In modern society， it has been a trend that diverse English examinations put tremendous emphasis on the ability of reading。 When facing the subject that， as undergraduates， how we could improve our reading ability constantly， different people hold different opinions。
As an undergraduate， my proposals related to the means to promote the reading ability are based on the following aspects。 To begin with， reading ability， a basic grounding of English learning ability， would be well improved by unceasingly reading various articles， such as fictions， magazines and newspapers。 Additionally， as we all know， writing reading notes is a wise method， which would contribute to cultivating a positive reading habit。 Along with the analyses of different kinds of articles， not only can we accumulate a great deal of knowledge， but also we are able to enhance our reading ability。 Last but not least， we ought to make good use of the electronic products， such as iPad and Kindle， which will either improve our study efficiency or arouse our interest in reading。
All in all， on the basis of the causes mentioned above， the significance of reading can never be overemphasized。 Consequently， my sincere hope is that all the college students could continue to improve our abilities in every respect。 Only in this way can we get more achievements and reach our ultimate goals。
In modern society， it has been a phenomenon that there are more and more opportunities to use English， not only in different exams but also in our daily life。 Among the abilities of using English， speaking ability must be a practical one that every educated person should possess。 And the fluency in English expression must be a result of a set of really tough work。
As an undergraduate， my proposal related to the means to promote the speaking ability is based on the following aspects。 Speaking ability， as far as I am concerned， acquires unceasing exercises of both listening and speaking。 As a consequence， we ought to make good use of the materials around us， such as the Internet， which will either improve our study efficiency or arouse our interest in speaking。 The application， Ted， is a perfect example。 It provides us with a great number of speeches delivered by diverse famous people from all kind of fields。 Through constantly listening to these speeches and reading loudly and clearly， our speaking ability must be improved continuously。
With economic globalization, English, as the communicational tool of the world's common language, is more important than before. In China, the growing trend of learning English makes students learn English much earlier. In 2001, the Ministry of Education issued the "English standard". According to it, for the English beginners, listening ability is one of the five essential abilities (listening, speaking reading, writing and translating) and an important part of English practical ability and also a standard to measure the quality of English teaching.
To sum up， on the basis of the cause mentioned above， the significance of speaking can never be overemphasized。 Thus， my sincere hope is that all the college students could continue to improve their abilities in every respect。 Only in this way can we get more achievements and reach our ultimate goals。
Students are the most receptive at their young age, and one’s development of young stage will influence the development of his whole life. Thus, the listening ability of English beginners proves particularly important. Till now, a lot of scholars have studied how to improve the English ability of the English beginners. Lin Xinshi said that cultivation of good learning habits is of much essence to English beginners(林新事，贰零零零). He tried to propose some novel ideas and thoughts about cultivating good learning habits of English language novices. He stated that the cultivation of good learning habits goes through three stages: 1) The stage of good habits selecting, 2) the stage of consolidation and reinforcement, 3) the stage of good habit using and transferring. A thesis said:“If I were an English beginner, I would read more stories and listen more tapes. If I were an English beginner of middle school , I would read and recite beautiful texts accurately and fluently. I should read more English after class, and retell the stories to my classmates in simple English. And also, I will learn some basic grammar knowledge to strengthen my self-consciousness to study.”（中学课程教导初中一年级版,2003）.Liu Xueyun analyzed the common writing errors of English Beginners (刘学云,一九八二).
