Oct 29

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READY 4 TESTS – How to practice listening skills?

Getting ready for a language exam? Check out our tips for sharpening your listening skills to help make listening practice effective and fun!

from B1 level up

Training listening skills

Almost every language exam has a listening component, and most students fear the listening test much more than many other parts of the exam. So where does listening comprehension get its bad rap?

Listening comprehension is difficult because you cannot predict what you will hear and you have no control over the topics discussed or the words used to talk about them. So if you believe that you don’t know enough words in your second language, you have every reason to worry about listening.Listening

What’s more, language learners usually think that native speakers talk way too fast, almost without taking a breath, so you may feel that you cannot keep up with them. As a result, you sometimes lose lots of information partly because you really can’t keep up with the fast talk, and partly because you don’t use the right strategies to understand the conversation.

The good news is: listening skills can be trained, so if you practice, you WILL get better. The bad news is: you have to practice a lot! It is a bit like training your muscles and following a workout program – you must train regularly and keep it up in the long run if you’d like to see results. In this short article, we’ll give you a couple of tried and true tips to improve your listening skills effectively. You’ll see that you can connect listening practice to everyday activities that you’ll enjoy such as watching your favorite TV shows for example.

TIP # 1

Watch or listen to something you are interested in in English!

This could be the news, your favorite TV shows, interviews, movies, movie trailers, English language youtube videos, instructional videos, songs, music video clips, anything in English.

If you do it right – and we’ll show you how! – these programs will give you a chance to learn lots of new words and widen your passive vocabulary ( = words you can understand) and your active vocabulary ( = words you can use when you talk) as well.

What’s more, you’ll get used to real spoken English, so it won’t seem so fast any more!

TIP # 2

Watch or listen to something in English every day if only for 10 minutes!

Spending 10 minutes listening to English every day will bring you better results than spending 70 minutes on listening once a week, so try to make sure that you watch something in English at least for a few minutes every day.

TIP # 3

Take vocabulary notes while you are watching a TV show, movie trailer, interview, or music video!

It is important that you should be an active listener/learner. Often when we watch TV, we like to get lost in the program and become passive observers rather than active participants. Passive listening has its benefits, but if you would like to see results sooner than later, it is a good idea to take matters into your hand, namely a notebook and a pen to write down words you find important or interesting. If you aren’t sure how a word is spelled, try to write it down phonetically, you can figure out the correct spelling later and look it up in a dictionary.

TIP # 4

Listen to a song or watch a video more than once!

Listening to the same conversation more than once will help you identify more words and expressions that may be useful for you. Maybe there was an expression in the video that you understood without a problem, but you know that you couldn’t use it correctly if you were speaking. This means that the word or expression is part of your passive vocabulary, but it hasn’t become a part of your active vocabulary yet. If you write it down into your vocabulary notebook, next time you may remember it much better.

TIP # 5

Revise your notes on a regular basis!

This one speaks for itself – practice makes perfect! :)


Finally, here is a quick listening activity & INTERACTIVE quiz to practice listening & note-taking!

Watch the video, take notes on interesting words/expressions, and do the interactive quiz using words and expressions from the video. Type the missing words in the gaps.

Here it goes!




Images courtesy of zirconicusso, nongpimmy at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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Permanent link to this article: http://www.euenglish.hu/2015/10/ready-4-tests-how-to-practice-listening-skills/

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