English listening skills take time to develop. No matter how good your english is, you can always improve your listening skills.
You may have been thinking about it for a while, and even made a new year resolution to start because you feel that your English level is not improving. But you feel like you have no time, or don’t know where to start.
There are dozens of podcasts, video guides, audio books, etc, that claim they can help you improve. You may have even paid and subscribed to a few. Did they help?
One needs to commit to practicing and start an effective learning process. So here I share ways for you to improve your English listening skills.
1) Find a language partner
Just as you are trying to improve your skills in English, there are other people in the world who are trying to learn your language. Thanks to technology today, those learners are within reach and you can help each other practice and improve. It works like this: you sign up on an app or website and create a profile. You look for profiles of people learning your language and ask them if they would like to connect. Then you simply schedule a time to connect with them either through the website or another application like Skype and Whatsapp.
Having a language exchange partner is a great way to stay motivated and to help each other learner in the process. A good partner will help you feel more confident and point out your mistakes gently to help you improve your english listening skills.
2. Look for a language exchange
Did you know that in most major cities there are language exchange groups that get together to practice languages? If you live in a large or medium-sized city, try to find an english speaking club. Often times, foreigners living or traveling through your city will get together to practice their language with locals. You can find these events online through sites like Meetup or Couchsurfing.
Joining a language exchange group will provide with a practical way of improving your english listening skills, as you will be in no obligation to talk, but you can just listen to people with different accents from around the world.
3. Turn off those subtitles
Watching English-language shows and movies is one of the best ways to practice your listening skills in English. Using subtitles is useful for learning new vocabulary and following the story. However, why not start to hide the subtitles? It may be intimidating at first, but watching without subtitles will force you to listen with your full attention. Try picking out words and writing them down to look up their meaning later.
Note: If you are not already doing so, try watching English language shows with English subtitles, not subtitles in your native language.
4. Take an assessment exam
An English assessment exam like the TOEFL or IELTS is often for applying to university or immigration purposes. But there are many good reasons to take an exam even if it is not required for you. You can discover your level and have something new to put on your resume or CV. Most importantly, when you schedule the test you will have a goal to work toward. Knowing the test is coming will give you a reason to practice every day to help improve your speech as well as your english listening skills. After the test, you will have a concrete reward for all your hard work and can set your next goal.
5. Schedule professional lessons online
Speaking a second language can be scary, especially with a native speaker of that language. But a professional teacher will help you create and execute a plan to reach your goals. A teacher will give you feedback about your speaking abilities and help you feel confident when speaking in English. Having a native speaker as your teacher will help you speak more naturally and use and understand expressions to make you more proficient.
Fortunately, in today’s world you don’t even need to leave your house to connect with professional, native teachers that can work within your schedule. You can schedule classes online at a time that works for you and meet one or several times a week to continue your improvement.
Don’t wait! Join our community of professionals with an aim to improve your english language skills.