Follow the suggestions below to improve your general listening skills. Listen more. Look for opportunities to hear English.
Join English-speaking groups to listen to English in a range of authentic settings.
— Participants in these activities often come from different regions, so you have a chance to listen to different accents.
— Note informal and idiomatic expressions that you hear.
Attend face-to face presentations, lectures and discussion sessions that are held in English. Some English language learning websites offer access to events that you can participate in online.
Pay particular attention to the how they express their ways in Which speakers organize their presentations, points of view and how they respond to questions.
Listen closely to questions to check the structures that are used and the ways in which polite questions are formulated.
Listen to news broadcasts. Aim to understand the topic of each news item without necessarily knowing the meaning of every word.
Use free Internet listening resources and activities on educational websites for learners of English as a foreign or second language (EFL or ESL).
Watch or listen to TV or Internet programs that you are interested in.Quiz programs, for example, provide useful practice in listening to questions and responses.
Observe native English speakers and listen to the language used for different purposes in different contexts. Pay attention to their body language, gestures and informal expressions.
Practice your listening skills.
Use online listening comprehension courses or textbooks and CDs to practice regularly. Work through the questions and check your answers with the answer key. Listen again to check your understanding when necessary.
Practice predicting what will come next when you are listening.
— Think about how you predict what you will hear when you are listening in your first language. Then try it out in English. Pause the audio recording in the middle of a sentence. Ask yourself what might come next. Then play the recording to check.
Take an online or classroom-based listening course. This will allow you to get listening practice that is tailored to your proficiency level and needs.
• Be prepared to guess.
• Guess the meanings of unfamiliar words using context clues. You can get a general idea of what is said without understanding everything you hear.
• Use clarification and confirmation techniques.
• Use clarification techniques to check for information. For example, “What time did you say?” or “Can you repeat the population figures?” Ask specifically for the information you need.
• Use confirmation techniques to ensure that you are getting the message correctly. For example, in making arrangements, you might say “Right, that’s lunch at 12:30:’ This gives you and your conversation partner the chance to confirm that you have understood correctly.
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