Intermediate & Advanced Chinese:

Improve Your Chinese Listening Skills

This section is emphasized on Chinese listening skill improvement.

Many learners do better in reading and writing than in listening and speaking. They have less and less difficulty in reading and writing after grasping more and more words, phrases and sentences, yet they can hardly use what they have learned to communicate each other. Why? They are lack of the practice of listening and speaking. Here is some experience which may give you some hints. We recommend you use two modes of listening.

Extensive listening

Listen to the material only once at one time, keep in mind you only have one chance so try your best to catch the contents as much as possible, if you cannot catch some words or sentences, let it be. It can help you build a good language sense and get the habit of listening sentence by sentence instead of word by word. Be patient! Don’t worry if you can only catch 30-50 per cent of the whole, please do re-listening after a period of time, say, two weeks later.

Recommended practice period: 20-40 minutes/ day

Recommended listening materials:

1. Conversation conducted between two persons on some interesting topics. ChinesePod.com

2. Movies with good dialogues and plot thread in Chinese

3. Chinese music

» Tip

Avoid listening news at first as news always carry the professional wording and speeches given by leaders with their own dialect.

Intensive listening

Listen to the material and write down every word. You may have as many chances as you like. Try your best to catch phrase by phrase, not word by word except some places where you failed even after several attempts. This way is necessary to help you make big improvement on your listening skills. It will let you discover many interesting colloquial expressions used by native speakers in their daily life. Choose materials no longer than 5 minutes, listen it thoroughly for the first time, the second time phrase by phrase or sentence by sentence according to your current listening level, write down what you heard. At last, listen it again to have a double check. Take the script out to see where you miss the points, repeat listening the areas until you finally confirm you have caught them.

Recommended load: 5 minute long listening material / day

Recommended listening material:

Any short stories, featured reports you are interested like Learning Through Listening: An Introduction to Chinese Proverbs and Their Origins

» Tip

Two modes should be conducted together as one helps the other. Materials for intensive listening are also suitable for extensive learning. Keep on and you will benefit from the efforts!