Byron Bay – Study Corner: How can I practise Listening? – 14 July 20

Listening 1: online

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Why is listening difficult?

Listening is one of the hardest skills to master when learning English.  There are many reasons, like:

  • Wodidjyasay?  Native speakers connect their words.  All the time.
  • Speed.  They speak SO fast.
  • Huh?  People have different accents!  Even native speakers can find this a challenge.


Don’t worry!  Don’t stress…relax.  We hear much more when we’re relaxed than when we’re freaking out about understanding everything.  So here’s a method.  Use it when you can control the audio by repeating it 3 times, for example YouTube, music, movies etc. 

FIRST listen generally: What is the speaker’s opinion or feeling for the topic?  Are they speaking positively or negatively about the subject?  Are they talking about the past, present or future?  Is it true or fictional?

SECOND focus on listening for simple, specific information: Where? When? Who? What? 

THEN listen for further details:  use grammar and vocabulary cues.

What usually happens is we don’t understand EVERYTHING and panic.  But don’t worry!  If you get the MAIN information, that’s the most important thing.  


There’s plenty you can do about improving your listening skills.  Here we’ll use the website to help improve our skills. 

As you can see there are 7 listening levels.

Each level has a lot of different topics and accents, from native speaker to ESL.

A suggestion is to start at a much lower level than you are studying in and work your way up to the more advanced levels. This way you can get familiar with the activities and how it all works.


When you click on a level it should look like this:


Here you can see that there is a conversation between Meg and Todd who are from the USA.  There are many different accents, so try them out!  

So click on the title, here it’s LOVE IT / HATE IT and you get this:


There’s usually:

  • a video or audio file
  • the tape script so you can read and listen
  • a grammar section to check your understanding on the grammar or vocabulary included in the audio
  • a quiz to check you understood what you were listening to

We at Lexis Byron highly recommend this website to give you lots of practice listening to natural conversation with English speakers from across the planet.  Relax and have fun with listening!

Learn English in Byron Bay. Lexis English students study General English, IELTS, FCE, CAE, and English plus Surfing and Yoga in a friendly and professional school right in the heart of Byron Bay and only 15 minutes from the beach.

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