Increase Your Language Learning by Listening to the Radio

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Have you ever wanted to continue your foreign language classes when you are not attending class? Why not turn on the radio? Listening to broadcasts in the language you are studying is an excellent way to grasp a language’s vocabulary and grammar, sharpen your comprehension and understand another culture! For best results, use these 7 hints for making radio language classes work for you:

Find a radio station broadcasting in the language you are studying. This can be a local station or even one that is live streamed! If you are unsure how to find a station, try http://www.radio-locator.com.

Try a few different stations. Stations that focus on news, weather, entertainment will all have more words for you to learn. If you focus on a topic that you love, you may find learning the language is easier. Love sports? Tune into a game. Want to take it slowly? Try a kid’s program!

Set aside time every day
Five or ten minutes each day of active listening is better than a few hours on one Sunday afternoon. Be consistent.

Be patient. Don’t worry. At first, it may not understand anything. That is okay. Maybe you will understand only one word. That counts! Be patient and just listen. You are still learning the cadence and intonation. Over time, you will learn more words, understand more, interpret more! Don’t look up words, just try to get the overall meaning.

Use any contextual clues. Repetitious commercials and jingles will now be your friend. Weather reports and traffic sound similar. If you listen every day at the same time, you may be in luck to hear similar broadcasts as well. Soon you will know the words for “sun,” “rain,” and “clouds.”

Use clues from the radio’s website. The radio’s website might have podcasts that you can listen to repeatedly. Maybe it includes transcripts, articles or even announcer bios.

Mostly, have fun! Make it a game, puzzle or listen and learn with friends. Celebrate the words you learn! Never give up! Pretty soon you will understand the entire show!

Ilona Knudson

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