Listening is difficult / 듣기 공부가 어려워요

Listening is a fundamental skill in communication. No matter what language, good listening can ensure good comprehension and, is a symbol of respect. Naturally, listening is more difficult when English isn’t your first language.

If you’re wanting new ways to supplement your English listening (rather than relying on watching movies/shows). Here are some ways you can strengthen your skills.

Watch The News

Not only is this a great way to see what is happening around the world. The daily exercise can be great to create an English environment. Perhaps, you can listen to it while eating breakfast or on the commute to work.

A great one to start with is “One-minute World News” by the BBC. It’s short and insightful and a nice bit of factual listening practice.

Extra challenge:

  • If you have a little time on your hands, why not try to note some keywords you hear?
  • Or, write a transcript of what you hear

Listen to Podcasts

If you’re someone who enjoys listening to motivational speeches or, just something stimulating. A podcast is a great listening tool.

So, where to begin?

TED/TEDx Talks – Speakers will discuss a range of topics e.g. motivational videos. What’s great is their videos are transcribed. You can not only listen, but read along.

Culips – Provide podcasts of slowed down, natural, English conversations. Great for learning grammar and sentence patterns! They also provide transcripts and key vocabulary in a study guide!

Audio Books

If you want the benefits of reading, without having to sit down and read, consider listening to an audiobook. Audiobooks have made reading accessible for all; no matter what lifestyle! Here are some places to start:

Follow along reading on YouTube – Great in particular for children as there are visual aids

Audible – A fantastic selection of books, lots of different genres and, podcasts. What’s great is they offer a 30-day free trial – Offer a selection of free audiobooks including some literary classics.

In addition to the above, some important things to also consider is making sure to attend English classes weekly. Why? This is one of the best ways to work on listening in a conversational environment. It allows you also to get direct feedback from a professional when you are struggling. Feel free to book a free trial class with our lovely teachers at Panda Learn!

We hope you give these tips a try and wish you all the best in strengthening those core listening skills. All the best!

Is Studying English Online Effective?

Since these days, technology has become extremely advanced. Many of us flick through our phones on Instagram, Facebook etc. A lot of that time we probably realise was time-wasting. Perhaps you associate your phone with an escape from studying. But it is so important that we start using technology to do us some good.

Let’s get down to business. You want to learn English and feel like online classes might not be effective? I’m going to prove to you why that is wrong.

  1. Flexible: You can take classes at a time that is best for you. If you feel that you’re busy with work or school during the day, it might be difficult to learn a language with a tutor in a physical setting contrastingly, if you take online classes, you can study after work or school. So, enjoy your dinner and take a class. Seems like a win-win to me!
  2. Comfort: If you are a bit of a homebody (like me), you perhaps dread the thought sometimes of leaving the house. (Ah, the tiresome task of choosing an outfit…) Taking online classes saves you the trouble 🤭 You can take classes in your comfy PJs with your favourite snacks beside you. Seriously, it’s one relaxing but rewarding time. *Please note, don’t make your teacher jealous with your delicious snacks – we can get slightly jealous*
  3. Cost: If you compare the cost of studying online vs in a physical classroom, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It’s a lot cheaper to study online!
  4. 1-on-1 learning time: Perhaps you’re a little shy. In the past, the thought of speaking aloud in English in front of your peers sent chills down your spine. Don’t fret! With the online classes, you have the attention of your teacher. You won’t have to worry about others or any feel pressure. If you don’t understand something, you can work with your teacher through the issue until you finally understand. What’s great is you can work at your own pace and build a great rapport with the teacher. Check out some of our teachers😉
  5. Range of classes: Picture this, it’s the new year and, you’re super busy with family and celebrating. However, you usually take English classes every Saturday and, you don’t want to break the routine. You might not want to take your usual 45-minute class, so thanks to the flexibility of online studies, you can perhaps squeeze in a 15-minute class. So yes, there’s a range of timings you can choose from and different class topics. Whatever your interest or schedule, you have no worries.
  6. “I don’t want to show my face”: Don’t let your shyness hold you back anymore. Do you want to learn English? You are capable! If you really dislike video calls, online ESL schools offer the option for audio classes. This is excellent to build on listening skills too and some all-important self-confidence. Even us teachers get super shy sometimes too, so know, you’re not alone!

