To learn a foreign language, you must be able to listen well. The more you improve your listening ability, the more your ability to speak will improve. This is a special part of learning a foreign language. It is related to how you learned your native language. In fact, when you were a child you did a lot of listening before you spoke complete words and sentences. Before you started to speak you were being exposed to your native language. “Being exposed” means that you heard your native language spoken around you.
There are two types of listening skills and both are important when you want to improve and develop your language skills. General listening skills are your ability to understand the meaning. Actually, when someone speaks you understand what they want to say. The second skill is focused listening skills are your ability to hear particular sounds. Any language has a set of sounds: these are the vowels and consonants specific to the language. When you learn a foreign language, your brain expands its set of language sounds by listening. Here are a few ways to improve your Persian listening skills.
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1. Listen to Yourself
Recording yourself is an easy way to practice listening and speaking Persian.
When you take a Persian course you will hear the teacher speak Persian. Also, It is important to be able to listen to yourself. For example, you can use your phone to record new Persian words. When you listen to the recording you can listen for differences between the way you sound and the way your Persian teacher sounds. Please don’t be discouraged if they sound different! If you hear a difference, it shows that you are a good listener.
Another great idea is to record yourself talking about your day in Persian. Then you can hear how you sound when you say some complete sentences. Also, you will notice how sounds change naturally depending on the sentence. This exercise has a bonus: you also practice speaking Persian.
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2. Watching Movies or Listening to Podcasts After Persian class
Everyone has an accent and people speak Persian in many different ways. The more you expose yourself to native Persian speakers, the better you will be at listening. Watching an Iranian movie or listening to a podcast is an excellent way to practice listening.
After you watch an Iranian movie or listen to a podcast you can summarize what you hear. For example, you can tell a friend what the Persian movie was about, or you can write down what you remember. It may also help to watch a film twice. The first time you can practice focused listening then Pause and try to repeat words or sentences. The second time, you can use your general listening skills and enjoy the film.
3. Speaking and Listening Belong Together
Have a conversation with your teacher of the Persian class. Talk about your life, or role-play if you want to practice a specific set of Persian words. Listen to your teacher and, just like before, listen to yourself. The more you speak Persian the more you will have the opportunity to listen. When you speak and listen your brain makes stronger connections with the grammar and Persian vocabulary you learn.