When I was still in my school days, I found a same problem when taking the listening exam every time: there were always some words came from the radio, I was really familiar with, but I just couldn’t remember its meaning and how to spell it exactly, which made me really irritable. I believe this trouble bothered a lot of people like me. Well, obviously this is related to our listening level. Then how to improve this ability efficiently? I think to master a language well, there is no more than four aspects need to strengthen: listening、speaking、reading、writing. If you want to improve the listening ability, the other three aspects are also should be taken into account.
Firstly, when practice listening with the tape record, we can get a general idea the first time, there will be absolutely some words we cannot catch the meaning. Then we can put the attention to the strange words the second time, and take notes, try to member it firmly. After this, we can listen again, get the impression deeply. Or we can repeat each sentence in our brain after the tape read one in the fourth time. And we prepare a notebook, write down all the strange words, and try to memorize the words as long as we have the spare time, like sitting on the bus. Also we can put the listening materials in our mp3, when we jogging in the morning, we can put on the earphone, take every chance for learning.
Then we can listen to the English news for half an hour everyday, like BBC or VOA. Or some Media information, short dialogue, exquisite prose. Also listen the English songs is a good way to follow. We can try to identify the words in the song, and spell it in our brain, meanwhile we can get some relax and a good mood. And then to watch the movie is really benefit for us, we can choose don’t look the subtitle, to check how many we can understand, then zoom back, watch again contrasting the subtitle, to find the places you don’t understand. It not only help us to get improved in listening skills, but also we can learn some idioms and local cultures. I believe many people are using this way.
Secondly, a large quantity of voice input and output is necessary. A baby tries to learn a type of language, which just depends on listening and speaking. That’s why we put a Chinese baby in America, who will speak the fluent English. If we learn a language without speaking, which is the so-called dumb English. Only speak out correctly, then we can listen and understand the meaning. So that the pronunciation of each word left an impression in the brain, and when we hear the word once again, that the brain will respond quickly and find the fit word, so it’s much easier to understand. We can read a article aloud everyday, and try to find some partners practicing oral English together and English corner is a good place as where we may exchange English study experience, widen our sight and improve interest in English. If possible, to grab every chance to communicate with the foreign language speakers, after all English is their mother tongue, we can learn more from them. Maybe sometimes we will feel ashamed to speak, at this time, we can tell ourselves” I enjoy losing face” to encourage us to go ahead. Only is this way, we can get improved as fast as possible. If we cannot find a partner, we can do retelling exercise on our own: Retell some articles or English stories in our own words. It’s the simplest and most efficient method of practicing spoken English. Then someday we will find both our listening and speaking ability are improved unconsciously.
Thirdly, we should increase our vocabulary, because the words are the basic components of a sentence, we must know the words meaning, then we can figure out what a whole sentence mean. Herein, we can force ourselves to remember a fixed number of words everyday. Try to read some articles or books as much as possible. Maybe someday the listening content is related to these reading materials, then it will be much easier to get the meaning. And through this way we can also cultivate our language sense.
Finally, we can do some dictation exercises. Asking our friends to read the words at beginning, write down what they mentioned. Then we can get developed to dictate from short sentences to long sentences. Also if we have free time, we can write down some short articles or diaries, referring our feelings that day.
Anyway, There is no shortcut, it cannot be improved in only one or two days, which is absolutely a long-term project, so insist what we can do, and believe that we can make it.