When learning a new language it’s important to practice all 4 aspects: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Some people will excel in one area, such as reading, but find another more difficult; it is unusual and difficult to be good at all aspects of language learning straight away.
So what is the answer? The answer is: the practice is the key to overcoming difficulties in any of these areas. Everyone learns in their own way; something that works for one person may not work for another person. Certain people might thrive in a classroom environment, whilst someone will learn better on their own.
Spoken Persian can be difficult to get a grasp of, which is why many will struggle with the listening aspect. Native Persian speakers tend to use slang, pronounce words differently according to their regional accent, and use the words ‘ahaan’, ‘bale’, ‘ah,’ during the speech. These are all obstacles facing many language learners who are used to learning solely from textbooks and in classrooms. Take note of some of the following tips to improve your listening skills in Persian.
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1- JOIN A CONVERSATION GROUP
Joining a conversation group can be extremely beneficial for those who want to elevate their Persian listening skills to the next level. It is more informal than classroom learning, so can be helpful for people that are anxious about their Persian abilities, and you won’t have to commit to showing up every single week. If it is easier for you, you could tell your group that you want to solely focus on listening skills, and just sit and listen while the conversation between others takes place. These kinds of events can also be a great way to meet new people. You can search online to find conversation groups to join, and if you can’t find any nearby, you can create your own group too.
2- LISTEN TO THE SAME PODCAST EVERY DAY FOR A WEEK
Search for a podcast in Persian that you find interesting, you can look online to find many available for free. Once you’ve found something that you like, download an episode and listen to it every day for one week. You could listen whilst on your commute, doing the washing up, or just before you go to sleep or when you are walking. While you’re listening, pause the podcast when you come across a Persian word or phrase that you don’t understand- this way you can write it down to look up later. After a few days, you might even be able to understand the Persian podcast the whole way through. This is a nice way to improve your listening skills fast.
3- LIVE AND WORK IN A COMPLETELY PERSIAN-SPEAKING ENVIRONMENT
This one is obvious, but it will really make a difference. If you tend to stick to speaking your native language, switch it to Persian as often as you can. By using Persian exclusively, your brain will become more accustomed to understanding the language, and your listening skills are likely to increase drastically without you even realizing it.
4- SPEND TIME WITH A GROUP OF PERSIAN SPEAKERS
If you have a group of friends that speak Persian as their first language, spend time with them and pay attention to their conversation. See if you can pick up on their slang, and their accents and listen to their pronunciation. Make sure to give them permission to correct you if you get Persian words wrong, so they don’t feel rude doing so.
5- ATTEND SESSIONS WITH AN PERSIAN TUTOR
Attending sessions with a professional Persian tutor is a sure-fire way to improve your Persian listening skills. Persian tutors will know the best teaching methods and will be able to answer any questions you might have. You’ll also be able to pay close attention to the intonation and stress of a given word and you can improve your pronunciation.
If you’re interested in elevating your speaking skills in Persian, please take a look at our previous blog post outlining some interesting tips for improving speaking skills.