You’ve been a great student of English as a foreign language. You have worked hard and studied English since you’re at college. You’ve taken classes and passed lots of important English language examinations; Cambridge First Certificate as well as the advanced degree CAE.
One thing still gets you: when you meet some native English speakers in the UK or the States and they all get talking together, you’re totally lost! Why did I spend so much money on English courses when I still can’t adhere to the Brits and the Yanks? Don’t despair!
There are some easy and unique reasons for this and a lot of things which you can work on to help make certain that the native speaker fog will lift!
Check out the primary reasons for Teaching Abroad | Language Course | Teach And Travel below and follow these tips to be certain to improve your listening comprehension and your confidence when speaking to native English speakers.
1 Pronunciation – most people today believe that work on pronunciation in the English language classroom is all about creation.
To help you as a student of English speak more clearly and also to assist you to be understood by native speakers and non-native speakers alike. Wrong! Raising pupil’s awareness of English stress-timed rhythm is truly the key to enhancing their listening comprehension.
In Italian, it’s generally the penultimate syllable at the same word level that’s stressed, but in English, there isn’t any pattern. To the contrary, the term stress can change in exactly the exact same word family e.g. ecOnomy (o O o o) cf econOmics (o o O o). Consider phOtograph cf photOgraphy.
If the student is wrongly expecting to hear “Economics” (O o o o), but a native speaker states econOmics (o o O o), they will just not understand the right version when a native speakers states it as this subtle difference in the term stress pattern makes the entire thing totally incomprehensible!
Tip – Just understanding that this phenomenon exists will have increased your awareness of the possible problem, meaning that you’re more likely to actively attempt to avoid it. However, the ideal time to handle this is when you’re learning a new word for the first time.
An excellent mono-lingual English language dictionary specifically designed for English as a foreign language pupils will indicate the term stress with a suitably placed accent eg. Economy or from some other clear visual indicator.
The best of those dictionaries now also includes a CD-ROM which permits you to really hear and then model the proper pronunciation. Like many things, get it right at the beginning to avoid any future issues!
You can also have a look at the English language section on the BBC site because there are plenty of news articles which you can listen to whilst reading the story in the text in exactly the exact same time. Easy and unfashionable, yes, but very very helpful in assisting you to use your awareness of native speaker pronunciation to improve your listening comprehension skills, ability, and pleasure.