As a non-English native, have you ever felt that listening is your weak spot? If reading and writing are those skills that you can actually ‘work out,’ listening and speaking are the ones that require more time and dedication. You need diligence and patience for these skills, as well as a good learning source.
What’s more, entrepreneurial people have already created academic essay writing service and other platforms for those who lack writing and reading skills. Yet, there hardly is any service able to help a non-English native comprehend a foreign language better. This is the skill we need to improve on our own.
However, it is wrong to assume that listening to a native who speaks English or watching American TV series is going to help hear and understand words in the foreign language better. At least not immediately or even soon
Just as it is with grammar, the process of improving listening skills requires a systematic approach and the right audio materials.
In this article, we list several tips that can help ESL students improve their English listening skills significantly.
Make Listening Practice Your Routine
You should listen a lot to advance your skills. Thus, there is a need to turn it into a habit. Moreover, it is not enough to create a listening environment. You need to concentrate and focus on what you are listening to.
It is wrong to assume that listening to your favorite English songs or an audiobook while in transport will positively affect your listening skills in general. Whenever you get distracted, you will lose a piece of valuable information that will negatively impact your comprehension.
Listen to What You Like
Do not push yourself to listen to things that you do not find interesting. For example, if you do not like physics or astronomy, do not make yourself listen to the things you barely understand in your native language.
Find something related to your hobby or interests and listen to people speaking about it in English. Trust us, your curiosity and expertise in the topic will help you hear better and comprehend more.
Try to Catch the Idea
Unless you are an interpreter, you will hardly be asked to provide a translation of what you have heard the word by word. Instead, you should focus on catching the general idea, the message of the speaker.
It is a wrong strategy to cling to words that you do not know because you will lose the rest of the information.
Instead, try to ignore all unknown words and focus on the information you receive from the part you do hear. You will be surprised, but it is often sufficient to understand the message.
Turn the Subtitles Off
Subtitles can bring about some negative effects. They can substitute your focus on listening with the ability to read the text. Your brain finds an easy way, and all the practice goes in vain.
Make sure that the first time or even a couple of times you listen to audio material, you do it without subtitles. Let your ear adjust to the speed and manner of speaking, and you will definitely hear more than expected.
After a few rounds of listening, you can find the text or turn the subs on to get the idea of what words you have missed.
Make Notes While Listening
Remember your native language classes at school. Teachers often asked the class to make notes if you were about to listen to a large amount of information.
The same approach works for English as well. You can and you should make quick notes while listening to the material in order not to lose any information.
Sometimes these notes are very helpful in connecting and sorting out all the information you hear.
Make Sure You Always Have Something to Listen
Turn your phone into a listening station. Use every spare minute on practice. If you have a couple of minutes or want to distract from something you are doing, find interesting English material and listen to it for a while.
However, do not listen to English speeches for too long. If you think that listening to performances that last one or two hours without a break will make you closer to success, you are wrong.
Most likely, they will make you bored with English. Thus, it is better to listen to short podcasts, so download some apps.
Do Not Hurry
If you turn a listening practice into your daily routine, the skills in question will definitely improve. However, you should be patient. When you hurry too much, small results are often hard to notice. It is better if success comes gradually because you learn to appreciate each achievement, however minor it may be.
Thus, do not worry. Make English your routine.
Try to think in English whenever you hear something, listen to English news and music, speak English with friends whenever you can, read and write in English, if you like.
After immersing in the language, one day you will definitely feel that you can listen, hear, ask and answer without any trouble.
Listening and speaking skills are the most challenging ones when it comes to learning English.
If you can ask someone to help you with reading or writing, listening and speaking are mostly your responsibilities. Thus, be patient before you can actually fully comprehend conversations in English.
Make your routine include daily listening sessions, and take your time. Appreciate success that comes in small portions and celebrate your achievements.
This post was last modified on December 17, 2019 11:47 AM