If you follow me on Social Media you probably know I spend a lot of time studying Arabic these days. I got myself a new book (level intermediate – yay!) a couple of weeks ago and I was very excited! I downloaded the recordings, put them on my phone and started listening whenever I was out. Did you already guess I got bored after a week and one chapter? If yes, you are right.
But I figured out how to stop zoning out while listening to the same short stories again and again.
1. Start with listening to the recording without checking out the written text and try to figure out what is the story about.
2. Check the text and read along listening (it’s hard if the alphabet of spelling is completely different than in your native language)
3. Highlight words you don’t know and translate them.
4. Listen again looking at the text trying to focus on the parts you didn’t understand at first.
5. Put the new words into your flashcards app. Now you’re ready to go out for a walk with your recordings.
6. Listen to it a couple of times focusing on the general meaning and just letting my brain to get used to the voices, story and when it gets bored – challenge it:
7. Ask questions about the story. For example if it’s a description of a family picture you can ask: ” What is wearing the older lady on the right from his mum?” “When was the picture taken?”. Try to use all the question words, on which you can find answers in the recording : who, where, when, why, what etc.
8. Remember which words were new to you and try to review them before the listening, than play and find them in the recording. Did you get all of them?
9. Retell the story but change the speaker so you can practice conjugation of verbs (if a man was telling a story about himself, use third person narrator instead) – You’ll how much of the vocabulary you can use actively. If not so much – keep working on this part.
10. Tell yourself a similar story. If it was a story of friends spending time together remember the last time you had amazing time with your friends and tell it to yourself using vocabulary from the listening. (You can lie, it’s just a practice 😛 )
These are the 10 steps I do with every listening I work with. I don’t need a partner or a teacher for them. They still work. I remember more vocabulary this way than I used to with flashcards and I started using this vocabulary in conversations with my husband, so…
Give it a try! Practice with the last episode of Polski Daily for Beginners or any other episode of my podcast!