Listen extra carefully to, numbers, dates and names. Always check if you aren't sure, for example: 'Sorry, was that 16 or 60?' 'Did you say June or July?' ' Do you spell it with an i or not?' 'is it 772138 or 772148?'
IF you have difficulty breaking English up into groups of words you can recognize, listen stress, which is normally on nouns and verbs as keywords. Most of unstressed sounds are not important for understanding of general idea.
Remember, it isn't always necessary to understand every word when you're listening, so don't panic. Don't think about the words you didn't understand the first time. Relax, and listen again.
Be prepared. Try to predict what topics and vocabulary the listening will be about. Before you listen to a recorded message or an answerphone, take a few moments to go through useful vocabulary in your mind. For example, before listening to the answerphone at a language school, you may consider flight, students, visa, agent, teacher, intensive course, family, etc. This will help you to understand the message better.
Don't be afraid to ask the speaker to repeat or explain what s/he said, as Ryan did in the
interview, If you don't understand when you're listening, say:
- I'm sorry, I didn't quite catch what you said about…
- Sorry to 'interrupt, but…
- Could I Just ask…
- Did you say… or…?
- Sorry, what was that?
- What did you say your name was?
- Sorry? Pardon?
NOTE: Make sure your voice goes up at the end of your question.
English sounds in slow, formal speech may sound quite different In informal conversations, or when people speak fast. Look out for these contractions:
- I'd (= I had/l would)
- isn't(= is not)
- can't (= cannot)
- won't (= will not)
- he's (= he has/he is)
- doesn't (= does not)
- aren't (= are nor)
- Shan't (= shall not)
Remember that English is spoken by people all, round the world, so it's good for you to listen to as many different accents as possible.
A good way of practicing listening is to video English-language films. You can replay them over and over until you understand and hear the statements of the films very well. Don’t panic encountering with unknown words, just concentrate on the general meaning.
If you are listening to a recording, focus on the most important facts for the first time that you listen to. Think about the background and imagine yourself in the situation. then, when you listen for the third time, you will be able to catch the details.
Use your hobbies and free time activities to practice your listening. If you like any particular music style like pop music, try to write the new words of your favorite songs. If you like the cinema, watch the films in English. If you like listening to the radio or watching TV, tune into English-language channels.