How to practise your listening skills with our videos

Oi! Tudo bem?

When learning a language, it’s important to practise all skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. When reading, you can learn more vocabulary and grammar as well as focusing on sentence and paragraph structure. If you practise writing, you can produce your own sentences using everything you have learnt. It’s not as spontaneous as speaking the language because we usually have more time to write and rewrite something if needed, but it’s still a very important skill to master. When practising your listening, not only will you be able to check what words you already know, but if you’ll also be able to check if you understand the message that the speaker is trying to convey.



However, when it comes to this last skill (listening), some people may say it is the most difficult one to practise because Brazilians tend to speak really fast. This actually happens in all languages when natives are speaking among themselves, but don’t get discouraged because all it takes is practice! The more you surround yourself with the sounds of that language (by listening to music, watching movies and series, talking to friends who speak that language…), the easier it gets! Trust me!

Today we’ll be giving you some tips on how to improve your listening skills by watching our Instagram videos. By the way, if you don’t follow us on Instagram, don’t miss out! We post tips and lots of cool content over there! If you don’t have Instagram, you can also check our videos on Youtube.


We post our Café Em Um Minuto (coffee in a minute) series fortnightly and we usually talk about topics related to Brazilian culture. You’ll get to practise your listening skills, learn new vocabulary and also get to learn about Brazilian culture at its finest!

1. First off, go to our IGTV tab on our Instagram profile or go to our Youtube channel and then choose a video to watch. Our videos approach several topics, such as animals, holidays, Internet, politics, food and so forth. If you choose our video about animals, for instance, brainstorm everything you know about it but thinking about Brazil and try to predict what is going to be mentioned in the video.


2.  Now close your eyes and just listen to the whole video. Try to get the gist of it, so don’t try to understand everything that is being said (if that happens, congratulations!!!). Once you watch it, ask yourself:

  • What was I able to understand? Did I get the gist?
  • Do I remember any words?
  • Did she mention anything I already knew or was it all new to me?



3. It’s time to listen again, but now you’re allowed to watch the video (yay!). If you’re still a beginner, watch it and read the subtitles in English. If not, go straight to the subtitles in Portuguese. While watching it, don’t focus too much on the vocabulary and what each word means, but whether you managed to understand the gist correctly the first time you listened. Now ask yourself:

  • Did I get anything right or did I completely miscomprehend what was being said?
  • Did I learn anything new? What was the most interesting piece of information?


4. Now we can focus on the vocabulary and the grammar! Grab a vocabulary notebook or a notepad and watch it again. Pause every time you come across a new word or a structure that uses a grammar topic you’ve been studying – it’s really important to focus on sentences too so you can have more authentic examples of different grammar points. This helps you build your own sentences and put into practice what you already know. After jotting down the new words, read them out loud. If you’re unsure about the pronunciation, you can rewind the video or use



5. Now that you’re familiar with the theme and the vocabulary, you can watch it again without reading the subtitles. Can you still understand what is being said? Do you remember any of the words you’ve learnt?



6. To keep practising, we always ask questions at the end of our videos so you can share your own experiences. You can leave a comment and even write a short text (in Portuguese, if possible!) in a notebook with your thoughts on it. Show it to your teacher in order to have some feedback on your writing. Some questions you can consider:

  • What was the video about?
  • Did you learn anything new?
  • What was the most interesting fact?
  • Compare it to your country: are there any  similarities or differences?

And that’s it! There are many videos on our Instagram and Youtube channel, so don’t forget to check them out! Also, what themes would you like to see on our Cafe Em Um Minuto series? We hope to see you there interacting with us!


Até mais!

Luciana Veloso










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