Along with speaking, reading, and writing, listening is one of the “four skills” of language learning. All language teaching approaches except for grammar-translation incorporate a listening component. Some teaching methods, such as Total Physical Response, involve students simply listening and responding.

A distinction is often made between “intensive listening”, in which learners attempt to listen with maximum accuracy to a relatively brief sequence of speech, and “extensive listening”, in which learners listen to lengthy passages for general comprehension. While intensive listening may be more effective in terms of developing specific aspects of listening ability, extensive listening is more effective in building fluency and maintaining learner motivation. – Wikipedia Listening Resources

In order to practice English listening skills, we recommend three things:

1. Good Listening Materials

short, realistic, a little higher than your level

Podcasts are great for practicing listening.

Check out these websites for audio practice.

Videos can also be useful for improving skills.

Many textbooks have audio recordings and exercises.

2. Background Information Helps Listening

Know something about the topic beforehand

Prepare your mind by thinking about the topic ahead of time.

Think about vocabulary you might encounter.

Predict what language and information you might hear.

3. Techniques for Listening Practice

Listen for general and specific information

Listen the first time to get the gist (general idea)

Listen a second time for specific details.

Have a purpose or something to listen for

Listen a third time to review what you have learned.

ESL Videos to help you speak Videos