Suggestions for your listening practice

1. Listen without transcript

Listen with no transcript first. Do it at least a couple of times. If the gap between your current level and the audio is too big and you can barely understand anything, consider reading the English translation first to get the gist of it. Then get back to the audio.

Also, use the audio to work on your pronunciation. Forget about semantics and focus solely on the sounds. For example, you can mimic the sounds as you hear them (aka shadowing). Notice any sounds you feel uncomfortable with and pause the audio at your convenience to work on their pronunciation. Pay attention to what your lips, jaw, and tongue are doing while you reproduce those sounds. The more you become aware of these physicalities the better.

2. Turn on the transcript

Now with the text in front of you, you can fill in the gaps. Don’t rush to look up new words in the dictionary or look inside the translation. Instead, try to figure out their meaning from the context as this leads to better word retention. Don't get fixated on understanding every single word or expression. You can always revisit the material later on.

3. Listen one last time without transcript

Take a short break before this final step. Listen to the audio one last time. Everything should sound clearer now. Don’t forget to celebrate the progress you’ve just made. Well done!

A Mishmash of Audio Snippets to Sharpen Your Ears and Expand Your Vocabulary