Is it worth the effort to listen to audio we don't yet understand?

One more thing: people say that if you ‘tune out’ it’s not very useful. I’ve found the opposite to be true. Through a whole lot of passive listening, not paying any attention to what is being said, I’ve found my understanding improves. Having said that, everyone needs to find out what is more efficient for them on their own.

Right, as of this morning, I have started listening to anything and everything. I currently have a German radio station playing in the background and I will have this on every minute I am on the laptop (bar LingQing, watching movies etc).

On the bus to work today I will listen to podcasts. Thats 1hr 15 mins.

In total I estimate this will be roughly 5/6 hours a day of active/passive listening.

I can understand roughly 30% of the words on the radio, and roughly 15% of the meaning. Lets see if this works at all…

Great stuff Guitario.

But do try to ensure that you listen mostly to things that you’re genuinely interested in - be it drama, news, sports or whatever… Otherwise I would say there is a danger your brain will ‘switch off’ after a while (that, at any rate, was my experience.)

A relevant TED talk.

Researchers discovered that, after women repeatedly read aloud a section of Dr. Seuss’ “The Cat in the Hat” while they were pregnant, their newborn babies recognized that passage when they hear it outside the womb. My favorite experiment of this kind is the one that showed that the babies of women who watched a certain soap opera every day during pregnancy recognized the theme song of that show once they were born. So fetuses are even learning about the particular language that’s spoken in the world that they’ll be born into.

A study published last year found that from birth, from the moment of birth, babies cry in the accent of their mother’s native language. French babies cry on a rising note while German babies end on a falling note, imitating the melodic contours of those languages. Now why would this kind of fetal learning be useful? It may have evolved to aid the baby’s survival. From the moment of birth, the baby responds most to the voice of the person who is most likely to care for it – its mother. It even makes its cries sound like the mother’s language, which may further endear the baby to the mother, and which may give the baby a head start in the critical task of learning how to understand and speak its native language.

I think that unborn/newborn babies are quite different to adults. If an adult listens over and over to something in a foreign language s/he doesn’t understand, it seems to be a waste of time for most people.

I am with Hape. I have listened to well known pop songs on radio at work many times. I haven’t understood them until I started to learn English properly.