How to Improve English Listening Skills Essay Example
How to Improve English Listening Skills Essay Example

How to Improve English Listening Skills Essay Example

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  • Pages: 13 (3423 words)
  • Published: May 12, 2018
  • Type: Essay
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At present domestic education, test-oriented education plays an important role . In the exams, news listening is the weakest link for many students. How to win with flying colors in the listening exams? This paper will give you a key. ” The aid of this paper is to improve English news listening. As an important part of listening, it is different from other parts. Therefore, analyzing the features of news is the basis to improve the ability. At first , the paper analyses the news features. Some examples and figures will be given.

The focus of this paper is laid on the second part which gives several methods to improve the skill. Many details and valuable information will be contained. The third part is about the signifience of news listening and the last conclusion.

Keywords: news; features; skills; signifience



s of News Language

News refers to the true report of the latest events. As a special form, its language , grammar , structure are different from others. 1. Vocabulary (1)Special Words Although news uses a large vocabulary ,the basic vocabulary of language is stable.

For example, the common words that used in VOA Special English News are about 1500, whose rate of repeating is very high . News often uses certain words to express facts and events. Therefore, these words are gradually getting the special meanings that related with news reports through a long time used ,so-call journalistic words . There are some examples following. The former is often used in news , and the later is often used in common articles. ban prohibition cut reduction clash disagreementboost rise urb decrease shock astonishment News reports are the latest information al

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over the world. So involve persons, places counties, some rivers mountains scenic spots and historic sites. Be familiar with those words listeners know the news more quickly and accurately. (2)Short Words English news strives to use limited words to express the content , so the words must be clear , laconic. News diction prefers those short, pithy verbs, which are usually monosyllables. Because they are vivid and nimble . These words are called synonyms of all work.

For instance , “damage” is not used, instead, “hit” “harm” “hurt" There are some examples: ace = champion alter =change or modify ban =prohibit or forbid spur =encourage sway =influence vie =compete (3)Constriction In order to save time and cut short the length ,constrictions are used a lot , For examples: WB(World Bank) , ASP(American Selling Price), WTO (World Trade Organization) , GATT(General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) 2. Grammer (1)Tense In English news, present is widely used. To make the listeners feel true and make the events are in progress , the title and body usually use present instead of past.

Besides, even in the object clause after the words such as : maintained ,declared, reported, rumored , ect. Present often takes place of past . (2)More Extensive Simple Sentence News reports are also characterized by the use of long sentences. In order to express lots of information into the limited length , the common method is using appositives, preposition phrases to extent simple sentences . (3)More Adjuncts Another main features of news diction is that using more adjuncts to make the sentence complicated . Some listeners may can not seize the core parts so that feel it is


For example : Deputy head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, and Japanese Deputy head of the Defense Agency’s Defense Policy Bureau , will meet US Deputy Defense Undersecretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs and others at the three-day meeting starting from Tuesday. The subjects are : Deputy head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s North American Affairs Bureau, and Japanese Deputy head of the Defense Agency’s Defense Policy Bureau. But the subjects are so long that distract the listeners easily.


News items are organized quite differently from the other types of passages. 1)Common Feature Whatever subjects news reports deal with ,they are mostly organized in the inverted pyramid form or chrondogical style. A piece news is composed of a news lead and supporting details. When reporting the news, the speaker usually goes from the most important information to less important one and finally to the least important details. For example: Reims, France May 7-Germany surrendered unconditionally to the Western allies and the Soviet Union at 2:41 A. M. French time today . The elements are :WHO--- Germany- WHAT-- surrendered unconditionally to the Western allies and the Soviet Union WHEN---2:41 A. M.

French time today WHERE--- Reims, France WHY--- unconditionally The lead summarizes the pith of the news . Understanding the lead, one can know the most basic and important content roughly. II. Skills of News Listening 1. Knowing Background In exams , especially knowing the current events will benefit you a lot . If you can collect some background knowledge to comprehend the passage in the process of listening . The following newspaper is helpful: China Daily ,21st Century , Beijing Review ,VOA Standard

English . If you think it is a waste of time to get the details, you can just look at the title and get a main idea of the content.

