Listening in English: 5 practical tips for you to master this skill

When learning English it is normal to have more difficulty in listening in English.

Since the vast majority of students have a greater difficulty in listening, we have prepared this post with some tips on how to improve listening to English. However, we will cover language comprehension skills in more detail. Check out!

English comprehension skills

Like any language, English offers areas of knowledge that should be mastered if you want to become fluent in the language. Here’s what these skills are.


The study usually begins by developing this specific skill, reading. Considered by many to be the easiest part of learning English, reading is extremely essential to building a foundation for the development of other skills. His domain allows to consume texts written in English, from comic books and newspapers to scientific articles, which enriches the cultural formation of the individual.


Writing is usually done right after reading, since, in the habit of reading texts in English, the student expands his vocabulary and becomes accustomed to textual structures, factors that help at the time of writing. Thus, a greater difficulty in writing a student can be occasioned by a poor reading base, since the student who reads a little will not have enough vocabulary to write sentences or long texts.


One of the great difficulties of mastering the dialogue in English is the pronunciation, due to the difference between the headphones of our language and those of the English language. Thus, even having a vast vocabulary and mastering syntactic structures of English, a student may have great difficulties in developing his or her speaking.

Listening in English

The essential thing, both to establish dialogues and to see and understand programs, series, newspapers and films, is listening. This skill is considered by many to be the most difficult to master, due to the lack of habit and necessity of mastering English vocabulary.

Accustoming the ears to another language is always difficult, whatever the language is, but this is extremely necessary to become fluent, since unable to understand the spoken language is impossible to consume any audio or establish a dialogue with other speakers. In this sense it is extremely important to train the ears to English so that it is possible to feel the pleasure of listening to a song or watching a film without subtitles and understanding everything that is said by the characters and artists.

Tips to improve listening in English

Taking into account the difficulty of mastering English listening, here are some tips.

Do not be afraid or in a hurry.

It is worth remembering that even having a greater difficulty or difficulty in learning any of the four skills can not speed up the formation of knowledge. So when you start practicing listening, give preference to small, easy-to-understand materials that deal with subjects of your interest, such as shows you like and have seen, and simple, slow songs.

Enjoy your favorite songs

As mentioned earlier, studying through music is a great technique for training your ear. And for that, just listen to the song several times trying to understand what the singer says. If you have difficulties, try translating the lyrics first and then accompany them during the song. This makes it possible to both train the ears and read and write in English.

Listen to podcasts that interest you

Podcast is basically a conversation about a specific subject or topic, which makes it an excellent source of knowledge, whether in Portuguese or English. However, it also serves to assist in the development of listening in another language. So use the podcast in your favor: choose a theme you like, such as music, movies, video games, food, etc., search for one in English and listen to it, trying to understand as much as possible about what is said.

As these audios usually do not have much formality, its main characteristic is to be a conversation that approaches more of the quotidian, helping to train for casual conversations. This study strategy also helps the student to expand his vocabulary more and more, remembering that the more subjects are listened to, the more different words can be learned, so do not limit yourself to just one subject.

Abuse of audio transcripts

Whenever possible, read what is spoken in English when you are listening. It is worth remembering that the reading should be done also in English, because it is very common for a student to try to train his ear for the language by watching films with Portuguese subtitles, which is not effective at all.

That way, when you watch a movie in English, see if the option to put the caption in the same language is available, or even accompany the lyrics of a song while listening. Use and abuse this feature, after all this practice makes us familiarize with the relationship between the written word and the spoken word.

Explore endless online tools

As is generally known, the internet is full of useful knowledge, and fortunately in the midst of so much information it is possible to find online tools that help in the development of listening.

A good example is the TED talk – site full of videos in English, in chat format, on the most diverse subjects, that can be accessed free of charge and in excellent quality. They thus have the advantages of a podcast with added visual appeal.

Another option is audiobooks, which can be found with extreme ease on the internet, allowing the opportunity to hear, in English, the story the book chosen. In this case it is recommended that the student initially begin with stories already known, so that it is easier to recognize the narrative and the understanding is more automatic.

By following our tips it is possible to improve the ear for English, but remember that this takes time. Gradually you will understand foreign films, documentaries or audios and can develop a dialogue in the English language.