Who’s good at listening?

G’day, how are you mate? Today, I am going to talk about what sort of guys should be good at listening. Reading and listening are, so to speak, input learning. Without these, you won’t be able to speak fluently, nor will you be able to write a better piece of essay. Critically important! Ok, so who’s good at listening? Is that someone who has a wide range of vocabulary? Or impeccable grammar knowledge? No not at all. Let’s explain.

First and foremost, you’ve got a correct mindset in terms of listening training per se. That is, just listening to podcast programs or something “does not work” at all

In Japan, the way of having an English shower called “Kikinagashi” learning used to be rampant amongst English learners. I am not 100% sure whether this style remains to be seen in Japan. This method is absolutely rubbish. But, of course, I am not saying no one could get any benefit from this. Very limited learners having already had a certain level of English competency would get some benefits from Kikinagashi learning style. Normally no. You wouldn’t expect any dramatic improvement from this style if you didn’t have basic knowledge and skills. I highly recommend reviewing basic grammar, vocab, pronunciation and etymology from scratch.

Second, if you can confidently do a *slash reading* when reading English sentences, you should be able to listen to the radio or podcast programs quite competently

*Slash reading* means that you know where exactly SVO and others are within a sentence. If you are only listening, it’s not enough. Reading books or journals also help develop your listening skills as well. I reckon getting reading skills should be your first priority before jumping into listening shower. Reading does not just mean reading itself, but also reading it aloud to get used to *slash reading* for listening comprehension.

Third, if you don’t have any problem about the 44 sounds of English pronunciation, you should be good at listening

Pronunciation is the linchpin of listening, or the whole matter of four English skills. Someone still tends to make little of pronunciation. It has to be understood that pronunciation is completely different from an accent. The accent is fine, or even it’s good to have as it could facilitate the identification of where you come from. And, your distinct culture. Today, no one needs to have an American accent, British accent, nor anything else. Globish is our lingua franca, which means that everyone who’s non-native speakers speak a uniquely different English, but which could be unanimously understood and communicated by having proper 44 sounds of English pronunciation. If you have it, she’ll be Apples, mate.

Fourth, if you can fully concentrate on listening itself without accepting any distraction, you should be good at listening

It’s extremely important for English learners to fully concentrate on listening audio itself without accepting any distraction. If you need to do something else, you just come back to listening. Don’t do listen and another thing simultaneously! Otherwise, you’ll definitely end up in spending so much waste of time on nothing. Of course, if you’ve already reached a native level command of English, then please go ahead. Even me, I still try to eliminate all distractions that tend to infiltrate into my concentration before starting listening to podcasts or something. It may be one of my genetic predispositions. My dad used to be furious when I tried to interrupt him, even it’s a very very tiny thing.

Last but not least, if you can visualise the scenery of the conversation from the podcast program you are listening to, then you should be good at listening

This is probably the hardest level that you might want to achieve as it requires your comprehensive skills including your correct mindset, slash reading, pronunciation and concentration. You might reckon visualising seems easy, but it’s not at all. If you lack either element, you won’t have enough space to think about visualising something instantaneously. Your thinking capacity may already be filled with grammar, vocab, audio speaker’s speed, etc. But, if you can purely listen to audio recordings without thinking of these elements, you could have enough space to visualise the scenery of the conversation, which really helps comprehend the contents of it quite naturally.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

Have a lovely day

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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