Frequently Asked Questions

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Listenwise is an award-winning listening skills platform. We harness the power of listening to advance literacy and learning in all students. Our collection of podcasts and public radio keeps teaching connected to the real world and builds student listening skills at the same time. We offer collections for English, Social Studies, Science and ESL classrooms.

Our high quality audio stories come from a variety of public radio producers such as NPR, WBUR, Michigan Public Radio, Living on Earth, etc. We curate the best of public radio for use in the classroom. We also hire teachers to write our lesson plans.

Current events stories are very recent audio stories that are posted every school day reflecting major news or hot topics. Lessons are designed to meet curriculum needs, with stories that illuminate key topics. Lessons also have more in depth instructional and assessment resources in the Premium version.


Listenwise is a free service for individual teachers to find high quality audio stories that work well in the classroom. Listenwise PREMIUM is a school solution that allows teachers to assess listening comprehension and support language acquisition. Literacy supports, such as interactive transcripts and key vocabulary, are delivered directly to students who need them, whether you are blended, flipped or 1:1 See how it works.

We’d be happy to talk with you. Contact us about Premium. We offer annual school subscriptions for a single subject area (Science, Social Studies or ELA) or for the whole cross-curricular library.


At a minimum, teachers need a computer or tablet with a modern browser and an Internet connection. If you are using PREMIUM, you will also want your students to have access to computing devices.

Yes. Listenwise is designed for a great experience with tablets especially. Access from tablets and smartphones is through the browser. Apps are not required to use Listenwise.

It depends. You have the choice of playing the audio for the class from your computer or having students listen individually. If you are playing it for the class, we suggest using external speakers, as laptop speakers will not be loud enough (an interactive whiteboard is great for this). If students are going to listen on their own, then we recommend headphones or earbuds.

No. Listenwise uses streaming audio. Just press play while connected to the Internet.

Listenwise supports most modern browsers (Chrome, Safari, Firefox, etc.). For Internet Explorer, we require Internet Explore 9 or above.

Yes. Please note that if you refuse the Listenwise cookie (by turning cookies off in your browser or by clicking "don't accept" if you have set your browser to warn you before accepting cookies), Listenwise will not work properly. Cookies cannot be used to gather personal information from your computer.


Browse or search our lessons or current events. When you find one that intrigues you, sign up for a free account!

Go to Sign Up, and at the bottom of the form you’ll see “Didn’t Receive Confirmation Instructions?” Click there and you’ll be prompted to provide your email address and we’ll resend. Also make sure to check your spam folder.

Schools who subscribe to PREMIUM are given school invite codes so that their teachers can access the PREMIUM features.

First you sign up just like a free user. Once you confirm your account through your email, you can click on the "Join School" link and you’ll be prompted to put in your school code. If you already have an account on Listenwise, you should see the option to "Join School". Watch our school code video.

Contact Us for support. Please include as many details as possible about the problem you are having.

Teachers using the FREE version do not need to enroll students. Simply use our Listening Links to let students listen to a story on their own device.How to use listening links.

PREMIUM teacher users can go to “Classes” and click “Add a Class”. This will generate a class code for you to distribute to your students. Watch our student enrollment video.

If your students already have a Listenwise account, they click “join class” on their dashboard and use the code. If it’s their first time using Listenwise, they need to go to to sign up with their class code.

Listening Links are a quick way for students to access the audio from their own device. Teachers simply click the link icon on the lesson page, copy the “Listening Link” URL, and distribute to students anywhere you typically post your assignments.

PREMIUM users are able to assign quizzes or create custom assignments from the Listenwise lesson resources. Once you’ve created your class, select the lesson, click Assign, and we’ll take you through selecting your resources step-by-step. You can assign to the whole class or just specific students. Watch the custom assignment video.

Yes. Teachers can post assignments to their Google Classroom using the Share to Classroom button. This is available for both Listening Links and custom Premium assignments.

Students and teachers can also login to Listenwise using their Google accounts.

Language Challenge levels are not directly related to reading levels or grade-level content. Students can typically listen and understand content that is 2-3 grade levels above their reading levels, so choosing stories should include the factors of language challenge, curriculum-aligned content and student interest.

Learn about Language Challenge levels.

Our stories have been categorized with Language Challenge levels of Low, Medium, or High. We suggest starting with the stories labeled “Low” and if students are understanding, move on to “Medium” language challenge stories. Our Premium version includes student supports such as slower audio and interactive transcripts. And you may want to scaffold by pre-teaching vocabulary and building background, and these instructional supports are provided.

Teachers are able to change passwords for any students enrolled in their classes. The teacher should click "Classes" on her own menu bar, then click on the class, and then on “password reset” for any student in the roster.

Teachers are able to retrieve student usernames. The teacher should click "Classes" on his own menu bar, and then on the relevant class name. Next to the names of the students, the usernames are displayed.

Yes. Students always have access to the audio and can listen as many times as they choose. If the teacher has opted to include the transcript with the quiz, then that will also remain available to students as they answer questions.

Quiz questions are listed at the top of each column of the quiz report. If a teacher wants to see all the answer choices for a question, he just clicks on an answer chosen by a student to see the student’s response with the other choices. You can also click on the name of the quiz at the top of the quiz report to open up a preview of the entire quiz.

Click the student name on a quiz report or on the student roster, and you’ll be taken to the Student Report. It shows all of a student’s quiz results as well as written submissions for your assignments.

Quizzes are available in the Premium version only. Click the Assign button for a Lesson and then choose “Assign Quiz”. You can preview the quiz after clicking Assign Quiz. If no quiz is available for a lesson, the Assign Quiz option will not appear.