ESL Listening Programs: 
Do they Even Work?

How many ESL listening programs have you ever used?  

Today I sat down at my computer and thought it was time I spoke about ESL listening programs and exercises.  

  • What are they doing for your English?  
  • Are they doing anything?

Take a minute to think about your current English listening comprehension level.

  • Are you able to understand the majority of what people say to you in English?
  • Can you watch a movie in English and enjoy it?
  • Does the thought of you speaking to a native speaker over the phone make you nervous?

"English Express" is designed to help prepare you for the real world of English.

Life is not in the classroom, it is outside with people who speak English in a natural way.

That is why English Express presents natural English audio. Learn more...

If you said yes to one or all of the above questions than you are not alone.

Do you know how many other people are learning English right now?

According to Kenneth Beare at, "It is estimated that over 1 billion people are currently learning English world wide."

So my question today is regarding ESL listening practice and if most listening exercises will help you improve your listening comprehension.

ESL listening exercises or courses only work if...

If studying English feels like work then you won't do it for the rest of your life. use them. Now I know that sounds silly...if you buy something then you will use it...but many don't. How many ESL books or courses are sitting on your office shelf right now? More than one I bet!

It can be hard to find good products that deliver what they promise and with names like "Effortless English", students might get confused and think that learning a language requires no effort...well that isn't true.

The reality of the situation is that you do need to make an effort, but if you find the right book, activity or audio course then using it won't fell like an effort...and that is the key.

If you focus your energy on grammar... will probably lose interest quickly. I know...I know. Everyone wants better grammar but people don't seem to realize how much energy they are wasting on grammar. (Polishing your grammar to perfection before you can understand spoken English is one of the biggest mistakes students make.)

Wouldn't your energy be much better spent on speaking with a friend, watching a great movie, or learning the lyrics to a new song?

What activities do you enjoy?

Try doing them in English and see what happens!

In my last newsletter we spoke about a really good quote that I want to repeat here, for those of you who are not subscribers to my newsletter.

The less Routine the More Life

-Amos Bronson Alcott

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I think that most students are stuck in a boring routine when it comes to learning English. You buy grammar books, you sit at home and you force yourself to memorize vocabulary and listen to boring ESL podcasts that are not interesting and far from real English conversations. (Sounds like our friend Rebecca ).

So what do you think?

Is your study routine killing your ESL listening skills and your English in general? Let us know how you think you can break your routine and starting living life in English!

Leave your interpretation of the quote here and also see what many others have said as well.

Related Links:

1) Discover some great ways to improve your listening comprehension!

2) Don't just listen to ESL materials, use your English to learn new things.

3) ESL listening discussion >> Helping You Learn

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