One of the easiest and fun ways to develop your listening skills are audiobooks! You can use either adopted for your level stories (it will make the whole process easier and faster) or authentic literature (it will give you hard times, but must worth it).
This kind of exercise I was doing while studying at university at the faculty of the English language and literature. A very talented Professor Kashina Elena Georgievna introduced it to us.
To get ready to practice, you will have to find an audiobook that comes along with the script itself. You can buy it in bookstores or download online. I suggest you give a try to a book level lower than your current. Thus, if you are an intermediate level student, try to practice with the book of pre-intermediate level.
All you have to do is to listen to audio and try to write down everything that you hear, pausing the recording when it's necessary. If you can't understand some words or phrases, just skip them, leaving a dash on its place.
After you finish a page or a chapter, you can compare your writing with the script and correct mistakes you got.
This exercise will boost your ability to understand English speech and will make it way easier to watch movies or TV programs in English.
Try it out! It's worth it. If you need any help with finding audiobooks for your level, don't hesitate to send me a message!
The best way to start speaking fluently in English is to be in a language environment. Once you start leaving, working, or studying abroad, want it or not, you will begin gradually catching up with the basic conversational phrases and vocabulary.
But what if you don't have an environment beneficial for foreign language learning? Create it by yourself! Try to surround yourself with English speaking friends and practice it on a daily/weekly basis. The most effective way though is to find a penfriend from an English speaking country and communicate with him whenever and wherever you want! Admit it, these days we have phones at our fingertips almost 24/7.
Instagram, Whatsapp, Skype, FaceTime, and many other applications which are supporting voice and video calls will be useful! Nothing can replace a live conversation!
If you think that you need some time with getting the idea of what has been said, you can use an incredible option of communication - voice message. You can replay received audio any time you want until you get the idea and take your time with answering it.
Remember, language is an instrument of communication! Especially when we are talking about its spoken part, so not a single program or book can replace you that.
To practice your spoken skills, you might like to try the following techniques: retelling stories you've read or learning dialogues with handy phrases by heart (annoying as hell, but works).