How to improve listening comprehension? There is, however, a difference between practice and practice. While there is no such thing as a “bad” approach to practicing listening (apart from not doing it at all), some ways are more successful than others and can help you increase your listening comprehension faster and more efficiently. This article will give you an overview of how to improve listening comprehension. Keep reading.
Continue to do activities that you like. We miss out on doing the things that bring us joy because we spend our time productively. Do you enjoy painting, writing, bicycling, or baking? When was the last time you did something you enjoyed? When you think to yourself, “I miss doing…”, do it as soon as you can.
Let someone know if they make you feel uncomfortable (even if it’s a friend or family member).
Find out what your essential values are. What genuinely makes you happy? Is this any sort of service? Is it a matter of leadership? Is it a matter of humility? Take some time to get to know yourself. This will assist you in making decisions that are authentic to yourself.
Noise complicates the communication process. A barking dog, crying infant, TV program, peeking at a phone text, or just attention shifting might all be sources of distraction. For example, the client may be speaking with you, but you are adding noise to the process by thinking about how many calls you have scheduled for the day.
Why is it so difficult to understand what you’re hearing?
Listening is objectively more difficult than other comprehension abilities such as reading since there are so many variables that might influence your knowledge.
Speaking at a fast pace. If you are a novice in your target language, you will most likely be able to comprehend speakers if they speak slowly and clearly; if they speak too quickly, even familiar terms will become unfamiliar. Even at higher levels, the quicker the speech, the more difficult it is to comprehend what is being said.
Dialects. In various regions of the country or the world, people speak the same language in different ways. While some dialects are very similar, others might be fairly difficult to distinguish. Even if you have a high level of linguistic ability, comprehending a foreign dialect might be challenging.
Bad technology. An outdated scratchy tape, faulty headphones, or an inconsistent Internet connection can all make listening comprehension more difficult.
‘Wrong’ sound. Native speakers do not always pronounce words as they appear in dictionaries and textbooks: they utilize contractions and shortened versions and sounds shift when spoken together.
Lack of patience. Your listening abilities will not increase without enough practice, no matter how well you have learned other language skills.
How to improve listening comprehension
We’ll look at some of the elements that make listening difficult in this article, and then I’ll give you 10 of the finest strategies for improving listening comprehension.
1. Make active (intentional) listening to a habit
One of the most essential strategies to enhance your listening abilities is to listen actively. Too many language learners fall into the ‘passive listening trap,’ believing that listening to anything in their target language in the background while doing something else, such as radio, music, or a podcast, will help them learn and improve their listening comprehension.
Passive listening, on the other hand, is almost useless. To begin with, there is nothing to inspire you to learn: there is no objective, no repercussions if you don’t comprehend anything, and nothing to push you to progress.
What does it mean to listen ‘actively’? It entails devoting your undivided attention to whatever you’re listening to and actively participating in it. The stakes and your degree of motivation may vary based on the scenario, but active listening is always preferable to passive listening.
2. Encourage others
It takes a lot of bravery to open up to someone, and your buddy may require encouragement from time to time to keep sharing their feelings as they let you into their heads.
Place your hand on their shoulder and smile warmly, as if to reassure them that it’s alright to be vulnerable. “I know how brave it takes to be vulnerable, and I’m happy that you’re sharing this with me,” or “I’m here, and I’m listening to what you’re saying,” are examples of phrases to use.
“You may keep going if you want to, I’m here,” say them when they seem to be restricting themselves. “Everything you feel and say is correct.”
3. Adjust the speed
If you’re speaking with someone in person, respectfully request that they slow down a little — most people will try to accommodate you.
Reduce the speed of the replay until you can comprehend what is being said. But don’t stay on this level indefinitely. Try increasing the speed a little bit every now and again; if you do it often enough, you’ll soon be able to hear the speaker at its normal speed.
This also works in the other direction. You may occasionally come across speakers who discuss intriguing things yet speak so slowly that you become tired while listening to them… If you don’t want to fall asleep during listening practice, increase the speed of the recording to make it more bearable.
