Do you sometimes struggle to understand native English speakers? Do they speak too fast? In today’s English lesson I give you a tip to help you to improve your ‘English listening’ skill. If you practice what I tell you, you will be able to understand the conversations of native English speakers more easily…

Every year millions of students all over the world study English in a classroom. In the classroom they speak to their fellow students in English and they speak to their teachers in English. They can understand their teachers and they can understand their fellow students. However there is a problem!

I live in the seaside town of Poole on the south coast of England. Bournemouth is our neighbouring town. If you follow football and the English Premier League, you will know the name Bournemouth because Bournemouth is a Premier League team….

Bournemouth is also an important town for English learning. There are many English language schools in Bournemouth. Students from all over the world come to Bournemouth every year to study English…

When I meet English language students I often ask them to tell me what their biggest learning challenge is. Many students tell me that they can understand what their teachers are saying and they can understand what their fellow students are saying. However; they struggle to understand native English speakers because they speak too fast! These students need to improve their English listening skill.

Note: This is a problem for learners of all languages, not just English.

In this video I use the example: ‘I went for a beer’. If I said to you ‘I went for a beer’ you may understand what I am saying. However; many native English speakers don’t pronounce every word clearly ‘I-went-for-a-beer’. They don’t pronounce their words clearly because they speak fast. They speak fast and they ‘roll’ their words into one another’ (listen to the video at 4 minutes 52 seconds )…

Here’s my tip to help you to better understand native English speakers and to improve your English listening

Spend some time ‘every day’ listening to native English speakers. Even if it’s just ten minutes a day, it will help you to understand native English speakers. A good way to do this is to watch recordings of a TV programmes online. However; you should also practice listening to different English accents….

Examples of British English TV programmes to watch include ‘soap operas’ such as Eastenders, Coronation Street and Emmerdale

Each of these programmes features a different British English accent because each programme comes from a different part of England.

– EastEnders is in the East End of London (in the south-east of England).

– Coronation Street is in Manchester in the North West of England. The accent is very different to the East End of London accent.

– Emmerdale is in the Yorkshire Dales, an area of Yorkshire in the North East of England. Although the Emmerdale characters have a Northern accent, it is a different Northern accent to the characters in Coronation Street.

When I was sixteen I worked with a boy from Newcastle in the North East of England. People from Newcastle have a ‘Geordie’ accent. For people who are not from Newcastle (particularly ‘Southerners’ like me), it is difficult to understand a ‘Geordie’ accent…

I could barely understand anything this boy said, even when he spoke slowly! Fortunately he had a friend who used to ‘translate’ for him. It was the only way ‘Southerners’ like me could understand what this boy was saying!

When you listen to TV programmes ‘listen and repeat’. Stop the video, go back and listen again. Stop the video, go back and listen again etc…

When you ‘listen and repeat’ you get ‘listening’ AND ‘speaking’ practice.

Do this for ten minutes every day (more if you can) and your listening skills will get better and better. Your fluency in English will get better too…

If you enjoyed this English lesson please leave a comment or a question. Also please check out my Social Media channels (see links ‘HERE’). If Speak English with David is helping you, please recommend me to your friends

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