One of the most common questions I am asked as a English as a Second Language Tutor is " How can I improve my listening?"
It's a great question! I will share 5 activities that I share with my students.
First, to learn a new language involves be able to listen with purpose. The purpose is to listen to understand! One of the most effective ways to improve English fluency is to learn to listen. Often times, when others are speaking we can hear them but are we truly listening. Active listening requires that you are focused on what is being said, you are attentive to every word spoken.
Speaking and listening are both critically important to learn a new language. To have great speaking success you must develop your listening first. Listening helps to recall material that you have learned previously; it also helps to develop vocabulary, comprehension and pronunciation.
Now, to answer your question; How can I improve my listening? Here are a few activities that you can do to improve listening.
1. Listen to English talk radio shows. There are plenty of internet based podcasts that you can find with a quick google search.
2. Listen to audio books. Write down a paragraph or two of what you heard. Listen again and check your paragraph to see if the information is accurate.
3. Listen to movies, TV shows and news programs in English.
4. Listening to music is a great way to learn new vocabulary, meanings and how to use words in context.
5. Engage in conversation with a Native Speaker. List purpose! Asks questions and listen to the other persons response. Focus on how they answered, their tone and choice of words.
I incorporate these things with my students and have seen great growth in their English speaking. When you do these things you are well on your way to becoming a fluent speaker!