How to improve your English listening comprehension


Why spoken English is difficult to understand

A lot of English learners have trouble understanding what native English speakers say.

One reason that real English is difficult to understand is that the English in classrooms and textbooks is very different from how people really speak. Some of the differences include:

  • People use different words and phrases in spoken English than they do in writing.
    • They use slang.
    • They say “um”, “hmm”, “ah”, “uh”, etc.
    • They skip the word “that” when using relative clauses.
  • …and so on.
  • Native English speakers pronounce words differently when they say them together than when you say them one-by-one. This is called “connected speech”.

    If you only learn English in a classroom, you probably only hear very careful pronunciation. You won’t be prepared when someone asks you something that sounds like:

    W’joominehand’nmethabagovethare? (“Would you mind handing me that bag over there?”)

    read more…

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