? asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 8 years ago

what can I do to improve english listening skills?

I am a student . I am learnin english now have intermediate level and my level is rising in time but I do not understand anything when I listen to english.. Please help me

9 Answers

  • Pooja
    Lv 4
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Does this situation seem familiar to you? Your English is progressing well, the grammar is now familiar, the reading comprehension is no problem, you are communicating quite fluently, but: Listening is STILL a problem!

    First of all, remember that you are not alone. Listening comprehension is probably the most difficult task (noun=exercise, job) for almost all learners of English as a foreign language. So, now you know you are not alone....! OK. The most important thing is to listen, and that means as often as possible. The next step is to find listening resources. This is where the Internet really comes in handy (idiom = to be useful) as a tool for English students. Here are some suggestions for interesting listening selections:

    CBC Podcasts

    Listen to All Things Considered news stories on NPR

    Listen to the BBC.


    Once you have begun to listen on a regular basis, you might still be frustrated (adjective=upset) by limited understanding. What should you do?

    Here is some of the advice I give my students:

    Accept the fact that you are not going to understand everything.

    Keep cool (idiom=stay relaxed) when you do not understand - even if you continue to not understand for a long time.

    Do not translate into your native language (synonym=mother tongue)

    Listen for the gist (noun=general idea) of the conversation. Don't concentrate on detail until you have understood the main ideas.

    I remember the problems I had in understanding spoken German when I first went to Germany. In the beginning, when I didn't understand a word, I insisted on translating it in my mind. This approach (synonym=method) usually resulted in confusion. Then, after the first six months, I discovered two extremely important facts; Firstly, translating creates a barrier (noun=wall, separation) between the listener and the speaker. Secondly, most people repeat themselves constantly. By remaining calm (adjective=relaxed), I noticed that - even if I spaced out (idiom=to not pay attention) I could usually understand what the speaker had said. I had discovered some of the most important things about listening comprehension:

    Translating creates a barrier between yourself and the person who is speaking

    While you are listening to another person speaking a foreign language (English in this case), the temptation is to immediately translate into your native language. This temptation becomes much stronger when you hear a word you don't understand. This is only natural as we want to understand everything that is said. However, when you translate into your native language, you are taking the focusof your attention away from the speaker and concentrating on the translation process taking place in your brain. This would be fine if you could put the speaker on hold (phrasal verb=to make a person wait). In real life however, the person continues talking while you translate. This situation obviously leads to less -not more- understanding. I have discovered that translation leads to a kind of block (noun=no movement or activity ) in my brain which sometimes doesn't allow me to understand anything at all!

    Most people repeat themselves

    Think for a moment about your friends, family and colleagues. When they speak in your native tongue, do they repeat themselves? I don't mean literally (adverb=word for word), I mean the general idea. If they are like most people I have met, they probably do. That means that whenever you listen to someone speaking, it is very likely (adjective=probable) that he/she will repeat the information, giving you a second, third or even fourth chance to understand what has been said.

    By remaining calm, allowing yourself to notunderstand, and not translating while listening, your brain is free to concentrate on the most important thing: Understanding English in English.

  • 5 years ago

    You improve your listening skills by keeping very, very quiet. Just kidding. I would say, see if you can get a broadband radio that picks up English language programs. I believe that would be a quicker way to learn English than watching English movies, but that's not bad either. I know a woman who learned English from watching English language movies and tv. Good luck.

  • 8 years ago

    Maybe you should try listening materials with their respective SCRIPTS in order to identify with what's being spoken. You can also listen to songs and print their LYRICS so that you can identify the words that are being sung and you familiarize with the sound of the language. Remember too that you listening skills somehow are related to your VOCABULARY, so try to increase your vocabulary too, and pay attention to how the pronunciation of some words is, so that when you listen to the words you're able to recognize them. In my opinion, it's important to consider the linguistic variation you're listening too (e.g. British, American, etc.). I personally think that British English is more difficult to listen (at least for me), but it's not impossible.

