How to improve your English listening skills
Improving listening skills is critical if you wish to speak fluently. This is what keeps you on your toes to continue practicing and not give up on acquiring any new language. The excitement of understanding what people are now saying in another language is the first reward you get during your learning journey.
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Here are some advice on how you can quickly formulate and improve your listening skills. Before I go any further, I hope you are not confused with the difference between advice and advise .
Pay attention while listening
We have seen some English learners who are constantly listening to English conversations, podcasts, and so on. In fact, many people believe that their listening skills will improve over time even by listening to a language that they don't understand.
There is no strong evidence to support the idea that these methods of passive listening will help to improve your listening skills.
On the other hand, we believe that passive listening wastes your time. If you don’t pay attention to the voice, your brain will filter the sound and think you are listening, but you are actually not. Even in seminars or classrooms, attention spans are short; when someone gives a speech, you only pay attention for the first few minutes, then your ears begin to filter the sound and surf into imaginations.
As a result, you may think that you have listened to a podcast for 4 hours, but the truth is that you only listened carefully for the first few minutes and only caught some words once in a while.
Listen carefully and take notes
So if you really want to make a difference, you need to spent at least half an hour of your day to improve your listening skills by following the instructions below:
- Focus on listening and avoid multitasking.
- Take a piece of paper and jot down the beautiful sentences you heard.
- Rewrite the sentence.
In such a way, your brain will be fully engaged and more focused. Keep doing this for a while, and you will notice that there are more words that you can catch and remember. This simple approach trains you to improve your listening skills over time.
Read the subtitles
Read the subtitles or lyrics when you are watching movies, YouTube videos, or listening to music by following the guidelines below:
- Listen for the first time without looking at the phrase.
- Repeat again with subtitles on.
- Click pause.
- Read the subtitles and imitate their way of speaking.
It is important to select the content that you are interested in so that you can stay longer. Don’t spend so much time on any phrase. Keep moving on to the next part because it’s just about challenging yourself to catch the words. By practicing this way, you are able to hear the phrase clearly without relying on the subtitles. Also, it improves your English pronunciation at the same time by reading the subtitles.
Make it a loop
Let’s say that you are listening to a recording for about half an hour every day. Another strategy is to go back and listen to what you have already practiced and try to catch the words again.
Be patient if you don't see any improvement, because good things take time.
You should know that you are on the right path. There is no magical way to boost your listening skills, and all you need to do is keep practicing. Now, this loop of listening to old recordings will show how much you are improving your skills at catching the words over time.
Test your listening skills
Big Ben Academy is offering an online English test. The quiz will test not only how well you can listen, but also how well you can write, speak, and read. Give it a try to determine your English language level!
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