Repeated Listening- It works if you can stand it.

Jeremy from Motivate Korean recommends you listen to one audio clip of your choice a crazy number of times in order to learn your target language.

He got the idea from how he used to learn K-pop songs by listening to them many times. Why not try the same idea with speech-audio? This is what to do:

1. Choose an audio of someone talking which is 2-20 minutes long.  It should have clear audio quality and pronunciation.  You must like the voice of the person talking, because it will get stuck in your head.  You can find plenty of audio clips for free on YouTube.

2. Put the audio clip on loop (so it will automatically repeat) and listen to it when you have time.  You might listen as you wash dishes or commute to work.

3. Do not analyze it with knitted brow.  Do not think of it as a test of your listening comprehension.  Just smile and enjoy.  Jeremey posted in a comment on his channel:

Try listening to birds chirping. Do you analyze the bird’s sounds? You can listen to Korean in the same way. Just simple listening. No extra thinking. If you happen to understand words, then that’s great. But if you don’t, it’s okay. Eventually, you will start to understand bit by bit. Once you are able to repeat a word or phrase you hear a lot, then you can ask a Korean friend or try to look it up on But don’t look anything up until you can say it out loud from memory.

4. Over the course of a couple weeks or a month, listen to it 80-100 times. (I told you it was a crazy number of times.)

5.  According to Jeremy, you will start to see results after 20 or 30 times of listening.  He says the results will be ridiculously good.  You’ll improve in your understanding of that particular clip, but also improve your listening skills in the language in general. He says your speaking ability will naturally improve.


I tried it

I tried it because I was spending much more time looking for Spanish videos to watch, than watching them.

I used a story of Rapunzel that was about 12 minutes long, with a narrator whose voice I really liked.

The results: An inch wide and a mile deep

Instead of being, “A mile wide and an inch deep,” the knowledge I gained was permanent, and deeply ingrained. I can instantly understand words I learned from repeated listening. I am sure of what those words are supposed to sound like, even if I have not heard them in months. I feel very natural saying phrases I can remember. Nothing else I have done has taught me so surely.

I could perceive the sounds in the audio more and more clearly as I listened to it repeatedly. The meaning of unknown words would dawn on me, and I don’t know how I figured them out.

The progress was slow, however. You don’t learn much at each listen, but what you do learn, you really learn.


Listening to it repeatedly was annoying.  I ‘checked out’ and stopped paying attention to the audio sooner and sooner, so that now I don’t even pay attention for a minute.  I tried really hard not to be annoyed, but I was.  I listened to it about 25 times, and I can’t listen to it anymore.

I am pretty sure Stephen Krashen would not advise using this method because he speaks of the mind’s need for novelty.

However, if you can listen to something repeatedly without getting annoyed, this method is worth a try.







Categories Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close