It's me, Mégui! :D I am here to talk about a very important issue: how to improve the listening skill. Yes, learning English is not only speaking, reading, writing, or knowing grammar. Listening is as important as all other abilities. Understanding what other people say will help you a lot on communicating your ideas towards what one says to you. Therefore, it's a necessity, indeed!
Do you remember that in the latest post I said that I know what my students feel when they have some trouble in understanding what native speakers of English say? Yeah, I know it because I go through the same situation sometimes. Let me tell you. I've got a friend from India. We got to know each other on IMVU, a 3D online chat and, later on, through Facebook. We'd become really good friends when we arranged a time for me to call him. Yes, I called someone in India. Of course, my 40-credit card didn't last longer than a minute or two, I guess. Well, that wasn't the problem actually. When he picked up the call and started talking, I found my self in trouble trying to understand what he would say. I just couldn't understand why!!! I had invested a long time studying English, and when I have the chance to really speak with someone else out from Brazil, I just fail. >.< I've got to tell you that I was a lot nervous and every little noise would disturb me even more. Thank goodness I didn't lose my friend. ^.^
From that time on, I figured out that text books and tapescritps hadn't been helpful enough. That's when Teacher Allan J. Hoge came in. Looking up some help on the web, I found out a site saying that following 7 tips I would learn English, understand and speak it fluently. Well, I wanted to know what teacher Hoge had to tell me. As soon as I got in contact with his ideas, experiences and 7 rules, I decided following them and taking up his lessons. I would watch his videos, listen to podcasts (BBC has also been a very good friend in this process). On the BBC website, you can find several podcasts of the radio programs broadcasted. It was also offered a wide range of topics to choose and to listen to people talking about.
In addition to that, I've recently found a video on Youtube about Active Listening. It's a great speech by Professor Jeffrey Berman about how to listen effectively. I do agree with him! I'm not going to tell you what he says, because I would really appreciate if you listened and practised this skill a bit more. He speaks in a very easy way to understand. Then, don't worry!
I recommend you, my dear readers, to take a look also at BBC The English We Speak and at many other podcasts available on BBC Podcasts. If you want to know more about Teacher Allan J. Hoge, browse his website at Effortless English Club.