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  • (singing)

  • Hi, James from EngVid. That's a mighty nice ear!

  • Today, I want to teach a lesson on listening skills. About a year ago I did a lesson on listening skills,

  • and I promised in that one to give you a system that you

  • could use to improve at home, and then I decided I wanted to make it better than that.

  • I want you to get instant skills, so today's lesson, "Instant Advanced Listening Skills".

  • Well, how do you do that? Because, "instant" means

  • immediately, and you're probably thinking I've been practicing for months,

  • or years and I still have trouble. We're going to fix that today,

  • if you follow the four steps.

  • The first thing we want to talk about is this: "Don't think, just listen."

  • Now just imagine this, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, boo-boo, blah,

  • blah, blah boo-boo blah, blah; crazy right? Well, people do this all the time,

  • even when they speak their own language. What I'm talking about is

  • they are thinking while someone else is speaking.

  • And that's the problem, because if you have one voice going and then

  • another voice is going, what you're actually doing is carrying on two conversations

  • and you get confused. So I often tell students "Don't do that.

  • Don't think." For some people not thinking is kind of easy.

  • But this is special thinking. I'm saying, "Don't try to understand what they're saying."

  • Now, if you go to the first video, you go "Well, that's the opposite of what you said."

  • This is different. In advanced skills

  • you might notice if I go, "woof" you know that's a dog. You don't sit there

  • and think "Is that a dog, or a squirrel, or a chicken or a cow?"

  • You know it's a dog.

  • When someone's speaking just listen. I'm going to help you with something

  • else that will make it easier for you to get the information, even if you don't think.

  • So just let the information come to you, all right?

  • Now remember, "Don't think. Just listen." Because you can't understand two conversations at once,

  • that's the one in your head, and the one you're listening to.

  • That's why we usually only let one person speak at a time.

  • Now what's the second thing? Well now you're sitting there listening.

  • Here's a problem. If you listen to somebody for about 10 minutes;

  • a long speech, tired is the first thing you're going to get. But that's not even it;

  • you're going to lose information. It's very difficult to listen to something for a long time,

  • and keep getting that information and keeping it fresh,

  • especially if you're not thinking.

  • So here's what we're going to do. We're going to break it into "chunks".

  • "Chunks" means parts or pieces, so if you have a bigger piece, and you

  • break off a part it's called a "chunk". How do we break it into chunks?

  • That's the second part of the formula -- ask questions.

  • "Engage to be engaged". "Engage" means to take part in or, for some people, get married, right?

  • Whatever, you know the wedding song.

  • Anyway, if you "engage" by asking questions, it brings in your curiosity

  • and it brings in your mind, or your brain to be fresh, to concentrate

  • and that's what we need. We need you to focus on what you're hearing.

  • Because you are not actually thinking, by asking the question it helps you to

  • take that information and break it into "chunks" so you're not listening to long speeches.

  • But also by doing that, what you're doing is you're allowing yourself well,

  • later on for your brain to take the information, from the questions to understand,

  • because the question has to be relevant. "Relevant" means,

  • has something to do with the situation at that time, all right?

  • "Is it relevant?" So it will help you with thinking. Why are we doing this?

  • Well this is the "instant" part, believe it or not, because if you can

  • do this right away you will start noticing that you understand 60%-70%-80% of

  • conversations, right away. But I did lie a little bit.

  • You need a little practice at home to make this work. Because once we do this part,

  • this will happen instantly. So let's go over to the board, all right?

  • Home practice; yes the dreaded "H-word". I could think of other words like

  • my ex-girlfriend Helen, but that's another story. Home practice is

  • absolutely necessary. And what I mean by this is we're going to do something else

  • I probably told you not to do. Or most teachers say

  • they say "Don't watch movies. They're too difficult, and you have to watch with subtitles."

  • Personally I disagree with that. I've taught classes for years,

  • and I would freak students out -- and "freak them out" means shock them or surprise them

  • -- where they would come in, I'd put on an English movie,

  • where the English people were speaking as fast as I am, believe it or not,

  • and no subtitles, and they would freak out.

  • Like, "Oh, you're crazy! How do you expect us to learn?"

  • But within one to two weeks a lot of these students could get 50%, if not 80%.

  • Oh, I lie; 50% to 60% of the movie, and in two months, 80%. Some of them even would go

  • to the theater, and watch the movie in the theater, no subtitles!

  • And there's a reason why I don't like subtitles.

  • When I'm speaking to you words are not appearing under my mouth as I speak.

  • This does not happen in reality. So when somebody says to you, you know,

  • "You need subtitles to understand." Think about it: there are no subtitles!

  • So I don't think we should use them, not for advanced skills.

  • If you're doing beginner skills, as I said, watch the first movie. That will help you

  • or the first video.

  • We should look at movies. First thing: no subtitles.

  • The other thing I want you to do is take a chunk. We used that word before.

  • Like two or three sentences, maybe five, between two people. No more than five and

  • you play that same chunk over and over again.

  • I recommend if you're just beginning, ten times down to a minimum of three times.

  • When you get really good three times is all you need,

  • and you'll catch most of the information. Now, by doing this here's what I want you to do.

  • I didn't write it on the board, but now I need you to... "You need to

  • listen to me, because I'm going to explain."

  • As you play the "chunks", what I want you to do -- or that scene -- is write out every word you hear.

  • Not some, not what you think, but exactly what you hear.

  • When you finish playing it, either three, or up to ten times,

  • only then can you put on the subtitles, yeah?

  • But this is different than what other teachers want you to do.

  • What I'm asking you to do is put the subtitles on, and compare what you wrote with what it says.

  • Good. The reason why is then you can see what you're missing

  • and whatever you're missing, you must practice out loud.

