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Listening Skills: Hacks for Understanding English Spoken by Native Speakers | Tokyo Titan Fitness

In this article, we will explore valuable hacks and strategies to enhance your listening skills and understand English spoken by native speakers. Listening comprehension plays a crucial role in effective language acquisition, and mastering this skill opens up a world of opportunities for communication and cultural immersion. Whether you're a beginner or an intermediate learner, these tips will help you navigate the challenges and become a more confident listener.

10 Hacks for Understanding Native English Speakers

Active Listening

Active listening involves giving your full attention to the speaker and being actively engaged in the conversation. Avoid distractions and focus on understanding the meaning behind the words. Pay attention to the speaker's tone, intonation, and non-verbal cues, as they provide valuable context and enhance comprehension.

Improve Your Vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary is essential for understanding spoken English. Learn new words and phrases regularly, and familiarize yourself with idiomatic expressions and colloquialisms. Build your vocabulary through reading, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, and actively using new words in conversations or writing.

Develop Note-taking Skills

Effective note-taking can help you capture important information while listening. Practice summarizing key points, jotting down keywords, and organizing information in a structured manner. This technique will assist you in retaining information and reviewing it later for better understanding.

Use Context Clues

Context clues are valuable hints within a conversation that can help you understand unfamiliar words or phrases. Pay attention to the surrounding words, gestures, and the overall topic of discussion. Use these contextual cues to make educated guesses about the meaning of unfamiliar words or phrases.

Watch Movies and TV

Shows with Subtitles Watching movies and TV shows in English with subtitles can be a useful tool for improving listening skills. Start with subtitles in your native language, and as you progress, switch to English subtitles or even try watching without subtitles. This exercise trains your ear to catch words and phrases in real-life contexts.

Practice Shadowing

Shadowing involves mimicking and repeating what you hear in real-time. Find audio recordings or videos of native English speakers and try to imitate their pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm. This technique helps train your ears, mouth, and brain to work together, improving both your listening and speaking skills.

Engage in Conversations with Native Speakers

Actively seek opportunities to converse with native English speakers. Join language exchange programs, conversation clubs, or find language partners online. Engaging in conversations with native speakers exposes you to different accents, speech patterns, and cultural nuances, enhancing your overall listening comprehension.

Listen to Various English Accents and Dialects

English is spoken in diverse accents and dialects around the world. Expose yourself to different accents by listening to podcasts, radio shows, or watching videos featuring speakers from various English-speaking regions. This exposure will help you become more familiar with different accents and improve your ability to understand English spoken by a range of speakers.

Use Technology and Language Learning Apps

Take advantage of technology and language learning apps to improve your listening skills. Many apps offer listening exercises, podcasts, and interactive activities designed to enhance your listening comprehension. Incorporate these tools into your daily practice for consistent improvement.

Practice Active Listening in Real-life Situations

Apply your listening skills in real-life situations. Engage in conversations with English speakers at cafes, shops, or social gatherings. Push yourself to understand and respond appropriately. By actively participating in real-world interactions, you'll gain confidence and improve your ability to comprehend spoken English.


Improving your listening skills requires regular practice and exposure to various English speakers. Incorporate these hacks and strategies into your learning routine and watch your listening comprehension soar. Remember, effective listening is not just about hearing the words; it's about understanding the underlying meaning and connecting with the speaker's message.

Want to train your English skills AND your body? Contact Tokyo Titan!

I am bilingual in Japanese and English and used to work as a translator and interpreter, and am also an internationally-certified bodybuilding specialist personal trainer and nutritionist. Through individually customized personal training lessons taught in English, together we will develop your English skills while creating the body you want.

Lessons are provided in three formats:

  1. Online

  2. in-person at my private gym in Ota-ku, Tokyo, a few minutes walk from Omori-machi Station on the Keikyu Line

  3. In-person at a convenient location of your choice

For more information, inquire now!


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