Listening outside the classroom

If your language classroom is at home, think about boosting your listening skills with films, radio programmes and songs online in the target language. If your class is abroad, remember: you have travelled to another country not just to sit within the walls of your host university campus, but also to experience the language and culture of the host university town, region and country. So, how about finding some listening that is in “big chunks” – uninterrupted – to give you a chance to figure out what is being spoken about and to hear words in an accent you are not yet used to.

Tasks to help you find “live” listening events during study abroad
CinemaCheck out on which days / times there is a student discount. Ideally go with a native speaker so that you can talk about the film afterwards
Museum & art galleryFind out the times of guided tours and book a place.
UniversityAre there general / public lectures you could attend on subjects you just like the sound of?
Local town libraryFind out if there are any local history talks.
TheatreWhat is on during your stay? Pick one play to go and see it with some friends and start a discussion about the play afterwards. Consider finding a copy of the play and reading parts of it before or after the performance.
Exercise classCheck at the local sports centre whether there is anything you like the sound of (for example, step class or yoga). Explain to the teacher - if you are worried about not following - that you are not a native speaker. Watch what the others do!
Sports teamsWhat did you do at home? Why not join your host university’s team?
Board games with native speakersYou will need to listen to an explanation of the rules and the conversations that ensue during the game. Plus it might be fun!
Make some phone calls!!Listening on the phone can be tough! There are no lips to watch and the speaker may not initially realise you are not a native speaker.
Turn the TV or radio onEvery morning!!