Hi, welcome to part two of the “Why Series.” If you remember part one was called, “Why Read.” And I talked about why reading was important when you are learning the English language. And I talked a lot about why reading was cool. This is part two, where I’m going to talk about why you should listen, why listening practice is an important thing to do when you are learning the English language. So in this English lesson, I’ll talk about cool things about listening, I’ll talk about little things you can do while listening to English to improve your English, and why listening is just an important thing to do on your journey towards fluency.
Hey, welcome to this English lesson where I’m going to talk about listening. Before we get started though, if you are new here, don’t forget to click that red subscribe button below and give me a thumbs up, if this video helps you learn just a little bit more English.
So why listen? Well, one of the cool things about listening is that you don’t have to do anything. I mean, compared to reading or writing or speaking, it’s fairly simple. I guess you do have to press play, you do have to put earbuds in or put headphones on, but really when you compare listening to the other things you need to do, when you are learning English, it’s really simple. You literally just sit there and allow music, or someone’s talking to go into your ears and into your mind. So, of all the things you can do to learn English, probably the coolest thing about listening is you don’t really have to do anything.
The second thing that’s cool about listening and also a tip for when you’re doing your listening is it’s really easy to do twice. Especially music, music in particular is the one thing where it’s really easy to listen to a song multiple times. It’s really hard to read something twice. I do recommend that it’s hard to have a conversation twice because people usually don’t want to talk about something two times in a row. But listening is the one thing where you can listen to a song and then you can listen to it again. You can listen to a podcast and then you can listen to it again. Listening is just awesome because you can listen to things twice really, really easily.
Another thing about listening, that’s just really awesome is that there is so much variety, there are so many things you can choose from. When you listen, you can listen to music, you can listen to podcasts, you can listen to audio books, there is a lot of variety. There are many, many things that you can choose from when you’re doing your listening practice. So if you feel like thinking really deep intellectual thoughts, you could listen to a podcast. If you just wanna relax, you can listen to some music. If you wanna dance, you can listen to some music. And if you just want to kind of listen to the audio version of a book that you already read, you can do that as well. So another cool thing about listening, there are just so many options, there is so much variety in terms of the things you can listen to, to practice your English.
Another thing that’s really awesome about listening is that it’s a great partner for practicing your speaking and your pronunciation. You can listen to something and then you can say it out loud. You can listen to it to hear how the native speaker pronounces the words, and then you can try to mimic those words out loud by speaking. So listening is a great partner for your speaking practice. The technique is called shadowing by the way, when you listen to someone and then you try to say what they’ve said, it’s called the shadowing technique. So you play the video or you play the audio, you hit pause, and then you say it out loud, it’s a great way to practice your pronunciation.
One of my favorite things about listening practice is that you have control. You can pause whatever you’re listening to, you can rewind what you’re listening to. So if you hear something and you didn’t understand it, you can rewind and listen to it again. And the most powerful thing I think about listening is that you can usually slow it down. If you are someone who listens to podcasts, if that’s one of the ways you practice your English listening, I just love it that on my podcast player, I can slow it down to 90% or 80%, and then the person who is speaking still sounds natural, but I’m able to understand it a little bit better. By the way I’m not learning English, I am learning French. But when I listen to French podcasts, I tend to slow them down a little bit, if I’m having trouble understanding them and you could do the same when you listen to English.
Listening can be done almost anywhere and it can be done while you’re doing other things. So you can listen on the bus, you can do listening practice while you’re at work, you can do listening practice while you’re driving. It’s probably the only part of learning English that you can do at the same time as you do other things. I just think this is a really cool aspect of listening. You can’t read while you drive don’t don’t try that. you can listen while you drive though. You can’t have English conversations with someone at Skype when you’re at work, your boss probably wouldn’t like that, but certainly listening is just awesome because you can do it almost anywhere and you can do it while you’re doing other things.
Listening practice does not require a partner. If you want to practice your English speaking, you have to find someone to talk to. But if you want to do listening practice, you can do it by yourself. And it’s also very, very private. Once you put your earbuds in, or you put your headphones on, no one knows what you’re listening to. So it’s a very calming, fun, enjoyable activity to do by yourself, and you don’t require a partner to do it.
Listening practice gives you access to native speakers. When you want to have a conversation with a native speaker, it’s hard sometimes to find someone who you can talk to. But when you do listening practice, you have access to a native speaker immediately. When you listen to music, when you listen to podcasts, when you listen to audio books, it gives you a direct connection to a native speaker. And when they say words in a certain way, you can hear their pronunciation. So listening is just awesome because it quickly and easily gives you access to a native speaker.
Listening practice and reading work really well together when you are learning English. Sometimes you can find things where you can listen to the audio, and then you can read the text afterwards, or you can read the text before and then listen to the audio afterwards, or while you are listening to the audio, you can read the text. Reading and listening are like the two best friends in the English learning world, they just work really, really well together.
It’s easy to consume large amounts of it. What I mean is this, it’s hard to read for more than an hour or two. It’s very hard to have a conversation for more than an hour or two. It’s extremely difficult to write for hours on end, but you can consume audio. You can do English listening practice for large stretches of time. You can watch a movie and then watch a TV show and then listen to some music and then listen to a podcast. For some reason, as human beings, we find the listening a very easy activity to do. So another very cool thing about listening is you can consume it in large amounts. That means you can take in a lot of listening, you can do a lot of listening in one sitting.
Some people even do listening practice while they’re sleeping. I actually don’t recommend this, but I know some people do this. If I try to listen to something while I’m sleeping, it doesn’t really do anything for me, except the next morning I’m really grouchy because usually if I try that I don’t sleep very well, but some people actually do listening practice while they’re sleeping. In fact, if you search YouTube for videos on how to learn English while you’re sleeping, you’ll probably find one or two. I can’t guarantee it works, but maybe it’ll work for you.
Listening also lets you easily test yourself. And here’s what I mean. If there is a song that you really like to listen to in English, find the lyrics for that song on the internet and put it into a document and then remove 20 or 30 of the words and replace them with just a blank. Then when you listen to the song, try to write the words in the blanks, and after you’ve done that, check your answers and see how many you got right. One of the cool things that I like about listening practice is it allows me to test myself very challenging to do this in an English conversation, but very easy to do with listening practice.
This last thing isn’t a tip and it’s not something that’s cool, but it is important. Make sure that you don’t get addicted to listening to things in English. Don’t do that as the only thing you do when you are learning English, because listening can be done so easily and because you can do it for long stretches of time without getting bored. Sometimes when people are learning English, they focus too heavily on listening. Please make sure you are always focusing on reading, writing, listening, speaking, learning vocabulary, and I’ve started learn a little bit of grammar. I know there are people who listened to a lot of English and then they don’t understand why the other three areas aren’t developing as quickly, you need to practice every single area.
Well, hey, thank you for watching part two of the “Why Series” where I talked for a little bit about things that are cool about listening, things that are important about listening practice and maybe you were able to pick up a few tips and tricks for me along the way. Remember this is part two of the series, If you want to watch the video where I talk about why reading is important, I’ll put a link to it right here.