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How to improve my listening skill faster?

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by Vega222, Nov 17, 2020.

  1. Vega222

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    I read a lot but I am slow in reading, As I read the text whilst listening to its audiobook and often pause and get back to understand the text. Like one page per 4-6 minutes for a regular novel and much more if it's a non-fiction.
    I can't use audiobooks only, because I don't understand it enough. I want to be able to listen to audiobooks only. That will boost many things for me. Because I'll be able to read much faster and easier too.

    So, Is there anyone who had been through this? How'd you improve your listening?

    I am thinking of buying headphones, because I listen to audiobooks with my PC speakers. Headphones can be more useful for improving listening. But I haven't used them for many years because my ears started to dislike them.
     
    #1 Vega222, Nov 17, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  2. Lek

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    I think your goal of listening to audiobooks only is great. It is fantastic that you read a lot. That makes me happy to hear. I encourage you to read aloud when you are not listening to audiobooks. There are a lot of reason for doing so, but it helps to build your short-term memory, which you need to read faster.

    Continuing to build up your English vocabulary will help you develop your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.

    I'm sorry to hear that your ears dislikes headphones, but I agree with them. Perhaps try using earbuds. They're lightweight.

    Listening can be extremely tiring for learners, so pace yourself. Listening a little bit every day, gradually increasing the amount of time listening over time should help.

    I just recently discovered a great site for ESL/EFL learners which allows you to read novels and short stories with or without audio (you can adjust the playback speed). It's called ESL BITS: http://esl-bits.net/

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.
     
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  3. Vega222

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    Reading aloud can be a great idea. Actually I was thinking of it as a help to my speaking too. Speaking is my weakest skill and needs to be improved. However the most urgent need for now is improving my listening (being able to listen to audiobooks only).

    I do a great deal of vocabulary improvements by reading books and looking up the new words in dictionary. You know, each novel has several new words that is repeated through the book and that helps me to learn them in an effective way.

    Thanks for introducing the website. Their method is interesting.

    ------------
    Actually I don't read that much. I just started to read more at this year (only read about 10 book in 2020). Not that much. But as I am getting better and better, reading is getting much easier for me. So, Someday I can read like 50 books a year I guess. A while ago, I would search and ask what novel is easy enough to be readable for me. Now I don't do that. I have confidence to choose anything I love.

    Headphones and earphones, both used to make my ears/head feel pain. I think the sound itself had its part, not only weight. :slight_smile:) But I'll try something. Thanks.
     
  4. Lek

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    Hi, again, Vega.

    First, you are quite fluent. You're better than some native speakers I know. Seriously. Second, I'm impressed by your self-motivation, which will definitely pay off for you.

    While I think your goal of being able to listen to audiobooks without reading is great, listening to them is challenging, as you know, Your short-term memory has to hold enough information you have heard in order to comprehend what the writer intends. It is good that you're building your vocabulary. I'm glad you're focusing on vocabulary.

    See if this helps you: Try listening to short segments (30 seconds, if necessary, or 1 minute or more, if you can). When you're satisfied you understand the segment, move on to the next. Do this every day, adding longer listening. You should see progress in comprehension.

    Incidentally, have you noticed that native speakers pronounce some words differently from the way you pronounce them? This is a common issue for learners and can interfere with word recognition.

    In addition to audiobooks, do you regularly watch English language movies, TV series, and even YouTube? All of the additional information provided by seeing a person or people, gestures, a place, etc., is useful for improving listening comprehension. I know many non-native speakers who are fluent in English and they all credit movies and songs.

    I'm concerned that you are experiencing pain when you listen with headphones and earbuds. Do you know why this happens? I assume it is not a matter of volume, right?

    I am curious why listening to audiobooks is so urgent for you.
     
  5. Vega222

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    Hey,

    I've self-learned English. Well, Something like that needs some passion. There are many things that you have to know English if you want to use them. Books is one of them. I also like the west and I like languages in general. So, I did it.

    Good point. Didn't realised I have to improve my short-term memory too. Thought it's just about knowing what words the narrator is saying.

    This is fascinating... I'll do as you said.
    I think I'll listen to that part a few times to understand what it says, without looking at the text.

    I don't have much time for movies these days. I used to watch series in the past. But these days I watch lots of YouTube tutorials and it also helps. And I often listen to songs. I also used to translate articles/tv series. etc
     
    #5 Vega222, Nov 19, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  6. Vega222

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    Of course, That's a big problem.

    Yeah many do it by watching sitcoms. But I don't think their grammar/spelling is that great. But that's incredible to learn English just by watching tv shows anyway.

    Thanks. I haven't used them for years. Maybe it's fine now.
    I don't know. What matter of volume? I used to use them with normal volume.

    Not that urgent. But it's my priority. I am good at spelling and grammar, and my vocabulary is good enough for now. My listening is not good enough.
    I am slow at reading and by listening, it will get faster, easier and more enjoyful.
     
    #6 Vega222, Nov 19, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
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  7. Vega222

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    @Mihael Hi, If you have been through this, I'd appreciate to hear from you on this matter.
     
  8. alwaysforever

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    Transcribing important information by hand, in addition to listening and reading, is an extremely helpful way to improve retention of information. You could also keep a dictionary nearby --an actual physical one, not a digital one-- to look up words that you don't understand or don't know how to spell. If you have access to a computer or cell phone while you are reading, checking the pronunciation when you are unsure is also very helpful. Going slow is a good thing. That means you are being deliberate in approaching whatever subject you are studying, and you're less like to skip over important topics.
     
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  9. Vega222

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    I have a Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English I bought when I was in the military service. But I don't use it now. I know it will be damaged somehow. And I like it very much. So, I keep it safe. :slight_smile:) I have a dictionary on my pc that shows the word's meaning in a huge list of dictionaries. I only have to select the by mouse and a window will quickly displayed. It also has human pronunciation and I get help from it. The dictionary makes my life and book reading easier.

    Yeah, going slow is good. I don't know. But most people don't do that and thek like to pass through much faster even by skipping. By if you're not good enough, going slowly makes you tired.
     
    #9 Vega222, Nov 19, 2020
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2020
  10. Vega222

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    After a few days, I eventually had some time to read. I tried to don't look at the text and use only audiobook for some parts and it was helpful because I was forced to make much more attention on the voice and how the words actually are pronounced.

    It's really difficult to know the words and sentences only by listening to the narrator. It's a whole new world!
    Seemingly, the dialogues are generally much easier than those descriptions of the environment and things like that.
     
  11. BlueLion

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    Apart from listening to audiobooks, which are a fantastic tool, it could be interesting to watch films, TV series or even YouTube videos in English; especially videos with native speakers. By doing so, you can get familiarised with different kinds of accents and it's a fun way to learn. At first, you could try to use subtitles (either in English or in your native language). When you get confident enough, you could try to watch videos without subtitles.

    I would suggest to use headphones, since you will listen in a clearer way. Nevertheless, using just speakers is also a good option.