Listening

Improve Your Listening Skills

Very often listening appears the most difficult task for English learning students. One of the reasons listening is still a problem – each person speaks with his/her own pronunciation and accent we should catch and understand, or at least guess.

Advice
   # You do not have to understand everything.
   # Do not upset when you can not understand anything.
   # Do not translate into your native language.
   # Catch the gist (general idea) of the conversation.
Don’t pay excessive attention to details until you have understood the main idea.

Firstly, try to understand that you do not have to translate everything. Translating creates a barrier between the listener and the speaker. You should understand or guess the main idea. Secondly, most people repeat themselves constantly. So if you are attentive you will understand him from other his words.

Translating creates a barrier between yourself and the person who is speaking
When you listen to another person speaking in foreign language (English in our case) we have a temptation to translate into mother tongue. But your task is not translation but listening and understanding. When you try to find an equivalent in your native language, your brain blocks and does not perceive next words of the speaker (as he does not wait for you, he continues speaking). So you start to miss the meaning.

Most people repeat themselves
Think of people you know well. Do they repeat in the conversation? Repeat means not literally but repeat the idea. Usually a conversation lasting several minutes has only one main idea. Different words and expressions are used to explain the same event or object.

Tips
Listen to something you enjoy
Today Internet gives us a perfect chance to choose what we want whatever it might be. Choose topics interesting for you and acceptable complexity level. You can listen to the same passage more than ones. It is also a good chance to widen your vocabulary.

Listen for Keywords
Firstly, try to get the keywords or keyphrases that will help you to understand the general ideas. If you understand “London”, “vacation”, “this summer” you can assume the story is about summer vacation in London. Remember, understanding the main idea is very useful in grasping details.

Listen for Context
When you do not understand some words you should concentrate on words that accompany unknown object. Then you will be able to understand what the conversation is about. For example, a foreigner tells: “…I bought a great tuner. And now I can listen to National Public Radio broadcasts.” If you do not know the word tuner, if you are careful listener, you will understand that “a tuner” – is some device for the radio.
So you must focus on things you understand but not the things you are not acquainted with.

General advice
Listening requires a great amount of practice and patience. If you do not become nervous when you do not understand, you will see you understand more and the situation is not so awful as it seemed.
Take a rule to listen often and much. The more you practice the faster you get the skills.

Brought to by:

http://www.mytoeflsuccess.com/toefl-skills/principal/improve-your-listening-skills.htm

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