Special English 又叫“慢速英语”，是VOA 专为全世界非英语国家初学英语的听众安排的一种简易、规范的英语广播节目。该节目创始于50年代末期，是VOA 的专家们研究如何与世界各地的英语学习者进行交际的产物。它正式开播于1959年10月。当时只面向欧洲和中东，但由于这个节目适合许多国家英语学习者的需要，所以它的广播对象不久就扩大到世界其他地区，并很快在全世界范围内产生了广泛的影响。现在这个节目对欧洲、非洲和拉丁美洲每晚广播一次，对加勒比地区每晚广播一次（星期天除外），对东南亚广播次数最多，每天上午两次，晚上三次。
30多年来，VOA 为了办好Special English节目，进行了大量的调查研究工作，对播音速度、内容及用词范围都作了具体规定，基本上达到了既能为英语学习者提供信息，又不损害英语本身风格的目的，使之成为VOA 独具特色，拥有最大量听众的节目。
美国著名词汇学家S. B. Flexmer 指明了Special English的三条标准，也就是它所“特别”的地方：
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report. We have all witnessed the power of social media. It helped elect Barack Obama president in two thousand eight. It also helped to support popular revolutions in two thousand ten and eleven that forced several long-time rulers from office.
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.The Paralympic Games in London have been called the greatest Paralympic Games ever. International Paralympic Committee President Sir Phillip Craven made the statement to a crowd at the games closing ceremony earlier this month. He said the athletic event had found its pathway to the future.
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report. Global Positioning Systems are now a part of everyday driving in many countries. These satellite-based systems provide turn-by-turn directions to help people get to where they want to go.
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report. Samsung Electronics has won the latest case in its continuing battle with the American owned computer company Apple over property rights. A court in Japan ruled in favor of the South Korean company last week in a case involving its Galaxy series of smartphones and tablets.
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report. The government in India is defending itself against charges of Internet censorship. The move comes after the government last week asked companies like Facebook and Twitter to block more than three hundred websites.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕:Finding the Right Match With Online Dating2012-08-23
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report.Ten or fifteen years ago, online dating was too new to be socially acceptable. But now, many people search for a partner online.
- Scientists say enough energy is being wasted in the oil and gas fields of Texas every year to provide electricity to one hundred thousand homes. Businessman Loy Sneary says he is using that waste to create a profitable company called Gulf Coast Green Energy.
- Smartphones, tablet computers and e-readers have become a part of everyday life for many people. They have also led to an explosion in the number of mobile applications. There is an app for just about anything you can think of. And more and more apps are being created every day.
- A team of scientists in the United States has created a new type of mouse that has an immune system similar to that of humans. The scientists hope their research with these mice will speed up development of a vaccine to prevent human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV.
- Benjamin Stassen took his own life in twenty-ten. His parents thought their twenty-one year old son was happy. Since his suicide, they have attempted to learn why he killed himself.
- We recently told you about a website called PastPages.org. It saves the homepages of seventy news websites from around the world every hour. That report led us to look for a website that saves images of newspapers from around the world.
- Last week, the Wall Street Journal had a report about the online travel company Orbitz. The newspaper said Orbitz shows Mac users higher-priced travel choices at the top of search results than users of Windows.
- Microsoft has announced its first tablet computer. It is called the Surface, and it is designed to compete directly with the popular Apple iPad.
- The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers last week released a new list of proposed generic top-level domain names. A gTLD is the part of the Internet address that comes after the dot. Currently there are only twenty-two gTLDs in use. But there soon could be as many as a thousand or more.
- If researchers want to know what happened on a particular day, they often look at newspapers published on that day. But what would happen if newspapers were to stop publishing? Future researchers would likely turn to the Web.
- The Golden Gate Bridge is celebrating its seventy-fifth anniversary. The bridge opened to vehicle traffic on May twenty-eighth, nineteen thirty-seven. Since then, more than two billion vehicles have crossed the world famous structure between San Francisco and Marin County, California. As many as one hundred twelve thousand cars make the trip each day.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕:The Historic Flight of the Dragon2012-05-28
- A rocket designed and built by a privately owned company has made history by bringing a supply capsule to the International Space Station. It was the first private spacecraft to carry out such a mission.
- Cathy Hutchinson is a tetraplegic. She has not been able to move her arms, legs or speak since suffering a stroke nearly fifteen years ago. Recently, she learned how to control a robotic arm using her thoughts. She now can use brain activity to serve herself a drink.
- Recent developments in India and China have put the issue of Internet censorship back in the news. Last week, China's largest microblogging service announced new policies that will restrict what its users can place online.
- Last week we reported on Microsoft Corporation's Imagine Cup finals in the United States. Team FlashFood from Arizona State University won top honors at the event. Its mobile application and website lets hotels, restaurants and farmers markets donate food to people who need it.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕:Arizona State University Team Wins Imagine Cup US Finals2012-04-30
- Students from Arizona State University won top honors last week at the Imagine Cup finals in the United States. Microsoft Corporation organizes the yearly competition.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕:Caine's Arcade Video Brings Creative Boy Fame2012-04-23
- An Internet video called Caines Arcade is one of the latest videos to go viral, or grow wildly popular. The video has been viewed more than five million times on Vimeo and YouTube since April ninth.
- Hate groups and terrorists are increasingly using the Internet to spread their beliefs. The Simon Wiesenthal Center in California says the problem is getting worse.
- Last week, we told you about efforts by Microsoft Corporation to stop Zeus, one of the most harmful cybercrime operations active today. Zeus hackers use a network of infected computers, known as botnets, to steal personal information from computer users.
- The Microsoft Corporation is making progress in efforts to stop one of the most harmful cybercrime operations active today. It is called Zeus.