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Main page » Black Hole » VOA Special English 2001 to 2007

VOA Special English 2001 to 2007


The Roots of Special English
On October 19, 1959, the Voice of America broadcast the first Special English program. It was an experiment. The goal was to communicate by radio in clear and simple English with people whose native language was not English. Special English programs quickly became some of the most popular on VOA. They still are. Special English continues to communicate with people who are not fluent in English. Over the years, its role has expanded. It helps people learn American English while they learn about American life and stay informed about world news and developments in science. It provides listeners with information they cannot find elsewhere.
Three Elements Make Special English Unique
It has a core vocabulary of 1500 words. Most are simple words that describe objects, actions or emotions. Some words are more difficult. They are used for reporting world events and describing discoveries in medicine and science.
Special English writers use short, simple sentences that contain only one idea. They use active voice. They do not use idioms.
Special English broadcasters read at a slower pace, about two-thirds the speed of standard English. This helps people learning English hear each word clearly. It also helps people who are fluent English speakers understand complex subjects.
Special English Radio Broadcasts
Special English broadcasts to different parts of the world several times a day, seven days a week. Each half-hour broadcast begins with:
-The latest news from around the world
- A different short feature every day about development, agriculture, health, education, economics, news events and American idioms.
- 15-minute in-depth features about life in the United States, news about science and space, American history, popular culture, influential Americans and short stories.

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Tags: English, Special, people, simple, communicate, words