How to understand Native English Speakers

As480-cabs-london a teacher, I can tell you that a lot of problems students have with the English language come with listening. You can learn as much as you like from a textbook or from exam study but this will not help you when you are out in the real world in London, New York or Sydney. People simply do not speak in the same way as your IELTS listening exam or a listening exercise from your textbook. It can be very upsetting for somebody who has worked very hard and learned for a long time at school or in college in their own country, only to not understand a single word of what the flight attendant said on the plane over to an English speaking nation, or when the taxi driver asks them where they want to go! So how can we improve this?
Well, this is my first tip to try to get used to how native speakers speak:
1. Do not expect to hear the short words. Native speakers love to leave out or barely pronounce prepositions and other short
words. ‘for’, ‘and’ , ‘but’ and words like this are never pronounced fully in conversation. The native speaker expects the other person to know this word so he does not think he needs to pronounce it. It is common for him to attach it to the next word. E.g ‘for a while’ becomes ‘fura while’. Have a listen to native speakers on television or on the internet with subtitles and notice how they pronounce the words. The next step is to repeat it yourself. Finally, listen again without the subtitles and write down what you hear.
Note: This only works if the speaker continues talking. If it is the end of the sentence he will pronounce the word fully.
I hope this will help you, I will be back soon with another tip on this subject.

 

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