Are you struggling to understand native speakers when they talk to you despite years of practising your listening skills?

I’ve been living in another country for 9 years. And I absolutely love it. I love living abroad and immersing myself in another language and culture. And I bet you do too.

Maybe you travel to English-speaking countries regularly. Maybe you live in one. Maybe you have friends in the UK or elsewhere.

But do you sometimes feel like an outsider? Even though you can speak English, you don’t always understand what people are saying to you.

You love reading books and immersing yourself in the culture. A culture that you understand. But going abroad and talking to natives is frustrating. Because you don’t understand them.

You probably learned English through grammar, books and writing. Maybe you think it’s too late.

I want to tell you that it’s not. I learned to understand French by living in France. But I know now that I could have learned faster. If someone had just explained how spoken French sounds.

Imagine watching films and TV series without subtitles or chatting with natives without worrying about missing half the conversation.

Surely that takes years? Yes and no. It’ll take years if you just listen. But you can get there more quickly with the right type of activity.

The secret is dictation. Not like the dictations you did at school. I’m talking about listening to short sections of conversational English.

You listen, you write what you hear and you compare with the transcript.

Congratulations, you’ve just learned something concrete about your comprehension abilities. Thanks to the gaps in your understanding.

But to transform your listening, you need someone who can explain why you didn’t understand. Who can help you notice the patterns in fast, conversational English. So you can understand anyone you talk to.

Dictate Your Listening Success is a 3-week mobile programme to help you understand fast, conversational English.

3 weeks of listening to, transcribing and recording 3 dictations per day through voice chat + my feedback.

All you need is your smartphone and an internet connection.

DYLS is back for Spring/Summer 2017. 29th May to 18th June

  • Transcribe the dictations whenever it’s convenient for you
  • Get my feedback so you understand why the dictation was difficult
  • Listen to real, conversational English (my voice) without the pressure of having to respond
  • Your investment: 60 €

What’s included in the price?

  • 60 dictations sent over 3 weeks
  • 3 dictations to transcribe and record yourself saying per day
  • thematic dictations to help you learn the expressions you’ll hear in conversation
  • a workbook containing these expressions + the transcriptions of each dictation
  • daily feedback from me on your comprehension and pronunciation
  • detailed how-to guide on how to use the mobile system (Whatsapp)
  • access to the Leo Listening Level Test (or a harder test if you’ve already taken it)
  • MP3 recording of all the dictations so you can practise whenever you want

Bonuses for early sign-ups: join by Friday, May 26th at 11:59 PM CET for a free copy of my live lesson pack (value: 9 euros)


Dictate your listening success.

Want to guarantee your DYLS place? Click on the ‘buy now’ button to pay safely and securely by PayPal or using your card.

DYLS How-to Guide

A look inside the how-to guide

Listen and transcribe the dictations wherever and whenever you want.

Access the WhatsApp group dictations on your preferred device

Access the WhatsApp group from your preferred device.

What do previous participants say about DYLS?

I began for the first time to better understand spoken “real” English


Medical Professional , Read Jaume's full story of how he dictated his listening success

“… it puts an English learner in front of the reality about how huge difference there is between an Academic English and the real language spoken by real people in the street, in real Life.”

Marco Pugliesi

Click to read or listen to Marco's story on the blog

Frequently Asked Questions

How much time do I need to spend per day on the programme?

I’ve asked my past participants and they all agree that you need 20 to 30 minutes a day. If you’ve read my interview with Jaume, you’ll know that this is short compared to other listening comprehension programmes he had participated in.

During these 20 to 30 minutes, you’ll listen to and transcribe my dictations, check your answers from the previous day, read or listen to my feedback and record yourself.

What level of English do I need to participate in DYLS?

I recommend that you have at least a B1 or intermediate level. If you can read the information on this page then you should be fine. The programme is particularly useful if you learned English at school mostly through reading and writing and didn’t hear much spoken English.

If you’re having the following difficulties it will also help:

  • you watch TV series or movies with subtitles and recognise the words. But you can’t understand them when you hear them
  • you feel nervous about talking to native or fluent speakers because you won’t be able to follow everything they say

This programme is not for you if you’re interested in perfecting your “academic” listening skills. For example, understanding business presentations, university lectures, speeches, TED talks etc.

This programme sounds intense - how do I keep up?

The aim of the programme is to train your ears intensively over a short period. If you can find 20 minutes per day to do the exercises, you’ll be fine. You’ll have my support daily plus the support of the other participants in the group. With everyone working together every day,  you’ll find the momentum to keep going and complete the programme.

Of course, if you know that during the programme you’re planning to

  • revise for and take exams
  • move house
  • find a new job
  • go on holiday or go travelling

or do any other sort of important project, I don’t recommend you participate. You won’t have time to fit it into your daily schedule.

What if I'm not familiar with WhatsApp?

After you enroll in DYLS, I’ll send you a guide which explains how to use WhatsApp and how to enroll in the group. You can also find detailed explanations in various languages on the WhatsApp website.

About Cara and Leo Listening

About Cara and Leo Listening

Hi, I'm Cara Leopold, the online English listening teacher at Leo Listening. I help bookworms and vocab nerds who prefer reading to listening get conversation-ready by teaching them how to understand fast, informal spoken English without translating in their heads. 

Click here to learn more about my story and how I can help you.