Does Your Listening Practice Help You Use Phrasal Verbs?
Jan 3, 2011 Speaking/Listening 2625 Views
How Do Most People Practice Listening?
Listening practice is easy, right? Just turn on the recording and listen. Simple, right? Well, not quite.
The truth is, doing listening practice the right way is simple. The explanation is more complex, but actually doing good listening practice is easy. The problems is that most people just turn on the recording and listen. The biggest group of people do not know the best way to do listening practice.
The next group of people turn on the recording and listen and try to understand. This is harder. In fact, it is much harder than it needs to be. Why? Because they have not built up the right skills or library of English. You need to make the library of English in your head before English listening becomes a bit easier.
The last group of people listen to the recording and try to translate it. This is the hardest of all. It is much harder than it needs to be, and
Does this help you learn how to use Phrasal Verbs?
The short answer is no. Of course, you can learn by any of the three methods above, but your learning will be slow. It will be hard work. You will learn slowly for several reasons.
You Often Cannot Recognize the Phrasal Verb
Hear a phrasal verb when you are expecting it, or when it is not in a sentence is easy. But hearing the phrasal verb in a sentence when you are not expecting it is much more difficult. You may not even recognize it at first. It is like meeting a person one time. Then meeting them again later in a very unexpected place like a busy street, and they are walking the other direction. You may pass them by and nt even recognize them.
Not only is the phrasal verb unexpected, but it is even wearing different clothes. "Different clothes?" you say, "What?"
Let me explain with an example. Let's use the phrasal verb 'put down'. Other words can come between 'put' and 'down'. Let's say the word is 'him'. 'Him' often loses the 'h' sound in fast speech. For many North American speakers, the final '-t' in 'put' changes to a 'd' sound if there are vowel sounds on both sides. This leaves us with something sounding like 'pudim down'. That is a big change. Almost like a person wearing totally different clothes.
You Do Not Hear the Words Around It
If just listen, you might not pay attention to the words that come before and after the phrasal verb. You cannot remember the patterns. Just listening to a recording with the intention of hearing the phrasal verbs will take most of your attention. You will not have much attention left to notice the words that come before and after the phrasal verb.
These words form the pattern that the phrasal verb appears in. You need to know these before and after words so you can use the phrasal verb correctly. Making mistakes with these words will make the English sound strange. We need to notice these before and after words. Just listening is not enough, and even translating is not very good. So we need a better technique for practicing listening.
What is a Better Technique?
First, you want to recognize the phrasal verbs. Shadowing forces you to actually say the phrasal verbs, so they will come in to your attention. Even if you don't recognize them, you can eventually shadow with the script and then notice them and start to recognize them in their disguises. So, shadowing can help you here.
Next, you need to hear patterns of words before and after the phrasal verb. Once again, shadowing forces you to actually repeat the words yourself. This simple repetition is the beginning of learning. You are setting the trail for your brain to follow. But setting the trail is not enough, you need to remember the patterns.
You can remember the patterns with another simple exercise: Listen to the recording, and when it is finished, repeat it. This will help you remember the pattern. Of course, you will have to do this many times over a period of weeks to remember it deeply.
The final step is no longer listening practice. Simply start using the phrasal verbs in your conversations, and borrow patterns that you have memorized. There are many listening practice materials tailored for this learning technique at English Listening World.com for you to try out and see how good it works. Drop by and maybe sign up for our newsletter, too!