Research into language acquisition and oral language use was examined in order to identify key factors that contribute to the successful acquisition of second language (L2) listening ability. The factors were grouped into three major domains: affective, cognitive, and interpersonal. It is claimed that in each domain, proficient L2 listeners have developed strategies, that is, plans of conscious action, in order to address persistent challenges of L2 acquisition. For the affective domain, the strategies concern development of resilience in order to maintain long-term motivation and investment of identity as an active user of the L2. For the cognitive domain, the strategies involve relearning the phonological system of the L2 as an independent system in order to counteract native language influences and using compensation tactics to supplement the influences of semantic organization of one’s native language. For the interpersonal domain, the strategies involve accommodation to communication styles and a task orientation to interaction. Research is reviewed from cognitive psychology, neurolinguistics, pragmatics, bilingualism studies, and language pedagogy, with the aim of identifying particular obstacles faced by L2 listeners and practical approaches used to cope with them.