Also a lot of scholars have studied how to improve the English learners` listening ability. In the early of the 1970s, many applied linguists proposed listening strategy theories, the famous ones are O’Malley’s and Chaumont’s. They classified the learning strategies used by the learners in the listening process into: metacognitive strategy, cognitive strategy, social and emotional strategies (cited from宝建东， 2007). Vandergrift believes that metacognitive strategy is effective to improve the English beginners` listening ability (Vandergrift L, 1993). Professor Mendelsohn thinks teachers should help learners use other means to obtain information(cited from张艳丰，2008). In addition to the use of video, the multi-media teaching also can be put into use (cited from张艳丰, 2008). In the English teaching of China, people do not pay much attention to the listening ability improvement. Currently, the research of it is just on the stage of description. The intervention stage is still being explored. As a result, no systematic or sophisticated teaching can be put into practice. In the 1990s, some scholars, such as Jiang Zukang did some research on the relationship between listening strategies and listening ability, and his result confirmed the validity of listening strategies (蒋祖康, 1994). But just a few of them studied how to improve the English beginners` listening ability. In the area of listening teaching of primary school , Xu Xiuzhen made a research on teaching procedures, technical processing , how to interest students, how to deal with the relation between listening teaching and text teaching ,and the relation between listening training and thinking(徐袖珍，2002). She believes that teaching should follow four steps: 1, pre-listening; 2, listening; 3Upon listening screening; 4, repeated listening. At the same time, she raised the methods against the above specific issues, such as diversifying of teaching methods, enhancing the interest of students, etc. (徐袖珍,2002). Meng Hongtao analyzed the five factors which influenced the listening ability: 1. vocabulary, 2. grammar, 3. voice, 4. Speed, 5.cultural background, and then raised some corresponding methods according to the factors. (孟红桃，2004). Xiang Yi believes that English beginners, especially those in primary school children, should focus on listening and speaking ability very much (项奕，2010). Although many scholars have done a lot of research on English beginners and how to improve their listening ability, they mostly just give suggestions in theory and most of the suggestions are very abstract.
This paper believes what the previous scholars have researched reflects the importance of improving listening ability of English beginners. As we all know, listening ability is one of the five essential abilities (listening, speaking, reading, writing and translating) and an important part of English practical ability and also a standard to measure the quality of English teaching. If a student can not listen well, his or her speaking, reading and other abilities may be affected.
In the following, this paper makes a specific research on how to improve listening ability of the English beginners on the bases of personal and school factors .According to these factors, some suggests are offered, hoping to serve the English beginners.
I. Listening Status of Chinese English Beginners
In China the listening condition of English beginners is not ideal. Generally speaking, the English beginners are lack of interest and their teaching strategy is single. In addition, their knowledge on phonetic and grammar and vocabulary is poor and weak. Besides these, they have less cultural background knowledge, either.
1.1 Being Lack of Interest in Listening
"Interest is the best teacher". In practical teaching, in some regions, especially in the poor regions, the English beginners are lack of interests due to being lack of the modern teaching equipments in schools, such as multi-media room, DVD, MP3, etc. Even in some schools, the modern equipments are placed just for decoration，not for practical use. Other reasons resulting in low learning interest of the beginners are the teachers` boring teaching methods, the vapidity of the teaching materials and so on.
1.2 Weak Knowledge on Phonetic Characteristics and Rules.
Sound recognition involves the identification of voice, intonation, sound quality and so on. As is known to all, there are only 26 alphabets, but the number of their pronunciations is nearly twice as much as them. For most students, when they meet these letters in words or phrases, they can not identify which pronunciation they should articulate. What’s more, the same letter may correspond to different pronunciations. And also, different letters can correspond to the same pronunciation. In addition to the above, in different context, speakers` voice and intonation are different, so the students can not learn the phonetic characteristics and rules well.
1.3 Being Weak in Vocabulary and Grammar
The time when students are really involved in English learning is in the secondary school. And in most primary schools, the time of having English class is just one or two hours and the teacher seldom emphasize the importance of vocabulary and grammar. As a result, the students in primary school just know a few words and vocabularies and they can not be able to write them, even they know a little about their pronunciation. So the students feel it difficult to comprehend the native speakers.
1.4 Being Lack of Knowledge aboutCultural Background.
Background is related to the listening material, the character in the material , the culture, the lifestyle, and the understanding of concept and so on. Its main role is to provide the listener judgments, reasoning, the basis of speculation, etc. The weak knowledge about cultural background is caused by the following reasons:(1) being lack of introduction of background timely in material, (2)being lack of background introduction in teacher's teaching process (3)students` neglecting of cultural background knowledge in their preparation process.
