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For new students General English Listening News Uncategorized Vocabulary

Listening on your own? By Ana Sierra

Listening on your own?

When I was a little girl, I was made to study English as my second language, and I hated it. It was really boring, I was taught lots of grammar rules and writing, but I was never made to speak! So after many years of studying, I couldn’t say a word or express an idea of my own. We never listened to any English either.

One day I realized that it didn’t make any sense.It came to my mind that when we learn our first language, we listen a lot and then we speak. We learn by listening,not by studying rules or reading. And when we start speaking, we usually make mistakes – that’s normal. It doesn’t matter if we don’t use our grammar correctly.We just go on listening until we self-correct our mistakes. Right?

So I thought, why can’t we do the same with a second language: listen a lot and then try to speak; first by repeating what we hear and then, when we get the right words and phrases, we can say what we want? The thing is to listen to our second language as much as we can, so we need to find resources. Fortunately, today we have plenty of stuff on the Internet. We have many sites for students of English. We have different social networks. We have news pages with special activities for students of English, We have movies, and of course Youtube, among other resources.

Let’s see some ideas here:

What do you think? What about this?

The thing is to listen as much as we can! Listen! Listen! Listen!!! It makes sense, right? It’s logical. It’s practical. You can do it while you clean up or tidy your room. You can listen when you walk to school. You can listen when you have a shower!  It’s “ready-to-use” material. You listen and then you can say or repeat what you have just heard.

 

At all levels. You can listen and repeat simple words or phrases first. You can start with some basic vocabulary words:

 

And then build up, add some ideas and learn new expressions:

 

Have you enjoyed Ana’s lesson on listening so far? Well come back next week because she has more fun and listening for you! In the meantime, why not put those listening skills to work by communicating with your fellow students in a group lesson? You can schedule yours here.

 

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Advanced English Business English Construction English English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening News presentation skills pronunciation speaking TOEFL Vocabulary Writing in English

Tip #4 : Identify and Strengthen Your Weakest Skill

The IELTS test is comprised of four parts: listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Each of these parts represents a language skill. Your overall IELTS score is the average of your scores on the four parts of the test, so if you receive a low score on one part, it will lower your overall score. Many people feel that some of their English skills are weaker than others. For example, a student might feel like she can read and write English well, but she is nervous about speaking and listening. If you feel that one or two of your English skills are behind the others, this tip is for you!

For your first step, take a practice IELTS exam and note the part of the test that you score the lowest on. Don’t assume that you know the part you will score the lowest on without taking a practice test. Your scores may surprise you! If you notice that your scores on one or two parts are significantly lower than the others, and you agree that you generally struggle with those skills the most, you will likely benefit from focusing on those skills as you prepare.

How do you focus on a specific skill? The most important thing to remember is that in order to improve a skill, you have to practice it! Although it seems simple, many people don’t realize that they aren’t practicing English in a way that will improve their weaker skills. For example, if you need to improve your speaking skills, you must speak English. Reading or writing English will only help your ability to speak a small amount, and it likely won’t be enough to improve your score on the IETLS test. Or, if you need to improve your writing, then you need to write; speaking and listening will not be the best way to prepare.

Often, weak skills are weak for a particular reason that is related to a student’s environment or background in English. For example, if you are strong in speaking but weak in writing, maybe it is because you use English for work conversations, but you have never studied it in school. If you are strong in reading but weak in listening, maybe it is because you read English in school but never had many conversations with native speakers. So in order to practice your weak skills, you may need to change your environment or routines a little. Here are some suggestions of changes you can make to practice each language skill:

Skill
Listening Skill
  • Listen to the news in English online instead of in your native language
  • Find in-person or online English conversation partners and practice listening to and responding to them regularly. Prepare questions to ask them so that you can listen to their answers. Don’t be afraid to say that you don’t understand and that you’d like your partner to repeat what they said.
  • Watch films in English. First, you may want to watch movies with English subtitles. Then, repeat the movie and turn the subtitles off.
Reading Skill
  • Start a habit of reading something in English every day. Especially if you don’t enjoy reading in English, find a topic to read that is interesting to you so that you are motivated to read every day.
  • Choose things to read that are at your reading level. There should be about 1-3 words per paragraph that you don’t understand. If you are reading something with many words you don’t know, you’ll have to start reading and start looking up works. Then you will be studying vocabulary instead of practicing reading!
Writing Skill
  • Find someone that you can regularly write to in English. Maybe it is another English student like you; this can be great practice for both of you! Decide together whether you will text, write e-mails, or write paper letters, and discuss how often you will communicate.
  • Keep a daily written journal in English.
Speaking Skill
  • Find in-person or online English conversation partner sand practice speaking with them regularly. If your speaking skills are weak, explain carefully (maybe in writing) that you need to practice speaking English. Ask your conversation partner to be patient and allow you to think if you need time before you speak. Be honest with your partner if you feel you are not getting enough time to practice speaking during the conversation.
  • Keep a daily audio journal in English. Record yourself speaking about your day, your feelings—anything that you would like to record and remember!

