How to learn to understand English by ear

What does LISTENING mean to you? “Norm, I’m doing fine” or a word that inspires terror?

If it’s the former, good for you. But don’t be in a hurry to leave, there will be something useful for you here too. If the latter, let’s find out how to say goodbye to your fears.


Listen to English speech regularly

Many people are familiar with the situation when in English classes at school literally once a month on the test include audio. Not only is the test – not the most pleasant thing to do, but it is unclear. Although even after 10 audios a month, listened to in class, you have to wait a long time for a miracle.

And if you just want to watch the series in the original, and again you can not. How to change it?


At any age, in any situation – don’t wait, do it

— Find an interesting blogger/channel on YouTube or any social network;

— listen to podcasts in English (e.g.,,,;

— watch TV shows that you enjoy (whether it’s a gardening course or a cooking program);

— go to – there are helpful inspirational videos there;

— install a listening app from Google Play or the App Store (just search for listening);

— apply the “Shadowing” learning technique: this is a method where you listen to a speech in English and at the same time repeat after the speaker, trying to reproduce the intonation and rhythm as accurately as possible;

— Use the “Chunking” technique: break complex sentences into smaller chunks (chunks) to make them easier to hear and understand. Gradually increase the complexity of phrases as your skills improve;

— Discover audiobooks in English (peek into the text periodically if necessary).


And no excuses, please!

By the way, let’s go through the most popular reasons for not practicing listening:

  1. I look at it and don’t understand, so why waste time?

Just choose listening materials according to your level. If you’re still at Elementary level, don’t torture yourself with Advanced level materials.

  1. I can’t do that.

English listening skills can be developed with constant practice and getting out of your comfort zone (if you don’t give up after the first failure).

  1. I can only watch with subtitles.

Try it without subtitles. You’re not listening, you’re reading, admit it.

Yes, if you’re a beginner, subtitles are very helpful. If you’re not a beginner, but it’s still very hard – try watching a movie in English without subtitles, the plot of which you already know. This way you will be able to concentrate on the speech of the characters and you will hear a lot of familiar words.

  1. I don’t want to learn words.

No, it doesn’t work that way. English has to be practiced as a whole. Otherwise, if you don’t know the words, you can’t understand the speech.

Grammar, too. All of these did you, which is pronounced fused, there’re, gonna will not confuse you if you have learned them.

And be sure to work with texts from videos/movies/audiobooks: choose interesting expressions, pay attention to grammar. By the way, the technique of parsing every word of the material you’re listening to works cool.

  1. No time.

The concept of “rarely but aptly” is not your thing. Better 10-15 minutes every day than three hours but once a month.

Think about what your minimum will be and stick to the position: more is possible, less is not. Everything is individual and no one can tell you exactly how soon you will reach your goal.

You are responsible for your own results. There is no teacher to give you a grade. You are not limited by the school program. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. Start right now and you will succeed!

Looking for effective ways to improve your English listening skills? eTalk offers you personalized lessons tailored to your language level and personal interests.