Learning tip: Learning by listening

Learning tip: learning by listening 
All levels

Have you ever had the experience of thinking you knew how to pronounce a language and then when you listen to a native speaker, it just sounds different? You should try learning by listening.

Most people find it difficult to lose their mother tongue habits. Of course this not always a problem because people will usually understand you. However, if you want to acquire a particular accent and way of speaking (and behaving!), it’s important to listen and watch.

Listening again and again to a particular ‘brand’ of English will educate your ear. You will get better at recognising the different sounds of the accent and the key words and expressions. Watching films will help you see how the sounds of the language are formed by the mouth as well as picking up gestures and noticing body language – all part of a language of course.

Even if you are keen to focus on grammar, I think spending time listening can sometimes be more productive than working through loads of exercises. People who listen a lot tend to understand grammatical points more quickly because they can often relate them to what they have already come across.

In a nutshell, listening is the best foundation for learning a language. You will probably learn more quickly, remember better and sound far far more ‘natural’. What are you waiting for? If you are planning to do an English course in the UK or learn by Skype, you can get a head start by listening to as much English as possible in advance.