How to improve listening

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(Il y a un bouton google translate tout en bas de cette page, a gauche).

Listening to your target language is an important part of the learning process, if you fo back to when you were a child learning french, you couldn’t speak, write or read, your only input was listening, to your family, the public, the radio and TV your parents listened to. It was your first introduction to your language;

Listening helps with intonation, rythme, pronunciation, as well as increasing vocabulary.

When I was about 12 years old I began to listen to french radio (France Inter and Europe 1) all the time, in my Dad’s car, in my bedroom, later when I began to cook. I understood NOTHING! But that wasn’t a problem. For me, hearing french helped me to feel and visualise my dream of one day living in France. I loved hearing the sound of the language and had it on in the background for general listening. One thing I remember was hearing this song . I fell in love with it. A year later I went on a french exchange with school, and the girl I was staying with played that very song on her record player. In that moment I made the connection that when I listened to french radio I was connecting to life in France. I was so happy!

So, listening. There are 2 main ways to listen, active and passive.

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Active is when you listen and focus. You stop other activities and listen to understand and learn.
Passive is when you do other activities whilst the language you are targeting is playing in the background, for example listening whilst you are driving or cooking. This was is great for intonation and absorbing. Whilst in passive mode, the barriers such as fear, or believing you are bad at English, are down, inactive, and so the language can enter your brain more easily.

What example can we use for both methods?
Firstly the most important point is that whatever you choose, it must be enjoyable for you, choose and do what you love! If it becomes boring, you won’t do it!

Active listening ideas

  • Print off lyrics to your favourite song, blank out some words, then listen to the song and try and find the words
  • 6 minute English. There are afew ways to listen to this. Either with You Tube or via their website. A little more about this after.
  • Watch a film that you know in French and change the language. Try with and without subtitles. Watching a film you know makes it so much easier for the brain!
  • Podcasts on a subject that you love. Podcasts are great as you choose the topic AND you can listen many times
  • Audiobooks in English of your favourite book in french
  • TED Talks. Here’s a good one on learning languages! Ted talks are videos on YouTube that last 15 minutes on  a huge variety of topics  from science to spirituality, from food to history, the body to the mind. 

BBC 6 minute English:

With this,  the best way is the first time to listen. Don’t look at the script. Listen at least 3 times this way.
The first time you may understand only a few words, however each time you listen you will understand more.
Then after you can listen WITH the script and see what you understood.
also have the script so that you can learn new words.

Passive listening

The best way is with radio. A great ressource for this is Tune In. This is a website AND a phone app. You use it to find radio stations all over the world, in dfferent languages, different subjects.

You can search for radios based on music (and type of music), talking, or the language, the region. It is HUGE!

You can see my channel and follow me here

One of my BIG favourites on Tune In is Empower Radio which also has their own website  This radio is all about spirituality, coaching, energy healing! It’s an amazing way to start the day!

You can listen in your car, whilst you do activities in your home, just have it on in the background. this website also has podcasts for active lsitening.

I hope these ideas help. Let me know which ones you try and love!

Just remember it has to be fun!!









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