After coming back to the United States from China, I always hoped that I would overhear some Chinese nationals and stun them by joining in the conversation. When I finally got the opportunity, I was showering in the locker room and what I overheard was: 这伙子身材不错。 Sadly, I was stunned (flattered?) and just thought it would be too awkward to join in. But the point was, I understood what he had said (or maybe I just imagined him saying it as I wanted to hear it?) and I think that the listening practice I have maintained was big factor in that.
For me, a majority of my practice came listening to music at work and podcasts on the commute. Others advocate watching the news and others use it as an excuse to watch Taiwanese dramas. The best linguistic resource that I’ve seen regarding listening is from the Hacking Chinese website. It is a comprehensive overview of different listening strategies and provides links to some other resources. I highly recommend that you look at this as well as the other info on Hacking Chinese. (Link to Article).
I’ve written a separate post about the podcasts that I’ve enjoyed listening to, and below are some other listening resources.
US Defense Language Institute GLOSS — A resource used by the US military to train its linguists. Lessons are available for several languages and are divided by skill level. There is some pre-teaching of vocabulary as well as comprehension check questions. Also available for reading.
University of Iowa Chinese Reading World–This is primarily a reading resource, however, it is also available for listening.
Radio Chinese Plus gives access to American Radio stations broadcasting in both Mandarin and Cantonese.
Feel free to share your thoughts on these resources and give suggestions for others. Thanks for reading.