3 Big Mistakes in Your English Listening


Hi guys, I'm Gabby Wallace and this is a Go Natural English Lesson. A lot of you have

written to me and told me that your biggest challenge in English is listening. I know

it can be difficult to understand native English speakers when we speak quickly. So I made

this video to help you out. I want to share with you the three biggest mistakes that you

may be making when you are listening to English. Alright. So let's get started with number

one right here. Listening is not the same as reading. This may seem obvious but the

way that we often learn English in school the way you may have learned English is with

a focus on reading and writing for academic purposes. Maybe in high school you had to

read in English but maybe you didn't have as much listening practice in English or you

didn't know how to approach listening. The way our mind words is with reading we are

visual learners. We are looking at the text on a page in a book and we are associating

the letters and the words and these shapes that we see on the page, which are letters,

we associate those with meaning. When you listen to English it's a completely different

process. We hear sounds, words, phrases and we need to associate those sounds with meaning.

This is especially difficult in English because the way that we write words, the way that

we spell is crazy. It is just crazy. We have silent letters, we have dipthongs, we have

words that come from other languages and pronunciation varies widely. So remember not to listen the

same way that you read. Okay. Number two, translating. It takes a lot of effort to translate.

Okay. When you hear words in English do you automatically try to translate them into your

native language? You might do this because of course you are familiar with and comfortable

with your native language and you want to make sense of English you want to understand

so you naturally try to translate it into your first language so that you can understand

what's going on. But translating is actually a waste of time. I'll tell you why. You're

putting a lot of effort into converting the meaning of a word into your native language

and then converting your thoughts back to English. In that time you are not hearing

the words that are being spoken while you're translating and you're not able to focus on

the person you are speaking with. So your mind is wasting a lot of energy trying to

translate the words that you hear in English into your native language and then back to

English so that you can add to the conversation. Now another reason why you shouldn't translate

is that when you get past basic words when you get into phrases, idioms, metaphors and

some cultural ideas or words that really only exist in English they are difficult if not

impossible to translate correctly in other languages. So I encourage you to listen and

match what you hear with meaning, directly. Cut out the middle man cut out the translator.

And number three the biggest mistake that you may be making is expecting to understand

100%. Don't be a perfectionist. It is impossible. Even native speakers with good hearing do

not catch 100% of what we hear. It's normal. Aim for 60-80% understanding of what you are

listening to. Stay calm, stay relaxed and it will become easier to listen to English

and understand what you're hearing. I've made a full course with 17 secrets to improving

your listening skills in English so I'm going to talk more about these points and also share

17 strategies for improving your listening today. Also the course includes 5 practice

session videos so that you can not only understand the strategies but use them. This course is

available on my website GoNaturalEnglish.com and it's called the 17 Secrets to Improving

Your English Listening SKills. So I hope that you'll come take a look because I want to

help you develop your listening skills for more confidence when you're engaging in English

conversation, more confidence when you talk to people at work, at school, in your personal

activities. So I know that this is a big need so that's why I'm addressing it. So come on

over and take a look at the course. I hope to see you there, in the course with me. I

am there to help you not only through videos but through question and answer. You can ask

me a question during the course about any listening questions that you may have. So

guys I'm a real person. I'm not just on video. I exist behind the screen and I'm here to

help you. Thank you so much for watching and I hope to see you in the 17 Secrets to Improving

Your English Listening Skills. Bye for now!