IELTS International English Language Testing System

Tips for Improving Your English Language Listening Skills

January 13, 2017 by IELTS IELTS

In order to be ready for the IELTS examination there are four key areas you need to be prepared for ahead of time:

     • Listening
     • Reading
     • Writing
     • Speaking

Over the course of the next four blog posts, we 'll look at each individual area in greater detail and offer tips and suggestions you can use to help improve your abilities in each one. Ready to get started?

The first skill we’ll look at is listening. We use our ears to hear spoken English. However, what many people find difficult while learning English, is the words spoken in a classroom setting are often very different from the ones their English-speaking friends, co-workers, and the general public use.

To make matters even harder, there are several different dialects of English and accents, depending on which province a person is from or where they were raised. Not to mention, there can be specific slang terms and phrases people will use that don’t necessarily follow the official definition of the words.

Students having conversation in auditorium outside
Additionally, the English speaking people you encounter tend to talk about a wide range of topics, like the weather and sports to the latest fashion styles and music. What can you do to help improve your listening skills?

One of the best ways to improve your listening skills is to expose yourself to a variety of spoken English. There are many different ways to do this.

  • Watch television and movies where English is spoken. Rather than turning on captions in your native language, turn on the English subtitles, so as you listen, you can start to identify words you already know and their spellings.
  • Get involved in events and activities where English will be spoken. You could join a group fitness class, participate on a sports team, or other community activities and events where English will be spoken.
  • Get involved in events and activities where English will be spoken. You could join a group fitness class, participate on a sports team, or other community activities and events where English will be spoken.
  • Listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or radio stations. These are great to listen to while commuting to and from work or school, and when you just want to listen to English, but may not want to watch videos, TV shows, or movies.
  • Find English-speaking friends and co-workers who would be willing to sit down with you several times a week and just talk one-on-one with you in English. Not only will this tip allow you to improve your listening skills, but can also help you improve your spoken English skills, too!

Before you know it, you’ll be able to make sense of what others are saying in English and you won’t be left wondering what was just said. For more tips and tools to help prepare for the IELTS exam, please feel free to browse our website or contact the nearest IELTS Test Centre in your province with our “Find an ELTS Test Location” button on our website.



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