Last week I gave a couple of tips on how to improve your English. If you haven’t read that, please read that now. (I’ll wait for you . . .)
In my post, I talked about “narrow reading,” where you read a lot of things about the same topic, in the same series of books (e.g. Harry Potter, Twilight), or by the same author.
The advantage of this “narrow” (not wide) way is simple: The more you know about a topic, the easier it is to understand it in English. And the more you understand, the faster you will pick up new words and phrases.
This same idea can be applied (used) with listening as well. Narrow listening is listening to things on the same topic.
For example, if you listen to five different news stories in English about the situation in the Middle East, each new story will probably get easier and easier for you.
Better still, you’ll start acquiring (picking up; get into your brain) the vocabulary and grammar used in the stories, without any “studying” or “memorizing.”
You can find things on the web on related topics and try listening to them.
Another way is to use our 1800+ Daily and Cultural English lessons that come with our Unlimited English Membership.
In these lessons, I talk about several of the same topics in more than one episode.
Let’s say you want to improve your business meeting English. First, you search our website for the lessons you want by either entering “business meeting” into our search box, or by clicking on the Business topic on this page.
Now, select 4-6 episodes that look interesting related to business meetings. Here are four examples:
- Daily English 79 – Disagreeing Politely in a Business Setting
- Daily English 124 – Asking for Clarification in a Business Meeting
- Daily English 184 – Running a Meeting
- Daily English 220 – Giving Opinions in a Meeting
Listen and read the first lesson. Then the second, and so on.
Each lesson is different, of course, but you will start to hear some of the same or similar expressions in many of them. Understanding will get easier the more you listen.
You can listen first, read first, or read and listen at the same time – it doesn’t matter too much. The important thing is that you are comprehending a lot of business English.
When you do enough reading and listening, you’ll be able to start using that language in your conversations.
Warning: Getting from listening/reading to speaking/writing takes time! Be patient. Trust that with more listening and reading, your brain will take care of the rest.
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