Any adult who has graduated from a middle or high school has received English education for more than six years. Even though you have learned English for a long time, there are quite a few cases when you are watching English movies or talking to foreigners, when you hear you don’t understand. Then when you actually see the simple words of the text you get be embarrassed. For people who are unfamiliar with listening to English, let me introduce a site to help improve English listening skills.< Copyright © The Gachon Herald All rights reserved >
In this article, I’ll introduce the website, www.esl-lab.com. In 1998, this website was offered by Randall Davis, an ESL instructor in America, to provide an English studying method to people who don’t use English as a mother tongue. The main purpose of the website is not testing students’ English listening skill but improving their communication skills by listening to dialogues used in various situations. The website provides free listening materials based on daily life.
Various listening materials are classified by level of difficulty (easy, medium, difficult) on the main screen of the website. The standard of each level is divided into the speed of dialogue, vocabulary, content, and noise. I recommend to solve a quiz which is a suitable level of difficulty for you. If you can’t choose the quiz yourself, click on the ‘Self-study Guide’ on the top-right of the home page ‘Using This Site’. Similar listening materials are grouped on the basis of specific topics, so they are easily accessed. The ‘Self-study Guide’ is organized into a total of 15 steps. At the beginning of each step, there is an easy and short quiz, and as you go on to the next step, the level of difficulty increases gradually. If you feel it is too difficult to make a plan, you can study it step by step following the ‘Self-study Guide’.
Whether you follow the ‘Self-study Guide’ or your own schedule, click on the topic you want to study and you will see the audio materials and listening quiz. Audio materials consist of daily conversations and the length of the conversation is usually one to two minutes. The studying method and the order of the audio material is introduced on the website. There are five stages in total: Pre-Listening Exercises, Listening Exercises, Vocabulary Activities, Post-Listening Exercises, and Online Investigations. First, the ‘Pre-Listening Exercises’ step introduces the main topic of conversation in advance and asks students to make predictions about the conversation that they will listen to. This process helps to prepare for the next step, which is solving a listening quiz. Second, at the ‘Listening Exercises’ step, you solve multiple choice questions based on the conversation, and you can listen to the audio again while watching the conversation script. Third, you can review the main words in a conversation at the ‘Vocabulary Activities’ step. Not only does it provide words but also a vocabulary quiz to help memorize them, for example; ‘fill-in-the-blank’ and ‘order-of-arrangement’. Fourth, the ‘Post-Listening Exercises’ step encourages students to think for themselves and through answering additional questions related to the topic. Fifth, the ‘Online Investigations’ step provides additional information related to the topic and induces students to find information by using the Internet.
In conclusion, you can choose the study method provided by the website that suits you. Through this method of study, you can improve your communication skills as well as listening to English. If you want to improve your English listening skill through various listening materials, try this website.