September 15, 2017 Lessons 0

Do you know how to understand a native speaker? Most of my students talk to me about how difficult it is to understand a native speaker. I’ll  give you some good hints in order to understand an American, Canadian, Australian, British and so on. Depending on the region they come from it is really hard to understand but in other ones is much easier. If you can’t understand him or her, don’t panic! Try to understand the context.  I’m sure you will feel much more confident. Remember to use all your vocabulary!

How to undestand a native speakerHow to understand a native speaker

First of all, let’s talk about the internet and its websites. I’ll select for you a video right now. If you don’t know ENGVID you need to visit their website! They are Canadian teachers and each one has a different accent. Let’s talk about Ronnie. She is a funny and creative teacher and her classes are worthwhile! I selected one her main lessons – “How to remember Vocabulary”. Please, click here and watch her hints. I agree with her because she comments lots of nice strategies that I used to follow when I was a child and started learning English. As you can see how to understand a native speaker is hard but not impossible!

More tips to understand a native speaker

  • First of all, you need to understand the main topic. If you don’t have any knowledge about Nuclear Physics you will have lots of difficulties to understand what they say! Choose something that really interests you and you like listening. If you like sports, choose sports videos and so on.
  • Another good strategy about how to understand a native speaker is listening to songs. Choose your favorite singer or band and pay attention to the lyrics. They usually have interesting ones and there are many good websites such as Vagalume so you will be able to choose among thousands of songs some good to practice.
  • If you are talking on the phone you need to pay attention. Choose a silent room and no noise to disturb you. If the native speaker is talking very fast, ask him to speak slower. A good question may be: Could you speak slower, please? Another one: Sorry, I can’t understand you. Could you repeat, please? Try to keep calm and if you don’t understand 100% don’t worry. It is common.
  • If you are talking personally it is much easier because you can interpret their body language, read their lips, facial expressions and so on. If they are talking fast ask them to repeat then you will be able to have a fluent conversation for many minutes.

As you can see how to understand a native speaker is a little bit hard but if you do your best you will achieve excellent results. The most important hint is: don’t panic! Everybody makes mistakes and native speakers do too. Don’t feel frustrated in your first experience when you are talking to an American, for example. The second experience will be much better for you!

Regards

Ricardo Esteves

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