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17 / 01 / 2011

LEARNING TIPS: LISTENING: meaning and examples

Good morning. I hope everyone had a nice weekend.

Why does speaking on the telephone generally terrify English students? Because they must depend 100% on comprehension abilities, since they can't depend on gestures, facial expressions, etc.; and many students' comprehension abilities are poor, or non-existent.

Imagine that you could suddenly understand everything that native speakers were saying. How long would it take you to learn English? Not very long. Improving your listening skills automatically improves your overall English level: the more you understand, the more you can learn. The better you hear, the better you can imitate a native accent. As I have often said, listening is the most important skill to develop when studying a language.

Improving your listening comprehension can be slow, so you need to start right away, practice often and never stop! "Expose" yourself to English as much as possible. Just a few possibilities are original version films (with or without subtitles), music, radio and television programmes, listening activities that accompany your English text, Podcasts on Internet,, the BBC website, the Daily Vitamin, etc. Try to listen to English every single day.

Happy listening!