How to Train Your Listening Skills While Listening to Your Favorite Music and Podcasts
Listening is among the most challenging skills you can master in all languages. With all the dialects, accents, and colloquial phrases, it's clear why our students need help understanding conversations on the streets, television or in school.
There are plenty of authentic listening tools to help students improve their listening skills, and prepare them for tests such as the Pearson Test of English (PTE) General.
Also, you can create your listening plan with an assignment calendar.
Podcasts are radio shows that can be accessed online with millions of people listening. They are either in a bite-size or more extended form, they could be serious or funny and can cover as many subjects as possible. Some of them are designed especially to be used by people who are learning English.
Here are some best podcasts that can be used to develop their listening abilities and develop into more self-sufficient learners.
Why do we listen to podcasts and not just watch the news?
It's an excellent option for students to watch films and series in their original language. But, visual media provide many contextual clues that help to comprehend language (e.g., the expressions and actions of characters). This is why they cannot adequately prepare students for "pure" listening tests that students will be exposed to during the exams.
Podcasts, however, can better prepare students for tests like PTE General. They don't provide that additional visual information and thus are more akin to an exam experience.
Furthermore, in PTE General, candidates will have to listen to various audio texts, including short monologues and dialogues, factual broadcasts, news bulletins, and recorded messages.
What podcasts can be utilized by students?
The British Council also has a series of podcasts for students of A2+ that feature Tess and Ravi talking together and interviewing guests on the most popular topics. Some of the earlier episodes are very long and, therefore, are perfect for students to listen to while working. Students can also use the tools on the website to test their comprehension or work with the audio points for language and read the audio script.
Higher-level learners or those studying for PTE levels 4 and 5 should check out an authentic show like American Life. The podcast hosts are Americans from various states, which allows students to listen to various American accents.
How do I prepare my students for accents that differ?
In PTE General Students will hear voices from various nationalities; therefore, students must practice listening to as many diverse voices as they can.
Another website that has a lot of conversations includes elllo.org. The podcast has presenters from all over the world to allow your students to hear a Jamaican speaking or someone from Poland conversing with a person in Sri Lanka.
For instance, in the BBC show "The English We Speak", students will discover more about the English language while listening.
What can I do to encourage my students to watch podcasts outside the classroom?
The first step is to get them involved in the concept of listening to podcasts in your class. Watch the podcast episodes together as a class; this will expose students to the advantages of practicing listening in the comfort of their homes and teach them how to navigate through the site. This will ensure that they understand when they visit the site by themselves.
In addition, as motivation is essential in encouraging students to keep learning outside the classroom, it is better to begin with a subject they're attracted to.
In the same way, Freakonomics Radio encourages listeners to look at their surroundings and reflect on the things they think of as normal. Yet, at an average of 40 minutes for each episode, it can be too difficult for novice students to stay focused.
“Seven-minute explanations” of The Week are a manageable length, and they also feature engaging content. Have you ever thought about what causes people to have allergies? Or why Yoda speaks so bizarrely in Star Wars?
Are there other podcasts that are specifically designed for those who are learning a language?
If you think that authentic content is too difficult for your students, there are a lot of sites that learners can pick from. The English with Kris Amerikos YouTube channel is an amazing resource for language learners. It is also regularly updated with new educational content for your students.
Podcasts in HTML0 English also contain hundreds of episodes that are separated by level and can help students master section 3 and 4. PTE General. Please encourage students to make notes as they listen and compare their notes with the audio script to simulate the exam.
-written by Julia Korniychuk