Ways to Improve English Listening Skills and Understand Native Speakers

(whooshing) – Hey everyone. I'm Teela with Deep English. Thank you for joining
me for today's lesson. I'll be giving you a few tips
today on how to more easily understand a native English speaker. Not only that, but we'll
also learn how to become a better listener in general. So this is a really cool
lesson, because not only does it improve your
English language skills, it also makes you a better
listener in any language. And because we spend 60% of our communication time listening,
it's really important that we know how to listen. And I don't think very many
people are good listeners. And so I think it's really
helpful to take a bit of time to learn about how do we
become better listeners? Because right now, you're
probably retaining about 25% of what you hear when you hear someone speak in your native language. Imagine when you're hearing
someone speak in English, that percentage is much lower. So it's worth it to
take some time to learn how to understand more easily someone who is speaking in English,
who is a native speaker. All right, so let's get started. I'll be giving you four
different tips today. My first tip is to simply stay present. This is simple, but it's
not necessarily easy. So there are three ways that I like to use to really stay present. So the first way is
that when I'm listening to someone speak Spanish, because
this is the other language that I speak, that's my second language, when I'm listening to them speak Spanish, I make sure that I don't over-focus on every word they're saying. So I'm not trying to translate in my head what they're saying. Instead, I soften my
focus, and I pay attention not only to the words, but also
to the tone of their voice, to their facial expressions
and their gestures, because when we tune in
too closely to the words, we start to stress ourselves out. And we lose the big picture. And sometimes it's hard to
follow what they're saying. So don't translate
every word in your head. I know it's easier said than done. But try not to do it. So the second way to stay present is to not try to make your response to what they're saying while
they're still speaking. So for example, when I
was learning Spanish, I would be listening to what
the other person was saying, but I was also trying
to create the perfect Spanish sentence in my
head to say in response. And this was obviously a problem, because while I was creating this perfect response in my head, I was missing a lot of
what they were saying. I was especially missing
their tone and their gestures. So don't try to create a response while they are still talking. Instead, you have to
learn to trust yourself. Trust that when they're done talking, that you'll come up with something. And you will, it will be easier the more that you relax into this. And so that brings us to the
third way to stay present while you are listening to
a native English speaker. And that is to remember that perfection is the enemy of fluency. Becoming fluent in a language doesn't mean that you speak or understand
the language perfectly, no. It means that you are able to communicate with fluidity in the
language, and that's it. That you're able to flow when
you speak and when you listen. So don't try to be perfect. Because the more perfect you try to be, the more stressed out you will be. And when you're stressed,
there are places in your brain that actually shut down,
and these parts of the brain are really helpful and
necessary in communication. So we want to stay relaxed,
we're not trying to be perfect. Instead, we're just kind
of trying to flow with it. All right, so let's
move on to my second tip to more easily understanding
a native English speaker. And this one is to make
learning English a necessity. So you probably have
noticed that when you are in an English-speaking country, you learn English more rapidly
if you have ever been in one. Or you probably heard that you
learn English more rapidly. And this is true, because
when you are in a country that speaks the language
that you are trying to learn, you learn it more quickly
because you have to learn it. It's necessary for you to catch the bus, or for you to go grocery shopping. So you have to learn it. The good news is that we can make learning a necessity in our own lives,
no matter where we live. So there are a few simple ways to do this. Number one, if you can make a friend who only speaks English. So maybe online, someone
who only speaks English. So they don't even have an opportunity to change into a language that is easier for you while you're speaking. So an English-speaking friend who doesn't speak any other language. That would be great. And that would be a really huge bonus in learning English more
quickly and learning to listen. But even if you don't have a
friend who only speaks English, there are other ways that you can make learning English a necessity. So for example, anytime that you are looking for a recipe of something to cook online, instead of Googling it,
or instead of looking for something in your own native language, why not go on YouTube
and look for the recipe on YouTube from an English speaker? And so this way, you have to listen to every detail that they say. And so you tune in more quickly, and you learn new vocabulary more easily, because it's necessary
for you to cook a meal. Okay? Let's see, what's another
way, okay, another way. So whenever something breaks in my life, I usually Google it or go on YouTube, and I say how can I repair whatever. So for example, my boot
broke the other day. The zipper of my boot broke. And so I went on YouTube, and
I said how to fix a zipper. And I watched the video and I fixed it. So the next time that you're
looking to repair something, instead of looking in your own language, why not go on YouTube and look in English, and so that you have to pay attention. If you want to wear those boots, you're going to have to learn to pay attention in
English to the details. So making English a necessity. I think that one's really important. Oh, and there was one other
thing I wanted to say here. If you've ever been on the phone, and you've had the option
to hear something in English or in your native
language, it's really cool to choose the option in English, and that makes you tune in. So if you want to pay a bill, and you press okay, I'm
going to hear it in English, you will have to tune in if
you want to pay that bill. And so making a commitment to use English for some of the things that
you have to do in your life will make English a necessity. All right, my third tip. This one is kind of obvious. Movies, TV shows, and
Audible, or audio books. When I was learning Spanish,
I loved to watch a movie in English and then to watch it again in Spanish without any subtitles. And so this way is a really cool way to more easily tune into a native speaker. Because you already have the big idea of what's going on in the movie. So you already know what's happening. You know the characters in the plot. So you can tune into smaller details. And in this way, you will tune your ear. So that you can more easily
understand new words. Another awesome thing that
I loved to do while learning Spanish is listen to
an audiobook of a book you've already read in your own language. So for example, I love Harry Potter books. I know, I'm a nerd. But Harry Potter is awesome. And so, because I already
knew what happened in the Harry Potter
books, it was easy for me to buy the Harry Potter
book in an audiobook or on Audible, and then listen. And in this way, I was more easily able to tune into the small details. And it made me a better
listener in Spanish. You can also just go on
YouTube and look for, there's often small segments of books on YouTube in audio form. Or TV shows, Netflix is a really great way to make yourself a better listener, really in any language,
but especially in English. All right, let's move
on to tip number four. Listen to many accents. So, when I was learning Spanish,
I thought I was pretty good with my listening and understanding. I learned Spanish in Ecuador. Then one day, I was
trying to speak Spanish with someone from Argentina. And I couldn't understand
what they were saying. And I was so disappointed. I thought, what? I really thought that I
understood Spanish pretty well. Well, I understood Spanish
well in one accent. But to really understand
another language well, you have to listen to it
in several other accents. And so for example, listening to English in an Australian accent,
or a British accent, or even a Western accent
from the Southern US can really help you to become
a better listener in English. One cool tip I have for you here is to think about things that
you have a lot of interest in. So maybe you're really
interested in soccer. Go on social media or on YouTube, and find someone who talks
about your favorite soccer team, but with an Australian accent. And then find like two more interests. Maybe you're also really
interested in, in doing makeup. So find someone else with
maybe a British accent who does tutorials on
how to do your makeup. And so in this way, you can listen to several different accents. And you'll become a really
great listener in English. It'll be so much easier
for you to understand a native English speaker
if you've listened to several different accents. Okay, so those were my
four tips for becoming a better listener and for more easily understanding a native English speaker. I hope this lesson not only helps your English language
skills, but also helps you to become a better listener
in your own language, so that you can show up
as a really great friend or family member to the
people in your life. Thank you guys so much for sharing this lesson with me today. I will see you next time. (whooshing)

