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What's the best way to learn to understand oral speech?

Maxim Beykov
I want to be able to understand oral speech. So that I watch movies a lots but it doesn't work well. And probably that's not all I have to do. Maybe someone experienced smth like that. Could you advise me what's the best and probably fastest way to rich excellent results?
P.S. I don't mind if you correct my mistakes in the text above =]
Thanks in advance.
Katherine Khaleva
join for the discussion.....
Anastasia Nasachenko
Join too) It`s a big problem for me... I even don`t know what to do)
Ekaterina Mazanko
Yes, I agree it's a real problem for some learners... ) I guess it is because of school education where we didn't learn correct way to pronounce english words. But I've found a pretty way to improve my listening skills. I noticed that when I listen some english language songs, look up its text and sing it with correct pronounciation then I begin to understand english speech better.
I think it's better if you'll choose your favorite musicians, so it'll be more pleasure and more productively to learn :))

P.S. Don't mind about correcting my grammar mistakes too :)
Ilya Kharimov
live with the british, quicklv learn
Elena Balandina
Just have to practice. When I was learning, we did simple exercises such as this - transcribing others. You read something or just speak freely and tape yourself, the others do the same. Then you exchange tapes and write down everything what you hear. The point was not to guess what was said, but write down exactly what you've heard - it helps to realize that sometimes what is said is not necessarily what is heard.
So, you practice and practice...until it makes sense. :)
Vladimir Belikov
As for understanding spoken language, movies are not a good place to start with. Too difficult. Not always clear. It is better to practice with listening to radio announcers (people who read news). Usually they speak not too quickly (and not too slowly), though, very correclty and distinctly. When I was beginning, I listened to BBC World Service and the Voice of America on a short-wave radio. The Voice of America had "special English programs" for those who learn English, when radio announcers read simplified texts much slower than natural speech. Now short waves are not so popular, many brodcasters reduced time of brodcast and switched off some of their transmitters. However now you have a better option - webcasts and podcasts. In case of a webcast, you can listen to the news (or whatever program) on your computer, if you have a sufficiently fast Internet connection. Podcasts are files in .mp3 format, which you can download and listen on your computer, mp3-player or mobile phone. Many podcasts are distributed for free. I listen to BBC podcasts every day, not for learning, but for getting updates in the world economy, science and computer technologies. There are many more topics there, you can choose. What is very useful for training, you can listen a difficult fragment many times by rewinding it on your computer player or mp3-player. There are also different discussions, talk shows and comedy shows, where spoken English is more natural and, on average, much faster than the speech of the radio announcers reading news. For the whole list of BBC podcasts visit http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts

A very useful thing for the beginners - BBC transcribe some podcasts (not news, though). Alongside with the mp3 file you can download its transcription in pdf format.
Maxim Beykov
To Ekaterina Mazanko:
I did smth like that. But I faced with some problems. Songs I listen to are not always clear, and there are too many shortenings.

Vladimir Belikov, Thanks for your advice. I'm about to try your way and I've got some questions to you. How much time did it take for you? And, Have you ever heard about TED talks? Is it suitable?

Thanks for all your hints.
Ekaterina Mazanko
"Songs I listen to are not always clear, and there are too many shortenings."

And this is its advantage, because in a real speech is a lot of shortenings and a lot of cases with not clear and with really ununderstandable pronunciation. If you listen only clear pronunciation then it's gonna be difficult to understand if it's not clear.
Vladimir Belikov
To #8 Максим Бейков сегодня в 14:26

Usually I download some podcasts and transfer them to my mp3 player via the USB port. Then I listen to the podcasts having the player on my neck and earphones in my ears every morning, while I do my physical exersises, boil coffee and have light breakfast. When I have some household work to do, like wet cleaning of my apartment, or when I go shopping, I also put the player on my neck and listen. On average, I listen about 1 hour a day on workdays, about 2 hours a day on days-off. When I am on a vacation, I listen to the podcasts on the beach and wherever I can, 2 to 4 hours a day. You do not need to concentrate on what you are listening all the time. Occasional concentration would be enough, half an hour every day. But your subconsciousness will have a massage with foreign words, and this works in the long-run. And you should not limit yourself to the BBC. There are podcasts available in American English, you can use them if AmE is your priority.

If you are only beginning to practice understanding of spoken language, you should not be chasing variety. Download a short story and listen to it 3 or 20 times every day during a week, or at least, during 3 days, until it will begin to sound in your ears without the mp3 player. Then download something else. Watch out for not to get crazy.

I have never heard of TED talks, cannot say anything about them.

As for songs, indeed they are not always clear and difficult to understand, even in the native language. Two examples:
The Eagles, Hotel California: "Warm smell of colitas rising up to the air". In the English-speaking world there is still no consent about what "colitas" mean.
Russian song - a very old joke:
Пятилетний сын спрашивает маму: "Что такое аборт?" Мама в шоке: "Где ты услышал это слово?" Сын: "По радио песню передают каждый день: А волны и стонут, и плачут, И бьются аборт корабля..."
Maxim Beykov
Vladimir Belikov, thanks a lot.
Marina Sokolova
As for me, I prefer to watch foreign movies with "original" sound. Forget about russian audio tracks,if it's difficult-use subtittes. :)
Maxim Beykov
To Марина Седенко
I tried to do it. But it turned out too boring for me. The long movies you cannot wholly understand. It's real tedious. About subtitles, they divert you from spoken speech. They make you read but not hear. (at least for me)
I agree with way given by Vladimir Belikov. The podcasts or smth like that are more suitable. You can listen to it again and again until you understand it. And you can do it almost everywhere.
But it's just my opinion.
Ira Kuptsova
Максим Бейков
To my mind,if you are fond of misic,it'll be easier and more interesting for you to understand oral speech through listening songs,but you may begin listen old groups and singers,for example The Beatles, Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder,George Michael are perfect examples.
I agree with Ekaterina Mazanko,it is not difficult to find the text of the song and i've noticed,reading the text and singing helps to remember words too.
Andrew Keen
Talk to an English person like me!
Ira Kuptsova
I agree with you too
Yury Abdukarimov
I think singing is a good idea. I have observed that when foreigners sing they lose their accent.
Guy Min
Sergio Del-Carpio
Just watch the news...I know it's really boring...but it helps. Also, try to listen to music and read the lyrics at the same time...at first it can be quite hard, but once you started to do it and do it again and again, it's very funny.
Try to start listening something that It's familiar to you...and please, don't start with rap because you will quit in the first sentence lol, also the slang they use is more for intermediate/advanced students.

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