Improving your listening skills


If you are an intermediate learner or have even better English, you might ask yourself what the best ways are to improve your listening skills. So often people learning English get little exposure to native speakers of the language. They are surrounded by teachers who have local accents and make the same mistakes as they do because they are influenced by the same mother tongue. When they come across foreigners, they find it really hard to understand them.

There are two obvious ways that you can improve your listening. One is called 'extensive listening' by experts and the other is 'repeated listening'. Extensive listening means that you listen to three or more versions of the same story. So, you might watch Al Jazeera, CNN and the BBC all reporting on the same issue, like Donald Trump becoming the next US President.

Repeated listening means listening to the same story or article until you are fed up with it. You can do this on Readlistenlearn at five different levels and choose either fiction or non-fiction.

It seems from the evidence that repeated listening brings into play more cognitive skills than extensive listening. However, we are about to test that thesis out at BRAC University in Dhaka in a comparative study and will keep you updated on our findings.

Extensive listening has more variety but there isn't much material that you can find which has more than one version except for the news and, so, if you're not very interested in politics, it's hard to practise in this way.

Let us know what you think the best ways are.