Listening

HELP! I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A WORD!

How many times did you find yourself in this situation? It happened to me very often at the beginning!

Thinking of my personal experience in learning English, I found it very difficult understanding this language, because it looked so different from my mother tongue, that I couldn't stop from getting anxious :).

When I  started learning English at school, the approach to the language passed above all through its grammar and for a long time I didn't get in touch with the "real English".

Fortunately nowadays finding good and various listening materials is much easier, even if you are not living in an English speaking country.

Nevertheless some of my students still find English difficult to understand (and the oldest they start learning English the biggest problem they seem to have).

In my personal experience I discovered that, even if I like music, I haven't got a strong "audial intelligence", and my learning style is probably more "visual", so I found it useful to listen first and then listen and read the text.

In any case the most powerful "tool" to improve your listening ability is EXPERIENCE: if you increase your exposure to the language (be patient!), you will soon find that you can slowly understand more and more.

As the exposure to the language just for learning porpouses can be a little boring after a while, it needs to be supported by interesting topics or fields: news about current events, music, travelling, and all staff that you would listen to in your mother tongue because you like it.

Podcasts, karaokes, audio-books and many other materials can help.

On this page I put a selection of them, and I hope that you find them more interesting  than useful :)

Podcasts
podcast is a type of digital media consisting of an episodic series of audio radiovideoPDF, or ePub files subscribed to and downloaded through web syndication or streamed online to a computer or mobile device. The word is a neologism derived from "broadcast" and "pod" from the success of the iPod, as audio podcasts are often listened to on portable media players.


The one I have selected for you today is 6 Minute English By BBC World Service:

there is also the possibility to download an app for your Iphone or Ipad (look for "6 minute English" in the app store: it is free, and you can add a couple of  features - exercises & words, and repeater - for less than 2 $)                                                                                                                                                          


An interesting alternative one is https://www.podcastsinenglish.com/




English for travelling


When you are planning a trip abroad, you might be very motivated to learn as much as you can before leaving: so this is a course that could be good for you!

'Welcome to London' is an intermediate English language course allowing users to practise their reading, listening and pronunciation skills.

TRANSPORT
HOTEL
CINEMA
SHOPPING
WORK
EATING OUT

KARAOKE

If you like music, you can really find a huge treasure spread all over the web; a couple of decades ago it would have been much more difficult to find Lyrics and the only way to listen to music was turning up the radio or putting up one of your own discs, cassettes or, later, CDs. 

Now, not only you can choose and listen to the music you like wherever you like, but also you can share it, you can have it with you all the time, and. last but not least, you can understand it because it is very easy to get Lyrics.

Here you can find a selection of sites where you can easlily find videomusic, with lyrics and in some cases even exercises!

On esolcourses.com you can find video about famous songs that are followed by exercises (fill in, multiple choices, etc).

If you prefer to select your favourites and find the text next to the video, have a look at Tubeoke


If you prefer to have list in alphatical order to get inspiration. you can find Over 8,500 songs online on Tuneintoenglish.





Continuing the list, don't miss to try Lyricstraining: it is gorgeous! You can search for lyrics, by artists or whatever, you can see what language is the song (for example British English or American English) and how difficult it is.

Then, after selecting the song, you can choose to write some words of the song while listening, and you have 3 possibilities: 10% of the text, 25% or the whole text.



Audio books

E-books are another opportunity for listening:  if you have an Ipad or a tablet there are many applications that give you the possibility to listen and read you favourite books; i found a very big database with a huge number of titles in it: visit Booksshouldbefree.com and find out if there is something that could interest you.


When you have chosen your book, you can play it and open a copy for reading (there are different possibilities: look at the red arrows).


As I told you before, the web is powerful and can help you improving your listening ability, even if at he moment you can't move to an english speaking country :).

Listen, and listen again! It can be fun!
                                                                                                                                                                         

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