On our portal, you always learn new words in context. This means that you will not only learn new words, but also the situations when you could use them. This helps you memorize them better and remember them later in real-world situations.
Translations of all words and phrases on our portal are only one click away. That saves time and energy!
Types of Listening
Before you train your listening comprehension, it is helpful to first decide on which kind of listening you will use:
Listening for gist: you try to understand the main topic and/or key point
Selective listening: you try to find out specific bits of information
Listening for detail: you try to comprehend as much detail as possible
Try to listen as actively and as often as possible by doing the following:
Take note of the most important key words
Answer the W-Questions: Who? What? When? Where? Why?
Write down unknown vocabulary so you can look it up afterwards
Surround yourself with the language you are learning as much as possible. Even if you don't understand everything, taking a so called "language bath" can help improve your listening skills basically without any effort. Tandem partners, movies, TV shows, music, audio books, or YouTube videos are excellent resources for listening to English !
On LibriVox you will find a vast selection of free, downloadable audio books – read by volunteers from all over the world! These books are all from the public domain, so don't be surprised when you come across some vintage novels, short stories, or poems.
Try to find a tandem partner who can help you learn English . This will improve both your listening and speaking skills. Ideally, your tandem partner should be a native speaker, who also wants to learn your first language. That way you can take turns teaching each other and will be able to motivate and support one another.
Movies & TV Series
Movies and TV shows are great for getting used to the sounds and intonation of another language. Besides this, watching what actors do and how they react will also help your understanding of the language being spoken. You'll also get to hear many dialects and accents. If it is an option, make sure to switch on subtitles in your second language at first.
Listening to music is another great way to train your listening comprehension and to learn new words and phrases at the same time. If possible, read the lyrics while you listen to a song. Be careful to choose songs that have lots of lyrics – techno, classical, and other kinds of music that focus less on lyrics will probably not be the best for this!
Radio Plays and Audio Books
Whether out on a run, on a bike, or on the couch at home, radio plays and audio books are perfect for immersing yourself in a second language! We recommend starting with radio plays because these use additional sounds and music, which will help you better understand the plot.
YouTube Videos & Podcasts
Whether you are a beginner or advanced language learner, there are lots of YouTube videos and podcasts online that can help you train your listening skills. These are often made for different learner levels and sometimes come with subtitles and extra fill-in-the-blank texts or quizzes.
The fastest and best way to improve your listening comprehension is, of course, spending time abroad. There are lots of companies that offer exchange programs, summer schools, and language study tours abroad. If that is not in your budget, you could simply go on a work&travel tour, which you can organize using websites like Helpx and Workaway.