Have you been studying English a long time? Do you understand grammar rules so well, you could probably teach it? Then why is it hard for you to understand native speakers? Or your favourite television series? Well, here are a few tips to help you dramatically improve your listening skills. The next time you do listening practice, remember these tips.
1. Listen with a purpose
What are you listening for?
Are you listening to understand specific information?
- Name, age, hobbies
Are you listening to understand the general idea?
-The guy was talking about his university.
Are you listening for specific words?
- Listen for specific phrasal verbs
Are you listening for tenses?
- He uses past tense and present continuous to tell the story.
Always have a purpose for listening or your skills won't develop!
2. Make listening a daily habit
Try to listen to something every day. A great time to do this is when you're doing something boring like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, driving, on the bus etc
3. Predict what you're going to hear
This will allow your brain time to get the necessary vocabulary ready. Let me give you an example. I'm taking a speaking exam and the topic is about family. I prepare myself by thinking about my family. I will ask myself questions like 'how many members of family do I have?' 'What do we do together?' 'Where do they live?' Etc. Try to do this next time and notice the difference.
4. Listen and repeat
If you can't hear a particular word or phrase, listen to the audio until you can hear it. This will train your ear to work better!
Print lyrics and learn songs! So much fun!
These are tried and tested website for English listening practice I recommend.
- Listen to Fluency MC on Youtube
- Ted Talks
- Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab
- Voice of America
- Breaking News English
- English Listening Lounge
I hope this helped! Please share to help others.
Written by Halima Salim