Also , TV is an excellent resource to receive information . The pictures help you understand what is being said. Especially watching CCTV 9 which is the English channel . Another , listening to radio , especially VOA and the BBC World Service . You want to know what is happening in the world. Make it a goal to learn several words every time. Besides, Internet is now a lot easier to hear English-language. In these ways, it will raise the proximity of understanding the news. There are some headlines and words of the events that cause a sensation following. 003/10/15 , China’s first manned-spacecraft was successfully launched. It is a breakthrough for China , because China is the third country following the step of Russia and America that is capable of launching manned-spacecraft . Lien Chan , the chairman of KMT(Kwo Min Tang) met Communist Party of China to take a great leap to strengthen the cross-strait tie. The six-party talks which aim at solving the North Korean nuclear crisis have been held for four rounds. Knowing the background knowledge of some chronicle of events , you should discuss with your classmates, friends , or teachers about them . Learn and use.

In this way , it will help you to reduce the degree of difficulty to listen to the English news. 2. Pronunciation , Sentence Stress and Intonation (1) Pronunciation Remembering the pronounce is the precondition of remembering the words . Because you just remember

the spelling but forget the pronunciation , when you hear it , you have to spell it a letter after a letter from your head , then you know ,that is it . In exams , you need a long time to react to it , after this , you have missed a lot of important information . Besides , if your pronunciation is good , you will have the ability to differentiate the similar words in listening.

English news is difficult for many Chinese students . One reason for this is that they know little about the features of English pronunciation and the function , which make it quite difficult for them to distinguish some sound changes or to understand the real feelings or meanings. It is really complicated , including liaison, incomplete plosion ,assimilation, weakening and elision . (2) Sentence Stress Sentence Stress refers to the stress put on some words in a sentence for certain emphasis . It can be divided into three types : sense stress , logical stress and emotional stress.

Sense stress: it is put on lexical words such as nouns, adjectives, numerals. demonstratives, interrogatives, verbs, adverbs, which are semantically important. Logical stress : when the stress is put on certain words in a sentence to show some logical meaning , we call it logical stress . Emotional stress : sometimes stress is put on a certain word to show the strong feeling or emotion . (2)Intonation Intonation is a very important means a speaker will use in his speech to convey his emotion or implication . In many situations , the right answers are depended on the pronunciation ,sentence stress

and intonation .

Listeners should analyze the different intonation ,the real meaning . For example , if the speaker stress a word , he thinks the word is very important . It may involves the content . Another example , when the speaker say the following words , it will help you to understand the passage : I would like to stress/repeat , in particular , especially , the important/central point , most importantly , you have to bear in mind that , etc. 3. Collecting News Words and Predicting News Content News vocabulary is special , that is to say , it involves politics , economy , military , life , art ,etc.

If you collect many words that often used in news , you will feel easy to understand the news , oppositely , you will feel hard to listen . You should also guess the content according to the central words . (1)Politics China, America, Russia, Japan, Pakistan, Israel, president, chairman, prime minister, minister of finance, diplomat, the carrot and the stick, to seek common, ground, make, headway, soft line, think tank, veto power, reach consensus , impeach, diplomatic, immunity, hands-off approach, pay homage to Yasukuni Shrine multilateral talks---leader---place---topic---consensus

International conference ---place---person---content---result International hot spot---Middle East problem/terrorism problem/petroleum problem/Korea problem political party election---party groupings---content ---result (2)Economy protective tariffs , sunrise industry , listed stock , boycott , bubble economy , economic soft landing , embargo , to lift the economic sanctions , WTO , OPEC , IMF , in the red , individual income tax , revoke license , global village , edge ball , retail sale , pickup , recession , discount petroleum---exportable country---the

