My name is Hart Bullock, a junior college student in China, and my major is English. In the midst of my learning, English as a second language from time to time can throw me between tears and laughter. What do you think that is? Long story short, I love reading and writing, but my listening sucks. In my last published book Hitting on All Six, I lied most stress on how to be a good listener and behave yourself as an audience. This time, I am going to focus on how to improve listening skills for a test.
Everybody gets their something to pass a listening exam regardless how many points they get eventually. However, for some of them, a prestigious grade is so much more than a full stop but a stepping stone leading them to be better listeners.
Surviving matters but thriving wins. Throwing my mind back to last listening test, the score was just so-so; nonetheless, what made it not so plain was a one-sentence comment from my listening teacher, which read “you can do a better job.” “Can I?” I asked myself immediately afterward. Right at that moment, I felt like a penguin lost in Amazon jungle and suffocated to spell a word out of his mouth. Just-so-so attitude is not the way to go. After graduation, people may have no chance to attend a listening test once more, but it is impossible to shut down your ears and stop listening. Followed are some ways I have summarized to improve your listening skills once and for all.
Be there in the Moment
There’s no alternative to make it without listening as long as you are required to sit exams alone. In the beginning, you probably find it annoying and suffering from listening, but you are not necessary to write down everything unless in a dictation test. This way, calm down and fish for key points. The strongest and most time-saving recommendation my listening teacher suggested it to hold the framework and follow signal notes, which are instrumental in guiding you to understand speakers in a logical way. Hardly will it be out of date to adjust your gestures to get well prepared to listen to any materials ahead of you. With headphones all set, back straight and eyes focused, it is always helpful to get your ready rapidly for your task.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
What you heard and may fill in the blanks are not from your hunch. Instead, you need to outline viewpoints and supporting details all by speakers. In particular, when it comes summary or conclusion, you’d better organize sentences with keywords and phrases mentioned rather than your self-imposed and talented creativity. Being faithful to the information you heard and going to hear can never to too prominent for each and every listening test except that you are the speaker in the tape.
Keep All in Your Mind or Take Notes
Listening and forgetting is the last and worst thing to every wishful student. The palest ink is better than the best memory. A great memory can speed your answering process. If not, get a pen and take some notes though handwriting is becoming a neglected art. Since human ancestors invented written language, we are spoiled for reaching reference, in every sense of that word. Thus, with notes come points as long as you have an instant and sharp recognition of key items. For this part, I am pretty sure you are quite smart to find your way to do it as much as more efficient, including numbers, dates, cause and effects, fiction or fact, etc.
Build and Fix Your Vocabulary
Have you ever racked your mind trying to spell out some words? Virtually, it is a pity to lose points because of misspelling or misinterpretation of a single word, isn’t it? Another gold rule from my listening teacher illustrates the connection amid spelling, meaning and pronunciation in terms of a word. If you think that scale is too narrow, try phrases and idioms. Most students may haven’t realized the importance of word learning and take it for granted that vocabulary can naturally grow spontaneously like your age. But alas, in your examination, this sort of falsehood can lead you to Waterloo and push you into the grave by your own hands. On the other hand, vocabulary is an expert in a costume party. When you think you are no stranger to a certain word, as a matter of fact, you perhaps will get confused and miss it easily under your surveillance. It is not so much the fast speech as lack of acquaintance that let you down. All that you need to take into consideration is critical such as accent, stress, stop, tone, annotation and denotation, etc.
Listen to learn and Be
Putting your hand upon your chest and move it to your heart, now think why you listen to those materials after all. To be honest as much as I can, I did learn a lot of fast facts, worldwide news and sentence patterns during my listening either from tests or assignments. The truth is listening is meaningful. Each-time listening experience delivers the best opportunity to learn. Additionally, when it comes to food for thought or daily conversation, as someone else may feel hunger strike, your stock transmitted from listening will always give you a hand.
Listening is a friendly access to learn new knowledge and skills, from which most of the time you cannot get shunned. If not, listen carefully and learn from what you heard and be a better you to the best of your ability as well as the best things you have ever heard.
To be or not to be? That is not a question. The question is how to be and how not to be. On the road to be a better listener, perhaps it seems you are walking alone with your shadow at present or near future. Then walk also with your patience, perseverance and courageous confidence since only then can you meet with your company and a better you, but I cannot promise you which comes first or at the same time.
Now, are you listening?