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Chinese Listening Skills Support

Hi there

I have been studying Chinese for about a year and have lived in China for about 10 years.

I know I am a late starter to learning the language and surprised how I have got by with little Chinese language experience this far.

However, I find myself an Elementary Level Chinese speaker gradually improving to Pre-Intermediate.

But… my listening skills are extremely poor. I find myself not understanding very much in conversations. I can hear key words to hopefully convey meaning but it isn’t always enough, so I struggle maintaining conversation unless I lead the conversation.

Is there any way or anyone who has similar experiences that their Chinese spoken level is better than their listening level? What advice can you give me, or where do you suggest I can find further listening resources that may be suitable for my level.

I continue to use ChinaPod and try to repeat listening dialogues to see if I know more than previous but it is not enough.

Many thanks for anyone’s help!


This is going to sound counter intuitive but it will work. Listen to advanced lessons everyday. You won’t understand them, but that’s not the point right now. You need to get used to listening at a normal spoken pace for an extended period of time. If you do this everyday for 15 minutes or more for about a year, you will be able to hear all the words and it won’t sound like a wall of noise anymore.

While your are doing this everyday, maintain listening to elementary and intermediate lessons, actually study them. Read the dialogue before and after so you comprehend what your listening to.

Learn how to read and write, 10 minutes a day, skritter is the best option. This is going to help a lot with listening, because you can now look up words you hear that you don’t know. And trust me, there’s a lot of words you need to learn. Also it will make reading the dialogues easier.

And happy Labor Day.


Nabeshima120, that is exactly what I’m doing - Active learning at elementary, passive listening at intermediate. Don’t know yet if it’s working, but it’s nice to see you suggest that to confirm my choice!

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