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How to lighten the listening load

Thanks to the devices in our pockets, training our listening skills is no sweat anymore.

But what to listen to and how?

It depends on how much time we have: short, medium or long.

When time is short – such as waiting in line – I listen to the news, audio lessons and brief podcasts in French to notice pronunciation and pick up new expressions. And if possible, I listen several times for reinforcement.

To make use of a medium period – when going for a walk – I listen to longer podcasts, audio short stories and TED talks to focus on what is said and how. So I often make a note in my phone of useful vocabulary and grammar, which I later transfer to my notebook.

And when I have a long stretch of time – during a car or plane trip – I listen to audio books, TV shows and movies. Like relaxed reading, I’m following the story for fun. Getting the message is more important than figuring out language structures.

So collect some short, medium and long listening texts in advance and easily train your listening skills on the go.

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© Christina Wielgolawski