It’s always a pleasure to share advice with my students that can really make a difference. I’ve invited Amy Whitney, an expert ESL conversation teacher from Real English Conversations, to our blog to share the some of her top tips to improve English listening skills. I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did.
3 Tips To Improve Your Listening Skills
You might be surprised to know that almost half of the students that already have an intermediate to advanced level of English are having problems with their listening skills. Being exposed to ‘Real English’ can also expose new learning obstacles.
As a beginner, it is easy to create excuses or reasons for why you can’t understand something that you hear…
Those ‘beginner’ excuses aren’t valid anymore. You’ve already memorized hundreds of words, most of the grammar makes sense, and when you are reading with the subtitles or a transcript, you can understand perfectly.
Unfortunately, some of the most common advice on the internet about ‘how to improve your listening skills’ is actually really bad advice. In this article, you are going to learn 3 common mistakes students make while they are listening and what you can do to start improving fast.
If you asked any English teacher, what they think is the best ‘authentic’ reading material for you to improve your English, almost all of them would say a newspaper. I would have to agree with them. English newspapers are great. The main reason for this is because newspapers are much more current than textbooks. Textbooks can become outdated rather quickly. The reading material they contain can soon seem old fashioned and boring to the reader. However, newspapers contain up to date news and stories. Plus, you can read a different one every day.
The English language can be very confusing. Especially if you are learning British English. In Britain, we use a lot of slang. Slang is informal words, phrases and expressions that originate from groups of people or different regions. Slang is more common in conversational English than it is in written English. One of the reasons slang is so confusing for English learners is because there are so many variations regionally. For example, slang used in Manchester is very different from slang used in London. Also, the slang commonly used in American English is very different from what you find in British English.
Every day here at Online English Skills we receive lots of questions from English learners. Some of the most frequently asked questions are;
How can I learn English faster?
Is there a way to learn English quickly?
So, I decided to create this blog post around these frequently asked questions. My answer is that there are certainly ways that you can speed up language learning. There are proven techniques that you can apply to you learning, that will greatly increase the speed on which you progress.
Now as you know English is ‘classed’ as difficult language to learn. I have to say that this is a belief system, and it is also a limiting belief, which will stop you from acquiring the language quickly. I talked more about limiting beliefs and how they can stop you from making progress in my previous blog posts.
Get on the road to fluency by changing the way you think about English.
Last week, I posted a blog post ‘There’s got to be a better way to learn English’ if you haven’t read it, I recommend that you do, as I shared a powerful exercise to help you think about English in a more positive way, and it will also help you to understand more about what I’m going to say in this post. You can read it here. 'A better way to learn English'
Anyway, in the blog I talked about how traditional teaching and learning methods don’t really work and they’re causing English learners to become frustrated with their progress. Confused and frustrated English learners are now realising that the way they have been taught English hasn’t been very beneficial at all towards reaching fluency in the language. In this blog post I want to express the power of positive emotion and belief and how they can help you on the road to fluency, better than any course book taught in a traditional English classroom. With so many negative feelings towards learning the English language something needs to change. I am a strong believer that a positive attitude goes a long way. It doesn’t matter what you are doing in life, having a positive attitude is important. For example, if you work for a large company and you turn up to work each day with a bad attitude, always complaining and moaning about small things. Is that company going to allow you to work there for long? No, they won’t, they will fire you because you had a bad attitude. English isn’t much different. However, you won’t have a boss telling you that you’re fired. But, it will affect your progress. In fact, you will speak better English right now simply by being in a positive state of mind.