1.5 The SingleTeaching Strategy.
Most teachers are using the "three steps” in their English lesson. The first step is to listen to the recoding, without using any back information. The second step is to ask students to do multiple –choice. The third step is to check the answers. The teaching strategy is very single. But most students are active and curious; they can not stand the boring single teaching strategy and demand more various teaching methods. Their teaching strategy is hard to meet whose demands and easy to bore them, but the lifelong learning view is based on the students ’interest of English. If the student’s interest can not be satisfied, they will gradually lose the interest.
II. Factors Influencing the Listening Ability of English Beginners
Factors influencing the listening ability of English beginners mainly include personal factors and school factors. It is necessary to analyze them if the listening ability of English beginners must be improved.
2.1 Personal Factors
Personal factors always involve students and teachers. This paper mainly analyses the factors of students’ and teachers ’attitude, students’ learning motivation and English beginners’ limited knowledge.
2.1.1 Teachers’ and Students’ Ignoring Attitude
Someone says: "Attitude is everything". Although this statement exaggerates the function of attitude, to a certain extent, there is something in it. The effects of attitude on language learning are mainly reflected in the following aspects: (1) the relation between attitude and foreign language learning: the learners who are positive to learn a foreign language may learn it more easily and make progress more quickly .Conversely, the learners who hold negative attitude towards the study of foreign language may improve their learning slowly. (2) The relation between attitude and enthusiasm: attitude directly affects enthusiasm. Those learners who stop learning after studying for a short period and can’t last to the ending time are largely passive and negative learners, the low enthusiasm will result in poor learning. (3) The relation between attitude and classroom behavior: attitude affects classroom activities of participation (张锡伟，2010). Guildsman’s research shows that the student’s good performance is proposition to their good attitude. Namely a student who holds positive attitude acts more active in class, and his grades are better (cited from Dardner,R.C, W.E. Lambert,1972) . Tao Deqing thought that attitude contained a certain behavioral tendencies by itself. It is a important psychological phenomenon (陶德清, 2001). From his point of view, we can see the close relationship between attitude and behavior. Tao Deqing believed attitude affected social judgment, affordability and activities of the initiative (陶德清, 2001).
In our present English enlightenment education, including the teachers and the students, most of them ignore listening teaching and learning .During the listening teaching of English beginners, most teachers are just limited to ask students to listen to the videos or tapes in classroom, and even never give them homework of training their listening ability. Students at that age, because of their limited cognitive ability and self-control, also can not realize the needs to improve their listening ability, or even raise a sense of exclusion. In the process of teaching. The main characters are teachers and students. If both locate the listening ability to an unseasonable place, the listening ability will present a poor state.
2.1.2Ambiguous Learning Motivation
According to many scholars, students’ learning motivation affects students deeply. As for the English beginners of China, the following characteristics are common.
18.104.22.168 Having Disgusting Mood of Learning
Being naughty is the nature of children. Pupils sometimes do not like learning because the school time reduces their time of playing. On the other hand, the pupils always don’t make their strong resolutions and the textbooks used in elementary school don’t satisfy the students` interests because they attach much to their scientific and logical characteristics. In addition, the teaching method is basically priority to classroom teaching and the teaching method is single. So the students hate learning and don’t like to read and have a class, being unable to complete their assignments. They always look for excuses where they do not need to learn. In addition, they often use other activities which are far away from learning to occupy their learning time.
22.214.171.124Being Easily Distracted
The students are often distracted when they are engaging in learning. When the teacher is having class, they always look around or outside and can not concentrate on their books and thinking. When they are doing their homework or exercise, they always want to do something else and then go to do. For example, they do their homework for 20 minutes and then play games for another 20 minutes and come back to do homework again. They are often interrupted by other ideas or activities. Not only the above, some students are often absent-minded and always listen to something else when the teacher is having class, even they feel it difficult to follow the teacher’s instruction to do homework.
