Make the most out of your audiobooks

1. Listen only

Forget about the text for now and focus on your listening comprehension. Listen to the audio in one go and see how much of it you can grasp.

This is supposed to be challenging as listening comprehension is more difficult than reading comprehension. 

Do it once again and see if your comprehension improves. Give the chapter's quiz a go and see how much you score.

2. Play copycat

Listen to it again, but now put your focus entirely on pronunciation.

Take a first round and mimic the sounds as you hear them (this is known as shadowing).

Pay close attention to any sounds you are not yet familiar with.

Play it a second time and pause the recording at your convenience to mimic sounds and drill your pronunciation skills. 

Pay close attention to your lips, jaw, and tongue while reproducing the sounds. The more you become aware of these physicalities the better.

3. Read

Read the text in one go. You should be able to get the gist of it (provided that the material is adequate for your current level).

Read it once again. This time around, spend as much time as you need with it to fill in the gaps, but without obsessing about understanding every single word or expression.

Don’t rush to look up new words in the dictionary. Instead, try to figure them out from the context as this leads to better word retention.

Retake the quiz and compare your new score with the previous one.

4. Listen one last time

Take a short break before this final step. Listen to the audio one last time (with or without the transcript). Everything should sound clearer to you now.

Don’t forget to celebrate the progress you’ve just made. Well-done.

Take it further

Here are a few additional practice suggestions to take it further

  • Do a dictation exercise. Play the audio and write what you hear. Compare it with the original text and make any necessary corrections.
  • Translate the original text into English and back again to Portuguese. Compare your translation with the original.
  • Write a summary of each chapter.
  • Write a summary of the whole story.
  • Prepare an oral presentation of the story and share it with a friend if possible.
  • Write your own sentences with newly learned words and expressions.
  • Write an alternative ending or even a possible continuation of the story.