Jeremy’s English Tips Episode #2: Repetitive Listening

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Hello there, this is Jeremy and you’re listening to Jeremy’s English Tips, a series by the Culips English Podcast where I teach you interesting expressions or share language learning tips.

So, in this episode, I am going to talk to you about listening, now you are already listening to a podcast in English. So, the first thing I want to say is good job. You have chosen the most valuable language learning method in the world, in my opinion at least. Many people when they try to learn a language, they focus on reading and writing first, but anyone who has children knows that children do not do this. Children focus on listening from the very beginning. In fact, children listen to their mother’s voice in the womb. So, listening practice starts even before birth. Once a baby is born, they spend two, three, or even four years mostly listening to all the people around them. They hear their mother, father and other family members speaking to them and talking about them, pretty much every day. Every time they eat, they hear some of the same words repeated. For example, with my son who is currently almost 2 years old, we often say things to him like “sit down, sit in your chair, don’t climb on the table” things like this. If he hears them many times over and over and over, eventually he will be able to understand them and he will be able to say those things.

So, we are all adult language learners. I have been learning Korean for almost 9 years now and I have been teaching English for equally as long. Learning Korean taught me many things about language learning in general. The most important thing it taught me is that listening is king. What I mean by that is listening is the most important part of any language learners study routine. But, not just listening in general, specifically repetitive listening.

Repetitive listening has been the most valuable part of my Korean study by far. So, let me explain what I mean by this. Repetitive is the adjective form of the word repeat. So, listening repetitively means listening to the same podcast, maybe a Culips podcast, or the same YouTube video or the same audio from your textbook over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Now, some people think that this is annoying and difficult, but I beg to differ. This expression, I beg to differ means I think differently. My opinion is that repetitive listening is only difficult if you are trying to understand what you are listening to.

Children, young children and babies do not try to understand what they hear. They simply hear sounds and over time they become familiar with the sounds that they hear the most. So why don’t you give it a try? Why don’t you listen to this episode or another episode of Culips say, 20 times? You don’t have to listen all at once, all in one day. You can listen twice today, three times tomorrow, four times on Friday and eventually after you’ve listened maybe 20 times, you will probably have memorized a lot of the expressions, sentences, even intonations of the speaker in the podcast.

If you’d like to give it a try, you can do so with an episode of Culips and the best part is, we have study guides and transcripts available at our website. If you go to you can find out how to download the study guide for this episode and for others and after you’ve listened repetitively to one of the episodes you can even check the transcript to find out if what you heard is correct. 

So that’s it for this English tip episode. I’m sure I will share more tips regarding listening and other language learning things in the future. As well as share interesting expressions with you. Hope you liked the episode today and if you found it helpful, let us know via email or on social media. Thanks for listening and I’ll catch you next time. Bye.

Take home messages

  • Babies learn language through listening
  • Listening is an essential English skill and it requires lots of practice
  • You can develop excellent listening abilities through repeated listening
  • Repeated listening does not require that you understand everything
  • Jeremy became fluent in Korean though repeatedly listening to podcasts and Youtube videos

Writing and Discussion Questions

  1. What skills have you developed through repetitive practice?
  2. Have you ever tried repetitive listening before? What was your experience like?
  3. Do you agree with Jeremy when he says, “listening is king”?
  4. Why might English learners not want to use repetitive listening to study
  5. In your opinion, what is the most important skill to develop when learning English?

Study Challenges

  1. Listen to the same Culips episode 20 times or more this week
  2. Use an application on your phone to track how much time you spend listening to English
  3. Create your own English immersion experience by loading up an MP3 player with only English music and podcasts

Credit: Music: Miei by Broke for Free, Feel Good (Instrumental) by Broke for free
Episode preparation/research: Jeremy Brinkerhoff
Audio editor: Andrew Bates
Transcriptionist: Heather Bates
Study guide writer: Andrew Bates
Audio editor: Andrew Bates
Business manager: Tsuyoshi Kaneshima

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