* REMEMBER THAT HEARING IS A PASSIVE PROCESS.IT INVOLVES THE DETECTION OF SOUNDS AROUND US.WHEREAS
LISTENING IS AN ACTIVE PROCESS.IT INVOLVES THE CONCIOUS DESIRE TO DETERMINE THE MEANING OF WHAT IS HEARD.
Effective ways to sharpen your listening skills
1.Listening is one of the most important skills necessary for success on TOEFL iBT and in academics in general .The ability to listen and understand is tested in three out of four sections of TOEFL iBT.
2. The best way to improve your listening skills is to listen frequently to many different types of material in various subject areas.
3. Think about how the lecture or conversation is organized. Listen for the signal words that indicate the introduction ,major steps or
ideas, examples, and the conclusion or summary.
4. Stay active by asking yourself questions (e.g.,what main idea is being communicated?).
5. Listen actively and carefully and focus on "main idea," "major points" and "important details".
6. Think about what each speaker hopes to accomplish ;that is, is the speaker apologizing,complaining,making suggestions ,making a request?
7. Identify the relationships between ideas in the information being discussed.Possible relationships include:cause-and-effect,compare-and-contrast,steps in a process,problem-and-solution,description.
8. Listen out for words (function words) that show connections and relationships between ideas.
9. Anticipate what the speaker is going to say as a way to stay focused.
10. Listen for changes in topic or side comments in which the speaker briefly moves away from the main topic and then returns(digressions).
11. Pay attention to the speakers' stress and intonation patterns used to convey meaning.
12. Notice the way each speaker talks.Is the level of language formal or casual? How certain does each speaker sound?Is the speaker's calm or emotional? what does the speaker's tone of voice tell you?
13.Notice the degree of certainty of the speaker.How sure is the speaker about the information?Does the speaker's tone of voice indicate something about his or her degree of certainty?
14.When you listen to recorded material ,stop the recording at various points and try to predict what information or idea will be expressed next.
15.Listen to a portion of a lecture,talk or conversation and write a brief summary of important points.Gradually increase the amount you listen to and summarize.