Along with listening to the radio, I always read some books about listening comprehension. I have got little progress in my listening comprehension. How can I improve it?
The way to train listening comprehension in a language course is through the technique of ‘active listening’, not ‘passive listening’. If a teacher introduces a text with a short commentary and sets a question, students will listen actively. For example, the teacher says: ‘Today I’m going to read you a story about an accident. After I have finished reading, I will ask you how the accident happened.’ This will encourage students to listen actively in order to find out the answer. If, however, the teacher introduces a story by saying: ‘Listen to this story’, the students will have no listening focus. They will listen (perhaps) with their eyes open, but with their minds shut. Here are a few tips to improve your listening skills:
Listen for particular information; don’t worry about the meanings of individual words.
If you have recordings of texts (the listening comprehension books you mention), first listen to the recordings, trying to pick up as much as you can at first hearing. Then listen again, while reading silently at the same time. Then listen to the text a third time (without reading)
Try sharing a listening activity with a friend or with friends, so you can ‘pool’ your listening experience with others.