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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
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 see you make a
change i believe in you and you need to
believe in yourselves too don't forget
that I now upload on Mondays
wednesdays and saturdays and i
also have a free live pronunciation and
vocabulary lesson every sunday at four
thirty gmt which is london time on my
english with Lucy facebook page
don't forget to connect with me on all
of my social media my facebook my
Instagram is where I'm most active and
you can also sign up to my mailing list
if you want to receive emails from me
and hear about updates before anyone
alright then I'll see you soon for
another lesson mwah!
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12 Ways to Improve English Listening Skills & Understand Native Speakers

1127 Folder Collection
Cat published on January 26, 2017
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