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The science of listening: Enhancing English comprehension skills

English is the official language of 75 countries around the world. So, learning English is important if you want to study and work globally. Students like you put your time and energy into practising English every day. Still, you can find it hard to improve your English comprehension skills. Do you also feel the same?

The problem is that you might be missing out on a key thing: listening. When learning English or any new language, listening is essential to communicate well. Let's look at the value of listening and how you can improve your English comprehension skills.

The importance of listening in improving English comprehension skills

Listening is the first step in building your English comprehension skills. It will help you to learn the meaning behind words, phrases, and sentences. By understanding the science behind listening, you can improve your English-speaking skills to communicate confidently

The science behind effective listening

Listening is a tricky thing. It means hearing and understanding what someone is saying. To become a better listener and improve your English comprehension skills, you must know a few things:

  • Phonetics and phonology: To speak English well, it's good to know how sounds are made (phonetics) and how they go together (phonology). In English, how we say words and pronounce words are two different things.
  • Understand with context: To understand what someone is saying, pay attention to what the conversation is about. This includes the words used around the topic as well as the speaker’s tone and body language.
  • Vocabulary and grammar: You need to learn English words, common phrases and basic grammar to build your English skills. That's why learning new words and understanding English grammar rules is important.

  • Active listening: Active listening means listening carefully to the speaker. You must pay attention to what they say and how they say it. It also means to focus and not get distracted. It will help you to understand the emotions and meaning behind different words.

Good English comprehension skills come from listening. Stay focused and listen to the speaker without judging or reacting.


7 powerful tips to improve your English comprehension skills

Did you know that humans only remember about 20% of what they hear? That means we forget about 80% of what we hear every day. When we hear something, our minds start thinking about how to answer —which means we're not actively listening. This habit is why many people have weaker English comprehension skills. That is why we should practice active listening. You should focus only on the speaker and not worry about answering or saying anything. Don't worry if you have trouble with it in the beginning, as this skill requires practice. Here are seven tips to help you practice active listening and improve your English comprehension skills.



"Humans only remember about 20% of what they hear.”
  1. Learn new words:  Regularly learn new words to increase your vocabulary. You can do this by reading English books, newspapers and online articles or blogs (like this one!). Write down the words you don't know. Check their meanings later and try to use them when speaking in English.

  2. Practice regularly:  Practice listening exercises every day. Listen to different English accents. You can also try listening to English language podcasts, TED Talks, audiobooks or watching movies and TV shows with English subtitles. This will help you get used to different accents and improve your English comprehension skills.

  3. Focus on the speaker:  To improve your spoken English, listen to how people say different words. Notice that when they stress certain words, it changes the meaning of a sentence. Practice mimicking them to improve your pronunciation.

  4. Use real original learning material: Find offline/online interviews, speeches, news reports, and conversations with native speakers. These study materials will teach you how to use English in real life.

  5. Ask for feedback: Ask native English speakers or your teachers to give feedback on your speaking and listening skills. It will help you improve your English comprehension skills.

  6. Join English Path:  Improve your English comprehension skills by joining English Path courses. With us, you will learn from qualified and experienced English teachers. You will also meet people from different countries, cultures, and backgrounds. It will help you understand different accents, expressions and improve your listening skills. Explore our wide range of courses designed for learners of all levels.

In this blog post, we showed that listening skills are important for building your English comprehension skills. You will understand the language much better by understanding the science of listening. Make time to improve your listening skills, it will help you to speak confidently in English!



Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about listening and English comprehension skills

What are English comprehension skills?

A1: English comprehension skills help you to make sense of English words and sentences when you read or hear them. It's like solving a puzzle where you need to figure out what the words mean and how they fit together.

A2: Listening is important for improving your English. When you listen to good English speakers, you learn how they say words and use them in sentences. This helps you to learn English better and faster.

A3: To enhance your English comprehension skills, it’s important to listen carefully. This means paying attention to what is being said and trying to understand the . Reading different things can also help you learn new words and improve your English comprehension skills. You can also ask for help from your teachers or your classmates at English Path.

A4: Active listening can help you in many ways. It improves your understanding of English, helps you communicate better, increases your vocabulary, makes you more aware of different cultures, and can also help you with school or work.

A5: There are three important listening skills: active listening, comprehension, and empathy. To actively listen, you need to pay attention, avoid distractions, and show that you are listening. Comprehension means understanding the main topics and details of what is being said. Empathy means understanding how the speaker feels and their point of view.