7 Tips to improve listening

Why are listening skills important, both for everyday life and for language learning?

Well, if you don’t listen, then you will never learn, as simple as that.

Listeners, and especially good listeners are the best learners, as the Dalai Lama said, “When you speak you are repeating what you already know, but when you listen it gives us an opportunity to learn.”

So here are the 7 Tips to improve listening that we discuss in the podcast :

  1. Listen to silence, focus on yourself and what is around you. Interestingly the word, ‘Silent’ includes all of the letter in the word ‘Listen.’
  2. Listen to backgground sounds, those sounds that we usually try to ignore or block out.
  3. Focus and get relaxed, open your ears (although this is not really something we can do) as you need to be able to hear before you can listen effectively and finally understand what you are listening to.
  4. Listen form differing perspectives and change the perspective by taking different standpoints – agree, disagree, criticise, empathise etc.
  5. Listen to emotion in the listening – happiness, excitedness, sadness, seriousness, anger etc.
  6. For language learners, try to skip over and ignore what you don’t understand and listen globally and not in detail.
  7. Enjoy listening, don’t see it as a chore, do it often and vary the way you listen.


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