Dear friends and lovers of English, it’s Yang Li.
I am back with more tips on improving your English. Having talked about reading and speaking skills, I am going to give you some ideas on how to tackle the difficulties of listening.
Listening comprehension, I think, is probably the most difficult task for almost all Chinese learners of English. This is because you have no control over what other people are saying and how they are speaking.
Some Chinese students told me that they understood their teacher very well in China but they found it much harder to understand the English being spoken in the UK. Why is this? Because people in the UK tend to speak faster than the teacher these students are used to. Another thing is that people here may have different accents and they use idioms and slang words.
Variety of voices 多种声音
So my first piece of advice is that you should try to listen to a wide variety of materials so that you get used to hearing different accents. The internet will give you a lot of materials to listen to.
Probably the greatest advantage about using the Internet to improve your listening skills is that you can choose what you would like to listen to and how many times you would like to listen to it.
Something enjoyable 选择有兴趣话题
Choose a topic of your interest and start from there. By listening to something you enjoy, you are more likely to know a lot more of the vocabulary required so understanding becomes easier.
Key words 关键词语
Use keywords or key phrases to help you understand the general ideas. If you understand London , business trip , last year you can assume that the person is speaking about a business trip to London last year. This may seem obvious to you, but remember that understanding the main idea will help you to understand the detail as the person continues to speak
Let's imagine that your English speaking friend says, ...I bought this great tuner at Dixons. It was really cheap and now I can finally listen to the . You don't understand what a tuner is. If you focus on the word tuner you might become frustrated. However, if you think in context you probably will understand. Because you know the words ‘finally’ and ‘listen to the ’, you can understand he must have bought a radio! This is a simple example to show you that you can find the meaning from what you know.
Don't expect to understand everything 不要期待全听懂
It’s very hard to understand everything people say. It is always necessary that you should understand everything. Try to stay calm as a lot of people tend to repeat themselves in a conversation so you may understand the second time or you can even politely ask people to repeat for you. I find that British people are generally very polite and they will repeat or rephrase it for you.
So just listen as often as you can and relax.