Hi I’m Vanessa from speak English with Vanessa.com let’s talk about 3 ways to improve your listening skills let’s get started. The first way to improve your listening skills it is a little surprising I recommend using subtitles subtitles in English listening in English and reading the subtitles in English these 2 methods together listening and reading will help you really to hear each word this will test your ears and help you to take your listening to the next level there are several ways to use subtitles one way is to test your ears first watch the video without any subtitles and if you think you understood 100 percent or even 80 percent. Go back the next time and watch it with subtitles I’m sure there are some expressions that were new for you or even some sentence structure it’s useful to listen to I recommend going back and listening after you test your ears.
You could do it the opposite way if you are a beginner or if the video is really difficult for you watch it with English subtitles first and then the second time go back and watch it without subtitles and see if you can hear each of those words that you read with the subtitles so you could start with the subtitles or you could watch the subtitles after you’ve already tried the video these are both great methods for helping you really need to test your ears and improve your listening skills I have used this a lot with French movies movies that I’ve already seen new movies this is a great method that’s helped me improve my listening here each and every sound in the language I want to give you 2 quick recommendations for how you can use subtitles right now one way is on YouTube most YouTube videos how a button in the bottom right corner that says see see if you’re using your computer it’s in the bottom if you’re using your phone is probably at the top C. C. means closed captions this is usually for people who can’t hear so they can read some of these are automatic subtitles with just the YouTube program some of them are accurate subtitles so if you click CC and it says auto captions or something like that it means it’s just the automatic version maybe it’s only 80 percent accurate but it’s still useful you can click CC on YouTube or you can use something like ten.com ten.com has subtitles in transcripts for every.
Talk this is really useful because you can click on the sentence and it will go to that part of the video this is an excellent way to improve your listening skills the second way that you can improve your listening skills is to focus on material that you can already understand about 70 percent of and the right you can note if you understand 70 percent is if you understand the general context maybe if you’re watching an episode of the TV show friends and you understand generally what’s going on but you don’t understand each joke or you don’t understand everything but you understand the general ideas that’s probably 60 or 70 percent if you understand less than this it’s gonna be really hard to improve your listening skills you’re not going to be able to pick up specific words when you already understand 70 percent it’s easier to pick up the 30 percent that you don’t know maybe by using subtitles there’s an easier way if you already understand 70 percent there’s a lot of material on YouTube that you can use in this way maybe videos for English learners are gonna be easier for you or if you want to challenge yourself you could use videos from B. B. C. or more challenging videos for English native speakers if you’re watching American TV show and you can’t understand anything.
Stop right there it’s not 70 percent trying to find something that’s a little bit easier maybe something for English learners and then you’ll be able to go to the next level and watch something for English speakers a little bit later on the third way to improve your listening skills it’s something that I haven’t talked about yet it is Dick Tatian dictation what is the dictation well this is when someone reads or says one sentence 2 sentences maybe 3 sentences they say them quickly then slowly and do you have to write exactly what they said this is gonna help you listen for every single word every single verb tense even punctuation when you have to exactly right everything that you heard it’s a pretty big challenge it seems simple but it’s a pretty difficult some people like this some people don’t like this for me I don’t want to do this every day with one I’m learning French I don’t want to do a dictation every day but maybe once a week every couple days this is helpful for showing my progress when I know that I can listen to these sentences and accurately write them I know that I can go on to something more challenging and you can use a dictation with any kind of audio you can use it with a simple video maybe a video for English learners that’s a little bit slower you can just listen to one sentence pause the video go back listen to that sentence again and trying to write it exactly this is a good test or you can do it with an English TV show or YouTube video for English speakers this is gonna be more challenging it’s gonna be faster.
But it’s a great challenge so the one thing about dictation is to make sure that you know the correct answer so make sure that you do this with a video that has subtitles if the video doesn’t show you the correct answer for your dictation you’re not going to know if you did it correctly or not so I recommend choosing a video that has good subtitles listen to one or 2 sentences try to write them and see how you do do you understand the general meaning or do you really understand every single word it’s a good challenge you can do it I hope that these 3 ways using subtitles understanding 70 percent and dictation are useful for you to be able to improve your listening skills do you have any other suggestions for listening improvement write them in the comments below I’d love to hear them let’s share our ideas together thanks so much and I’ll see you later bye. Did you enjoy these tips well I have a gift for you you can download the free PDF guide 3 tips to improve your English so that you can quickly remember each step there are 7 different categories including speaking vocabulary and grammar click here to download it and start learning with me today.