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Peer Review

Voice of America



Overall Numeric Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 4.75 stars
Reviewed: May 13, 2008 by World Languages Editorial Board
Overview: The Voice of America (VOA) site provides a variety of media news and programs in five different languages (English, Chinese, Persian, Spanish, and Russian.). VOA updates news on the site everyday. It also provides links to news in 45 languages. VOA English version broadcasts begin with ten minutes of international and local news, followed by a short report.
Type of Material: Materials available on the site are written information, pictures, photos, audio files, and video files.
Recommended Uses: Intermediate learners of English
Technical Requirements: Media player
Identify Major Learning Goals: The VOA site provides useful information for learners who want to learn and practice U.S. English language, vocabulary, and grammar skills. Learners of other languages can improve their reading and listening to other 45 languages from its links.
Target Student Population: The site is valuable primarily as a resource for teachers and students with intermediate or higher proficiency English. It is also a good resource for teachers and students with beginning proficiency Chinese, Persian, Spanish, or Russian language skills to practice reading the aforementioned languages.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Users need to have a minimum level of intermediate proficiency in English reading and listening.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The VOA provides authentic material for English learners. It provides U.S., world, and regional news everyday and provides informational programs every week. This site also provides links to news in 45 languages. The main content of these 45 sites come from news of its country. However, they have some similar news as the VOA English version. This site has been a trusted source of news and information from the U.S. since 1942.
Concerns: Intermediate proficiency students of English should start listening from “Learning English” section or should read its story because the story will help them understand the audio better

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: This site is a good resource for teachers and users who are looking for authentic materials in the English language. Teachers of intermediate proficiency levels can select listening materials from the “Learning English” section to use immediately in their teaching because this section has a slower pace of speaking. Moreover, English users who have background knowledge in Chinese, Persian, Spanish, or Russian can practice their reading in these languages from its internal links.
Concerns: Intermediate learners may need a teacher’s guidance to study the “Learning English” section.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: The overall presentation is clear and readable with a similar layout from the main page to internal links. The VOA site is designed for worldwide viewers with ease of use. The quality of audios, videos, photos, and pictures is excellent.
Concerns: First-time learners with intermediate proficiency levels may need some initial guidance to navigate this site.

Other Issues and Comments: None