In our opinion, online videos are your unlimited listening resource, they are fantastic for any student learning a language or preparing for a test.
They even help the teachers, many of which will admit to using a TED talk video or three in their lessons.
If you want to improve your listening and discover new vocabulary, there’s no end to the practice that you can do.
The Boston School teachers usually suggest to students to think about:
Choice of video, try to avoid music or gaming tips when you make your choices
We know, we sound like your parents, sorry but we do.
The latest music or gaming video may help you learn a few new words, unfortunately a good number of them will not be part of any English listening test or formal examination yet.
There is nothing wrong with this approach, you do tune your ear to listen to English but it is an informal way of learning.
A better way would be to choose a topic you are interested in, Canadian ice hockey legends, yoga and wellness, the environment and micro plastics as an issue or another topic area that you find interesting.
It extends your vocabulary, you will start writing a few words down on the first videos and then by the 6th or 7th, you will note just the “new words.”
Short videos ( 3 – 5 minutes)
We often use short videos in our lessons, first to run through and then to replay and watch twice or three times.
You can quickly absorb the vocabulary and key learning phrases or words from it. If you want a challenge, try to find a video of less than 2 minutes long, try to watch it and then write the script whilst aiming to understand every word.
This is really good practice for the IELTS listening test, however there are a few you need to apply a quality filter on, like this one which we think would be near impossible.
Longer videos and even movies
A video of 5 to 30 minutes can be found very easily on YouTube and elsewhere, including movies for free.
The benefit of the longer videos or films is that you will not understand every word or phrase, especially if the actors speak with an accent similar to these English ones.
It is good practice in the same way as the short videos to note down only the most useful words or phrases that you hear.
Please take a few minutes to let us know your thoughts or film, or video suggestions, your comment can help other IELTS and English learners.