Improve Your Listening and Speaking Skills

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As an English learner, you want to improve your listening and speaking skills. You’re in the right place! Listening skills are important for comprehension and speaking skills help you communicate with the world.

How to Improve Your Listening and Speaking Skills

My students are always asking me (a native English speaker), are you speaking at a normal speed? Do you speak more slowly when you teach English? Well, the answer is yes — and no! The speed and way we speak English changes depending on the situation. Also, it depends on the person and their regional accent.

Why it is Easy to Understand Your Teacher and Difficult to Understand Native Speakers

In professional teaching and presenting situations, people should speak more clearly, loudly and yes — more slowly. This is common practice for public speaking and other professional situations. That is one reason why it is probably easier to understand your teacher, who is presenting information to you and speaking in a professional way.

Therefore, when you hear me teaching English, I am speaking in a normal way for teaching English. If you want to hear me or other native speakers talking in a faster, more casual way, then we need to leave the classroom!

Challenges with Listening Skills and How to Improve Your Listening and Speaking

Okay, so once we leave the classroom, we can hear natives speaking a bit faster and more casually. This is when most English learners get scared. What you hear outside the classroom doesn’t match the way your teacher speaks.

The Key to Understanding Native and Fluent English Speakers

Native speakers, or fluent English speakers, seem to speak English faster because they link and connect sounds. They do this because they emphasize stressed key words, and de-emphasize the other words which are not stressed, also called function words.

Practice Listening and Speaking Skills With Me

Can you understand me? Can you practice with me out loud? Repeat after me! Let’s try some linking, stressed words and connected speech exercises. Please watch the video to listen and repeat what I say out loud.

How to Get More Listening and Speaking Practice

Learn about how to improve your listening and speaking here in this lesson about how to speak English more confidently.

Check out our listening course for premium, structured lessons to quickly advance your skills.

 

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