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How to improve your listening skill?

5 years ago
Slowly I'm afraid. Listening is for me the most difficult to skill to help you improve because it is something that only you can do. I can provide resources, practice feedback and so on, but at the end of the day you are the only listening and processing what you hear.

I have lived in three different countries, France, China and now Spain, and my ability to understand what was being said to me took time AND repetition, especially Chinese!

So what can you do to improve your listening ability? Obviously, you must listen! Seriously, though it´s important to have the language you want to learn around you so the 'music' of the language enters your subconscious. For Chinese, I would go to sleep listening to a pronunciation tape and just let the sounds enter my mind as I dozed off.

Now, living in Spain where I teach English, I create opportunities to listen while driving. I´ve found that the presenters on RNE Classic speak clearly and slowly thus making it easier for my to follow. I also listen to my student book CD as I drive, repeating the words like music.
I often recommend TED Talks to my students who are preparing for the Cambridge B2, C1 and C2 as the presenters tend to talk clearly and a bit slower than TV shows.

What do you think?
What are your difficulties with improving your Listening? What are your strategies?