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：
- For hundreds of years, Africans have preserved their history through storytelling. But, some Africans worry that oral traditions will be lost to Internet connections and social media.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕：NASA航天器“黎明号” 接近到达“矮行星”2015-02-01
- An American spacecraft is moving closer to a dwarf planet called Ceres. The American space agency's Dawn spacecraft is set to reach the planet-like object in March.
- Kawangware is one of the fastest-growing slums in Nairobi, Kenya. It is also the poorest. Most of the 300,000 people who live there try to survive on less than $1 a day.
- The past year has been the busiest 12-month period for the American space agency in more than 10 years. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, launched three missions in 2014. It began a fourth project earlier this month. A fifth launch is set for this Thursday, January 29.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Researchers are now using three-dimensional, or 3D printing to create models of the human heart to help heart specialists. The heart doctors can use the models to better help patients before an operation.
- Imagine a camera that can take one hundred billion pictures a second -- that is enough to record the fastest movements in the universe.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Researchers at Stanford University have developed a new material that can move heat out of buildings and into space. The researchers say the material can cool buildings even on hot days.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States alone, more than two million people suffer from the disease.
- The Consumer Electronics Show is held yearly in the western American city of Las Vegas, Nevada. It is one of the largest technology shows in the world. Technology companies and experts from around the world come to the event to see, hear and talk about the latest innovations and devices.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Many teachers believe that hands-on experiences is the best way to learn. A group of students in the United Sates is putting that belief to the test.
- It's been 10 months since Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared. Despite search efforts that stretched from the South China Sea to the Indian Ocean, the plane remains lost.
- Researchers are now using three-dimensional, or 3D printing to create models of the human heart to help heart specialists. The heart doctors can use the models to better help patients before an operation.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Can you imagine riding around the streets of your hometown on a skateboard without wheels? In the late 1980s, film director Robert Zemeckis showed a skateboard floating above the ground in his movie Back To The Future Part II.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Another political fight is taking shape in Washington, D.C. At issue: proposed changes to the way the Internet is regulated in the United States.
- Premature birth is the biggest killer of children worldwide. About one million babies around the world die of problems that strike because they are born too early. Many of these babies could have been saved if they had been placed in an incubator.
- Many millions of years ago, the last dinosaurs lived in what is now the American West. Now, scientists studying dinosaur fossils have documented what happened to the ancient creatures. An exhibit showing some of the results has opened at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Last year, a typhoon seriously damaged Leyte Island in the Philippines. More than 7, 300 people died or are missing. Four million Filipinos lost their homes, and many of them lost their incomes.
- American scientists are warning of a threat to the world's coral and rocky reefs. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has identified four reasons for the threat. They are human population growth, the warming of Earth's atmosphere, pollution and overfishing – catching too many fish.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. South Korea is dealing with increasing amounts of waste from electronic devices. These useless or unwanted parts are often called e-waste.
- Scientists know where earthquakes are likely to take place. But it is difficult for them to predict how strong an earthquake will be. Now, American researchers have found that it may be possible to predict the strength of future quakes.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Kenya is East Africas largest economy. Its capital Nairobi is growing quickly. But so is the citys crime rate -- the Nairobi Metropolitan Crime Observatory says thieves steal an average of 10 cars each day.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Bicycle frames are usually made out of materials like carbon fiber, steel or aluminum. But in rural Ghana, a businessman has developed another way to make bicycles from a natural product -- bamboo.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Five years ago, the Mars Rover Spirit got stuck in sand on the red planet. Spirit is one of the American space agencys two motorized vehicles on Mars.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Testing new drugs for safety and effectiveness is a costly process in the United States. It also can take a lot of time. Some scientists are now designing silicon computer chips that act like human organs.
- From VOA Learning English, this is the Technology Report. Three-dimensional printers are fast becoming everyday devices in the United States. Three-D printers are used to make everything from automobile parts to bone replacements for human patients.