5 Secrets to Improve Your English Listening and Speaking Skills


hi everybody I'm Gabby Wallace and this

is a go natural English lesson this

video is a sneak preview of my full

video course online that's available for

instant viewing as soon as you sign up

on my website go natural English comm

the class is called

17 secrets to improving your listening

skills in English and yes there are

really seventeen secrets plus five

practice videos there is also a bonus

video so you have a few hours of course

materials that will improve your

listening skills and you can ask me

questions there as well but in this

video I want to share five of these

strategies or secrets for improving your

listening skills so let's get right to

it number one your mindset the way that

you think whether it's positive or

negative makes a huge difference in your

abilities to take action or to

understand what you're hearing so if you

go into a situation with a negative

mindset trust me you won't do as well

and you won't feel as confident if you

go into a situation with a positive

mindset yes I can do it I am able to

understand what I hear in English I do

have the skills and I have the

motivation to improve my skills I see

myself improving every day these are the

kinds of phrases these are the kinds of

ideas that I want for you to have in

your mind as you approach situations in

English where you want to understand

what you hear so my first tip is to

start with a positive mindset I believe

you can do it you can understand what

you hear in English and I'm here to help

you so that you can even improve even

more and build your confidence so that

you can

interact with success in any English

speaking conversation

all right that's why we're here let's

take a look at the second strategy

listen read speak when you listen it's

very helpful if you can use other

activities to develop your listening

skill I would compare this to


for a sport let's say you want to be

really good at soccer

right and the rest of the world football

but in the u.s. we call it soccer so you

might play a lot of soccer to get good

at soccer

of course that's obvious right but some

people will encourage you to cross-train

maybe try a different sport that would

increase your endurance or your

breathing your your lung capacity maybe

you want to try swimming it's a totally

different sport but it should help your

overall physical capabilities so I

recommend finding materials where you

can listen and read them so this video

is a material that you can listen to and

you can read the subtitles right so you

could start by listening only don't read

the subtitles and then the second time

that you watch the video you can listen

and read so pay attention to the

subtitles other materials you could use

include my podcast project all yours

English you could use of The Voice of

America news they often have listening

and reading that you can do together

alright the third is speak so what I

want you to try with this video or with

my podcast is to first listen then

listen and read then try a speaking

technique that's called shadowing I have

another video that describes how to

shadow but I'll quickly describe it here

what you do is you listen and as soon as

you can possibly repeat what you hear I


you to say it okay so you're going to be

mimicking what you hear as fast as you

can right after you hear it all right

so in these three ways you're going to

develop your listening skills because

reading will help you identify the

connection between what you hear and

what you read okay and speaking well if

you can say a sound you'll be able to

hear it better I hope that makes sense

but trust me that this kind of

cross-training will really help your

listening skills next diversity I

encourage you to listen to a diverse set

of materials try some listening

materials that are short two minutes

three minutes five minutes and then as

you advance try materials that are

longer 20 minutes 30 minutes a full

movie of an hour or two so a diversity

of lengths of materials and shorter

length materials are better for

repeating over and over if you have a

three-minute video you could repeat that

five times and you still only studied

for 15 minutes so it's very easy to do

another point about diversity is I

encourage you to begin listening to

materials that are interesting to you

that fit within your interests so if

you're interested in soccer listen to

material about soccer or listen to an

actual soccer game with English sports

casters or announcers but I want you to

push yourself to go outside of your

interest and listen to a diverse range

of materials okay if you are an artist I

want you to find science materials to

listen to you could listen to the NPR

radio that's the National Public Radio

or the BBC radio the British


what does C channel I think

there you're going to find topics on

science technology business health all

different kinds of topics that you can

explore to listen to our diverse range

of materials why should you do this

because of vocabulary I want you to be

familiar with a wide range of vocabulary

so again begin with topics that motivate

you that you're really interested in but

when you're ready for a challenge try

materials that you wouldn't naturally be

drawn to maybe something in a different

field or a different topic then you

would usually choose and that will keep

things fresh that will challenge you

okay next guess first why would you

guess first we want to be sure we want

to have concrete 100% confidence in what

we're hearing right well actually no I

want you to guess what you think you're

going to hear based on the situation or

the materials that you expect so let's

say you are listening to one of my video

lessons I want you to look at the title

first and take three seconds to guess

what you are going to hear in that video

this activates your brain and you start

thinking about vocabulary that you can

expect and that way that vocabulary is

fresh in your mind and your brain

doesn't have to work so hard to dig it

up so before you enter a conversation at

a specific event or a specific place

with a certain person I want you to

guess what do you think that person

might want to talk about that will help

you to be prepared mentally for that


or for the material like my videos last

points understand the big ideas what I

mean by this is I want to help you to

understand what's special about the

structure of English and the way that we

speak what are the pad

if we can start to identify the patterns

of English then when you want to

understand a specific conversation a

specific phrase or a specific word

you're going to be able to place that

within the framework or the structure of

English and you'll be able to organize

these new learnings much more easily

you'll have a place to put all the the

new ideas the new vocabulary and the new

phrases so the first thing that I want

you to think about is the big picture or

the framework of English and in my

course I describe this in more detail

but what I mean is we have to get used

to things like the rhythm of English how

we chunk phrases together and sometimes

it has nothing to do with punctuation

like periods or comments although

sometimes it does we have to get used to

the stress that we put on certain parts

of a phrase the stress that we put on

certain syllables in a word we have to

get used to how in English we have key

content words and we have weaker

function words I'll explain all this in

my full course we have to get used to

also the sounds that we're going to hear

within the words that maybe you don't

have in your native language like the th

sound or the R or the L or maybe the P

or the B sounds I know in other

languages these may not exist so this is

what I call getting used to the big

picture or understanding the big picture

so that you have a framework to

understand how English is special and

when you learn new ideas or new words

you can organize all of these things in

your brain and when we organize it helps

us to remember all right so these are

five secrets for listening success I

would love it if you would come join me

for my full course the 17 secrets

to improving your listening skills in

English which you can find on my website

at go natural English dot-com under

courses I can't wait to see you there so

come join now