It is hard to track listening skills; but it is possible to track your listening progress! Here’s how.
Create an audio collection
In order to track your listening progress, you have to compare your present self with your past self. A great way to do that is to re-listen to lessons, podcasts, programs and audio clips.
The first thing you need to do is save your recordings so that you can listen to them later. Use a smartphone or computer to record any audio, like radio or TV programs, that you don’t have your own recording’s for. You don’t need to keep and review everything you listen to, just the occasional recording.
When listening to audio (like a lesson, podcast, or broadcast), rate how well you understand it on a scale of 1-10 (1 = don’t understand anything, 10= understand everything). There’s no rule on how you should rate things. You could create a score system where starting from 10, you subtract 0.5 for sentences you don’t understand, or 1-3 points if it is too fast. The key is to try and remain consistent.
Come back one month later
Set up a schedule to listen to the audio again (add a reminder in Google Calendar, it will send you an email when it is time to go back and review) in a month or so.
When you get the reminder, listen to the audio again, assigning a new rating. Then look at your old rating and compare it to the new one (don’t peek beforehand!). You might find it much easier than before (a great sign), or you’ll find it as confusing (a sign you need to practice more).
Bonus: Advanced listening progress tracking
If you want to understand your listening progress on a deeper level, try the following. Make notes after listening. What made the passage easy or hard? The speed? The vocabulary? The topic? The sentence structure. Make more notes after listening to the passage the next time. Comparing your notes will usually provide a clear understanding of what progress you’ve been making.