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Listening skills

How do you actively listen when you don't know what is being said?

Perhaps you know the word but:

1) never heard it with that accent.

2) it was used in a new expression.

3) it was said too quietly

4) you missed it because of trying to work out what was said in the previous sentence.

5) there were a few new words in the sentence.

6) the word doesn't seem to fit the context

7) some words in the whole sentence were missed out - a native speaker understands but not the learner.

8 de ago de 2016 13:09
Comments · 4

I like watching TV shows, videos, etc, in Spanish (my target language) with subtitles in Spanish.  I think it gradually helps me recognize the way people with different accents pronounce the words.  With subtitles in Spanish, I then notice more of the words that I do not understand and I write them down.  Then, if I am watching TV,  I go look them up.However, having the show recorded and playing it on a video player on my computer is even better.  

I use this service, I just paid a reasonable one-time fee for it. I use it in combination with my Hulu subscription.  I have telenovelas I like to watch to learn Spanish and it automatically downloads the new episodes with subtitles (because I have it configured to record with subtitles).  It has a player that makes it easy not only to pause the videos when I watch them,  but also to go back a few seconds and listen again if I do not pause soon enough.   With my show in one window of my computer, my dictionary in another window, and my Anki program open on my computer, I watch shows and stop to look things up and then record the new words in Anki.  

I also take screen shots of the scenes with the new words with subtitles and add that to the Anki card, so I have the words in the context that I learned them.  I have been doing that for long enough (about a year), that now I only have to stop and look things up about 5 times per hour.  I think I have learned a large portion of the Spanish that is used in everyday language just by watching Telenovelas. (They may not be considered highly educational in other ways, but I think they are very educational for learning the real words commonly used in a language.)

9 de Agosto de 2016
I find a way very effective to improve my listening comprehension is to do some dictations. I write a sentence after listening and I can find why I can not understand after checking my mistakes. 
9 de Agosto de 2016

Thas's a real blow in the learning process that comes many a time while reading or listening someone.

For a native speaker, it is not a problem,I think because they can guess the sense of the sentence if don't know the real meaning of a word in that.But for a non-native, it may be difficult to guess what is the crux of  the sentence  or what does the speaker indicating?

But as the time passes,it feels like you can also guess with 80-90% accuracy.

Learning any language is a continuous process.We make the mistake,then know about it,then seek for the correct one and so on.Reading,writing,speaking and listening play an important role in it.So keeping in mind that thing,we should progress slowly and steadily remembering one thing that nothing is impossible as impossible itself says-I m possible:)

Please correct me if I;m wrong somewhere.Thank you:)

8 de Agosto de 2016
Well German is my native language but English is my second language, and before I learned how to speak English in school like actually had someone teaching me how to speak English I had already knew some English from tv shows, movies, music, and we have people from all around the world that come here to Germany and can't speak German so they speak English to us so I was used to hearing English and what it sounds like from people with an accent before I even started learning how to speak English, because I was so used to hearing it being spoken by people around me. Now I didn't understand every single word in English before I started to learn how to speak it but I could understand some and actively listen to people speaking English and since English does have ties to German I could sometimes link certain words together that sound similar to me in English into German in my head and put it together and figure out something like our word in German "Sonne" translates to "Sun" in English, and be like "Oh ok that person just said Sonne in English which is Sun." And if people said a word that I didn't understand I would either ignore it, try to figure out what they just said by linking words in my language to what they just said in English, or figure out how to ask them to repeat themselves so I could hear what they said again and hopefully I'd understand the second time. So before I was taught how to speak English I could actively listen to conversations in English because I could understand some of it, but the parts I didn't understand well I had to either make something up in my head or just wait  until someone taught me how to speak English.
9 de Agosto de 2016
Learner SC
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), Chinese (Cantonese), English, French
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)