Improve Your Listening Skills

What are you listening for?

Black headphones on a bright yellow background
Practice your Listening Skills –Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash

Listening for basic comprehension is the first kind of listening we learn as a child. This means we are just listening to understand the definition of the word or phrase and how to use it in a sentence. 

When listening to prepare for the TOEFL exam, we do it to:

1. increase vocabulary

You need to start this step first. Take the time to increase your vocabulary daily.
2. focus on content and flow, and not the speaker’s way of talking

Listen for the flow of the sentences, or for the rising and falling sounds in the sentence.

3. anticipate what a person is going to say next

Play a game to see if you can guess what they might say next. This will prove that you are comprehending the conversation and following the general tone of the conversation.
4. ask yourself, “What is this person trying to say?”

Why are they speaking to the other person? What do they want to tell them? Or are they just talking together to share what they did yesterday?

5. create headings called “main idea”, “major points”, and “important details” and then take notes during the lecture and place the information under the correct heading

This will definitely help you when listening to lectures on the TOEFL exam. Learning to determine what is important to remember, and what is not, makes it more clear when you must answer the integrated exercises.

6. create an outline of the talk or lecture while listening and then write a brief summary

Learning how to summarize properly is a skill important to the TOEFL. This question is asked during all parts of the exam; reading, listening, speaking, and writing. 

Plan for your study and you will plan for your success. Many of these tips will also help on the other parts of the exam.

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