How to Improve Listening Skills
Listening and understanding is very often a big problem for English learners. They usually read very well, are able to speak or write and have a good grammar knowledge. But when they are listening - they don't understand. Why is it so difficult? Do you you have the same problem? Ok, let's see what's going on.
Native speakers speak fast & connect words. Look at this:
- He is going to have to call you back later -> He's gonna afto callyaback later
- Could you let me know if you are coming to the party? -> Couldja lemeno ifyercomin atheparty?
Lack of opportunity to practice listening. You are not able to hear English all day, because you don't live in an English-speaking country.
The pronunciation is different than the written form of words. Usually you read, so you study with your eyes and when you hear the wrds you might not recognize them. Look at this:
- completely different pronunciation: bought, enough, through, although
- silent letters: guard, sign, knock, muscle
What can you do?
I have some tips for you. First - listen to slow English. It's helpful, this way you are more familiar with listening. Second - every week try to listen fast spoken English.
What is more - listen, listen and listen. Watch TV in English, listen to radio or audio book. Choose some vieos and watch them. It's good to listen and watch the trancription. This way listening will be easier at he beginning.
Also good way is reading a text, writing down new vocabulary and then listen without looking at the text.
Listen to something you enjoy, because in this topic you will probably know a lot more of the vocabulary required.
Accept the fact that you are not going to understand everything.
Don't translate into your native language and don't concentrate on details until you have understood the main issues.
Listen for context, concentrate on word you do understand, not the words you don't understand.
Do you have any thoughts, questions or suggestions? Have you spotted a mistake or you don't agree with something? Leave a comment :-)