We all want to improve our English listening. Improving your English listening skills is very important for ESL students, it can also be fun. In today’s blog, you will get access to my best posts with podcasts, embedded audio, and videos. This collection is full of natural English spoken by a native speaker.
Use these to take your English to the next level.
Why is listening practice so important?
Before we can read or write our own native language, we learn it by hearing it. By listening to it. This is something almost all of us forget when we study a second (or third) language.
We are a little older and we can read and write very comfortably, so we do it a lot! This is okay of course, but we need to spend time listening to English to really improve.
Listening is much more important than reading and writing if your goal is speaking English and talking with other English speakers.
According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, to listen is to give attention to sound or action. When listening, one is hearing what others are saying, and trying to understand what it means.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listening
Let me share a personal story about my own second language study.
My (first) Japanese pronunciation trouble
I learned 2 Japanese words that look similar when they are written in the English alphabet, so I was having a hard time pronouncing them correctly in Japanese.
The words are okusan which can be used to mean “wife,” and okaasan which can be used to mean “mother.”
In the Japanese phonetic alphabet, the words are written this way:
(phonetic means using special symbols to represent sounds of speech.)
My reading trouble came from the vowel sounds U and A. In Japanese, these two sounds are very clear and never change, but in English vowel sounds often change! They can sound different depending on the other letters that they are used with. Please look at these examples:
Same sound, different spelling
taught (past tense of the verb to teach) ~ taught sounds like TOT
bought (past tense of the verb to buy) ~ bought sounds like BOT
Same spelling, different sound
I like to read. (present tense of the verb to read) ~ read sounds like REED
I read a book this morning. (past tense of the verb to read) ~ read sounds like RED
okusan or okaasan?
I was having a difficult time reading these words correctly. My pronunciation was terrible and I was frustrated.
But then… I heard the words spoken by a native Japanese speaker, and I immediately knew how to fix my mistake!
I learned that native speakers make a very small U sound (almost nothing) for okusan. (sounds like OKSAN) and a very long A sound for okaasan. (sounds like OKAA~SAN)
Improve by listening
Reading the words wasn’t helping me to say the words, but as soon as I heard them I understood. My pronunciation got 100 times better! I learned because I listened. It’s that simple. You need to listen.
Below is a collection of some of my blog posts with audio. These posts have embedded audio tracks, a supporting podcast link, or a video to support the lesson in the post. I’m sure these posts will help you improve your English listening.
English listening practice audio – post + video
This post contains a YouTube video that uses lots of common English sentences.
English suffix ~ish (Increase vocabulary + video)
Post with video – listen to how we use this expression in real-life situations.
You can’t miss it – English expression (with video)
Post with video – practice this grammar with natural audio and examples!
Reported speech – English grammar (with video) – Use reported speech to share information
Post with video – this is one of my most popular posts. I made a video to go with it so you can improve your listening skills while you learn to use this grammar like a native!
English Grammar Might – Should – Would have (with video!)
Post with video – listen to natural examples that use the grammar you learn in this post!
English Grammar – Prepositions + verbs ~ing (real examples with video)
Post with video – listen, learn and love this preposition lesson!
The English preposition BY (5 uses,15 real examples with video)
Learn some phrasal verbs by listening to real-life examples!
10 Phrasal verbs with off – 15 real examples (with video)
Post with video – Learn this grammar and listen to natural sentence examples.
English grammar THERE and IT (sound like a native! with video)
English grammar Reflexive pronouns – This great grammar post includes a video and a Podcast on SoundCloud.
Post with video – this grammar post came from a real question asked by one of my private students in Japan.
English Idiom – You get what you pay for! + Adverbs of probability
Improve English listening – Quick and Easy
This is one of my newer posts, learn to pronounce these words with 70 natural example sentences. Verb and noun pairs with examples (audio+PDF)
Another great post that came from a real lesson with a private student in Japan.
English Grammar – HOW vs. WHAT (real-life examples) – SoundCloud Podcast +video
Blog series – English Listening practice
Improve your English listening with each of these blog series. The first series tells a story, and the second teaches important English verb grammar.
・ My Canada Trip
Listen to me talk about a recent visit to Canada, hear the correct pronunciation, and learn English as you follow along with this 3 part series!
Learn English with a story – My Canada trip Pt.1,2,3 embedded audio
Thank you for checking out this collection of blog posts with audio. This is some of my English audio, but not all! You can find more blog posts that contain audio, links, or embedded YouTube videos. If you like learning English with video, you might consider subscribing to my YouTube channel at the link here:
Good luck in your future study and remember to visit my blog as often as you like for helpful posts just like this! Thanks and have a great day!