When it comes to improving your expert level in Tamil, it is important to develop your listening skills. It paves the way for the candidate to clarify his or her point by asking questions. The art of listening also improves one’s connection with Tamil word meanings and pronunciation forms. The only hurdle here is limited vocabulary which can put some cap on one’s learning abilities. Sometimes, it is the lack of educational background that can put the brakes early on. All said and done, listening comprehension is the most fundamental aspect of learning Tamil, or any language for that matter.

Tamil Language

The technique of listening depends on how the listener processes what is input or fed, how the listener logins to the background knowledge of the topic, the context or situation and the type of text, and the complexity of the language.

A fair understanding of the background of Tamil language triggers a sense of expectation, which helps the listener interpret what he or she hears and anticipate the next course of action. The most top-down effective strategies include listening for the main idea, predicting, making inferences, and summarising the idea.

Next, bottom-up strategies are generally text-based, and rest heavily on the language, that is, the combination of words, sounds, and grammar that produces meaning. Bottom-up strategies comprise listening for particular details, identifying cognates (or words that come from a common origins/source), and identifying word-order patterns.

Listeners can also make use of cognitive strategies to plan, track and evaluate their listening skills. The best strategy is to decide which learning method will serve best in a specific situation; check the effectiveness and comprehension levels of the selected method; evaluate or assess if the selected method has met the intended objective or whether it requires a combination of several comprehensive methods.

Some of the best methods employed are listening to Tamil lectures and talks; recognising the meaning of Tamil words when spoken; understanding the passages and dialogues from books, movies, songs and documentaries; capturing the key points even if you find the sentence structures complex; listening to radio and TV programs produced in English; asking questions back, preferably in Tamil and providing suggestions or comments as a two-way process