Listening can be the easiest skill to teach but also the hardest skill to learn.
In fact, it isn't really an easy skill to teach many ESL courses are not designed to really help students effectively. This is especially true in IELTS classes where teachers may focus only on the test questions and not on how to improve listening skills in general. However, IELTS listening exams are useful to help you identify the ways you can improve your listening.
In today's blog, I do not have time to give you all of the skills for improving your general listening skills. One reason for this is that you need to follow a system and have proper training. However, i can give you a short checklist for some easy activities that you should do to improve both your general listening skills and your IELTS listening exam skills.
GENERAL LISTENING SKILLS
Do you listen to English every day?
Do you listen to music or podcasts?
Do you watch movies in English?
Do you practice listening with websites or apps?
Do you try to imitate the sounds of foreigners when they speak in movies or on youtube? Learning to imitate native English speakers can help you to improve your listening!! If you aren't sure how, I can explain. Just write me.
MOST IMPORTANT: Are you an active listener or a passive listener?
( a passive listener just listens and usually does not improve much. An active listener will have a goal when listening and work to achieve that goal. I will post more about this in the future. Learning to be an active listener is also part of my online course)
Here are some listening links where you can practice your listening skills. I will only post a few because I am sure you can find many resources all over the net.
The last one is a site where you can practice your English with KARAOKE!
Do you do IELTS listening practice as often as possible?
Do you record your progress?
Do you practice anticipating the answers?
Do you know the different question types?
Do you know the best way to answer each type?
Do you know the tricks and traps that are sometimes found on the IELTS exams?
MOST IMPORTANT: Do you analyze your errors?
This means, after you check the answers, do you figure out WHY you got the wrong answer?
Some reasons for getting an incorrect answer could be:
1) losing focus
2) hearing the word but not catching the pronunciation
3) missing the word totally
4) hearing the sound but not recognizing the word
5) hearing the word but spelling it incorrectly
The first step to improving any skill in life is to understand where you are going wrong and where you need to improve.
So, when doing listening practice at home, make sure to analyze your errors. If you can see WHY you are getting the wrong answers, you can take steps to improve that part of your listening skill.
If you want to know more about how to improve your listening skills, contact me below or make a comment with a question.