  • So if there's a word, "blasphemy" and you've never seen it, of course

  • you've never seen it, or heard it before. But if you said, "The act was blasphemous."

  • You might know "the". You might know, "act".

  • But, "blasphemous" you don't know. So practice it "blas-phe; blas-phe-ma;

  • blasphemous" until you can recognize it.

  • After you do that with all the missing words, play it again without subtitles.

  • Magic, you will notice instantly you can hear the words.

  • You may know what they mean but you'll hear them, and that's extremely important,

  • because if you can't identify something, you can't ask anyone to

  • explain it to you, right? Cool.

  • So that's when we can play it with subtitles to help us fill in the gaps.

  • "Gap" mean space. I've got a space here but gap means space between two things.

  • Now finally once you're finished, and we've done all that work here,

  • because it's a lot of work, I want you to watch it one more time,

  • but close your eyes.

  • Human beings are really interesting. They have found in science that when

  • a human loses one sense; hearing, taste, vision, or touch, the other ones get better.

  • When you close your eyes, it allows you to listen better

  • or to focus more, so you can pick up more information. So, to recap, and when we

  • say "recap" it means to go over; to give you the important parts;

  • by doing your home practice I can promise you, when you do this it will be easy.

  • Now one small little thing, before we forget. Things that most teachers don't tell you.

  • There is actually an order of movies you should watch,

  • or programs or let's say media, you should watch to get the most out of your listening.

  • Number one: start with kids programs! Why? "I love you, you love me, we're one big happy family"

  • and then they show you pictures. A big heart, "I love you, you love me",

  • and they put it up there. I mean come on;

  • they make it easy for you to get it and then they explain it! First.

  • Next -- TV programs, once you're there and you're bored of it,

  • and you're like, "I got it. I got all the basics" because it will be basic language, you must learn it anyway.

  • Watch something like "Friends." "No one knows you."

  • Watch "Friends."

  • It's what we call stupid humor. People will and fall over,

  • "Oh, he fell, Chandler fell." And then you go, "Oh, fall that's what he did. Ahahaha."

  • Stupid comedies -- it makes it easy. They don't speak quickly, right?

  • They want the audience to understand. It's very short, 20 minutes maximum.

  • What do we do after that? So, first kids movies, then TV programs, easy ones.

  • You want to know what you watch next. Action movies. That's right,

  • action movies. Action movies are made for stupid people.

  • I said it. I love action movies, I won't say I'm stupid, but I love action movies.

  • Why? Because they always explain any hard words.

  • If there's something hard, "It will be a catastrophe if this occurs."

  • Someone will run in and the hero will go, "catastrophe" and the little nerd scientist --

  • "nerd" means uncool -- will run and go, "Catastrophe! Bad things will happen and people will die."

  • And the hero will go, "Oh my gosh, that is bad." So then, suddenly you

  • understand all the big words, they speak slow enough, so you get everything, all right?

  • So now you're intermediate, if you can do action movies.

  • From there I recommend drama, and then dark comedies.

  • Drama -- they use big words and because they're intellectual and very smart,

  • they won't explain the words to you, because they're saying we're sophisticated,

  • you should understand. And finally, dark comedies are good,

  • because they play with the language. They won't be falling all over the place.

  • They'll use language in a sophisticated way, which means a high level,

  • so you really have to understand what you're listening to, and the language you're working with.

  • By the way, this isn't just for English you can use this for any language you're trying to learn, okay?

  • But this especially works with English.

  • So if you remember those five types of movies I was telling you about,

  • that you should study in that order, and you follow these rules,

  • you will have absolutely no problem at all learning from movies.

  • I know this is a long video, but I've got one other thing to help you with.

  • That one other thing is how do you get this information? Do you remember,

  • when I said this is going to be instant you still have to go,

  • "Well, James, how am I going to get this information?" Well, I'm going to tell you.

  • There are about five things you should remember when you're trying to get the information.

  • Times -- people often say time; they often say dates,

  • numbers, names, and addresses in any conversation. "Tom went home at three o'clock,

  • and I don't think he's coming back again." So you've got Tom and

  • you've got a time.

  • The other thing that people give is important information, and I'm sure you're saying,

  • "How do I know that it's important information?" Well,

  • you've been taking grammar and I've been speaking pretty quickly, so I know

  • you're advanced.

  • So you already know I'm sure about superlatives and modals of necessity.

  • When you hear something like "never", "always", "must", or "should",

  • someone's telling you, "What I'm about to tell you is very important."

  • Yeah? So keep those in mind.

  • Also, when you hear a superlative -- "most or "best" -- it's usually important.

  • If you can remember those pieces of information, practice trying to find them

  • when you're listening to the video, your brain will grab the rest of that information

  • and give you complete sentences or ideas of sentences.

  • And because you're practicing and I like movies, because they are closest to real life

  • when you are in real life, and you're not trying to think at the same time,

  • and you're actually asking questions, or "engaging",

  • you're going to find that almost instantly, you're understanding conversations.

  • Don't believe what I say. Try it. And I can almost guarantee you,

  • you're going to be surprised at how quickly you learn. Now before I take off

  • because I know you're listening to me carefully now and this is very important

  • -- see, it's that "very" -- tells you important information.

  • You need to go someplace to do the first lesson, keep that one first.

  • And where would that be? Those of you who've been with me for a while know it's

  • www -- that's a funny w -- www.eng as in English; vid as in video, .com ,where I'm

  • going to be happy to teach you this and other lessons. Mr. E.? I'm out.

  • Learn English for free www.engvid.com

(singing)

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US information listening practice understand instant language

Learn English - 4 ways to understand what you hear

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    Dota Kevin posted on 2013/04/13
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