How to understand spoken English more easily?
By learning HOW to listen to it more effectively.
Take this situation:
Walking in a forest, I reach a creek (small river).
I want to get to the other side.
I’m wearing a pair of sports shoes.
Not waterproof boots.
I don’t want my shoes to get wet.
There is no bridge, and I cannot jump to the other side.
How can I cross the creek?
I can step on the larger stones that stand out of the water and cross.
I don’t need the smaller stones. I can’t use them because the flow of water covers them fully.
The bigger stones will guide me through, because they stand out.
How is this related to spoken English?
In spoken English certain words “stand out” more than others. They receive more stress.
The stressed words sound clearer and louder in speech.
Stressed words are like the large stones in the creek.
We call it “sentence stress” in linguistics.
It creates a characteristic rhythm of speech.
That’s how spoken English works.
This rhythm is what you need to learn to hear and practise.
Let stressed words guide your ears.
They will help you follow the flow of speech more easily than if you try to understand every single word in the conversation.
It may seem strange at first. It may feel uncomfortable.
Clarity in understanding will come with time if you temporarily accept some unclarity.
I have seen it happen for so many of my students.
It worked for them, it can work for you 🙂
My content is built on my 20+ years real-life experience as an English language teacher and trainer. I don’t use any AI (artificial intelligence) to create this content. I write it myself. Guaranteed.
Thanks for being a reader!
Connect | Gábor Légrádi | MA, RSA/CTEFLA