Easy tips for predicting to improve your listening

Is listening in English difficult for you?

Sometimes it’s because you are not prepared before you listen.

One way to prepare is to try to predict the content before listening. This means to think or guess about what will happen before listening. If it is something planned, you will often have time and information before listening. You can use this to try and predict the content. Doing this can improve your listening, even if what you predict is wrong.

Maybe you have to do a job interview in English. Then, predict the things the interviewer might say. Find out about the company you are interviewing for. Try to predict the kinds of questions you might be asked. Use a dictionary to check any new vocabulary you might need.

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Maybe you have to do listening as part of an English test. Sometimes you can see questions or pictures on the test question sheet. Look at these before listening and use them to predict the content. Then answer the questions quickly while listening so you have time to predict before the next listening part.

Maybe you have to listen to a presentation in English. Then, before listening, check the title of the presentation. Maybe you can also read the presentation outline or abstract. Use these to help you predict the things the presenter might say. It’s also good to think about the things you want to learn from the talk beforehand.

Extra tip:  Before listening, it’s also a good idea to be clear about why you are listening. Are you listening to get general information like a speaker’s opinion or to enjoy a story? Or, are you trying to get specific information like a time or date? Sometimes you don’t have to understand all the content to get the information you need.

Related links:

How can I improve my listening skills?

Do people speak too quickly for you?