• Posted on
  • 2017,6
  • 17

How can I improve my listening skills?

I hear this so often from so many people.  I am not a native Japanese speaker, but my Japanese listening skills improved so much and so quickly by just living in Japan.   So in my case, the best method for me to raise my abilities was to live abroad and surround myself by native Japanese speakers.






Unfortunately this is not an option for everyone.


So what are some alternatives you have to improve your listening skills?


One of the most interesting ways is to find something you like and enjoy, but finding your interest, done in English.


For example:


If you like basketball, find some English language videos on it.  There are a million NBA videos on youtube.




If you like movies, find some movies from Hollywood and put on the English subtitles as you watch.  There are unlimited movies out there to watch.




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If you like music, find some American singers, find the lyrics and sing along while listening to your favorite musicians.








If you like to eat, find some English recipes and practice cooking or try going to an English Pub in your city.  There are surely to be some native speakers and menus in those places.  Maybe you will meet a new friend.  You will definitely learn some new vocabulary words for sure!




There are just so many ways to practice and develop your English skills without actually studying from a book.


I am from Hawaii, so luckily there are many Japanese people there to meet and talk to.  There are many Japanese restaurants, stores, and TV channels that offer products directly from Japan as well.  So there was always a way to get involved with the language somehow.  You just have to find out where they are, and embrace it.




Personally I learned a lot from listening to J-Pop music.  back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, I loved anything with ELT, SPEED, and Morning Musume.  Some people will laugh at my favorites, but they really did help my early development in Japanese language learning.  Sometimes help may come from a source that you would not suspect.