Listen to english podcast and try to improve your English listening skill! But How can we do that? Stay with POC English in the rest of this article!
If you talk to English students, you can notice that there is a common problem among them. Most of them can understand English, but they can’t speak it.
We talked about this common problem and how to fix it in another lesson of POC English .(You should read the article ” improve English speaking ” to learn more about the ways of improving this important skill).
But what we are going to talk about today, is the exact opposite! Some people can speak, but they can’t understand! In this lesson, we are going to learn about one of the best ways of improving our listening skills and I will explain how to listen to english podcast.
Why is listening important in learning a language?
Listening is a very crucial skill. Especially if you want to be able to communicate effectively. One of the best ways to improve your listening skills is to listen to english podcast . It’s also one of the important items of English pronunciation practice. But what podcasts and how to listen to them?
What podcast is for me?
English podcasts are available for different levels and with different accents. So, two questions that you need to ask yourself are:
- What is my level?
- What is my favorite accent?
Based on your answers to these two questions you can choose the right podcast.
listen to english podcast based on Your English level
In order to listen to english podcast you should consider two levels and determine which one are you.
- Below intermediate
- Above intermediate
1. Below intermediate
If you belong to the first group whose level of English is below the intermediate level, you should not worry about the accent.
So, forget about the accent and just listen to english podcast. First of all, you should focus on improving your general understanding of English.
For you, I recommend this website: listenaminute.com
2. Above intermediate
For this group, the accent is important because by listening to podcasts not only do you improve your listening skill and general understanding, but you can also improve your accent and pronunciation using the imitation technique or the speech shadowing technique. Not familiar with these techniques? Click here.
listen to this english podcast if you are a British accent lover
If you are above the intermediate level and you are interested in the British accent, I recommend BBC 6-minute podcasts.
listen to this english podcast if you are an American accent lover
The best option for this group is VOA podcasts. (VOA stands for Voice of America). On this website, you can find podcasts for different levels. You can click on your level and then choose your topic of interest and listen to english podcast.
You can download the audio file and see the script on the website.
How to listen to english podcast?
Now that we know what podcasts to choose, it’s time for the second question:
How can we listen to english podcast in order to improve our listening?
If you want to improve your listening through podcasts, you have to follow these four steps:
Don’t worry about anything. You don’t have to understand 100% of what they are saying. You don’t have to take notes. Just listen!
The important thing is that your ears are getting used to the sounds you are hearing! And that you can get the GIST of the story. This means what is going on in the story, who are the main speakers, and what is the topic of the podcast. That’s enough.
Where you should do it
The good part about the first step is that you can do it anywhere. You can listen to podcasts while you are sitting or maybe while you are doing the dishes. You can also listen to podcasts while you are walking on the street or maybe you are waiting for the bus!
2. Listen to English podcast and write down
This step might take a lot of time but trust me there is no shortcut to learning! You need to spend time. So do it and don’t be lazy.
What you need to do here is to listen to english podcast, pause after each sentence, and write down what you’ve heard. So, basically, you are going to write down the script of the podcast.
Maybe sometimes you don’t understand what they are saying. Pause, go back, and listen again. Do this as many times as you need in order to understand what the podcast’s speaker is saying so that you can write it down.
What if I don’t understand?
If you couldn’t understand what they are saying after playing it many times, just leave it blank and continue with the rest of the podcast. By the end of this step, you will write down the script of the podcast.
3. Listen and follow the original script
Whether you listen to VOA or BBC podcasts, the script is available in a pdf file format. What you need to do is to download that file, play the podcast and while you are listening to the podcast, follow the script.
This time you will understand what they are saying 100%.
4. Compare your script to the original script
You should do this step in order to find which parts you’ve made a mistake in, which parts you couldn’t get and which parts you left blank.
This exercise takes a lot of time but you will see immediate results. By doing this you will not only improve your listening, but you will learn some new vocabulary. So, basically, you are killing two birds with one stone (it means to achieve two things by doing one thing!).
How to listen?
✅Listen and write down
✅Listen and follow the original script
✅Compare your script to the original script