Listening inside the classroom

Remember when you are in your classroom listening to the target language, there will be a definite context: the subject for that week’s lecture within the context of your chosen field of study. This means that there will be vocabulary you are already familiar with, along with – perhaps – an allowance by the lecturer that not all of the class are native speakers.

Top tips

  • Make the most of knowing the context: you know the key words!
  • Remember to relax when listening to the lecturer. It might be that you do not
    understand every single word. Just keep asking yourself: do I understand the message
    he/she is trying to get across?
  • Check that the PowerPoint for each lecture will be available for you after each lecture.
  • You could even think about asking the lecturer if these could be made available in
    advance, so that you have time to read them for keywords before class.
  • Ask the lecturer to speak more slowly if you need this.
  • Use your lecturer’s office hours to raise any issues you have about understanding the


Group Activity: Make a class dictionary

Try to come up with as many words, phrases or expressions that you will need to talk about the subject you are studying. Why not start off by having different groups each create their own mind map of relevant vocabulary? Then, groups can compare what they have come up with and share their ideas with the rest of the class. You can keep adding to this throughout the course, and have each student contribute to the dictionary each week.