Listen up! Tips to Practise Comprehension at English as a Second Language School

CultureWorks students develop their comprehension skills for university success
CultureWorks students develop their comprehension skills for university success

Listening skills are important – especially when you’re studying at university. You’ll need to follow class lectures, participate in class discussions, and understand instructions for project and tests – all in English!

That might sound intimidating now, but after completing your ESL courses, you’ll be able to follow along like a pro.

How can you strengthen your comprehension skills at ESL school to prepare for university? Here are some tips to get you started!

Ask Questions in Your English for Academic Purposes Courses

It’s normal for ESL students to feel a bit nervous about asking questions in class. Many students worry about making mistakes while speaking in English, or don’t want to admit they need extra help.

But speaking up in class is absolutely essential for understanding and practising the English language. Questions can help you clarify the meaning of a new vocabulary word, complicated grammar rule, or other important concept – helping you build new skills and confidence along the way.

That’s why ESL schools like CultureWorks create a friendly and supportive learning environment, so that every student feels comfortable asking the questions they need to comprehend, learn, and grow.

Take Notes & Then Revise Them in Your Own Words After Class

Taking notes helps you focus your attention and listen more closely in class. Notes also help you remember lessons, and give you extra material to study with before a test.

A CultureWorks student listens closely while taking notes in class
A CultureWorks student listens closely while taking notes in class

If you want to get even more from your notes, you should try revising them after class. Revising means re-writing the notes in your own words (rather than the explanations your teacher used in class).

This process will ensure that you truly understood the lesson, and will help the new material stick in your long term memory.

Elective Courses Help Boost Comprehension in a Specific Subject Area

Taking elective courses in your ESL program gives students the chance to spend extra time on the subjects they’re planning to pursue at university.

At CultureWorks, you can choose from electives in business, engineering, and Canadian culture. You’ll get extra practice understanding and applying the terminology specific to your degree program, which will help you keep up with lectures and coursework once you start university.

Talk About What You’ve Learned With Friends at ESL School

At your English as a second language school, you’ll become friends with other ESL students from all over the world.

Two CultureWorks students talk together on the London, Ontario campus
Two CultureWorks students talk together on the London, Ontario campus

As you all learn English together, try talking about a recent lesson after class with a few friends. You could practice examples using a new grammar rule, try out new vocabulary words and colloquialisms, and quiz each other before tests.

Regular practice helps students understand new English language concepts more deeply – plus, it’s a great way to make new friends!

Listen to TV shows, Podcasts, and Videos for Extra Practise

Regular practise is an important part of boosting your English comprehension. Outside of class, try practising your listening skills by watching an English TV show, listening to a podcast, or tuning in to your favourite English pop songs.

If you’re not sure which English TV shows to watch, you can always check our recent blog post TV Shows That Can Help You Study English & Learn About Canada! for a few ideas!

Do you want to take English for academic purposes courses?

Visit the CultureWorks website to find out how we help you make a smooth transition to university.