Why do learners have difficulties listening in English?
Why do learners have difficulties listening in English ? This is a real problem for learners of English or any foreign language and there are no real shortcuts, but there are many tips, based on common sense that you can try out, which we will see in the next podcast.
The reality is that if the ear doesn’t work, then everything becomes difficult in language learning, although there is a clear difference between listening (which is a somewhat active process) and hearing, which is a passive process.
However, if you cannot hear the range of sounds that make up a language, then it will be almost impossible to have a chance of developing listening skills. The mystery is, why is there so little focus on developing hearing skills, whilst a lot of effort is put into listening skills.
Your brain is also acting like a filter when it hears English sounds, constructions, rythmns or certain syllables. It is filtering out those sounds as foreign which is causing it to completely ignore some of the more important English sounds.
There are typically 120–150 words spoken per minute in normal audio or conversation and that is a lot of information for your brain to process in very short time. You might feel like you are only hearing a few words that you know really well and you are left guessing what the audio means based on a few words, or worse, you may block and filter them out completely.
You may be reading this and thinking this process is really hard work and it might sound like it takes a lot of time. And, yes, you are absolutely right and you are definitely going to go deeper with your listening but you will see results in the end as a reward for your efforts.
Just remember that learning is not a spectator sport! Here are some Language Learning tips
What difficulties do you have listening in English?