Question 12 ”How can I improve my listening skills?” 英語学習法
ビジネス英語の学習法やポイントについて聞く Q&A 第12弾は、
“How can I improve my listening skills?” です。
video series for Japanese businesspeople.
And today's question is
How can I improve my listening skills?
This is a common question, OK.
And I will do my best to answer this for you.
So, first we need to understand
why is my listening poor. OK.
Because when I ask students, you know,
what do you think of your listening?
I often hear this,
Yeah, I have a bad ear.
And I don't really understand what they mean.
Do they mean physically their ear is not good?
Or is it a different meaning?
But I don't think it's usually physically. OK.
Because listening, so many things
affect your listening skills.
It's not just your ear, OK?
So let me explain.
There're actually five things.
One is vocabulary.
If you have a good vocabulary,
your listening skills will improve.
If your vocabulary is poor,
naturally your listening skills will not be so good. OK.
Also grammar is very important. People with
poor grammar usually have poor listening skills.
They are tied together very closely,
vocabulary and grammar.
Also accents. Some people are too used to just one,
you know, speaking to one teacher.
Or just to females, or just to males, or just to...
They're not used to different types of accents.
Just to give you an example.
When I lived in Canada, I said it was like a mini world.
But there was no one. I had never met anyone
from Australia in Canada.
When I came to Japan, I met an Australian for the first time.
And I had a really hard time understanding their English.
And it wasn't because my English was poor,
or his English was bad. Of course not.
We're both native speakers,
but it's just that I didn't have a global ear.
I was used to listening to Canadians. Yeah and
there are many immigrants but not Australian English.
So that's just an example of how important
getting familiar with accents.
So become familiar with Indian English.
Become familiar with Singaporean English.
You know, with American English, with British English.
Another key point to listening is background information.
If you don't know anything about the topic
that you're listening to,
it's really difficult to follow. OK.
And that's why many trainers recommend
that you read the newspaper in English.
Or Google on the Internet or watch movies,
to get that background information, the cultural information.
OK, so if I talk about ice hockey, even slowly.
I don't think you will be able to follow.
If you don't know ice hockey.
So having that background information.
And there're listening strategies.
Listening is an active skill, OK?
So when you listen to someone, you know,
you show that you acknowledge that you understand.
Yes, yes. Right, right.
I see, I see.
And you, you know confirm.
Excuse me, so you're saying that.
Is this what you mean? Is that what you want to say?
You know, OK, OK, I understand what you're...
So using these listening strategies,
not thinking about what you want to say next.
No, no. Really concentrating on what
the other person is saying.
Looking at their facial reactions.
All these things are listening strategies.
And it's all these things that make up
your skills as a listener. OK.
So it's not just doing one thing
that will improve your listening.
OK, so I hope I answered your question
on how to improve your listening skills.
OK, Thank you.