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  • Writer's pictureChris Wylie

5 great Tips for Improving Listening Skills

Do you want to improve your listening skills? For ESL students, sharpening your hearing and understanding can feel difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right strategies and tips, you can be understanding and retaining spoken English in no time. Here are 5 top tips for ESL students trying to improve their listening skills.



1. Stay active. When listening to someone speak, adults often find themselves in a sedentary situation and it's easy to zone out. To stay alert, try moving around a bit or changing your position when you’re listening. This can help keep your focus sharp and improve your concentration.




2. Break it down. Long passages of speech can be overwhelming to process. Break it down into smaller chunks to make it easier to understand. If your instructor is going on for a while, focus only on the relevant points. This can make it easier to remember.


3. Ask for help. Don’t be shy! Ask your instructor for help if you’re having difficulty understanding something. If you are talking with someone, it is also okay to ask them for help. It’s better to ask questions and be sure you accurately understand than to guess and get something wrong.



4. Get feedback. Get feedback on your listening skills from your instructor to identify patterns in your mistakes and strategies to improve your hearing and learning. Pay attention to their corrections and ask for suggestions.




5. Practice, practice, practice. Make use of free sources of audio practice like videos and radio broadcasts. These are a great way to get better at understanding English speech, and you can practice from anywhere.


Improving your listening skills doesn’t have to take a lot of hard work. With these strategies, staying active, breaking it down, asking for help, getting feedback, and practicing regularly, you will be understanding and retaining spoken English in no time! Best of luck on your journey!




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