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：
- A new study looks at privacy in a world where computers can increasingly recognize faces in a crowd or online. Alessandro Acquisti at Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, led the study.
- The Panama Canal opened almost one hundred years ago. More than one million ships have passed through the waterway since nineteen fourteen.
- Children can spend hours a day looking at computer screens and other digital devices. Some eye care professionals say all that screen time has led to an increase in what they call computer vision syndrome.
- The earliest process of making paper was done almost five thousand years ago in Egypt and the Nile Valley. In those days, paper was made from strips of the papyrus plant.
- Hundreds of students from around the world gathered in New York City last week for the Microsoft Imagine Cup finals. They came to present their ideas for using technology to solve world problems.
- Since the turn of the twentieth century, there have been many hundreds of published concepts for flying-driving vehicles. And some of them have actually been built and flown. But at this point the Transition is the closest to actually getting to the marke
- VOA慢速英语附字幕：Game Over for Limits on Violent Video Games2017-04-19
- The justices rejected a law in California that banned the sale or rental of violent video games to people under eighteen. They said the two thousand five law violated the free speech guarantee in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The vote was seven
- We reported last week on projects by the Obama administration to increase Internet freedom around the world. Alec Ross, a senior adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recently discussed these efforts with VOA's Persian News Network.
- The Obama administration is leading an effort to deploy what some people call liberation technology in repressive countries. The New York Times reported last week that these efforts include shadow Internet and mobile phone systems. These are secret networ
- Last Wednesday, June eighth, was World IPv6 Day the first major deployment of Internet Protocol version 6. Hundreds of Internet service providers and Web companies tested IPv6 on their websites.
- The World Health Organization has added to the debate over the risk of brain cancer from mobile phone use. Last week the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer listed the signals from wireless devices as possibly carcinogenic.
- Mr. Thiel says the young people he is investing in are clear about what they want to do. At the very least, he says, they will gain experience to take back to school if that is what they decide to do.
- If you could build a time machine, what would it look like? Maybe, it should look like a telescope. American scientists are building a space telescope, they hope, will look back over unimaginable distances and time to show the universe close to its beginn
- More than two hundred eighty million people around the world have vision problems or are blind. The World Health Organization says nine out of ten of them live in developing countries. And eighty percent of the problems can be prevented or cured.
- They apologized for the theft of personal information from millions of users of the company's online services. Hackers targeted Sony's PlayStation Network, Sony Online Entertainment and Qriocity music systems. In all, Sony says information may have been
- VOA慢速英语附字幕：Mobile Devices' Location Tracking Raises...2017-04-19
- The action follows recent reports about the storing of information on the Apple iPhone, iPad and iTouch. Questions have also been raised about Google Android devices. Some people consider location tracking to be a threat to personal privacy and security.
- Solar water heaters are used around the world and are not very difficult to build. The system we are going to describe is based on a design developed some years ago in Afghanistan. Since then, it has been built and used in many countries.
- When the circle is positioned over the target, everything in the circle appears larger, almost filling the whole screen. This makes it easier for the user to click on the object.
- An American space company says a powerful new rocket should be ready for a test launch by the end of next year. The company is Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX. Its new rocket is called the Falcon Heavy.
- VOA慢速英语附字幕：Brain-Computer Interfaces Could Mean More Freedom for the Disabled2017-04-19
- Since the nineteen seventies, scientists have been searching for ways to link the brain with computers. Brain-computer interface, or BCI, technology could help people with disabilities send commands to machines.
- Builders in developing countries are often not required to build strong buildings. So when a disaster strikes the damage is often wide spread. Yet Japan is one of the most developed countries in the world. Still the March 11th earthquake and tsunami waves
- A powerful earthquake struck the northeastern coast of Japan at two forty-six p.m. local time on March eleventh. Japan's Meteorological Agency released its first tsunami warnings just three minutes later. The country has one of the best earthquake early
- Tens of thousands of people travel to Austin, Texas each year to attend the South by Southwest festival. The festival is most famous for its music and film presentations. In recent years it has also become one of the biggest new media events of the year.
- A new survey finds that more than eighty percent of Internet users in the United States search for health information online. The survey is from the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project and the California HealthCare Foundation.
- This is the VOA Special English Technology Report. An IBM super computer named Watson has won the latest battle of man versus machine.
- A five-day Internet shutdown in Egypt failed to stop the protests that forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign. But it raised a technical question. Just how were Egyptian officials able to shut down Internet service in their country?
- A shortwave radio might seem like ancient technology these days. But for some people, it remains their only link to the wider world.