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English Language Institute

English Language Institute

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6 Sep
ENG45  0







Why is listening skill hard for English learners? So many students complain that even with having enough knowledge of grammar still, they cannot understand some of the English speaking people fully. There are several reasons for this problem that are discussed below.


Talking Speed: Researchers say that the average talking speed is about 150 to 180 words per minute. For English learners, this speed seems a little fast. So, it is hard for them to go with the speed and understand the talking together.


Word sounds: Speed is one part of the problem but the other part is about some factors that are related to the way words are used. Let’s look at these factors that cause difficulty for listeners.

Contractions: Native speakers or even other speaking English people use a lot of contractions while talking. When two words are combined to make one word it makes it hard for the new listeners to understand the speaker. For example:He is. That may sound like: He’s.

Assimilation: Sometimes two sounds are joined together to make one sound. If the listener is not used to these sounds then the problem arises. For example: Would you like some coffee? It might sound like “ Wud ch'ya" like some coffee?

Reduced forms: In the English language there are words that are used in speaking but not in writing. For example: Do you want to go out tonight? It might sound like: Do ya wanna go out tonight?

Accents: English speaking people originate in different places from the UK to the USA or Australia and New Zealand. Although they all speak English the way they speak or their accent is very much different from each other.


Reading while listening: Of course listening is a hard task for many reasons that we mentioned above, but what can be done to help this problem? Aren’t teachers enough to overcome this problem? The answer is no. Teachers are for sure a big help but the real helper is yourself to spend quite some time on practicing your listening more and more. You should improve your listening comprehensions. That is not only listening to the words but get to actually know what the speaker is saying. One solution is reading while listening. By reading a text and at the same time listening to the recording students get the meaning at the first time and next time they listen to it they just improve their comprehension instead of just listening. After practicing this way students listening becomes more fluent.


For every hard situation, there is an answer. Just try the points mentioned above and see how it goes.


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