I’ll state the glaringly obvious. To make conversation, one must listen.
While beginners focus on what they will say, struggling with putting together sentences, getting pronunciation correct, and learning vocabulary, it is just as important to be able to listen and understand what is being said to you.
- You only learn something new when you listen
- You should listen twice as much as you speak
- Listening is more than just the words
- Facial expressions, body language, tone, tempo, and context give you a lot of information
- Restate what you heard to be sure you understand
- Ask questions then listen to the answers
Listening is a skill. My Korean friends try to talk to me in small doses of Korean appropriate to my learning level, and I struggle to understand. My goal of small talk has to include building my listening skill. I hadn’t fully factored that in. Suddenly it seems like there is twice as much to work on. 3 months seems incredibly short period of time! (This blog shares it all, even the moments of panic. haha)
Learning a second language means some intellectual and emotional adjustments, as well as the facts one learns about grammar and vocabulary. People around the world learn second languages. You can too.
“Are you really listening… or are you just waiting for your turn to talk?”
– R. Montgomery