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Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills

Improve listening skills in English

If you’re preparing to take the TOEFL iBT® test or another academic type of test of English as a foreign language, required by American Universities, reading and listening to various types of materials should be part of your study routine.

Regarding the listening section of the test, it consists of two types of listening material – conversations (usually related to campus life and students’ issues) and lectures.

Here are a few tips on how to prepare for your TOEFL (or a similar) test.

  1. Build a practice routine where you make time to practice every day.
  2. Vary your sources and topics. Listen to materials of different types – podcasts, talk shows, documentaries, presentations, etc.
  3. Listen for specific information, trying to identify key elements of the talk:
    • who
    • what
    • when
    • where
    • why
    • how
  4. Listen for general information, trying to catch the overall idea of what’s being said.
  5. Write a short summary of the main idea of the talk or conversation.
  6. Take out new words and expressions that you come across.
  7. Have a dictation and write down exactly what you hear.
  8. Take notes on the key points.
  9. Do gap-fill exercises or sentence completion exercises based on a talk, conversation, or lecture.

Here is an example of something you could do as part of your practice.

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