Wind telephone

About the “wind telephone” in northeastern Japan, where you can “talk” to loved ones you have lost:

1. A short article from Atlas Obscura

2. Audio (with transcript) and video from Spotlight English

3. A more challenging audio (with transcript) from This American Life



Script to screen

This YouTube channel has a series of short scenes from movies, with the screenplay below. Great for movie lovers’ listening practice! And it’s fun to see places where the actors improvise a little.

Here’s the most recent, from “Darkest Hour” (Japanese title: ウィンストン・チャーチル /ヒトラーから世界を救った男):

And “La La Land”, which many students seem to have enjoyed:

And from one of my favorite movies “The Shawshank Redemption” (Japanese title: ショーシャンクの空に)

The “i” in AI

This is an article from Aeon Magazine about what “intelligence” means when it comes to robots. They need to be able to have emotions to have true “intelligence”, the author argues.

You can listen to the article being read (by a human). It’s about 6:30 in length (1000 words).


One line I liked:

“… perception is not a passive process that merely reflects the external world. Rather, it involves picking up on the significance of objects, and determines how they are processed. Vision is never neutral, it is always laden with affective meaning.”



DOGO News is a news site for kids, but it’s a great place to find short, relatively easy news articles for older language learners, too. These are the categories you can choose from:

news categories.png

Most of the articles include related videos.

But maybe the most useful aspect of this site for language learners is that you can listen to the articles being read aloud. The voice is a bit robotic but not that bad. And the words are highlighted as the audio continues:

There’s a dictionary:

You can also play Word Search games for each news story.

And there are book and movie reviews on the site, as well.