English Listening: What is it?


Listening skill is the ability to hear and understand English speech. Listening is considered one of the main skills in learning English.

How to learn to speak English if you cannot understand your interlocutor correctly? But it is precisely to the speech of the interlocutor that you react - say something in response. Therefore, it is important to train English listening skills along with speaking. Let's check on the following phrase listening example how well you do it.

This method is usually used by experienced students. They listen to news in a foreign language, watch films in order to get the information they need or just to have fun.

Listening for Beginners

Text listening is more often used by beginners at the initial stage of learning a language. The main thing here is not to understand the message in detail by ear, but at least to check myself - can I understand someone else's speech? Are you mentally ready to hear another language? It is the internal unpreparedness that must and must be overcome. How? Listen, listen and listen again! The same news, movies, entertainment programs. Even without a special task - just to get used to, to accustom your ear to English speech.

Ideally, methodologists already at the school stage of training recommend including audio clips with external sound interference, with speakers of different ages (after all, the speech of an 80-year-old old man and a 5-year-old child differs even in their native language), different geographical origin (accents and dialects oh, how they train the ear!) and with various features of diction (someone lisps, someone burrs, etc.). Such characteristics of an audio clip are also called external difficulties in listening.

Internal difficulties include the individual characteristics of the listener himself. Why do we not understand foreign language text? We are not used to hearing it in everyday life; there are many unfamiliar words and constructions in the text; in the process of listening, we are distracted even by one unfamiliar word, get hung up on it and stop delving into further speech. This is the root of all evil in listening for beginners.

Learning English Listening: Free Lessons

Misunderstanding individual words will not prevent you from grasping the meaning of the text!

So mentally skip over the unfamiliar word and listen further.

Let's say the previous recommendation did not satisfy you and you want to hear every word. Then there are 2 ways out of the situation. Learn to ask again

  • Could you repeat what you just said?
  • Can you repeat it, please?
  • What did you say?
  • Beg your sorry?
  • I didn't quite hear what you said...

The second way out is a free online English tutorial LearnatHome . Listen and write down excerpts from movies , music videos or comics . Firstly, you will provide yourself with a whole set of real speech situations, where there are extraneous sounds, and features of the characters' pronunciation. And the songs are top notch. If you can figure out what is sung in an English-language song, then you can consider yourself a pro! Secondly, it's fun to watch a piece of the film in the original, reproduce it verbatim and understand that Russian translations of your favorite foreign films do not always accurately convey the meaning of the script.

By the way, about the pros - for them we have a special video from the movie "Sherlock Holmes" - try to make out what the characters are talking about in British English!