Do you find listening a pain in the neck? Do you struggle to understand what foreigners are saying? Then follow our tips to improve your listening skills!
James from EngVid is here to teach you four useful ways to improve your listening skills. Check out the video below and find out how!
1. Don’t think, just listen
“You can’t understand two conversations at once.”
Focus entirely on listening while you are engaged in a conversation. Don’t think about what you should reply or get distracted by other thoughts. It will take time to master the skills of concentrating only on listening, but that way you’ll be able to pick up the messages they’re attempting to convey quickly and accurately.
2. Ask questions
“Engage to be engaged”
When you are totally engaged in asking questions, your curiosity level will rise and you will become more focused on the conversation.
Attention: Your questions must be relevant. That way it will be easier for you to recall and link the different parts of the conversation.
Listening to the same topic for a long period of time can be tiresome. Other than that, it will become harder and harder to receive new messages coming in while still trying to remember the old ones. You will definitely miss some information. So how do we solve this problem? By asking relevant questions! Asking questions is a good method to divide information into chunks and help our brain absorb the important facts.
Try asking more questions next time! The video below will teach you how to ask questions at ease!
3. Practice your listening skills at home
James suggests students watch movies to improve their listening skills. And here are some suggested techniques:
Turn off the subtitles!
Many people might find this weird. Without the subtitles, how can we understand the video? However, disabling the subtitles can help us focus purely on listening, and thus improve.
Focus on 2-3 sentences at a time
Segment the video into groups of 2-3 sentences and repeat them until you understand. Newbies may have to repeat them up to ten times. But over time, decrease the number of times to 2-3.
Write out what you hear
Aside from understanding, you must also write down what you hear. Then turn on the subtitles to check your writing. You will discover what you left out and what you heard wrong.
Read your mistakes aloud
Reading aloud is a great way to help you memorize your mistakes and not to do them again!
Play it again without subtitles, then with subtitles
After you went through all the stepts above, you will realize that even without subtitles, you’ll be able to understand the entire video clearly. Before you finish, remember to turn on the subtitles and play it again to get the full and correct content!
Close your eyes
Human beings are really interesting. When we lose one sense — hearing, taste, vision, or touch —, the other ones seem to improve. So when you close your eyes, it allows you to listen better or to focus more, so you can pick up more information.
Go from easy to hard
Last but not least, James provided a useful learning method. When we first start learning, we should begin with kids programs, then move on to TV shows, action movies, dramas, and lastly, dark comedies. From easy to hard. This can help us improve easily and effectively.
4. Try it yourself!
Try applying the methods to the video below! This is from the TV series “Friends”. Many English teachers use clips from this show in their lessons. I personally enjoy them very much! Check it out!
James also reminded us that when obtaining information, we should start by getting the times, dates, numbers, names, and addresses. Additionally, when you hear the words never, always, must, should, most, and best, it means that the person is attempting to convey important messages.
Practice hard and you’ll find yourself improving in no time!
Where can I test my knowledge of the video? Have I remembered all the vocabulary yet? Try out VoiceTube’s special feature, the Listening Quiz, and find out how much you learned!
Author: Eddie Hsu
Translation: Colleen Jao