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  • hello everyone and welcome back to

  • english with Lucy today I want to talk

  • to you about how you can improve your

  • english listening skills so I've got

  • some tips that i'm going to give you if

  • you do follow all of my english

  • listening tips then you should be able

  • to start to understand native speakers

  • more easily and more effectively

  • we've got a lot to cover in the lesson

  • so let's get started there's a word that

  • i'm going to be using a lot in this

  • lesson and it is variety i want you to

  • use a wide range of resources and listen

  • to a wide range of accents as well. why?

  • well i know a lot of you come to me and

  • say Lucy I want to learn British English

  • and to do that I'm only going to listen

  • to British speakers but in my opinion

  • that's not the right thing to do you are

  • going to meet people from all over the

  • world with all different accents and

  • you're going to need to understand them

  • you don't want to just be able to

  • understand British people so if you're

  • not doing it already

  • I want you to listen to as many accents

  • as possible and when you're doing that I

  • want you to think about the different

  • sounds that each accent makes i made a

  • video with the lovely Anna from English

  • like a native about the differences

  • between our accents and lots of students

  • found that really really helpful because

  • there's not one definitive way of

  • speaking English there are lots of

  • variations regional variations

  • variations by country i mean english

  • spoken in New Zealand is very different

  • to english spoken in America for example

  • so you need to be able to recognize more

  • or less everything and diversify your

  • English focusing on that word variety

  • again I want to talk to you about

  • resources for my next point i want you

  • to ask yourself a question I want you to

  • answer it yourself honestly how much

  • time do you actually dedicate to

  • practicing and improving your listening

  • skills answer honestly most of the

  • students that I asked say around 1 to 2

  • hours and even then

  • they might be exaggerating a little bit

  • now you've recognized that you're

  • probably not practicing enough i want

  • you to start practicing honestly

  • practice makes perfect

  • you're not going to suddenly wake up and

  • be perfect at listening it takes time it

  • takes dedication and it's called a skill

  • for a reason is something that you have

  • to develop principally on your own and

  • also with help from others but what is

  • listening practice you might be asking

  • me well I've got lots of recommendations

  • for you

  • which brings me to my next point

  • resources and more importantly variety

  • of resources now the most obvious one is

  • watching TV programs or movies in

  • English this is great but I think you

  • can take it a step further

  • maybe you're watching programs with

  • english subtitles

  • that's good but you don't want to rely

  • on the subtitles i want you to learn

  • with your ears and not with your eyes

  • so what I recommend you do to take your

  • listening to the next level is watch

  • each program or movie twice probably

  • more achievable with programs short ones

  • i would recommend that you aim for

  • something that's less than 30 minutes so

  • you could try a comedy like friends

  • which is American English or maybe BBC

  • news and you can just watch the

  • headlines which would be British English

  • pronunciation so I want you to watch it

  • first with no subtitles see how much you

  • can understand and then I want you to

  • watch it again with subtitles and see

  • what you did pick up and what you didn't

  • pick up and then note it for next time

  • don't be afraid to replay things again

  • and again and again

  • learn the patterns of voice that we use

  • if you've got a listening exam or you're

  • going to have a telephone conversation

  • or some sort of interview over the phone

  • you're not going to be able to read the

  • person's lips which can be really useful

  • so you really ought to practice

  • listening blindly so one really really

  • good tip that often gets overlooked is

  • use audio books

  • reading is great for building your

  • vocabulary but it doesn't do much for

  • your listening skills because what a

  • book does not offer you is a

  • pronunciation guide

  • normally i'm sure some exist that do so

  • i would like you to start listening to

  • audiobooks pick a book that is

  • interesting and relevant to you judge it

  • by your level if you're quite a

  • low-level choose a children's book for

  • more intermediate maybe go something for

  • teenagers and if you're advanced

  • obviously go for something that's aimed

  • at adults or maybe has a lot of

  • technical language remember that if you

  • want to check your understanding

  • you can always buy the book as well

  • listen to a section and then read it

  • listen to another and then read it this

  • is a wonderful way of improving your

  • listening comprehension the best website

