YouTube is a great place to find interesting people and ideas. But if listening to English is difficult for you, how can you understand the videos? Here are some tips to help, and an example exercise.
First: Baby steps. It’s a good idea to choose a short video. The example I’ll show you is less than 2 minutes. You may need to listen several times. That’s OK!
Second: Ask yourself questions.
Watch the video without sound. Do you see any images, or words? Write them on a paper. Ask yourself why they are in the video. Does the speaker looks angry, or happy, or sad. Why? Now listen to the video without watching. Do you hear those words, or a description of the image? Can you write down some information about each one? Next, listen and watch to check.
Third: Checking your answers
Some people use subtitles, but if the speaker has a non-standard accent, or speaks quickly, the subtitles will use the wrong words. For example, here the subtitle says send but it should be sending.
A better way to check your answers is to use the speed function to slow down the speaker.
Click on the little wheel for Settings.
Click on Speed.
Click on 0.75, or 0.5, then play the video.
The speaker may sound a little drunk! After you check your answers, you can repeat the sentences with the speaker. Then, go back to normal speed, and try repeating those same sentences. Which sounds are difficult for you? Practise those.
Phone a friend!
Ask a friend to watch the same video. Choose different parts of the video, and write True or False questions for each other. Listen twice. The first time, write down where the answer is (ex, 1:02, 2:33). The second, check if the sentence is true or false.
Here are some exercises to practise these ideas. I’ll write the answers at the bottom of this page. No peeking!
To watch this Youtube, you should have good earphones. Check the settings, and set ‘quality’ at 1080.
How Old are Your Ears?
Number the body parts as you hear them.
__ Skin __Tiny nerve cells __Inner ear __Brain __Liver __Hair cells
What words do you think go in the spaces?
Write your ideas. b. Listen at normal speed. c. Listen again at a slower speed.
Little verbs: 0:43
If you _____________ hear all of those frequencies, you_____________ probably under 20 years old.
But that _____________ last forever.
Little words: 0:55
_____________ are responsible _____________ picking _____________ different frequencies and sending the signal _____________ the brain _____________ it’s processed.
Now, check your answers, below.
Where are your mistakes? Why do you think you heard the wrong thing? Listen again–can you hear the correct word now?
PS: If you enjoyed this topic, you can listen to better examples of the tones here.
You won’t need earphones. Ask your colleagues to listen too. Who has the youngest ears?
–liver, skin, inner ear, tiny nerve cells, hair cells, brain
–If you could hear all of those frequencies, you’re probably under 20 years old.
But that won’t last forever.
—These are responsible for picking up different frequencies and sending the signal to the brain where it’s processed.