We all know that improving our listening skills is tricky? We all want to learn a language with a balanced approach, meaning, we can speak, understand, read and write at the same level, but for some reason, many people do not make the same progress with their listening skills at the same rate that they improve the other skills. Our question is, why do people have trouble improving their listening skills?
Listen as often as you can and have realistic expectations!
One issue that many people have is that they find listeing difficult, so they avoid it and never practice. This is, of course, a mistake. The problem is that if you leave it too long, you get used to not being able to understand and your listening level will always be lower than the other skills. You get used to not understanding and do not actively listen when you need to. Listening is a passive skill but it requires concentration and effort. You need to have realising expectations and try to listen as often as you can. It is important to follow some simple advice:
1, Do not translate
2. Do not try to understand everything
3. Listen to varied types of audios
One of the problems that people have when they practice their listening skills is that they become frustrated and they can also find it boring. This is because progress can be slower than with speaking and writing for example. A way to make listening more interesting is to not only do exams, but to listen to varied texts. You should listen to podcasts (like Coffee Break German), these can be more entertaining than exam examples. You can also watch TV and take notes. It is important to watch things that you have already seen with subtitles in the target language when you are still at a basic level. Here is a post on how to improve listening: Listening with example dialogues
You should not be afraid to repeat audios when you are practicing at home, repetition is a key part of language learning and you should frequently repeat audios to be able to understand as much as you can.
A great thing to do is to focus on the topics that interest you most and the topics that you will probably talk about most frequently. You want to find interesting and entertaining dialogues that will encourage you to improve. This is why it is great to follow a course with example dialogues that are separated into learning topics. You can access them in our courses by clicking on the button, they are available at less than a euro per month so that they are affordable to everyone.
Here are some examples of audios for you from the first 3 units of our C1 advanced general English course: