In some ways I am not the best person to give advice here, because whenever I have studied a language, listening has always been my weakest area. I have to say, my experience as a teacher is that listening is a challenge for male learners in particular.
Most students tend to prioritise grammar and vocabulary over listening and speaking, but if you ever plan to communicate with native speakers, it is essential to practise listening whenever you can.
Watching movies is a good way to improve your listening. I would stress the usefulness of repetition. So watch a DVD of an English-language film with Chinese subtitles. Then, a week or so later, watch the film again with the subtitles covered up. This time, you will know broadly what the characters are trying to say, which will help your brain link the English words with their meanings. Of course, you can pause and rewind the film if there are certain bits that really mystify you.
The next step would be to find a way to listen to the soundtrack of the film without watching it. You should know the scenes and the story well by now so by removing the pictures your brain will really focus on the language spoken.
Before you do any of this, think carefully about what film you want to use to practise your listening. If you want to learn American English, be sure to watch a film set in the USA. If you choose a really well-regarded film (one that has one lots of Academy Awards, for example) you will probably be able to buy the screenplay of the film, which will be very useful to you. Lastly, choose a film that you are not going to get tired of if you watch it three times!
This is a very satisfying way to practise your listening. You will really feel that you are improving.
我还特别向推荐大家一下BBC网站。你会发现上面有很多音频节目，你可以下载到你的电脑或MP3里。最棒的是，我们还为这些音频都配上文字稿，供你在学习中对照参考。同样地，我建议你在忙着多听几个节目之前，最好每个先听上三个回合。（译者注：进入BBC网站http://www.bbc.co.uk/，点击最下面“Explore the BBC”中的“Learning English”进入学英语栏目）
I would also really recommend going to the BBC website. You will find lots of audio programmes to download to your computer or mp3 player. The best thing is that we always make the scripts available so you can double-check everything. Again, I suggest that instead of listening to three different programmes, you listen to one programme three times over!
Generally speaking, don't expect too much when it comes to listening. Even native speakers miss some things when they watch movies. You should not expect to ever understand everything 100%.
Remember that good listening comprehension does not mean understanding what every word means. Good listening comprehension means understanding what is happening, understanding what people mean. So think of it as being 30% vocabulary understanding and 70% guesswork.
I once taught in a school which had a conversation lounge, where students could come and just practise English conversation with other students and one native speaker. The level was usually quite high – upper intermediate or advanced. But one year a beginner student started to come to the conversation lounge. She came almost every day for several hours, for about two months. It was something she did during her university holiday.
Her speaking improved a little, but what was really astonishing was her listening comprehension. By the end of the summer she could understand what everybody was saying, even if the vocabulary and grammar were far above her ability.
She had simply become very very good at guesswork. This, to me, is the secret of listening comprehension.
You can practise your guessing skills by listening to English language radio. Don’t try to understand everything you hear, just try to guess the general meaning of what people are saying.
Even when you are not trying to understand the meaning, listening to radio or music in English will improve your familiarity with English sounds. I know some students who listen to English speech as they go to sleep, confident that in the long term it will improve their understanding.
2009-10-27 23:03 编辑：kuaileyingyu