How did you learn your mother tongue? Did somebody teach you the basic vocabulary and the grammatical concepts when you were a toddler? No! You imbibed the language because you were surrounded by it. And a foreign language like English is no different! While the exposure to the mother tongue came in naturally, learning English for most of us need a conscious effort.
And the easiest and most effective way to do it is by listening to it consistently. Words and structures make way from the ears to the brain and then finally to the tongue. We need to pave the way, rest will follow.
What can you listen to?
It is an irony that most people who wish to learn English now had been exposed to the language in school or college. Some might have had English as the “first language” of the curriculum. But still, they aren’t able to communicate well in English. That’s because maybe all those stories, essays, prose, and poetry never struck a chord with them!
It is important to fall in love with the process of learning. And to fall in love with the process, you need to fall in love with the content first.
Now that you have easy availability of high-bandwidth or unlimited internet, you can choose to listen to content that keeps you intrigued.
Podcasts and Audio books
While BBC news and cricket commentaries were the go-to methods to listen to quality English in the 90s, it is the podcasts and audio books that people take to these days. While news can get boring at times, and cricket commentaries amuse only the sports enthusiasts, you can choose to listen to your favourite genre of content from the best of speakers available on platforms such as Google podcasts, Apple podcast, Spotify, and more!
If you still cherish those moments from your childhood when your mother or grandmother read out stories to you in your mother tongue, and believe that those stories helped you to connect with the language, audio books can still do the magic for you. You can choose to listen to some brilliant classical literary works, fiction, or thriller on platforms such as Amazon’s Audible.
Movies and series
If you are a movie buff but was always wary of watching English movies because of their heavy accent, you got to believe in yourself. Choose a movie of a genre that you enjoy, choose one that has got some amazing reviews, and watch it with a packet of chips to munch on! Enjoy the visual treat and listen well to the actors. Keep doing it and the learning happens involuntarily. You will be surprised to find yourself catching up on the accent, the usages of native English speakers, and intonation.
Thanks to OTT platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and more, there are some brilliant movies and series that you can binge-watch on! While our primary motive is to be entertained, the learning happens eventually.
Listen to people
You might have people around at your workplace or in your friends’ circle who speak fluent English. Observe their speech, listen to the words that they use, the fillers that they add in to avoid unnecessary gaps (excessive use of fillers is though not recommended), and try to converse with them in English. If they are somebody close to you, they wouldn’t make fun of the mistakes. Instead, they would correct them for your good.
Listen to yourself
The biggest mistake that language learners make is the fear of making mistakes. But always keep in mind, that nobody is perfect. Even the most eloquent of speakers make blunders too! So consider mistakes as pitfalls in the path to learning.
Wondering how to?
Consider that you have followed all or any of the auditory methods mentioned above, and you want to find out whether it is reflecting in your speech, but you do not have anybody close who would ardently listen to you, then you could be your listener too!
Choose a topic which could be anything casual from how your day went or describing a striking picture from a magazine, or the review of a movie that you watched recently. Speak about it and record it on your phone. Play it, do a self-analysis, and find out where you could improve.
Make it a part of your daily routine and you have turned into a passionate independent English learner!
Listen and write
The LSRW (Listening- Speaking- Reading- Writing) method is the most widely accepted method to learn a language by language experts across the globe. If you are an auditory learner, try adding writing to your learning method to notice the remarkable difference it makes.
Maintain a vocabulary journal where you write down new words, phrases, and expressions as you listen to podcasts, audio books, movies, or people. Find out their meanings, sentence examples, and try writing a sentence of your own too! Go through the journal once in a while, to revise the new words so that you absorb them completely and tend to use them in your speech and writing. Writing takes you one step closer to fluency.
Realizing the importance of the auditory method in language learning, our course, and syllabi at English Partner, one of the best online English learning platforms is primarily audio-based. With a lifetime access to high-quality audio content that focuses on grammar and vocabulary concepts, we recommend students to plug in their earphones and listen to our audio-based notes over and over. After all, only good listeners can be great speakers!