With the help of the new modern technologies, radio has slid into your pocket in the form of podcasts and online radio. You can get your hand on the countless radio programs that you like easier than ever which will enhance your English comprehension in a natural way with speed and fun! These are five magical ways to improve your listening skill with radio.
1. Find your favorite station
First, choose a station that plays something you like –music, entertainment news, travel news, etc. You need to find the perfect program that really keeps your attention. But don’t listen to a radio station just because it has a lot of speaking. You need to find the perfect program that really keeps your attention. Streaming radio stations works better because you can listen to any stations worldwide.
Don’t pick a station that play only music. If you really want to perfect your English listening skills, you should listen to a talkshow radio station. We recommended the famous BBC Radio 1 to give you all the motivation you need and help you learn the intonation while listening to the DJs. You can enjoy the 24/7 of popular music at the same time.
2. Listen to simplified English news station
When you’re ready to move on to expand your vocabulary, then you should switch to a different station with different topics. For example the economic news, sports updates or weather forecast channels.
If you don’t feel ready to listen to a full radio program for native English speakers, you can check out some big news stations that have easier versions for non-native English speakers. Two such stations are the BBC and VOA (Voice of America). You can choose the level you want and then gradually increase the difficulty as you become more confident into the topic that you’re interested in.
3. Step into the world of podcasts
Many radio stations have their own website and you should take advantage from it. Quite often they will record popular shows or parts and list them as podcasts so you can go back and listen to a segment that you found interesting.
Also some radio stations will publish the transcripts for fans to go back and read –don’t miss this useful function! All popular shows (e.g., This American Life), have little written explanations that inform you of what the show is going to be about, so you’ll be able to build your background knowledge first and get an idea of what you’re going to listen to.
4. Make time every day to listen to the radio
It doesn’t matter how long you listen for, whether it’s just five minutes or an hour, but consistency is key. That improves your conversational reflexes and will make your speak more naturally. To build this habit, start with the goal of listening for just 1-5 minutes every day. If the program is interesting, you might hold on to it longer, but the short time commitment will make it an easy task to complete. Over time as the habit develops, you can slowly increase your daily listening time.
5. Write down interesting phrases or words
Do you keep hearing the same words over and over again while listening to the radio? If yes, it means that these are high frequency words that relate to the topic, so they’re probably worth writing down. Write the words or phrases you hear, and also an example of the context so you can understand how to use them properly and remember them longer.
Last but not least, keeping it enjoyable is very important if you want to maximize your listening experience. After some time you’ll find yourself understanding the whole show without reading the script, which is one of the greatest rewards. Think of this reward and you will be inspired to listen to the radio in English every day!