4. Ask. Don’t read from the mind.
Ask them whether you’re right about anything you’re not sure about or any assumptions you’re making. Don’t say anything that may be construed as a condemnation.
If there’s something you don’t understand, ask them to explain it to you. Always use a calm tone when speaking. They may be hesitant to move forward if they receive a false signal.
5. Have a Relax
It’s easy to go too far with eye contact. Do not gaze down at the sender with a serial killer’s intensity. Relax. Smile. Be unpretentious. Be pleasant.
When you promise yourself that you will transition from thinking to doing, you will get driven, take chances, and learn, and as you work toward this goal, it will either become what inspires you, or it will pave the way for you to find something else that does.
6. Please don’t interrupt
Your mother taught you that interrupting people is impolite. It’s also a poor form of communication. Even if you think you know what someone is going to say before they say it, don’t presume it.
Allow them to finish their ideas. You cease listening as soon as you start speaking. Be patient if the sender is one of those folks who use a lot of words and speaks in circles before getting to the point. This is not a discussion. It’s a discussion.
7. Pay close attention
This is a suggestion that no guide on how to develop listening abilities would be complete without you needing a lot of frequent listening practice to enhance your hearing comprehension in a foreign language. It may seem self-evident, but it’s worth mentioning.
It’s not enough to listen to a song or watch a brief video in your target language every now and then, to listen to a 10-minute podcast once a week, or to have an occasional talk with a native speaker or a fellow student. You must listen to your target language a lot and on a regular basis to actually enhance your listening abilities.
8. Make a strategy
Create deadlines and milestones. Without definite dates, good ideas are just that: good ideas. Make a plan for your job and stick to it. Understand that actions, not words, cause things to happen.
9. Change up your listening exercises
If you listen to the same person all the time, such as your favorite podcast host, you will rapidly become accustomed to their language, speech patterns, talking pace, and accent.
While one listening resource can still teach you a lot, listening to podcasts, audio courses, YouTube channels, and other listening resources that include many presenters or welcome guest speakers can expose you to a variety of accents and dialects.
Even so, supplementing your favorite resources with others can help you: the more varied speakers, styles, and themes you are exposed to, the better.
10. Make use of visual aids
When we communicate with others, we use nonverbal cues such as body language, gestures, and facial expressions to help us comprehend them. Visual cues like this are crucial for deciphering what is and isn’t being communicated.
Use audio-visual materials for your listening exercises, such as movies and movie trailers, news, or YouTube videos, to reproduce this experience. Even if some phrases are foreign, what you see on the screen will give you additional context and non-verbal signals to assist you to grasp what is going on.
Visual cues can also help you remember words and improve your listening comprehension. When you watch and listen together, you typically learn more than when you watch alone.
There’s a reason Allah gave you two ears and one mouth. Proportionally speak and listen.
There’s nothing new here; we all know that we should heed that small voice when it tells us anything. Here’s a gentle reminder to pay attention to how you’re feeling. Take heed of the warning signs and depart when you’re ready. And go with what you believe is correct.
Don’t get your inner critic mixed up with yourself. Have you ever questioned or criticized yourself? This is most likely a habit you picked up from someone else, such as a parent or teacher.
Right now, *my* life is for “being in action towards a world that works for everyone.” I’ll never accomplish it, but it is a good thing to be working towards.
Make some big promises about what you are going to accomplish. Chicken shit tiny promises will result in chicken shit tiny results.
Make promises to others about what you are going to do and by when. We are more likely to complete a task when someone else is counting on us to do it. If you break a promise, admit that you did that, clean up any mess that you caused, and make a new promise.
Share your promises and your life goals with anyone and everyone who will listen. (I shared my goal of running an eco-friendly bed and breakfast in New Mexico, US for 10 years. I probably told over 5000 people about it. I handed out business cards on 4 continents. Now I’m running an eco-friendly B&B in New Mexico.)
Ask for help and support. Any project worth doing will probably be big enough and complicated enough to need more than one person.
Don’t be afraid to make big, bold requests for help, materials, advice, money, and anything else you need for your project. You’ll be surprised how often the answer will be Yes on how to improve listening comprehension!
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