How to Get Better English Listening Skills through Extensive Listening
Extensive listening is a way to practice your English listening skills. It means listening to many different recordings, videos and interviews about the same topic. This will help you get context for what you're listening to, and will help you learn more vocabulary.
Pick a topic that you're interested in, and something that you can find a lot of material about. For example, a celebrity or sports star would be a good topic to focus on. Choosing a topic that you are already familiar with will make learning easier.
Maybe one of the podcasts that you listened to in our How To Use Podcasts to Learn English post had a topic that you find interesting, such as The Titanic. If you know the basic information about the Titanic, you can listen to many stories, interviews and news briefs about it.
Tips for Extensive Listening to Learn English
- Choose a topic that will keep your interest and that you are familiar with.
- Listen carefully, but listen for main ideas, not details. Try to understand the important points of the video or audio recording.
- Try to find sources that offer basic information. If it is too in-depth, you may get frustrated when dealing with unfamiliar vocabulary.
- If you feel that you can't understand most of what is happening, try finding an easier source. Listening is one of the most difficult skills for language learners.
[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="364" caption="Are you a baseball fan? Listen to news about A-Rod and other players. (image courtesy of the Washington Post)"]
Topics for Extensive Listening
Here are some ideas for listening topics:
- News stories and biography information about famous international sports stars (Lionel Messi, Usain Bolt, David Beckham)
- English reviews of movies or TV shows that you've seen in your language
- Visit elllo, Voice of America, and Spotlight English for lots of free listening materials on interesting and current topics.
What are your favorite topics to listen to? Have you ever tried finding resources in English to better your English listening skills?