How to Improve Listening Skills in English

How to Improve Listening Skills in English

If you want to communicate with people in English, then it is vital that you understand what they are saying. This means that you are going to need to improve your listening skills. Here, we want to share a few tips with you to help you to improve your listening skills in English.

What to listen to

Before we give you tips on how to improve your listening skills in English, we want to give you an overview of some of the resources that you can use to really listen properly. Try and mix these up a little bit so you get to hear multiple voices, a mixture of words, plus you won't get bored:

  • eBooks
  • Television and movies
  • YouTube videos
  • Podcasts
  • Listening to native English speakers talk to you
  • Talk radio
  • Music

The more different resources you use, the more efficient your practice will be.

Improving Listening Skills in English

So, you have your listening resources in place. How do you put all of them to use? Well, luckily, it is surprisingly simple. There are two different learning methods here, and you will need to use a combination of both of them.

Passive Listening

Passive listening will involve you constantly surrounding yourself with English audio. You aren't really going to be doing anything. It is just playing in the background. For example, you could be at work while you are listening to an English podcast.

Having English in the background is very beneficial. Your brain will start getting used to the sounds of English. it will start to pick up patterns in the language. Every now and then your brain may say "hey, I know this word!". It is a subconscious process.

You cannot improve your listening skills in English by passive listening alone. It just makes the job a whole lot easier.

Active Listening

This is where you actually have to do something. You will be setting aside a part of your day (preferably 30-minutes to an hour) to actively listen to English audio.

So, what does active listening mean? Well, it means that we are actually doing something with what we are listening to. There are a few methods that you can use here:

  • You listen to the audio and jot down words that you do not know.
  • If the audio is simple, then you may want to repeat back what you heard. This can allow you to work on your speaking skills at the same time.
  • Some English textbooks can ask you questions about what you have just listened to. Your tutor may be able to help you with this too. This is probably the best way to improve your English skills as you have to actively listen to whatever is being said.
  • You could try to listen to the song lyrics and learn them.

All of these methods are equally good, and we suggest that you mix things up a little bit so you get your brain working in a load of different ways. We especially encourage you to do the first one where you jot down words that you do not know.

This is a great way to add new vocab. It also means that you will be able to hear words actually being used rather than just learning a long list of vocabulary. So, that will keep things interesting!

What resources to use to improve my listening skills?

Try and mix these up a little bit so you get to hear multiple voices, a mixture of words, plus you won't get bored: eBooks, Television and movies, YouTube videos, Podcasts, Listening to native English speakers talk to you, Talk radio, Music, The more different resources you use, the more efficient your practice will be.

How to improve my English listening skills?

There are two different learning methods here, and you will need to use a combination of both of them. Passive and active listening. Passive listening will involve you constantly surrounding yourself with English audio. You aren't really going to be doing anything. It is just playing in the background. For example, you could be at work while you are listening to an English podcast. Active listening means that we are actually doing something with what we are listening to.

How to practice active listening?

There are a few methods that you can use here: You listen to the audio and jot down words that you do not know. If the audio is simple, then you may want to repeat back what you heard. This can allow you to work on your speaking skills at the same time. Some English textbooks can ask you questions about what you have just listened to. Your tutor may be able to help you with this too. This is probably the best way to improve your English skills as you have to actively listen to whatever is being said. You could try to listen to the song lyrics and learn them.

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