English Listening Skills

Types of listening skills

  1. Predicting content (Guessing)

  2. Listening for gist

  3. Detecting signposts

  4. Listening for details

  5. Inferring meaning

Types of listening

  1. Extensive (focuses on the previous skills)

  2. Intensive (listening for enjoyment)

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Have you been studying English a long time? Do you understand grammar rules so well, you could probably teach it? Then why is it hard for you to understand native speakers? Or your favourite television series? Well, here are a few tips to help you dramatically improve your listening skills. The next time you do listening practice, remember these tips.

1. Listen with a purpose

What are you listening for?
Are you listening to understand specific information? 
- Name, age, hobbies

Are you listening to understand the general idea? 
-The guy was talking about his university. 

Are you listening for specific words? 
- Listen for specific phrasal verbs. idioms, collocations, etc. 

Are you listening for tenses? 
- He uses past tense and present continuous to tell the story. 

Always have a purpose for listening or your skills won't develop! 

2. Make listening a daily habit

Try to listen to something every day. A great time to do this is when you're doing something boring like washing the dishes, cleaning the house, driving, on the bus etc

3. Predict what you're going to hear

This will allow your brain time to get the necessary vocabulary ready. Let me give you an example. I'm taking a speaking exam and the topic is about family. I prepare myself by thinking about my family. I will ask myself questions like 'how many members of family do I have?' 'What do we do together?' 'Where do they live?' Etc. Try to do this next time and notice the difference. 

4. Listen and repeat

If you can't hear a particular word or phrase, listen to the audio until you can hear it. This will train your ear to work better!

5. Songs! 

Print lyrics and learn songs! So much fun! 

I hope this helped! Please share to help others. 

Written by Halima Salim


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