syntactical complexity and the amount of inference required on the part of the
listener to answer the exam questions. A possible expansion of this site could
include complex pictures coupled with the spoken text and exam questions that
required the listener to draw form both as he/she answers the exam. I can also
see this program would benefit from having long sections of text available for
the listener to read as he/she listens to the sound of it. As I progressed
through the exercises, with an eye on this program as a teacher, I felt that the
program would be more readily incorporated into various curricula by the
addition of a text or lesson book that these listening exercises would then
Still, I found this site to be an excellent resource.

John T. Rhoe