Listening comprehensions in English are usually the part of the language learning process that poses problems.
A few days ago, we told you how to improve your reading comprehension and how to employ your writing skills in English. Today is the day that we will focus on the dreaded listening.
Listening is not the same as hearing. Learning to identify and above all understand the meaning of what another person is saying, is something difficult from the beginning.
Developing your listening comprehension is fundamental if you wish to participate in conversations with English speakers.
Do you want to know how to improve your level of listening? Here are 6 pieces of advice.
1.Speak English all you can
It is the first and most important piece of advice we can give you. It is the most effective way of improving your listening comprehension.
Speak with a native friend or someone who has mastered English, practise with teachers in your English academy .. Don´t be afraid to ask someone if you have not understood something.
It is the time to concentrate and pay attention to everything your conversation partner is saying to you.
2. Watch films or TV series in English
There is nothing better for practising your English than watching a series in its original language.
Are there any series that you’re passionate about?
Or are you a movie buff? Take advantage of this gold mine to improve your listening skills.
It is interesting and educational. If your level is not very high, the best thing you can do is start with the subtitles in Spanish.
When you get used to the pronunciation and the rhythm, you can change the subtitles to the original language. The last and final step is not to use the subtitles at all. Subtitles are a crutch for the early stages of learning. You have to think that you won’t have the option to turn on the subtitles when someone speaks to you in English.
Finding motivation is the key to learning a language. If you combine learning with an activity that you like, everything is easier. Spend a little time each day to test your listening comprehension.
3. Audiobooks and podcasts
These are great tools to improve your listening and also to strengthen your pronunciation. They are useful resources that will quickly accelerate your English learning.
First you need to choose a book that you like and find the words that you don’t know.
Podcasts are increasingly used to perfect your language learning. They are very fashionable and it is an easy format that can be used with a smartphone.
Download programmes such as those from the BBC and little by little you will understand conversations better and you will be able to distinguish different accents and rhythms.
4. Listen to music
One of the best pieces of advice to improve your English is using your favourite songs.
However, contrary to what we said with the series or the movies, you should listen to the music with the English subtitles. When you feel that your listening has improved, you can change the subtitles to those in Spanish. They will help you to understand what you are listening to.
The final phase is to understand everything without the need for subtitles, and to only use your new and improved hearing.
Here is a video with 3 key points to help you listen to and understand English.
5. Learn to understand
It´s not just about listening. You must understand what you hear. It is recommended that every time you watch a film or a series, try to tell someone about what you have seen, because if you can explain it to someone else then you have fully understood it.
It is also useful to write down any new words that you have heard and then look them up in a dictionary. This is a great method to learn new vocabulary.
This way your English learning is situational. Meaning your mind will associate words with scenes from the film or series and it will help you to remember them.
6. Language immersion stays
There is nothing better than travelling to an English-speaking country which has a distinctive accent to get used to understanding different intonations such as Scotland or Ireland.
With these 100% English immersion stays; you will improve your oral expression and your listening comprehension. You will also have an unforgettable experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
There is nothing better to learn English than travelling to other countries and experiencing the language and the culture first-hand.
We know how to focus the language learning process in order to perfect all your language skills. Learning english is useful and worthwhile.