Importance of train listening ability


Books that talk about "listening power" such as "LISTEN-becoming an intelligent and creative person" and "listening power is the strongest weapon" seem to be popular these days. It emphasizes the importance of not only talking about what you want to convey, but also considering the feelings of the other person and listening, but in fact, "listening attitude" also plays an important role in listening to English. it might be. Here, we will introduce the "listening ability" required for English conversation and the learning methods for training it.

What is the "hearing ability" of English that is necessary in addition to pronunciation and word meaning?

Most people who are not good at listening to English think that the cause is "I can't hear the pronunciation" or "I don't understand the meaning of the word". When listening to English, not only pronunciation and knowledge of words, but also "listening attitude" is greatly related. For example, consider what kind of force is needed.

Be aware of conversational 5W1H

There are some English learners I know who are very good at listening. Sometimes I know a word well and can hear its pronunciation, but more than that, I am actively trying to understand "what is the situation and what the speaker is trying to convey".

For example, watching an English conversation video, "Where is this person a student? A member of society?" (When), who (Who), when (Where), what (What), why (Why), how (How) "I try to grasp the 5W1H from the speaker's facial expression and speech. To be a better listener, it is more important to have the ability to understand the situation of conversation than to know English.

Things to be aware of to make listening easier

When you try to listen to a conversation, aren't you trying to get the word you're talking about, like "Did you say I'd like now?" Beyond words, listening will be much easier if you are aware of the following.


From the screen, illustrations, and sounds of the background, you can identify the location such as "inside the city," "office," or "restaurant."


At the same time as the position of each person such as an office worker and a customer of a restaurant, we guess the relationship between each other such as "friends", "family" and "strangers".


Understand the situation of conversation from "when" such as before going to work in the morning, during dinner, during vacation, etc.

This "Where?", "Who?", And "When?" Are inferred not only from the words but also from the situation of the scene and the tone of the voice. Then, it will be easier to assemble "What?", "Why?", And "How?" From the words you hear in your head.

Situation: There are two young women in the city, one saying I'm going shopping.

Where? = In the city where you can shop and eat
Who? (Who?) = Students or working people, friends or acquaintances. One person is explaining his actions, so it seems that he happened to meet.
When? = After school, after work, or on holidays

What? Can be identified as "shopping" from the dialogue. With these situation settings in your head, you're ready to grab "Why?" And "How?" From the next line.

Take advantage of nonverbal communication

Can you imagine that listening to English conversation requires more than just the pronunciation and meaning of words? For example, the following "nonverbal communication" (nonverbal communication) information is useful for understanding the situation.


Grasp the feelings of the person who is speaking, such as "happy", "tensed", and "confused".

Voice, how to speak

Whether you are talking casually with your friends or talking politely to your superiors can be understood not only by the words but also by the tone of your voice.


When you're excited, when you're trying hard to convey something, the action is big, and when you're calm or sinking, the movement is small.


You can guess from your clothes that you are at work, off time, or going out.

Mobilize all this information you can see and hear to understand what is happening in the conversation.

Let's grasp the situation and train the "listening ability" of English

Let's take an example of actual conversation and show you how to read the situation from nonverbal communication and train your "listening ability".

Confirm 5W1H from nonverbal communication

Suppose you have the following conversation: Let's grasp the situation from the image and the dialogue.

Male: What's your plan for the weekend?

Female: I don't know. Maybe I'm going to stay home and relax. What about you?)

Male: I'm thinking of visiting the museum. The Van Gogh exhibition is on. Will you come? (I'm thinking of going to the museum. I'm doing a Van Gogh exhibition. Go?)

Female: Sounds nice. Which museum ? (I like it. Which museum?)

Male: The Modern Art Museum. How about Saturday afternoon? (Modern Museum. How about Saturday afternoon?)

Nonverbal communication

・ Both are smiling gently.
・ The woman opens her hand slightly, and the man holds the cup with both hands. Atmosphere to talk calmly and slowly.
・ Casual clothes and relaxation.

If you have voice, also pay attention to "speaking slowly or fast" and "whether the voice is high or low".


Where? = Inside the cafe
Who? (Who?) = Rough clothes near the age. Friends, lovers, colleagues, couples.
When? = It's a cafe, not alcohol, that I drink in rough clothes, so it's a lunch break or a holiday at the company.
What? = You can guess that it is a casual conversation from a gentle expression. If you can hear words such as plan and weekend, you know that you are talking about a weekend schedule.
From Why? = Will you come? (Go?), You can see that you are trying to invite the other party.
From How = Sounds nice., You can see that you are trying to accept the invitation.

If you get the hang of it, please practice grabbing 5W1H on YouTube videos.

Guess the course of the conversation

As you understand the situation, you will be able to look ahead of the conversation and infer the flow of the conversation. For example, please listen while being aware of the following. ⇒ () is the voice of the heart when listening.

Male: What's your plan for the weekend?
⇒ (I'm listening to your weekend schedule. Do you have anything to say to women?)

Woman: I don't know. Maybe I'm going to stay home and relax. What about you?
⇒ (I have no plans. This may be a chance)

Male: I'm thinking of visiting the museum. The Van Gogh exhibition is on. Will you come?

Woman: Sounds nice. Which museum?
⇒ (It looks like OK. Where are you going?)

Male: The Modern Art Museum. How about Saturday afternoon?
⇒ (Saturday afternoon? Where to meet?)

By asking in this way, we can predict that information about the "location" will come out next.

Test your online English EnglishPhonetics lessons to see how "listening" you are. Instead of trying to listen to the teacher word for word, think about "what is the situation now, what the teacher is trying to do, and what should I do?"

Suppose your first teacher appears smiling with Hello !. Even if you don't say anything, you know that self-introduction will start from now on. If the teacher nods, it's okay so far, and you should be able to move on to the next section or ask some questions. If possible, turn on the video and read the lesson flow from the teacher's facial expressions and gestures.


Conversations can be established by simply sending a short message using SNS, and it seems that more and more people are not good at nonverbal communication. However, nonverbal communication is an important skill for smooth conversation. Nowadays, business training may be held to train this.

If you have a high TOEIC score and you should know some words, but your listening skills are not improving, please review your nonverbal communication skills and "listening skills".