Listening comprehension is the first skill one acquires while learning a foreign language (and a mother tongue as well). It is the starting point of your foreign journey. To speak more fluently, to enrich one’s vocabulary, one has to listen to a language. Through listening to the speech, one learns how to react and use certain phrases in specific situation.
The learning proces is automatic. You even do not need to think. But what you need is to focus on what you are listening to. Your aim is not to understand every single word. Rather, you are to remember certain structures and phrases that are used in a specific context. The more you listen to, the faster you remember. The faster you remember, the easier it will be for you to speak.
You are not to write down everything. Try to be selective and choose only those words that are used frequently or seem to be the most important. Certain words are so common that without them understanding of the news would be impossible.
Don’t be distracted!
Being focused on is more essential than writing down the words. If you have to choose between those two activities, choose the first one. Don’t let yourself be distracted by writing down too much. You are supposed to be surrounded by the sound that is to make a mark upon you.
After listening to an extract try to check yourself through summarising the most important ideas. Let’s tell your friend about the given piece of information or just talk to yourself.
What to listen to?
1) BBC or CNN news or programmes will help you to improve your accent. These are typical British and American channels.
2) British or American films and cartoons.