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Tips to improve your English listening skills

By | Manav Bansal | Creative Content Writer 

This article is for those who want to have a good command of the English language. As described from the title, I will tell you some tips to improve your English listening skills.

There are many people who are good at English writing and reading. However, it is very difficult for them to speak in English. Also, there are many who do not understand the accents of the native English speakers and find it difficult to understand what the speaker is saying. It means that the person has poor English listening skills.

If you also face the same difficulties, then this article will be of great help to you.

The following are the tips that would help improve your English listening skills.

Listen to English speakers as much as you can

Though it is quite obvious, this is the most important thing you need to do. How would you be able to understand the pronunciation of the complex words, different accents, if you do not listen to the language?

Well, this point is not only applicable to the English language, but every person learning a new language should keep this point in mind.

  • What to listen?

One can listen to various English podcasts, watch English movies, listen to English songs etc. in order to improve English listening skills.

Make sure to have certain English podcast apps on your mobile phone. Listen to as many podcast episodes as you can. Other than this, watch English news channels like BBC, CNN, Al-Jazeera etc. This will help you understand the accents of various native English speakers. Listening to BBC can make you familiar with the British accent and CNN with the American accent.

Ted Talks- You will be exposed to different English speakers around the world if you start watching Ted Talks. The speakers are from different parts of the world and they speak about different topics. Therefore, you will also get to know about different unfamiliar words.

Keep this thing in mind that you won’t see the results if you just put on earphones and start your podcasts or Ted Talks on YouTube. Active listening will help you improve your skills. However, this may take some time and practice. In the first attempt only, you won’t understand everything you listen to. You will have to listen to the sentences repeatedly or you will have to focus on speakers’ faces to understand the pronunciation of complex words.

However, slowly and gradually, you will be familiar with the accents and will understand the words properly.

  • When to listen?

Many experts say that you should listen to the language whenever you get free time. Also, you should listen to it while driving, doing house chores, travelling on a bus etc. Well, I don’t think that this is a good idea.

Initially, you will have to completely dedicate your time to English listening without doing any other work at that time. To be able to understand some foreign language while doing other works, you need to be as comfortable with it as you are with your native language.

Let me give you an example. A Spanish person will speak, listen, read, write and also think in Spanish every day. Therefore, even in a noisy environment, it will be easy for him to understand Spanish rather than English because of the comfort level with Spanish.

Undoubtedly, you should start listening to English in crowded places also once you are familiar with it and have practiced much of English Listening.

Make notes while listening

Make it a habit and learn to make notes while listening to English. This activity will help you a lot. Note down the unfamiliar words that you listen to and know about them on Google.

This activity will also improve your vocabulary, which will help you in all the segments of the language i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing.

Whenever you listen to a talk or conversation in English, note down its key points. This will help you in two ways. Firstly, your note-making skills will improve and secondly, your active listening will improve.

Use English as your language of communication

Not with everyone, but try to have a conversation with people in English who are familiar with the language. This will improve your self-confidence and also you will get to know about your mistakes.

Try to use the words in your speech that you learned while note-making. While you listen to podcasts, songs etc. try to speak out the sentences. However, you may not always in a place where you can do this, but whenever the situation allows, you should practice this speaking exercise.

Speaking aloud will help you with the pronunciation. Please do not try to copy the accents as speakers of different countries have different accents.

Other than this, never limit yourself to a single source. Sometimes, a person keeps on listening to a single song or watching a particular personality. Also, sometimes people just stick to a single podcast. Expose yourself to people with different accents and different tones. Being familiar with one person’s accent won’t help you.

Be consistent

You won’t improve your skills in a day or two. It is a slow process. Slow and steady wins the race. Keep this phrase in mind.

You need to invest time to improve your English listening skills and you need to very consistent. There might be times when you lose hope. Take a break and resume the process. You need to be very patient and consistent.

You need to be habitual of listening to English to improve your skills. Consider every new English listening material as a formal class. Listen attentively, learn something new and take notes. You need a focused mindset to learn the language.

Bonus Tip: Think in English

Most of the people around the world think in their mother languages. Not only to improve English listening skills but to have a strong hold on the language. Start thinking in the language. Though it is not easy. However, with consistency and practice, you can be at that stage where you can think in a foreign language.


Author bio:

Manav Bansal is working as a Creative Content Writer at  <a href=”https://www.fourmodules.com/”>FourModules</a> for last two years. He has been writing on various topics related to IELTS, PTE, CELPIP and CAEL exams. Other than this, he loves to write about health, lifestyle and technology.

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