price conomic situation ---inflation---economic crisis---jobless population---statistics transnational corporation ---scope---information of products---developing plan securities market ---listed stock ---grow or fall ---developing trend (3)Military Nuclear weapon , cease fire , trade fire , Taliban , Ground zero , second strike , aircraft carrier , exocet guided missile , air defense alerting device , ground way , air armament , alliance , armada , firepower , detector probe battle---area---form---political situation 4)Sports to outscore , referee , pitch , make one’s mark , to draw , host nation , foul , buzzer , FIFA , national team , bench , shot clock , chalk up , post reason , in good form , men’s event , second half , out of bound , GM , MVP , sports circle , track and field , seeded team , home court , final , amateur , guest team , coach , red card , backup match---level---team---course ---result famous player or coach ---achievement ---resent arrangement 5)Life longevity , generation gap , protein , flavor , hormone , evolution , calorie , fast food , junk food , juvenile , bionomist , vitality , lifecycle , fashion , creature , remedy , offspring , fitness center , instant noodle , clone , peer , vitamin , immunity , man-made criminal rate---delinquent---consequence ---measures drug ---trade place ---charity ---people’s attitude (6)Entertainment irector , scene , set , debut , script , costume , duo , solo , film studio , tenor , bass , lighting , opera , band , climax , chief actor , curtain , farce , applaud , choir , chord , back stage , art gallery , play , mix ,

cutting , role , salon , plot , baton , slow motion , comedy , score , encore , dolly , lines film and television ---new films---director or actors---box office ceremony---content ---winner---atmosphere pop star---life or work state ---recent arrangement 4. Signal Words In the process of listening , many words that express a logical relation play an important role in the news .

If you can seize these words , you will be benefited . Though you miss a certain sentence in the next part , you may not misunderstand the news . (1)Transition but, in/by contrast, on the contrary , rather than , though , or , otherwise , while , instead of , although , nevertheless , as opposed to , however , whereas For example: News Item One : It is not just because Kelly is a woman , but because she is the first person with multiple sclerosis is known to race in any NASCAR series . News Item Two: Sampras has been invincible at Wimbledon.

Just one defeat in nine years . But all good runs have to end . (2)Cause and Effect because (of), in that, now that, due to, owing to, on account of, thanks to, since, therefore, thus, as a result, for this reason, so, consequently For example: News Item One: As a result, it will be the first time the Olympics has been held in Britain since 1948. News Item Two :Due to the continual shrinking of families , a reduction in communication between the elderly and the younger generation is becoming a big challenge in the progress of social development . (3)Explanation

If you don’t understand the foregoing

paragraphs , these words will give you a second chance . Oppositely , if you understand the foregoing paragraphs , you can concentrate on other sentences or the next question . that is to say, in other words, to put it another way, I mean, as well as, the point is, like wise, apart from that, what is more, for instance, for example, such as, like say, take the case of, namely, in addition to that For example News Item One: In China, for instance, the overall obesity rate is low, but obesity rates reach almost 20 percent in some cities, where American ast food chains are thriving. News Item Two :The process is though to trigger a number of diseases , including Type 1 , namely juvenile diabetes 5. Note Taking Generally speaking , the speed of news is very fast and you just have one chance to listen to it . But if you can not write down some details , you can not remember the details when you answer the questions . As a result , you understand the main idea , but can not give the right answer . If you can write down the central words or sentences briefly , you can get a good mark.

Within the limited time, it is impossible for you to write down every word and sentence , so at this case , you need to write quickly , using abbreviations or symbols. Just writing down the first two or three letters is available . For example: a. s. a. p. =as soon as possible , uni=university , ex=former , cos=because , esp=especially , auto=automobile ,

TV=television , i. e. =that is , doc. =doctor , EEC POW , ATM , ASEAN , DNA , NATO , NASA For some long words we can use our own abbreviations . For instance , for the word “responsibility” , we can just write “respty .

We can also write “La” for the word “large” , so long as it makes sense . Symbols are often used to replace words . Symbol Meaning = the same as or equal to < less than + and , more * important detail 6. Be a Successful Listener The process of listening comprehension can be very complicated . It mainly involves one’s language knowledge ( grammar , vocabulary , phonetics , etc. ) , background knowledge and the ability of recognizing and analyzing gives information . A successful listener must have adequate knowledge of language and background .

And at the same time he mustn’t a passive receiver . Instead , he must actively apply his knowledge and certain skills to analyze and decode the information while listening . Regarding the fact that listening course takes up only a small portion of time in the curriculum , the listening input is rather adequate . To be a successful listener , one will have to rely on more focused training and ceaseless practice . The focused training can help one grasp some effective listening skills , and accordingly help one improve the speed of comprehension .

