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How to Improve your English Listening


The best way to improve your English listening skills is to practice with short audio or video clips with SCRIPT or SUBTITLES.

(1) First, practice HEARING the text. Do not look at the script or subtitles. Play the clip a few times, write down ....
what you hear, then check your writing with the script or subtitles.

- Focus on the key words (important words).
For example, in the sentence "Do not look at the script or subtitles.", only the words "not", "look", "script" and "subtitles" are important information.
- If they speak too fast, play the clip at lower speed. Often you can do this online (e.g. in YouTube use Settings -> Speed), otherwise download the clip first. Most media players can play at a lower speed.

(2) Next, try UNDERSTANDING the text. Play the clip again and read along with the script or subtitles. 

- Try to guess the meaning of new vocabulary from the story first.
For example, when you hear he had "crouse" for dinner, you know it must be a kind of food. We call this "using context clues".
- Use a dictionary if guessing doesn't work.
- Collect new vocabulary to review later. 

(3) Then, listen one more time and copy the PRONUNCIATION (read the story out loud), so that you can recognise the word next time you hear it.

Tip:
- Before watching or listening, find out what the story is about, so that you know what to expect.

More details for practicing with Films, News or Songs, and recommended websites at Listening Links.