practice listening online with stories about music

Build Listening Fluency

English Listening with a Difference

There are lots of websites that want help students learn English listening.

This site is different.

English Listening Rocks is a program that uses three learning methods to help students become fluent in listening.

There three methods are: 1) reading while listening; 2) extensive listening; and 3) focus on high frequency words.

These methods are well known in the field of teaching. I did not invent them. But what is new, I believe, is that my listening lessons are the first to mix them all together into a single program designed for mobile learning.

Reading While Listening

The idea is simple. Read the text while listening to the story at the same time. This helps non-native speakers students make a mental and visual connection between the word sounds and word spelling.

Once students understand the text, they listen to the story without the text many times. This helps students understand the sounds of words and phrases without too much thought. That is called automatic processing, Or, fluency.

My program includes a short listening file (mp3) and text script. The audio files are about 2 to 3 minutes. They are because because i want students to be able to listen to them again and again wherever they go. On the bus, subway or on the street.

Extensive Listening

Extensive listening means the student listens to lots of easy to understand material. This helps students understand words and phrases quickly. Like a soccer player who practices kicking the ball to the corners of a net.

Like extensive reading, there are a couple of rules that make extensive listening a good learning method.

First, it has to be enjoyable. If it feels like a big effort, students will have a hard time doing the work of learning a language. That’s why I write stories about a range of topics. I want to create stories that appeal to wide range on interests.

Second, there are 5 different story levels, from easy to medium hard. Nothing is too hard here. But it’s not too easy, either. This course is for students at the low intermediate and up level. It’s not a good choice for students who are new to English.

I suggest all students start at Level 1 and progress from their. That way, they don’t jump into something which is too hard.

High Frequency Words

Another feature of the the English Listening Rocks programs is the focus on the most important words in the English language.

In English there are about 2800 really important words. The list is called the New General Service List. The listening lessons in this course focus on the first 2800 important words.

If you are going to improve your listening, starting with the most important words first is good, right?

Here’s what I did. I took the 2800 most important words. Then organized then from most important to least important. Then I divided those words into 5 groups.

It’s impossible to use all 2800 words in a few stories. But if you listen to all of the stories you will hear about 1000 of the most important words.

Use the Program

I suggest a simple listening program.

  1. Choose a story you like. Pick the level that matches your skill.
  2. Read the text a few times. Check the dictionary for unknown words.
  3. read and listen to the story a couple of times.
  4. Over the next 2 or 4 weeks, listen to the same story repeated. Not everyday. Every few days. Space it out.
  5. Read and listen to other studies at the same time.

Good luck with the program.

 

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