Where to Find Free English Audio Books

audio books - picture: N. HeusserEnglish audio books are great to improve your listening skills! Especially when you’re pressed for time, but are looking for additional ways to improve and expand your vocabulary.

Listening to audio books has many advantages for language learners:

  • Like reading a book, listening to a book allows the listener to visualize the story in their own minds.
  • Language learners who usually have problems decoding words, for example because they never read them before will hear a correctly pronounced version of the word, which may help the listener to understand the word in context.
  • The books are read by professional readers or actors. Instead of being just words on a page, the words come to life through emphasis and tone of voice which again helps the listener to visualize.
  • Sometimes, access to a book is much easier when it is told to you, just remember the fairy tales of your childhood your parents / teachers read to you.
  • Unlike reading, listening to audio books is a passive activity. You can listen to audio books virtually anywhere, like commuting to work by car, doing housework etc. All you need is a CD / MP3 player and possibly earphones.

Ready to start listening to audio books?

I’ve done some research for you and found some places where you can download / listen to audiobooks for free. There are a lot of audio books available for which their copyright has expired.

Librivox

Openculture

Project Gutenberg

Of ocurse you could also check your local library, if they have any English audio books you like.

Another possibility is audible.com they offer a free 30 day trial, after that they charge a monthly fee, but you get access to virtually any audio book there is.

Sources:
Soundlearning.org.uk

Vocabulary (in order of appearance)

  • to be pressed for time: In a hurry / under time pressure.
  • visualize: to create a picture of something or someone in your mind
  • decoding: (here) to find the meaning of the word
  • emphasis: (here) the professional reader makes sure special importance is given to words when the story needs it.
  • tone of voice: also used for emphasis, they way how the reader speaks. For example, in a nervous tone of voice, in a scared tone of voice etc.
  • fairy tales: a story of magical events; e.g. Little Red Riding Hood.
  • virtually anywhere: in any situation, place
  • commuting: travelling to and from work
  • earphones: small speakers worn in your ears to listen to music, audio books etc.
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