- Listen to something you enjoy
Probably the greatest advantage about using the Internet to improve your listening skills is that you can choose what you would like to listen to and how many and times you would like to listen to it. By listening to something you enjoy, you are also likely to know a lot more of the vocabulary required!
Use keywords (noun=principal words) or keyphrases to help you understand the general ideas. If you understand "New York", "business trip", "last year" you can assume (verb=to take for granted, suppose) that the person is speaking about a business trip to New York last year. This may seem obvious to you, but remember that understanding the main idea will help you to understand the detail as the person continues to speak.
Let's imagine that your English speaking friend says "...I bought this great tuner
at JR's. It was really cheap and now I can finally listen to National Public Radio broadcasts." You don't understand what a tuner
is. If you focus on the word tuner
you might become frustrated. However, if you think in context (noun=the situation explained during the conversation) you probably will understand. For example; bought is the past of buy, listen is no problem and radio is obvious. Now you understand: He bought something - the tuner
- to listen to the radio. A tuner
must be a kind of radio! This is a simple example but it demonstrates what you need to focus on: Not the word that you don't understand, but the words you do
It might seem to you that my ideas on how to listen encourage you to not
understand everything. This is absolutely correct. One hundred percent understanding is something to work towards
(phrasal verb=to have as a goal, a plan for the future) and not to expect of yourself now. Listening needs a great amount of practice and patience. Allow yourself the luxury of not becoming nervous when you do not understand, and you will be surprised by how quickly you do
begin to understand.
Listening often is the most important way to improve your listening skills. Enjoy the listening possibilities offered by the Internet and remember relax......