Listening plays a huge part in learning any language. The first thing you did as a child was listening – you couldn’t talk, or write or speak, so you listened. Unfortunately as we grow up a lot of us lose the skill of listening, but like most things, it is something you can improve on.
The first thing to do is learn to listen actively. Learning a language is like learning to play a musical instrument. You can listen to music for enjoyment, but if you want to study the music you have to listen more critically. It’s the same with languages; you need to make a conscious effort to hear not only the words that someone is saying but more importantly, pay attention, and try to understand the complete message behind the words.
Watching films, TV shows or videos is a good start. If you’re not sure what to watch, look at my virtual classroom page.
If you enjoy reading, why not listen to some of your favorite books? Audio books are available in many different formats, and you can even borrow some audio books from online libraries. If you like the classics you will find many available to listen to online, for free.
Films and TV shows are scripted; so I suggest you that listening to radio or chat shows can be a bit more challenging. It’s all good practice.