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  • One of the most difficult skills to improve through real-life situations is listening.

  • But have no fear, you can target your learning to make it a breeze!

  • Here are four ways to make this happen.

  • [1. Prepare to listen]

  • If you know you're going into a situation where English is spoken, you can prepare yourself by brushing up on the likely words which could be used.

  • For example, if you're going to the airport, you're most likely to hear things about your flight, destination, visa, and luggage.

  • Before you go to the airport, you can review the vocabulary related to these topics.

  • Don't forget, if you don't catch everything the first time, it's okay to ask them to repeat it for you, which is also good practice.

  • [2. Listen for specific information]

  • You can also practice by listening for specific information.

  • If we go back to the airport example, you could listen out for your destination or flight number.

  • This will keep the learning focused and practical for you.

  • [3. Listen for pleasure]

  • Like with the reading, you can choose what you want to listen to for practice.

  • If you're a TV or film fan, try watching a section without subtitles and then watch again with subtitles to check your understanding.

  • You can also listen to radio programmes or podcasts from all over the world.

  • Choose a topic you're interested in, and you'll be amazed how many interesting programs are available!

  • [4. Carefully observe the people you listen to.]

  • It may be hard to believe, but watching people can also help you listen.

  • How does this work?

  • When people talk, they normally use more than just their words to communicate.

  • They're conveying meaning with their tone of voice, hand gestures, the way they sit or stand, and so on.

  • Carefully observe the people you listen to.

  • Linking it all together can help make the meaning clear to you.

  • One thing to be aware of here is that there may be cultural differences in body language.

  • If you are visiting somewhere new, it's a good idea to have a quick read about the customs and culture of the place beforehand.

  • [Remember: 1. Prepare to listen, 2. Listen for specific information, 3. Listen for pleasure, 4. Observe the people you listen to.]

One of the most difficult skills to improve through real-life situations is listening.

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A2 UK listen airport observe prepare practice destination

How to improve your listening skills

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    Annie Chien posted on 2020/03/28
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