And continuing practice will , in the long run , increase the input of language knowledge , and in turn adds to one’s background knowledge. While listening , we are mostly troubled by long sentences.

Even after listening to them twice or even three times , we still can’t have the whole picture . The materials are difficult to remember . Naturally , a news item may beyond our short-term memory . To improve our listening comprehension , we will have to develop our memory span. 7. Notice (1)Before listening : One should calm down and relax. Be confident and tell yourself that you can do well .

Don’t think of how difficult the news is . Do you have such experience? If you are nervous , you can not concentrate on the content . So having a good emotion is very important . Besides , look at the title and predict the content , ask yourself some questions. Listening with these questions , and to find the keys . In this way you will get some important information after listening . For example , you will know the cause , time , place , result , etc. (2)When listening : A piece of news will contain a lot of information. So don’t require yourself to complete understand all the content.

You should make a real goal for yourself . If possible, you can go browse the news after listening once to understand better the content. First step: When you are listening a piece of news , you can require yourself to understand the main idea and after listening , you will make a summary with one or two sentences . On the basis of knowing the events that report in the news , you may only pay attention to the latest trend . This method will largely reduce your burden of

listening , what is more , make you more concentrate on the content . This method will be more useful if this piece of news you can listen repeat .

Second step :Not only understand the main idea, but also have a deep understand of the news . Listen and write what the news reports. You can ger the missing information when you just pay attention to the main idea. When you feel that you can cope with a certain news material or a certain channel of news , you can add the degree of difficulty of exercises properly . For example :Choosing different accent of broadcasters or another kind of programme. (2)After listening :Although you have finished the listening exercise , doing some proper exercises after listening is helpful for your listening . You should keep the note book .

Maybe the records are something that you write down causally . But it is the real proof that you strived to learn . You should not stop learning news words and keep this state of studying . The more words you remember, the easier you will feel when listening. You should try to write news. You can write a summary or a short essay to express your idea . 8. Other Suggestion (1)Give up properly Don’t be confused by one word , one question or one sentence . You should learn giving up at proper time . If you stop to think hard when meet a new word or something difficult , it will affect the input of the following part .

You may only hear some fragments. (2)Mark the Emphasis In the process of listening ,

you should mark the important words you hear in the question. Beside , it is worthy mentioning that the sequence of the content of the question and the information of the listening original are identical. (3)Different Words , the Same Meaning Generally speaking , the answers that given to you are not the same as the original , but have the same meaning . So you should gather many similar phrases. For example :on account of =due to , because of , owing to , be made up of =consist of , be composed ,comprise .

At this point ,you should pay attention to the expressions of number . For example :20=score , twelve=a dozen , decade =ten years ,5000=fifty hundred , two-fold =twice , such as billion , million, thousand , hundred. (4)Step by Step As old saying :Rome is not built in one day . Listening skills and basic ability can not handle just in a few days . So you should pay attention to the daily exercise and collection. Listen more, practice more. So long as you keep practicing , you will make a great progress. At the beginning , you can begin with the slow speed English . Practice makes perfect.

Significance of Listening.

When listening , you are reviewing a lot of English usage such as vocabulary , grammatical structures , intonation , accent and your own interpretation. You can learn new words and expressions by hearing them frequently. General knowledge gained from TV or radio news ,features , or even advertising spot, is certainly beneficial if you are a regular listener. You can imitate what you hear and apply it with great

confidence. Listening can be a great “hobby” while you do the things such as cooking , exercising , relaxing ,etc. In other words , you have no wasted time at all . Listening is also a great way to train your attention .

To be able to listen well gives you confidence in communication . And the more confident you are good at listening , the more confident you will be at speaking . VI . Conclusion News as a special kind of literary form is very different form common literary form. It has its own features in language, grammar structure . As a different part of listening of exams, students should pay more attention to it. It will need a long time to improve news listening. But handing these skills will make it easier. Listening news as much as possible. It will not only help you to get a good mark in exams but also improve your ability.

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