Listening is at the core of learning a new language. You need to learn to listen more attentively in order to understand and communicate better. You listen to a conversation or a passage in order to follow the gist, the main points or the detailed information presented there. You also listen to understand an argument or an idea, or to make deductions, or to infer the opinion of the author or speaker.
Here are some techniques that you can adapt to learn to be a better listener.
Listen to original native sources of language. These may include films, television shows, news programs, youtube videos, songs, talks, and interviews – that is anything that you may lay your hands on. These are resources that inform you, entertain you and help you to learn English. In the beginning, you may want to take help of subtitles or the printed text, but gradually you should try and listen to the dialogues independently.
Learn to listen for the gist and then move on to listen for the details. If you are using a video source, try to follow the lip movement of the speaker. It always helps if you can see the mouth movement and relate that to the words spoken.
Listen to the same recording or see the same program over and over again. You will notice how every time you listen to the same recording, your understanding improves. You will be able to identify the words better and understand the accent and the rhythm of the language.
Take notes and write down the words that you are not familiar with. Check the dictionary later for the meaning. But try first to understand the meaning from the context in which it is used.