In this video, we are going to talk about how to understand fast English speakers. So I get this question a lot from my students that they're having a hard time understanding native English speakers who are speaking too quickly.
So I want to give you some ideas and some tips and tricks today on how to understand fast English speakers a little bit better and some exercises that you can do to strengthen your listening skills when it comes to listening to native English speakers.
Okay. First of all, I want you to do what native speakers do and that is they don't listen to every word in a sentence.
Typically what they're doing is listening for those stressed words so they're listening for the stressed words in a sentence.
And so the every... the rhythm of English is composed of stressed and unstressed sounds and syllables.
So they've been conditioned to listen for those stressed words and syllables in a sentence and that's really what they're listening for.
So in order to understand this, let's do a little bit of a review of sentence stress.
So if we remember, sentence stress is emphasizing important words in a sentence. Those important words are longer, louder and with a slightly higher pitch.
Now some native speakers are really good at emphasizing and stressing these important words, and some are not as great at it.
But for those who do stress and emphasize those important words, it's much easier to understand because we can kind of pick out those stressed words and understand very clearly what they're trying to communicate.
Okay, those stressed words in a sentence are a clue for your listener to pay attention.
Okay so when you're saying, when you're speaking and you're using the rhythm of English, you want to stress or emphasize those key ideas and kind of hand those in most important ideas to your listener by stressing them.
Now you're gonna take this same advice as you're listening and say okay I'm going to be listening for those stressed words and those stressed syllables in a sentence and that's what's going to help you really hear and understand a lot better.
Okay. And so some examples of important words when it comes to sentence stress are names, and typically a native speaker will stress or emphasize a name.
Numbers are typically stressed or emphasized, and negatives are typically stressed or emphasized.
Again some native speakers do this better than others but you can get it, you can, as you follow this general rule you'll be able to pick that out a little bit better.
Okay, so stressed words equal or mean that they're important. They're important in the meaning, so we have that...those curves of stressed and unstressed words and syllables.
So you're looking for those stressed, those peaks in that rhythm. So as you listen for those stressed words and ideas in a sentence, that's where the meaning and the purpose that was really the important meaning of what the speaker is saying.
Okay? Now to do this, you want to, you'll need practice. To get better at this you need a lot of practice.
Now I found a resource that is absolutely amazing and there's this guy that has a website called ESL-lab.com.
And he has just dozens of recorded conversations between native English speakers and you can click on it, you can listen. A lot of the speakers are a little bit fast speakers or a normal pace for other native English speakers to be able to understand.
And so you'll listen to those recordings in those conversations and then he has a listening quiz or a comprehension test.
I guess I should say a comprehension test about that conversation.
It's an incredible resource and I encourage you to go to that website and I have a link here on the website.
Go there and listen to as many of those conversations as possible, take the quiz.
And...and as you do that, listen for those stressed or emphasized words and syllables in the sentence and see if you can get better at pulling out those stressed or important ideas instead of listening for every single word that that native speaker is saying.
Alright so as a review, do it native speakers do, don't listen to every word and listen for those stressed words in the sentence.
Okay I know as you do this that you'll be do this and you practice this skill you will get better understanding native English speakers and especially native speakers who might be speaking a little too fast.
All right go practice and I'll see you again in the next video.