Hello good people! How are you today? I hope you are doing well.
Listening skill is a really important thing when we learn English. In everyday life, we will need this ability. For example, when we have job interviews, TOEFL or IELTS tests, presentations and much more. We can train this listening skill gradually. Let’s see how to improve your listening skills.
- Be Present
The key to having good listening is to give all our focus and attention to the speaker and the topic. By being fully present, fully intending to listen (listening with intention), it will be easier for us to follow the flow of the conversation, so it is less likely to be left behind from the topic of the conversation, which can result in us being clueless about the topic.
By listening fully, you can ask questions about topics or issues that you don’t understand (to the other person) during the conversation, and it will create a two-way conversation.
- Starting from The Easiest, then Increase Difficulties
If you are the person who is just learning to listen, then the most effective tip to do is start from the easiest thing. Sometimes we feel inferior or hopeless when we are just starting to learn something, and it turns out that we do not show any progress. At times like that, try to check, lest you make a mistake in starting the learning step, it could be because you are too far out of your reach when taking the step.
Well, you can start practice from the thing that you feel is the easiest! Let’s see, what are examples of conversations or audio-visuals that you understand well at this time? What kind of topics can you still follow, is it a topic of daily conversation or news? Is it through the medium of cartoons or films? Is it through song or speech?
Once you know which ones are the easiest for you to understand, start from there first. Practice until you feel enough to level up, and continue to the next level. For example, yesterday, using cartoon media to practice, today you are improved by using one of the episodes in a series to practice listening. Every day, the level of difficulty increases, either through different mediums, different topics, or different conditions.
- Slow Down The Video or Audio
We often hear that one way to improve our listening skills is to use English subtitles when watching videos or films. However, this makes us lose focus on practicing the listening skill, and only focus on reading the subtitles. Well, there is one more effective tip for practicing listening skills, you can activate the slow-motion mode when you watch videos or movies.
This method can make us recognize the vocabulary spoken by others. We can slow down the video in certain difficult parts, then guess and check roughly what the person is saying. By deactivating subtitles and lowering the video or audio, we will instead focus more on listening to the conversation in progress. That allows us to recognize what vocabulary or topic is going on.
- Take Notes! But Not All the Theme
The next tip to improve listening skills is to note what you hear or catch while listening to a conversation or audio about the topic. But, does this has to be done from start to finish? Turns out, it wasn’t! You don’t need to write down the detail’s word for word.
All you have to do is draw a common thread on the whole topic of the conversation, then only note down the important points. You can also try to listen to the main idea, then listen to the points that support the main idea. After you note the things you get, in the end, you can cross-check whether what you heard is correct or not? Have you captured the outline of what you want to convey in the conversation? Is there anything you missed? Etc.
- Find Partners, or Make One!
Having friends to practice for improving listening skills is very important. By having a partner directly, you will be more motivated to learn and can correct each other. You can start by forming small study groups of 3-4 people. Moreover, when everything is online, you can practice listening skills with online meetings.
There are many methods for practicing listening skills in groups, for example, listening to a song together, watching a short film together, listening to a speech, or listening to a teammate give a presentation. At the end of the activity, each team member will present a big idea or important points heard from the previous activity. This will motivate us to listen with intention and focus.
Source: English Academy