How to Improve Listening Ability in English

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    • 1). Listen to the radio in English every day for at least five to 10 minutes. Listen for words you understand. Then listen for words that are commonly used with those words. If you do not know the words used in context, build your vocabulary by looking them up in a dictionary and listening for them the next time you listen to the radio.

    • 2). Watch movies in English. Turn on subtitles the first couple of times you watch them. Try to use English subtitles instead of those in your native language. When you hear a word you do not understand, read the accompanying subtitles in English to see the written form of the word. When you see it written in English, you will have a visual reference to the word, making it easier to understand the next time you hear it. After the first couple of viewings, turn off the subtitles to see how much you can understand.

    • 3). Participate in a language exchange on the Internet to improve your listening skills. You will be matched with a person who speaks English and who wants to learn your language. Meet regularly to have online voice conversations and to practice listening to a native English speaker.

    • 4). Listen to news stories on online English learning sites such as BBC's Learning English and the Voice of America's Special English. Read the transcripts of news stories to help you with difficult words the first time or two you hear the story. Then listen to the story again without reading the transcript to see how much you can understand. (See Resources.)

    • 5). Watch the speaker's lips when possible to help you understand what is being spoken in English.

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