In order to improve our English, it’s important to practise all the skills; Speaking, Reading, Writing and Listening. While Speaking, Reading, and Writing can be practised easily enough Listening, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier especially here in Madrid. Although Madrid is an international city with scores of nationalities to get to know, even if you do use English as a means of communication, it’s likely to be with other non-native speakers. This, of course, is great for your Speaking skills but have you ever tried to listen to a group of native speakers talking and felt completely lost? Even though last week you and your Brazilian and French housemates had a perfectly intelligible conversation last week! However good it is to practise your English with non-natives, and of course it is, in order to improve your comprehension level, it’s much more beneficial to listen to natives whether they are having natural conversations on the street or on television. There are tonnes of free resources online with which you can practise to your heart’s content.
English Central is a site where you can watch short subtitled videos divided into seven levels. You listen, fill in the gaps and then practise pronunciation.
English Club has a dictation site where you can listen to recordings at full or slowed down speed and then write what you hear.
Playphrase is an interesting site where you can type in an English phrase and listen to different renderings of it from a catalogue of hundreds of films. A fun way to waste hours online
Elllo is another great site that has audio and video clips divided by levels for English learners to practise. With vocabulary explanations as well as a comprehension quiz this page is a great resource.
Podcasts in English is another great resource where the creators have divided different podcasts by level.
VOA is a news website which has current events in English and also a dedicated learning English broadcast. It’s very useful for those preparing for the Cambridge exams.
ISL Collective is another great website where teachers have uploaded interactive quizzes to go with an array of videos. Great to practise with kids and adults alike.
try using these websites at least once a week to improve your listening skills outside of class. Download a podcast for your metro journey or spend half an hour taking an interactive quiz instead of mindlessly watching tv in the evening.