If you’re feeling motivated and inspired to start learning English and booking your first class, please be sure to check out You can book your free 15-minute class with us and get a taste for studying English online now.

All the best ❤️

How Can I Learn English?

Learning any new skill can at first present many challenges. Sometimes, a single challenge can deter us from continuing something we initially wanted. To combat this, it is crucial we implement useful habits and achievable targets. Learning a new language takes time and effort, we have to acknowledge this first! So, where do we start when wanting to learn English? Here are some tips from Panda Learn to our dear readers, enjoy.

  1. Know Your Motivation – This tip may seem a little obvious, but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated in the long run. No matter your motivation, once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit. Set yourself some challenging yet achievable goals. By doing this, you’ll feel you’re progressing, which will, in turn, motivate you to continue learning the language of your choice. So it’s a win-win situation! Rewards are great motivators! Don’t forget to treat yourself when you achieve your goals. If you have one really productive day of studying, why not take a break the next day as a reward? Or set yourself a goal for the day. If you achieve it, go and treat yourself to a nice slice of cake or something you’ve been craving.
  2. Set time for learning – If you’re serious about learning a language, it’s important to make a plan for how much time you can commit to learning. Schedule learning around your day. Most of us give the excuse we have no time. But once we reflect on our day, we realise we do! Even setting aside 10 minutes in the evening to read and review new vocabulary is extremely helpful! To get results, we need to be consistent.
  3. Leave Your Comfort Zone – Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, being corrected, and trying again. This is the same with any new language, and mistakes and errors are part of the journey. If you managed to say something, and someone else understood what you meant, then you’re successfully using the language! Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, try to tell a joke, etc. The more you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes, and the more at ease you’ll be in any new situations.
  4. Practice with a Tutor – Friendly native speakers can help you improve your skills and build your confidence. Conversing with native speakers will, unsurprisingly, increase your ability to speak to native speakers! They tend to talk much more quickly than non-native speakers, so understanding them can seem daunting at first. That’s why it’s important to get familiar with native speech habits, so you won’t find it challenging to understand your target language outside an educational setting.
  5. Read to learn English – The more you read English text to yourself or aloud, the more confidence you will have. If you feel nervous, start by practising at home then, move on to reading in front of an audience and asking for their feedback. Of course, it’s also enjoyable to read some wonderful stories. E-readers and tablets make learning English even easier because if you don’t know a word, you can click on it to read the definition. Others recommend listening to and reading simultaneously as an excellent way to enhance the learning process.
  6. Add Music – There is no need to go further to choose what music to listen to. The advice is to start with the songs you already listen to. Find the lyrics you love. We hear our favourite songs dozens of times a day, but we do not pay enough attention to the content and meaning of the words. Repetition is one of the most important factors in learning a foreign language. The joy of singing along to songs you love makes it easier for you to pick up the correct pronunciation. Learning how vocabulary is used in sentences is a key part of learning how to speak in the real world. You can’t learn isolated words in your target language and expect to become fluent.
  7. Watch TV Shows/Films – If you are someone who loves to watch movies and shows, now you have an even better excuse to watch them! There are just so many benefits of watching movies and shows when learning English (or any language). To start with, if you find you want to pick-up a particular accent, watch your favourite actor/actress and try to imitate them. Additionally, you will be able to learn an abundance of contemporary expressions. By choosing something that interests you, you’ll truly soak up a lot of learning from listening and observing. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list –
  8. Record yourself – This is a great way to review your own speaking. I particularly encourage this to students who are preparing for speaking exams (IELTS). Maybe you can try recording a video/audio diary of your daily life or record yourself imitating someone. After, listen to your recording. Do you think you could improve? If yes, try again. Over time it will be nice to listen back and hear your improvements.
  9. Keep a notebook – When taking classes, it’s important to have a book in which you organise all your class notes. Treat your English learning journey the same. Write down any new vocabulary, meanings and synonyms. Make notes on grammar rules and create example sentences where you use these rules. If you’re struggling with the pronunciation of a word, break down the word as you hear it e.g. Listeninglih-suh-ning
  10. Have fun! – Lastly, remember that learning English should be fun. It unlocks so many exciting and rewarding opportunities for you too. From the tips above, you’ll see that there are plenty of fun ways to study English, that don’t just involve memorising grammar rules. Find a method that you enjoy the most and stick with it.