Foreign Languages

Does anyone have any tips for listening exams in a foreign language? My teacher only plays the tape once, and we have very little time to think the question through. Often times, the people on the tapes have different French accents than the ones I am accustomed to. Thanks for your help!

asked by Juliette
  1. Thank you for using the Jiskha Homework Help Forum. A long time ago the AP exam only played the tape ONCE so my students trained that way. For at least 10 years they now read everything TWICE. Of course, if you can learn to listen only once, you wil be training better! Yes, accents and intonations can be different, as well as vocabulary, depending upon where the speaker is from.

    Are these tapes that go with your Textbook, for example? If so, tell us the name of the textbook, the author, the copywrite date, etc. Often book publishers have help online if you know where to look.

    First of all, analyze what TYPE of learner you are. If you learn visually, you will need to SEE what you want to learn. If you learn orally, you will have an advantage here with the tapes. If you are a kinesthetic learner, it is harder to learn but once you do you do not forget. A kinesthetic learner has to be physically involved = tracing it, etc.

    Now, what will help you with these tapes you are only going to hear once.
    1. Train yourself to really listen, shutting out all distractions. Sit closer if you must.
    2. Know the vocabulary very well (if these tapes go with your textbook).
    3. It is natural for the mind, the second you don't "catch" something to shut down. FIGHT against that. Treat this like a "closure" exercise. The dots will represent what you do not hear. _ _ _ ... _ _ _ _ ..., etc. Concentrate on what you hear and leave a "blank" where you don't quite catch it. Then, based upon what you DID hear, try to fill in the blanks.
    4. At least try to pick out = who, where, what, when, etc.
    5. Practice, practice, practice!

    Sra (aka Mme)

    posted by SraJMcGin
  2. P.S. How to learn to listen: 1. Concentrate (focus) on the speaker and nothing else. 2. Listen twice as much as you talk. After all, you have 2 ears and only 1 mouth! 3. Resist distractions. 4. Do not do 2 things at once. For example, if you try to write while you are listening, you are not giving listening your FULL concentration. 5. It doesn't matter if you agree or disagree with what the speaker says; just listen and understand as much as you can. 6. A musical ablity is helpful, especially with the intonation.

    Sra (aka Mme)

    posted by SraJMcGin
  3. listen carefully and try to understand. Don't react like the speaker is talking to you, just listen him.

    posted by James

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