English listening skills are the most basic language skills. They will help you understand what others are saying, and improve your vocabulary and pronunciation. The Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) defines the different levels of proficiency for listening skills. For improving your listening skills, you have to listen to recordings of many people speaking under different situations and complete relevant exercises. English is spoken in a large number of countries worldwide, so the recordings in each lesson are from speakers from many countries.
Understanding Your Level of Listening Skills
Before finding out how to improve listening, you should first find out your level of listening skills in English, taking a test. You can chose from among beginner-level A1 CEFR to advanced CEFR level C1, depending on your skills in listening and understanding spoken English.
These lessons are designed so that you can understand basic words and simple phrases that are used commonly in English, when people speak clearly and slowly.
Practicing to improve A2 level listening skills will ensure that you understand short dialogues that are clearly spoken in English. You will be able to understand simple messages, announcements, introductions, and simple explanations, to take decisions, follow instructions, or take actions.
At the B1-level listening practice you will be able to understand job-related discussions, speeches, and other conversations if the speech is clear, and if there are no distractions.
Improving listening skills at the B2 level will help you understand longer speeches, on subjects you know about, even if the ideas in the speech are complex. These skills will help you while listening to lectures at school, presentations at the office, or radio or television broadcasts.
C1-level skills for English listening will help you understand longer speeches on complex subjects with which you are not familiar, or on abstract concepts.
Listening skills matter since you hear conversations, speeches, lectures, and discussions in English, and have to understand what is being said, so that you can reply if required, and to remember what you heard. After listening to the lessons, you have to answer some questions.