To be ready to take the listening comprehension part of the Sproochentest you must PRACTICE listening properly.
Many people believe that ‘good practice’ means mock listening exam over and over again…
But in this lesson, I’ll explain why doing only this isn’t gonna help you.
You’ll see, if you practice listening to Luxembourgish the right way for just 20 or 30 minutes every day, you’ll improve your Sproochentest Listening score AND your overall level of Luxembourgish.
The 3 methods I’ll teach you in this lesson are the same methods that I teach all my students that wanted to improve their listening comprehension.
These 3 methods are totally free: you can do them at home without teacher.
The students who implemented some of these methods not only got a good score in the exam but they were amazed about how quick they’ve improved their listening skills.
I hope all of these methods (as they are more than tips), will help you eventually grow to be a more active listener and enjoy listening to Luxembourgish.
Why doing lots of practice tests is a bad idea
They are boring. As a neurolanguage coach I can tell you that our brains like to do things that they enjoy and if they’re doing things that they find pleasurable then our brains are going to be able to absorb that information and learn from it.
We’re human beings, if we’re doing something that is really boring it is a very low likelihood that we’re going to continue doing that thing consistently.
You cannot revise for Sproochentest listening exam one month before
What you need to be doing, is doing a little bit of work every single day over a long period of time. Listening is a skill and you want to improve that skill and that will help you have better chances to score high in the exam.
The analogy I always use for this is: could you learn how to drive a car and pass your driving test by going on a race track and just going around and around. You would pick up bad habits and you wouldn’t really learn what you’re doing wrong and what you’re doing right.
So just practicing is not actually going help you improve, especially when it comes to Sproochentest Listening Test. You might be doing test after test and spending a lot of time doing that but see no improvement. It’s easy to fool yourself into believing to practice many tests work!
And then you’re not going to get any feedback, because you’re just doing practice tests but you’re not learning from your mistakes. The only way to learn is for someone to help you with that and I’ll show you a way that you can learn from your own mistakes without the need of a teacher.
And all of this is obviously going to lead to frustration. You’re going to give up.
Then you are guaranteeing a low score at the test. And you’re going to get nervous and stressed out because you feel unsure.
You obviously want to spend time on things that enable you to improve your listening skills and your Sproochentest performance and ignore things that don’t lead to improvement.
3 ways that help you improve your listening skills
1. LISTEN FOR PLEASURE
You need to do something that you enjoy so that you’ll do it consistently.
Listening is a skill and the more you do it the more the better you’re going to become better at it. If you’re listening to things that you enjoy then you’re going to do this consistently.
You can listen to (this list is of course not exhaustive):
click these links and you’ll see the large choice of various podcasts out there
Videos – Anne’s Kitchen
Stories – Reesen
Now apart from real people all these are in the palm of your hand, they’re are on your phone: you can listen to podcasts, interesting stories, to the radio whenever you have time and everywhere.
I’ve dealt with students who are interested in to cookery programs so I recommend listening to a cookery podcast or video series. Or other students are interested in to sports so they should listen to sports matches on the radio or Tv and commentator discussing the match.
So it doesn’t matter what you are into, there’s something for you. And also the great thing about having everything o your phone is that you can do it at any time. For example, 10 minutes before you get out of bed, or those 30 minutes on the bus or train on the way to work, or 20 minutes during your lunch break. There are unlimited options and there are many opportunities for you to practice that.
And if you have the chance to be around native Luxembourgish speakers, listen to them.
Now, none of these (except the broadcasts) are Sproochentest related but remember they are not testing your ability to answer their questions but they’re testing your ability to understand spoken language.
2. LISTEN ACTIVELY
There is a difference between listening passively and actively. Listening passively is sitting on the bus looking at the window listening to the radio and not really thinking about it but rather thinking at your day or other things.
It’s better to actively focus on one thing at a time while you are listening, for example, vocabulary, intonation, multiple speakers. And focus on things that you really need help with.
Let’s say you need help with your vocabulary, then when you’re listening to a podcast or a story and you hear a new word get your notebook (that you only use for vocabulary) note that new word down. And to remember that word use the method I explained in the lesson – 5 smart ways to improve your speaking skills:
listen – repeat – juggle.
Write synonyms, sentences with that new word. And in a few months, you’ll have a vocabulary book just full of new words you’ve learned with sample sentences.
And very importantly, don’t forget to review your vocabulary on a regular basis until your master the new words.
Actively listening for 20 minutes focusing on vocabulary will not only help you in your listening test but also improve your speaking skills. Imagine learning that way 20 new words a day!!
Finally, I recommend practicing “micro listening”. So instead of listening to a 20 minutes audio, listen to 20 seconds or 10 seconds. And write down what you hear. Maybe the first time you’ll just catch 2 or 3 words. Then repeat the action until you think you’ve understood everything and read the transcript to check. You might listen to this section 10 times But that way you will get aware of how native speakers connect words together.
To better understand what connected speech is, I invite you to read more about the subject in my lesson: Improve your listening skills.
3. LISTEN REFLECTIVELY
This is probably the most important one in terms of improving your Sproochentest scores. This is when you do practice tests. Do them under the exam conditions and then honestly evaluate your mistakes. Where did you get wrong and why did you get some questions wrong. Was it meaning, vocabulary, the speed? And write down beside each one the key reason why you got that question wrong. And don’t just look at it and be like “I don’t know why I got that wrong”. Actually think about it! If you think about it you’ll figure out why you got that question wrong.
What you’ll see once you’ve done three or four practice tests you’ll start to see patterns emerging.
Normally students get a low score not because they are bad at everything but because there are one or two things they need to work on.
I have some students who had difficulties with particular types of questions for example a lot of students have problems answering the questions: true-false-not given other students keep repeating that the audio is too fast.
The key is you need to take action!
Once you see a pattern emerging, let’s say that you notice that speed is your problem and you’re messing up because you just don’t understand a conversation or radio news item a solution is to practice reading while listening, for example, listen to a radio news item first and try to understand the context. Then listen again and read the transcript while listening. This helps you to connect the word image and meaning with the actual sound. Once students get the gist of the text, they spend time listening without reading. This builds comprehension.
This leads to listening fluency: the ability to understand spoken words with automatic processing, there is little or no conscious processing of words or word sounds.
So enjoy what you are listening to, take action and improve and then you’ll see results