126.96.36.199Not Knowing the Learning Goals
Some students are casual when they learn something. They do not know what knowledge they should get and what knowledge does not suit them. They always learn something without choosing because they are lack of initiative and do not know what they should need. They always follow others` view and do not have very clear goals.
2.1.3 English Beginners` Limited Knowledge
Most English beginners are generally weak in English knowledge because of their young age and lack of social experience. They are still at a low level of voice, vocabulary, and grammar .In addition, on the Chinese and Western cultures, especially the Western culture, history, geography, religion, politics, customs, and life, their knowledge is not very rich. Pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, etc. constitute an important part of the language. Without such basic knowledge, it is almost impossible to master a language, especially mastering a foreign language.
A person's listening ability relates to the above English knowledge closely. Pronunciation and tone are the prerequisite to distinguish different words; vocabularies make up the cells of a language, without these cells, the language would not exist; and grammar is the framework of a language. If we want to know what the language says, we’d better know the grammar. In the process of listening, if people lack these English knowledge or they do not know the differences between China and Western countries, people’s listening ability will be affected.
2.2 School Factor
School factors account much in improving the listening ability of English beginners. In the following, this paper analyzes some school factors which result in the low listening ability. They are mainly unreasonable arrangement of listening, the unreasonable schedule and the unreasonable material selection.
2.2.1 Unreasonable Arrangement of Listening
In the arrangement of listening training course, the teachers are weak in scientific and systematic arrangement for training objectives of the students in different semesters and different stages. Too difficult or too easy scheduling, too concentrated or too decentralized arrangement will affect the student's attention and enthusiasm. If the arrangement is not satisfactory, irregularities, then, the confidence, the attention and the interest of the students will be affected, and thus, it will raise a negative impact, lowering the standard of teaching listening.
2.2.2The Unreasonable Lasting Time of Listening Training
The teachers in many schools over emphasize on text teaching, writing exercise, but put the training of students` listening ability at a subordinate status .So the time of listening training is not sufficient.
Besides, in listening training, the length of time is not reasonable. Many teachers focus on the training time excessively and just use the single training model, So the students are very easy to be tired and the sufficiency is not satisfactory.
2.2.3Unreasonable Material Selection
Many textbooks chosen by the schools are unreasonable. The students use the same set of teaching materials which have been outdated over the years and can not meet the modern students` needs but the teacher seldom train the students with some listening materials out from the outdated textbook . A good listening material should relate to very sides of the society, such as daily life, culture, education, customs, people, science and so on. And also the sentences of a good listening material should be brief, oral and connect to people’s affection. The structure of them should also be brief and should involve much omission. However, some textbooks chosen do not fit with these.
Ⅲ. Ways to Improve the Listening Ability of English Beginners
After analyzing the factors from personal side and school side, some suggestions may be given on the ways to improve the listening ability of English beginners.
3.1 Having a Positive Face Strategy to Cultivate English Beginners’ Serious and Responsible Attitude towards Listening.
Brown and Levinson proposed politeness strategy; they think that courtesy is people’s need to meet face needs. So their politeness theory is often called "Face-saving Theory" (referred to as FST) (cited from黄颖,2006). The so-called positive face, for people, refers to wanting recognition and praise from others(黄颖,2006). English beginners are generally not mature enough in terms of age. Although they have the ability to tell things around, they also need teacher’s evaluation and guidance and inspiring. Therefore, in the process of listening teaching, teachers should encourage those students whose listening abilities have improved. For example, when a student does well in a listening exercise, the teacher may say: "How wonderful! How did you do that? "or "very good”. Adding a tag questions after an exclamatory expression shows the teacher’s surprise and happiness. The later sentence shows the teachers positive attitude towards the student’s listening ability. Thus the student’s face in front of the class is raised. This positive politeness strategy approach encourages the listening ability of students timely and enables them to establish self-esteem in front of other students so that their interest, self-confidence and determination will be increased .these can benefit the students` listening ability.