    Another advice: when you listen something in English, if you hear a word that you don't understand, don't get stuck on it thinking what could it mean, but rather keep on listening what's being said so that you don't lose the track of the whole message.

    You just have to get used to the language, so keep on trying. The more you listen to English, the more you get used to it, and the better it may be for you to understand and recognize the language and the words you're listening to.

    Best wishes.God bless you.

  • 8 years ago

    This is what you can do in order to improve your language skills (especially if English is not your native language):

    Actually, broadening/improving one's language skills is a very broad concept, it should be done in more than one ways at the same time which is highly recommended. One can NOT become better ONLY in one area, say, listening, one MUST improve skills in ALL dimensions of the language!

    Learning language well requires being as active as possible and making the learning as FUN for oneself as possible. Taking lessons is always important, but equally important are these:

    1) Listen/watch: Keep listening to internet radio stations like BBC, watch TV shows in English (use only subtitles, NOT voice dubbing in case you are not a native English speaker!), etc.

    2) Write/communicate: Try to find discussion forums from the web about things that you find interesting and FUN (music/various artists, hobbies, etc.) and start communicating there with other people using only English. Start using instant messaging systems in case you find some new friends or start emailing them. Please do NOT be afraid of making mistakes or hesitating, because even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times! The more you enjoy communicating, the better!

    3) Buy yourself a proper dictionary, and each time when you see a strange word that you do not understand, look it up. Putting words into their CONTEXT is one of the best ways to broaden one's vocabulary and grammar knowledge, the more you read and write the better. Memorising is NOT the best way to go with learning vocabulary, grammar or any other language areas! For idioms, you should buy an all-English dictionary which explains the words in English and shows you examples of how to use the words in their REAL context.

    The main point in ANY language learning is to make it as fun as possible for yourself. Try to find topics that INTEREST you, read online newspapers (Times, Guardian, Independent...), listen to BBC/NBC and other radio stations online, if you find a discussion forum for e.g. your favourite hobby or your idols in music do participate there, etc. The key word here is CONTEXT, which means that it is easier to learn new words and their usage as well as grammar when you use/see them in their real CONTEXT. The more you see and hear the new words in their context and the more you use them in your speech & writing, the easier it becomes to remember their meanings and correct spelling. Do NOT be afraid of making mistakes though, because even native speakers do make mistakes and do hesitate at times!

    I'm sorry there is NO EASY WAY out with this, one really must develop language skills in ALL these language "levels" or dimensions in order to reach better language skills!!

    Last but not least: NEVER EVER use ANY online translators, they are nothing but utter rubbish!! English is practically EVERYWHERE in the online world these days, you just have to use your imagination to find it! Learning pace is always personal, it takes the time it takes so there is no reason to hurry it up too much. If you do, you will not learn so well. Also, please learn the basics of the standard English first before advancing to finer details like dialects/accents. A word of warning though: Do stay well away from overrated, overpriced and overhyped language "gimmicks" such as Rosetta Stone, they really are NOT worth for checking out! Also, never mind about your accent, as the main goal for you is that others understand you and you being able to understand other speakers.

    Good luck!

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Any person planning on traveling to a Spanish-speaking nation sometime in the subsequent months or so have to make a program so that can make a dissent conversation in Spanish or just to understand when people talk to them due to the fact by the time your trip rolls close to you should be conversationally fluent or rather shut to it with the support

  • 8 years ago

    There are cassette tapes that you can listen to that will translate from different languages to english that can help you. Dictionaries are good also but to help in full sentences, maybe get Rosetta Stone CDs to listen to.

  • 8 years ago

    Continue to read english text books and novels

  • 4 years ago


  • 8 years ago

    There are stages. You will be fine. Find friends to teach you....listen to the news casters.

    Learn "please," thank you" and "where is the bathroom, please?"

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