We made it to the final post in my five-part guide to improving your English listening comprehension! This guide is meant to be followed in order, so be sure you read up on the subtitle strategy, keeping a notebook to expand your vocabulary, that you’ve checked out an awesome listening website, and have spent time speaking and listening with language apps.
Now, on to the final step!
Part Five: Conversation Corner
With Part Four of this guide, you’ve started a crucial part of improving your listening skills, which is to not just listen to things in English, but to actually respond.
Responding to a phone application is what is called “low stakes,” which means that if you make an error, nothing bad happens to you: no one makes fun of you for saying the wrong thing, or you don’t accidentally order liver when you meant to order lentils, or you don’t laugh when you should be comforting someone.
In order to really improve, you need to put yourself into more “high stakes” situations. Sure, you could throw yourself into any situation with an English speaker and hope for the best.
But trying a conversation group is a great “middle ground,” right in between low stakes and high stakes.
Try MeetUp.com for, well, meeting up with people interested in the same thing as you. Search for “English conversation” or “English language” and your city and see what comes up!
On My Language Exchange, you can pair up with native English speakers who are learning your language. (Actually, you can pair up with native speakers of just about any language.) This is also roughly the set up for italki, where you can find a language partner.
The point here is get more comfortable speaking – and listening to – English in “real time” and not on TV, video, or an app. This is a big step up in listening practice, but it’s also the most important.
What language conversation or language exchange websites or programs have you tried? Which are your favorites?
Missed an earlier part of the series? Check out the rest below.
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