Hello students!

The final listening mistake you should avoid is...

Mistake #5 - Only doing "passive listening"

Some teachers claim you can learn English only by listening. They say, “Just listen more!” as if that will magically get you to fluency.

I agree that most students do need to practice more listening. However, listening practice is most effective when it is active, not passive.

Passive listening is “just listening” – maybe while you’re distracted or while you’re doing something else at the same time (driving, exercising, etc.) I’m NOT saying this is bad. In fact, you should listen to English as much as you can!

But active listening is even better. “Active listening” means doing exercises and having a specific focus or goal while you’re listening.

Each of the lessons in the Listening Course has exercises that are designed to help you make real progress, and move step by step towards complete understanding.

Vesna, from Switzerland, really appreciated the active listening exercises. Here's what she said about the course:

"I’m doing the Listening Course and I truly appreciate it. The way the course is conceived makes you learn effectively – it’s not passive listening. It’s active, interesting and fun.

I like the variety of topics, different voices and ways of speaking. The extra vocabulary of the lessons clarifies just what I need to know. I’m seeing real results. When I watch a video on the internet or a movie on the TV I find myself able to understand that expression or phrase because I learned it in my lessons.

And wow, it’s satisfying! The more you understand the more you enjoy. That makes me willing to keep going and learn more, and confident that I’ll improve further."

Let’s review the good and bad listening habits:

Whether or not you choose to take the Listening Course at Espresso English, you can still use these tips to develop good habits to improve your listening!
  • Don’t use audio that’s too easy/too hard
  • Instead, use audio that’s challenging but not impossible
  • Don’t ALWAYS read the transcript while listening
  • Instead, try to understand first with only your ears
  • Don’t get upset about not understanding every word
  • Instead, keep paying attention to the speaker
  • Don’t listen only once and then give up
  • Instead, listen to the same audio multiple times
  • Don’t ONLY do passive listening
  • Instead, practice listening with focused goals

This brings us to the end of our special series on mistakes to avoid when practicing listening. I hope you've found it helpful   :-)

Your teacher,

Previous lessons:

Confusing Words
Phrasal Verbs
1000 Collocations
Complete Program
Slang & Informal

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