39 thoughts on “Ways to Improve English Listening Skills and Understand Native Speakers”

  1. Really, I m inspired to your instructions that how to improve our listening.. I m from India..
    From me, lots of love for you !

  2. Think I've to apply the last one tip, 'cause I do not understand anything to indian & chinees people, their english is terrible!!!

  3. Hello greetings from Colombia, nice video thx …about the tips, I used to ear different accent, British , USA and from India, and I ear about some subjects in English. Thx …very good video.

  4. You are really great but I have been learning English since my 10th class, I am not able to speak English frankly far now. Maybe I will speak English and then I will get a job.

  5. Yes hamare yaha to English jo bolata hai usaki job turant lag jaati hai kas main bhi English bolata 😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅😅 it's HINDI Thank you.

  6. Making English a necessity is the key to get started to seriously learn thanx for ur useful tips 👍I learned a few new vocabularies from this video tune nerd

  7. mk đang dùng bộ mới, mk mới mua được 2 ngày có 1 sự lạ lùng là mk tự dưng thích nghe T.A nhiều và thích học T.A hơn , mk sẽ cố gắng học đúng lộ trình 3 tháng và quay lại chia sẻ với mọi người nha!! ( mk cũng đứa mất gốc TA)

  8. What if we have to fix something very quickly then should we watch the video of fixing that thing in English or in our native language to save the time because watching something in your second language will take time to understand so it's easy to understand something in our native language

  9. Hello,teacher, I would like to bring up a question, there’s no problem for me to understand what native speakers talk about when we’re face to face, I can understand 80-90% and even 100%of their talking. Just like your video is so clear to me even when I try not to read any of your subtitles.
    however, I’ve ever picked up a phone call but can’t get the main idea coz I feel they’re talking too fast and even I ask them to repeat it and slow down still don’t help.
    So what makes the problem,?is that because I haven’t got accustomed to speed of English? thank you so much.

  10. Beautuful great lesson, i think all tips are essential, must need to pay attention on each, thkss for lovely lesson

  11. Thank you for sharing, beautiful Lady. Your advices have helped me to improve my listening skills in English. You're a wonderful and terrific woman.

  12. listen to the other different accent and not focus on the words each instead as the first tip said focus to the big picture and also make learning English a commitment or necessity in my life, thank you very much

  13. i will use tip 1 first for studding english. i won't try translate to my language. thanks for your tips

  14. i am sorry ,i cannot understand what you say because my english is very poor ,so how should i do!!

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