Improving Foreign Languages
Do you find yourself being trapped in a situation when you speak to a foreigner but can barely catch a word? You can be an excellent speaker and have perfect reading skills but listening is not the same. Most people who learn foreign languages tend to have problems with listening. They usually complain that foreigners are not very understanding and they would better speak slower. However, it has nothing to do with the speed. It is you who have to work hard on listening comprehension skills.
The problem that a lot of people who learn foreign languages face is that they simply cannot distinguish what foreigners say. Each word can make sense for you because you know its meaning but when the words are put in the sentence you eel lost. If you think that you have to literally study dictionaries and try to remember as many words as possible, you are wrong. All you can do is to listen, listen and once again listen!
It takes a different amount of time for all of us to realize that we understand maybe not perfectly all but most of what foreign people say to us. If you study German, Arabic or any other language, you probably have a hard time but one day you will wake up and realize that the language you were struggling with for months or years suddenly becomes apparent. You will understand that day by day your listening comprehension skills get better and you have no issue with getting people right.
Unfortunately, a lot of people believe that there is a shortcut and improving listening skills in a small amount of time is possible. It all depends on how consecutive and determined you are. However, you should never stop trying and learning even if you make dozens of mistakes. You should allow people to talk to you, otherwise, you will never have a chance to listen to them. Having conversations with people will not only make you a better speaker but help you improving your listening skills.
One of the best methods to improve comprehension skills is to watch your favorite film in the language you learn again and again. You can even pick your favorite scene from a film and focus on it. The scene that you like will keep you motivated to learn it. A dialogue will be perfect for you to listen again and again, maybe even to find subtitles, and understand how actors pronounce words.
There is a useful program that is called Audacity which will help you to record the scenes to audio files and listen to them whenever you have free time to practice your comprehension skills. Or you can simply use a recording program on your phone while playing the scene from a film. Listen to the same dialogue dozens or even hundreds of times, so you will understand the right pronunciation of words, sounds, the speed of the speech, etc. The more times you listen to the same dialogue, you will clearly understand individual sounds that soon will become easy to recognize whoever speaks to you.
Another great program that will become useful for you during learning the language is Glossika GSR. This is an audio product available in many different languages that you can choose and listen. A big number of dialogues of regular topics can be found at Rocket.
So, remember to be dedicated to what you do especially if you started learning a foreign language and want to achieve good results. Listening as important as writing, reading, and speaking. Listen and repeat. This is the rule number one.