Free sites for intermediate level extensive listening

There is a lot of research on the benefits of extensive reading and listening to foreign language learners. As English is most likely the most studied foreign language, there are many materials out there which address this need for English language learners. While I have been able to find intermediate level extensive reading materials in Japanese, it has been harder to find listening materials. Most of the materials I have come across are intensive. That is, they are geared to understanding discrete language points in context. Extensive reading and listening texts provide students with opportunities to absorb lots of comprehensible input, and while students may not understand every word, they should be able to get the gist of what they take in. Naturally, there are a lot of authentic sources available on the web–movies, TV, anime, Japanese podcasts–but I would like to find materials which cater to students at intermediate levels. Those familiar with second language acquisition research will know that there are benefits to taking in large amounts of language just above one’s current level. I’d like to find content that I can play while cooking, petting my cat, staring out the window, etc.

If anyone can share any resources for extensive listening I’d greatly appreciate it!

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You can listen to all the sentences on . If you use the learning center then you can learn grammar and vocab through example sentences up to the N1 level. You can listen to the sentences you have learned under the reinforcement section, and it will shuffle through them. I love and use it all the time, but is also the only thing I know for listening practice like what you are describing. You click on passive learning under the reinforcement section and then check play audio. It works in Chrome but not I.E. or Edge for some reason.

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Extensive reading as in just reading more for quantity rather than “quality” of understanding, right? I dont doubt the claims you are making, but do you have any good papers/ studies you can link (even for english) about this? Im curious to read more in detail about what kind of benefits come from this.

Right now, I do more intensive reading just because it feels like it does me more good, but thats really all it is, a feeling. At this point, reading for enjoyment is becoming more of an option, so it would probably do me some good to look into extensive reading.

My friend has been recommending to me but it is way beyond my level. Maybe this is the kind of site that you are looking for? If so, I will ask for more recommendations.

Google Stephen Krashen, Input Hypothesis - basically, students acquire a language by being exposed to a lot of comprehensible input, with some content just beyond their level (n + 1). Tofugu bases a lot of their methodology on this (their 4500 sentences, for example).


Thanks everyone for your replies!

Of the two sites listed above, News in Slow Japanese is more what I was looking for. Thanks, gojarppe!

And thanks Rowena for the explanation of the input hypothesis. For those interested, another person worth checking out is Paul Nation. Rather than a four skills approach towards language learning (reading, writing, listening and speaking), he advocates a four strands approach. His four strands include 1) meaning focused input; 2) meaning focused output; 3) fluency development; and 4) language focused learning. Meaning focused input would be where he’d put extensive reading and listening.

Here’s a summary of the four strands: The Four Strands of Language Learning | Confused Laowai

I attended a talk of Paul Nation’s and he discussed a study he’d conducted where basically, one group had 90 minutes of instruction per day, five days a week, and the other group had 60 minutes of instruction per day and 30 minutes of in-class extensive reading. He showed how over 3, 6, 9 months, the latter group began to out-perform the 90 minutes of instruction group.

Here are some other resources I have found for listening. They’re not ideal, but they are what I have found:

レベル別日本語多読ライブラリー (separate level library of Japanese extensive reading)
Obviously, these are for reading, but the texts are also on CD so you can listen to fiction and non-fiction. I highly recommend these as each level uses a maximum number of words, starting at 350 and going up to 1300. All kanji have furigana so it’s easy to read.

Here’s the link:

I also like the Learn Japanese Pod. This podcast is done using both English and Japanese. They teach somewhat basic language, but it is usually quite natural. They also often include one or two very natural expressions that you wouldn’t normally find in textbooks. In terms of extensive listening, what I like is that many episodes begin with the host, who is British, chatting with the co-host, a Japanese woman. The casual chat is my favorite part of the podcast and I wish I could find more content like this.

While I don’t use them, the website also includes freeely downloadable PDFs of language introduced on the podcast.

Here is a link to Learn Japanese Pod.

I hope some others can share more resources for extensive listening.


Thanks, harisenbon! These are fantastic resources I will bookmark for future use. If I remember correctly, this four strands approach was included in your interview article with Koichi, right? I remember this being briefly discussed in my TESOL program but not as much as Krashen’s +1 hypothesis. Poking around the net, I found two more journals applying the Four Strands to Japanese ELL’s here and here. This is for anyone interested in further reading.

I clicked on the “Popular on Airbnb” story, but nothing plays when I try fast or slow. If I go to the link to download it, the link there ends up as “failed - no file.”

Hmm, the previous ones work, I guess. Just a problem with the top article, maybe.

Thanks for the link to the articles, gojarppe!

I think it was a different ‘four things’ in my interview with Koichi. He referred to the learning stages model: unconscious incompetence; conscious incompetence; conscious competence; and unconscious competence. I’ll share the link for anyone interested in seeing how Koichi explains this in connection to WaniKani.

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I believe you can also get free access to that News in Slow Japanese site mentioned by @gojarappe - they have a ‘podcast-only site’ which doesn’t include the transcripts, pop-up definitions etc. So if you’d be fine just with the listening exposure that would give you a free option. They have both fast and slow versions of each recording.

I figured out what I was doing wrong with the reviews btw. I am used to srs systems where you reenter the correct answer after seeing the right one, like wanikani, so I was retyping the correct answers once shown and then clicking submit, which caused the grammar points I got wrong to be counted as correct at the end.

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He is studying Japanese at the library.

This is an example sentence under the Te + Iru N5 lesson. It ends in Darou, so shouldn’t there be a probably somewhere in the English translation? I look forward to your response, and thank you in advance.

May I play sports over there?

Shouldn’t it be スポーツをして?

を is optional in this case.
Particles used with verbs – Learn Japanese

Thank you for the link.

Sorry for derailing this btw, I thought I had clicked on the Bunpro tab in my browser when I posted all those comments; I only just now saw that I didn’t…lol.

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