* Listen to something you enjoy: Probably the greatest advantage about using the Internet to improve your listening skills is that you can choose what you would like to listen to and how many and times you would like to listen to it. By listening to something you enjoy, you are also likely to know a lot more of the vocabulary required!
* Listen for Keywords: Use keywords (noun=principal words) or keyphrases to help you understand the general ideas. If you understand “New York”, “business trip”, “last year” you can assume (verb=to take for granted, suppose) that the person is speaking about a business trip to New York last year. This may seem obvious to you, but remember that understanding the main idea will help you to understand the detail as the person continues to speak.
* Listen for Context: Let’s imagine that your English speaking friend says “…I bought this great tuner at JR’s. It was really cheap and now I can finally listen to National Public Radio broadcasts.” You don’t understand what a tuner is. If you focus on the word tuner you might become frustrated. However, if you think in context (noun=the situation explained during the conversation) you probably will understand. For example; bought is the past of buy, listen is no problem and radio is obvious. Now you understand: He bought something – the tuner- to listen to the radio. A tuner must be a kind of radio! This is a simple example but it demonstrates what you need to focus on: Not the word that you don’t understand, but the words you do understand.
Listening needs a great amount of practice and patience. Allow yourself the luxury of not becoming nervous when you do not understand, and you will be surprised by how quickly you do begin to understand.
By Kenneth Beare, adapted from About.com
See you, students. Enjoy your day!