  • for audiobooks is audible and if you

  • click in the link in the description box

  • you can get a free audiobook and a

  • 30-day trial there's absolutely no catch

  • so try it out and see if it works for

  • you

  • one resource that often gets overlooked

  • is youtubers i'm not talking about us

  • lovely bunch of online English teachers

  • that are all over YouTube at the moment

  • although i think we could help you a

  • little bit with your listening

  • you have an amazing resource full of

  • free videos and listening tools find

  • something that you're interested in

  • maybe you're interested in Gossip

  • celebrities science current affairs

  • search for it in English and start

  • listening to it my next point is multi

  • task unlike reading or watching TV

  • listening is something that you can do

  • whilst you do something else

  • so once you've found your ideal resource

  • start to build a sort of pack of

  • resources on your smart phone or your

  • computer that you can take with you so

  • if you have a long car journey on the

  • way to work on public transport whilst

  • you're doing something else like cooking

  • something you don't have to concentrate

  • on listen to

  • something in English and that links back

  • to my question how much time do you

  • actually dedicate practicing your

  • English so say you spend half an hour

  • traveling to work each day and half an

  • hour traveling back home each day and

  • you listen to something in English for

  • the entirety of those journeys each week

  • you will be doing five hours of

  • listening practice that's amazing

  • if you do that you will definitely

  • improve in no time

  • the really great thing is that you're

  • doing something productive and maybe

  • learning about another topic through

  • english that you would normally do so

  • it's really a win-win situation

  • my next tip is do not translate do not

  • translate when you're speaking to

  • someone in person i want you to listen

  • for context something i always say to my

  • students is fluency over accuracy now I

  • speak Spanish fluently but i do not

  • speak it a hundred percent accurately

  • have no problems with listening

  • I have no problems understanding and i

  • have no problems with communicating but

  • if you were to film me speaking Spanish

  • and analyze all of the errors that i

  • make you find quite a few it's really

  • important to understand that you don't

  • need it to be perfect you don't need to

  • understand every single word you need to

  • understand context and general meaning

  • if you spend too much time analyzing

  • each word the conversation or monologue

  • will have moved on by the time you

  • finally understood the word that you are

  • focusing on so you actually then have to

  • catch up and you lose understanding so

  • instead of listening word-by-word listen

  • to phrases as a whole

  • my next tip is learn speech patterns

  • okay i want you to research into how

  • natives speak the way in which we write

  • something is certainly not the way in

  • which we say it

  • english is not a phonetic language and

  • we don't always follow our own

  • pronunciation rules so what research can

  • you do well you can look at homophones

  • for example these are words which have the

  • exact same pronunciation but different

  • spellings and different meanings

  • I've actually got a video coming out

  • on homophones very soon which i will

  • put in the description box an example of

  • a homeophone would be bear and bare the

  • same but different spelling and meaning

  • you can also look at minimal pairs

  • minimal pairs are words that have the

  • exact same pronunciation apart from a

  • single vowel sound an example of a

  • minimal pair would be ship and sheep

  • ship sheep so that and the same but the

  • vowel sound is different it's also

  • important that you understand weak forms

  • so we have strong forms of words and we

  • also have weak forms for example the

  • word at on its own i say at but

  • sometimes if i'm using it in a sentence

  • or in conversation and i'm speaking very

  • quickly i will say that with the schwa

  • sound I won't say at three o'clock i

  • will say at three o'clock it's important

  • that you recognize that the schwa sound

  • can represent many vowels you also need to

  • look at reductions i've got a video all

  • about the reductions wanna and gonna which

  • is also in the description box that will

  • really help you out especially if you

  • want to use those i know a lot of you do

  • it's a really quick way of making

  • yourself sound more native and also

  • contractions I am I'm i will i'll she

  • would she'd important that you learn

  • those i'm also making a video on

  • contractions so when that's uploaded i

  • will also put that in the description

  • box so that's it for my lesson on how to

  • improve your listening skills your

  • homework is to comment below and tell me

  • and everyone else how you are going to

  • improve your listening skills now you've

  • watched this video I want to see you be

  • motivated and i want to