Which is the best way to learn a language? By LISTENING!
A baby is born and listens to the language (or languages) spoken to him for approximately two years before it can form simple complete sentences. It does not study grammar but picks it up in context with the vocabulary and speaks it more or less correctly from the beginning.
My personal experience is exactly the same: I learn languages best by being exposed to them in various formats but most of all by listening. One does not need to study grammar in detail because even when we speak our own native language we don’t think of all the grammar rules whilst we’re speaking. Therefore the easiest and most natural way to pick up a language is primarily by listening to it a lot it. When you say something you’ll gradually recognise if it sounds wrong.
One of the BEST TECHNIQUES is to listen to a very short sentence or part of it, stop the recording, repeat it with exactly the same speed and intonation (without the distraction of reading it) and only progress to the next sentence when you sound fluent in the previous one. The muscles in your mouth gradually loosen, you feel less tongue-tied and all of a sudden you’re repeating the sentences fluently. Doing this exercise even only five minutes a day will boost your fluency incredibly!
It’s summer holiday time – more time for everything including 5 minutes a day fluency practice. Reading, singing and watching TV with English subtitles are great additions to your fluency training.
Here are some of the websites I absolutely recommend for LISTENING PRACTICE with the technique I have just explained above.
Voscreen – only 5 SECONDS ENGLISH game to understand and repeat
ororo.tv – complete TV series in English
LyricsTraining - an easy and fun way to learn and improve your foreign languages skills, through the music videos and the lyrics of your favorite songs.
LyricsTraining also has a special Karaoke mode that lets you sing and enjoy the full lyrics.
soundsenglish.com – graded listening with exercises
TED TALKS - for more advanced and extended listening practice, a full collection of lectures and talks arranged by topic.
and lots and lots of YOU TUBE – watch your favourite YOU TUBERS !!!!
Do you you know of any others?
Hope you have fun and feel the improvement with it!
Update: Try out my
LISTENING COMPREHENSION with Susan’s A WEARY TRAVELLER'S TALES on my YouTube Channel:
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My name is Susan Brodar, born in London into a multilingual family and brought up bilingual English / Italian.