How to improve listening skills in English
Listening skills is one the predominant communication skill yet a difficult skill to acquire. From the perspective of non-native speakers of English language, the common expression is I am improving my fluency, writing, and so on but this listening is still challenging me. However, we do not need to worry about it because it is challenging to acquire than other skill if we do not strategically approach it. The simple strategy is active listening, mostly we listen passively to most of the sounds or listening without the full concentration. To have a faster learning curve, the active listening is vital, active listening means that practice listening with high level of concentration. Hence, if we decide to improve your listening skill, make active listening as part of everyday learning strategy. According to language experts. Listening is all about getting used to the sounds. So, no matter how long you spend on passive listening, the result will not be as great as small amount of time spent for active listening. Further, active listening helps learners to get used to context of the sound in addition to its spelling. Both the context of the sound and how it is spelt are important because native speakers pronounce most of the word contextually.
The other key aspect of active leaning is that we improve our focus towards the new sounds, or words, and it is stored in our memory. Next time, with a very little effort or no effort we could understand the words. Therefore, start your learning journey by spending some time on active listening every day. Once you have made up your mind, the next step should be on the content. It does not always need to be academic or hard subjects. Firstly, pick up the area of your interest, it could be movies, news, documentaries, or stories. It is proven that if we indulge in something that interest us, we engage more actively on that, so start your practice by choosing the area of your interest.
The difficulty for active listening is getting initiated, to get used to that choose the area of your interest. Now it is time to move on, hence, pick the wide range of subjects, or sources in your active listening list. Listening to different sources, and about the different subjects will help to improve wide range of vocabulary, and how it is being used in the different context. Moreover, English language has different accent, not only the highly level of differences such as American, British and Australian, but heavily differs on regional and other demographic influences. So, listen to the different sources and on different subject will help with that.
Listening like speaking is part and parcel of everyday life if we live in an English-speaking country or willing to move there. However, beyond the everyday advantage, listening skills helps you with our academic improvement, professional career and so on. For example, if a student needs to pass a competitive language test like PTE or IELTS, then, the content based listening practice is important as well. Hence, when preparing for test, break your active listening practice into micro level steps, which is some time for your area of interest, different sources and types and content-based practice. When you do the content specific practice, or even normally, try to build up our skills such as shadowing for instance, speak along with the recording, or pick up a note and present it your own language, and prepare list of vocabulary and their spellings. By doing that we will not only improve our learning skills but build range of skills to improve our communication.