How do you improve your listening?

Hello everyone! I'm a newcomer here and I'm currently learning French. I'm not sure if this topic is covered already, considering this is a common problem for language learners, but let me ask you: do you have any tips on how to improve your listening?

Here's what I've tried.


- Improve my vocabularies
I'm still working on this. I believe, the more words you know, the easier your recognize what people say. Especially native speakers.


- Watch movies in the language you're learning with subtitles in that particular language.
Basically to match what you read and what you hear. Now here's where I have problems. First of all, it's hard to find French subtitles. Second, even when I found one, the subtitles only display the gist of the conversations instead of word per word. So it only helps little.


- Listening to songs
This also helps little. Songs mostly help me improve my pronunciation. But singers tend to enunciate when they sing so it's kinda different than real life conversations.


So far, that's all I have. Care to share more?


May 20, 2014 5:35 PM
Comments · 3

Get the lyrics of the songs you listening to. At first try to read the sentences as singer is singing.

Then after two or three times, don't look at the lyrics, just try to recognize the words. I thinks it's a better way to learn from the songs.


Find a French friend here, then try to talk to him/her. Talking to a naitve can be really helpful ;) Specially when he/her is your friend and you can feel comfortable with that guy.

May 20, 2014



From this point on, I think I can proceed for free. My next step (which I've already started) is to read as many French news articles as I can for the next month or two in preparation for listening to radio news-type programs (available from RFI and as podcasts from Radio France, which is a totally unrelated site from RFI). Once my comprehension skills get strong enough, I intend to watch French university lectures on YouTube on a variety of subjects to see if I can learn new knowledge through French listening. Once I have mastered that and can discuss those topics with native French speakers, I will consider myself as having mastered the language at last.


But as you can see, it takes a lot of practice and perseverance.

May 20, 2014

My French listening comprehension ability has always been low until recently. I did 3 things to fix it, but they cost money: (1.) I read graded readers (simplified novels) with CD audiobook versions of the novels, which I bought online at Continental Book Company (and if they were out of stock, I bought them from AbeBooks). I've really enjoyed the Lire en Francais Facile series by Hachette. (2.) I listened to _Practice and Improve Your French_ by Chantal Marsden (audio cassette version--be careful you don't just buy the books by accident), an out-of-print course available on Amazon--a lively and sometimes funny story. (3.) I used Lingq for a couple of months to build my vocabulary and convert my reading skills into listening skills.


With these three options, I started by reading the article or story, then listened to what I had read several times over the following weeks. Soon, I found that I could often just listen and understand without reading, depending on the story. To keep my motivation high, I listened to a variety of things over the course of each week. From time to time, I tested my listening skills by trying to listen to either the radio (RFI on the internet) or interviews on YouTube, to see if I could detect improvement. After a few months, I felt ready to practice conversation here with native speakers from a variety of French-speaking countries (so I can get used to different accents and dialects).



May 20, 2014