My human says that students and candidates always ask her what can they do to improve their listening or improve their reading. The answer is: “Build your vocabulary knowledge” and never stop. The question is of course: “How?” Well, dear reader the plain and simple truth is to read in English. Make it a regular practice, make it a daily or weekly goal. When you come across new words or phrases, look up the meanings, listen to the pronunciation, make a note of them and organise them into categories e.g. Travel and Tourism or Technology. Studies have shown that by categorising vocabulary, learners of a language are more likely to remember the words and how to use them accurately. Remember that vocabulary accounts for 25% of your score!
So, here are some basic tips to improve listening
Create you own vocabulary notebook – written or digitally, whichever works best for you. Every time you read, listen or watch something in English, note down the words you don’t know, look up the meanings in a dictionary app. For example : www.dictionary.com Very importantly, is to go back and look over new words regularly – at least once a week. Try to use your news as much as you can when you speak and write in English. This will help you remember the new vocabulary you learned. When watching anything in English remember to turn on subtitles in English to learn new words.
Don’t forget that when you’re using new words, make sure you are clear about the different forms of the words. For example, whether it’s a noun, verb or adjective etc. Learn how to use them correctly and practise using different forms in conversation and writing.
Once you have a good foundation of words you can go onto learning collocations and phrasal verbs to increase your range of vocabulary, this takes you beyond Band 6. By doing this it will expand how you use words in English speaking and writing.
Play word games with your friends who are also learning English. Listen to English songs and look up the words of the songs at www.lyrics.com or similar. Music is a great way to practise your listening skills. With your group of friends, practise your listening by each taking a turn to read out a piece of text as dictation and see how much you can write down. Compare each other’s progress.
I hope that gives you some inspiration.
Miaow for now.