Not understanding what you are hearing getting you down? Frustrated at the feeling of input that just feels incomprehensible at times? Well there’s an easy trick that gives you a tiny boost:
Close your eyes.
This is obvious, but sometimes you have to remind yourself of the obvious. You probably have done this unconsciously in the past when you are trying to focus very closely on what you are listening to. Or you may have just been closing your eyes because you were listening to something while laying down or tired.
When I used to have telephone interviews in Japanese, I often had my eyes closed when I was listening to the interviewer say something. When I was listening to something too difficult anywhere my eyes would also tend to close. And I always frequently enjoyed passive listening before bed with my eyes closed. In all of these situations, I felt like my understanding was better.
When you close your eyes, does your Japanese ability actually get better?
Yes. There is good scientific reason behind it, and one that should encourage you to sometimes make an effort to close your eyes when you are trying to comprehend something difficult.
Closing your eyes helps you remember better.
Language learning is all about remembering. What you’ve learned, what you’ve seen, what you’ve heard. Closing your eyes is like a temporary power up, and there is no reason why you shouldn’t make use of it.
What’s your experience?
Has closing your eyes improved your listening?