Listening: A good way to learn English
Everyone knows that there are four skills in learning a language, namely listening, speaking, reading and writing. They are always related in terms of usage, and speaking is viewed by learners as the most desirable skill in face-to-face communication in the globalization era. However, what is the answer to the following questions?
Listen, of course!
Naturally, children begin listening to their parents when they are babies. They are often greeted, spoken to and admired without any response expected. Though nobody knows if the baby understands the spoken words, the process continues. Children automatically acquire such language over some time, and later on gradually produce it through actual experience. The production may be incomplete at first, but successful at last. That leads to speaking skill which is quite applicable to daily conversation.
In learning English, listening can help improve speaking considerably. Although it is the first of all skills, it is neither the easiest nor the most meaningless. We need to hear various types of English repeatedly and continuously if we want to communicate properly, meaningfully and naturally.
Why is listening good?
How can we listen to English?
Nowadays, radio cassette recorders are household appliances, but we often overlook their radio function. We can experience English language radio programmes almost anywhere in the world. They are usually picked up on FM bands and aired particularly for foreigners. Short wave radio programmes are another option. Two of the most easily found English language broadcasters are the BBC and Voice of America. Today, you can even access them by internet. You'll find some useful links for listening to the radio by internet, including "News in Easy English", here.
© 2002 Weena Kanadpon
Weena Kanadpon is a Thai teacher of English. She teaches at Thap Put Witthaya School in Phagnga, southern Thailand. She discovered for herself the value of listening to the radio, and how to find English language radio programmes in Thailand.