Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Improving Listening and Speaking Skills

Probably the most often asked question I receive is how students can learn to improve their listening and speaking skills in their home countries. To me, improving these skills must be an active process, rather than a passive one, in which students are interacting with people in the language. Yes, watching movies can help, but it is normally a passive idea in which you just sit, eat popcorn, and watch the move; however, an even better idea is to watch short sections of video with friends and then discuss the movie with them using specific language skills that group has been studying. A few years ago, I wrote this short article about this topic at http://www.esl-lab.com/research/ways.htm. It list other ways of learning languages in situations where the target language isn't English. So, please share your ideas on how to improve listening and speaking skills in your own countries. Randall

3 comments:

  1. It's very interesting all the article that share us, thanks for that, i also can add a tip for reading and listening section, people who likes play videogames can play some videogames with subtitles the kind of videogame can be RPG because those videogames show many conversation in english so you can learn and practice listening and reading english.

    Regards!

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  2. I also believe it must be an active process, and I think that the Internet can provide students with opportunities for them to interact with other speakers of English either as a first or a second language. Video chat rooms such as "www.paltalk.com" allows students to do that. They can practice their English without even having to leave the comfort of their homes.

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  3. Internet is a very good tool to improve your skills. I recommend to read articles that have to do with personal interests, it is good to use a dictionnary to look for the new words. It is good to learn new meanings. It is also good, I believe, to listen a record and to try to understand. The exercise is to reward the parts we did not understand, to associate ideas and if possible to write down the text. Sometimes it is necessary to hear the same record again and again. It is good to listen to records with the text many times and to understand the sens, after that we can hear the record without the text while we are doing any activity, in that way it is possible to familiarize our ears with the sounds and the meanings of English.

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Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.

Best,

Randall