Listening Skills

Improve your listening skills with six tips.

Listening skills are critical in advancing your English proficiency and ability to hold conversations with native English speakers. Has your grammar, speaking and reading skills advanced, but your ability to understand to native English speakers failed to improve? Can you follow movies without subtitles?

Many ESL frustrated students are unhappy with their ability to advance their listening skills, preventing them from achieving their main goal: being able to carry on a conversation with native English speakers.

Below are six tips that will help you improve your listening skills. They will also help you reach your goal of being able to speak with a native English speaker. In order for these tips to work, you must put in sufficient time. Dedicate two hours each day to improving your listening skills with our tips. I will also add lesson plans over the next few months to help you get started.

Six Tips to Improve your Listening Skills

These six tips will help you improve your listening skills

  • Purchase a top selling audio book and listen in a quite room with a pair of good quality headphones. This should be done each day for at least an hour. Write down words you do not understand and look them up after your listening session. For beginners, purchase the both audio book and electronic book. Follow along in the electronic book while you listen to the audio book.
  • Documentaries are well written and narrated by native English speakers who speak with a standard English dialect. The BBC, Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and the Biography channel have a lot of documentaries. Documentaries are ideal for improving your English listening skills and will broaden your vocabulary. Intermediate and advanced students should avoid using subtitles.
  • Participate in online classes. Colingo is one such company that provides free online classes taught by native English speakers including me. Focus on the following classes: listening, speaking, conversation, debate and business.
  • Private tutoring is an excellent option to help you improve your listening skills. You have complete control over the lesson format and the topics. Tell your tutor you want to focus on your listening skills.
  • Watch movies. Beginners should focus on romance, drama and documentary movies. These movies have less noise and much easier to understand. Avoid action, horror and science fiction movies. Action, horror and science fiction movies are a lot harder to follow. Leave these movies for advanced students. Advanced students should avoid using subtitles as they will hinder your growth.
  • Music is recommended for advanced users. Listening to music is the most challenging way to improve your listening skills and I recommended it for those with an advanced English proficiency. In most songs, words are enunciated differently than when spoken and many words blend together making it difficult to identify them. Even native speakers have trouble identifying the lyrics in most songs.