You might think that it would be great to practice all of the skills, and so you want to use all of the suggestions. Remember, though, that being consistent is key. Most people can’t start many new habits at once and continue doing all of them. For most people, it is better to pick just one or two suggestions for the skills that need the most improvement and start implementing them consistently. Then, when these suggestions are part of your normal routine, you can add others. As you continue, you’ll feel more confident and more well-rounded in your English abilities!

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Advanced English English Oddities For new students General English IELTS Preparation Listening Uncategorized Vocabulary

How about taking a break from Pokemon to study English? – by Toni Parks

Okay! Okay! I get it. You love Pokemon. It’s addictive!

Consequently, you can’t stop playing. You don’t have to be a kid. Fortunately, Pokemon craze has infiltrated the adult world, as well.

You don’t have to stop. Alternatively, there is a better solution for you. When was the last time you watched the first Pokemon movie? Here it is in English. Pay attention to the English, and as you do so, you will be working on your English listening skills.

This Pokemon listening lesson has 3 parts:

  • 1- Learn about how to build your listening skills.
  • 2-Practice by listening.
  • 3- Complete listening activities.
  • 4- Practice in conversation with your teacher.

Be the best listener, like no one ever was!

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Let’s get started!

Learn

Did you know that watching movies is one of the best ways to build English listening skills? As a matter of fact, you can watch any movie you want. If you are a beginner you should try to pick simple movies. Pokemon is a great choice for beginners and advanced English learners alike.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your Pokemon listening lesson:

  • Remove all distractions or watch in a quiet place.
  • Prepare yourself to listen by getting relaxed.
  • Try to immerse yourself in the movie. Pretend you are a character.
  • Empathize. Try to recognize the feelings of the characters.
  • Be patient with yourself. If you don’t understand something rewind and listen again. If you don’t know a word, pause and take the time to learn the meaning.
  • Listen to the tone when the ask questions or get excited.
  • Listening and hearing are not the same thing. Take the time to make sure you understand. Try to recognize body language and other nonverbal queues

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That’s enough of me talking. Let’s watch and LISTEN!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPRadNeTOSE

 

Did you enjoy the movie? Have you seen it before? Did you learn about any new Pokemon characters that you didn’t know about before? If your brain is not too tired from listening to English maybe you can watch another one. If it is too tired, come back tomorrow and listen some more.

 

 

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Here’s another one. Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9xNHKBnJOk

 

Study

We often focus on building our English speaking and conversational skills, but you really can’t speak without listening, can you? At least not very well. Let’s take a look at what kinds of tips the British Council recommends for building your listening skills. Visit British Council now.

Don’t miss the “My Favorite Film” exercise. 

 

Practice

Now that you have worked so hard on building your listening skills, why not schedule a conversational lesson with a native English teacher so you can practice.

Book Your Lesson Here

 

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One of the most sincere forms of respect is actually listening to what another has to say. - Bryant H. McGill

Categories
General English Listening News Uncategorized

Listening on your own? By Ana Sierra

Listening on your own?

When I was a little girl, I was made to study English as my second language, and I hated it. It was really boring, I was taught lots of grammar rules and writing, but I was never made to speak! So after many years of studying, I couldn’t say a word or express an idea of my own. We never listened to any English either.

One day I realized that it didn’t make any sense.It came to my mind that when we learn our first language, we listen a lot and then we speak. We learn by listening,not by studying rules or reading. And when we start speaking, we usually make mistakes – that’s normal. It doesn’t matter if we don’t use our grammar correctly.We just go on listening until we self-correct our mistakes. Right?

So I thought, why can’t we do the same with a second language: listen a lot and then try to speak; first by repeating what we hear and then, when we get the right words and phrases, we can say what we want? The thing is to listen to our second language as much as we can, so we need to find resources. Fortunately, today we have plenty of stuff on the Internet. We have many sites for students of English. We have different social networks. We have news pages with special activities for students of English, We have movies, and of course Youtube, among other resources.

Let’s see some ideas here:

What do you think? What about this?

The thing is to listen as much as we can! Listen! Listen! Listen!!! It makes sense, right? It’s logical. It’s practical. You can do it while you clean up or tidy your room. You can listen when you walk to school. You can listen when you have a shower!  It’s “ready-to-use” material. You listen and then you can say or repeat what you have just heard.

 

At all levels. You can listen and repeat simple words or phrases first. You can start with some basic vocabulary words:

 

And then build up, add some ideas and learn new expressions:

 

Have you enjoyed Ana’s lesson on listening so far? Well come back next week because she has more fun and listening for you! In the meantime, why not put those listening skills to work by communicating with your fellow students in a group lesson? You can schedule yours here.