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Как выучить английский язык урок 8

Lesson 8

One of the big challenges when it comes to learning English is listening. Even if you've studied English for many years, you might find it hard to understand real, full-speed English conversation.

How do you get better at understanding natural English speech?

Listen to the sounds, not to the words!

The problem is that you were probably taught to pronounce and understand English words. But when we speak naturally, we don't speak in single words. We speak in sentences.

Words change when they're in sentences in several ways:

  • English has stressed and unstressed words. Unstressed words become very quiet. A lot of the vowels change to an "uh" sound.
  • Some letters change their sound depending on whether you're pronouncing them normally or carefully. For example, a lot of people say the "t" in "city" as a "d" sound.
  • Words blend together. We may start pronouncing the next word before we're completely finished with the one before.

It's all very complicated. You can't keep track of all the rules. But there's a part of your brain that's very good at figuring this stuff out.

When you practice listening to English, don't try to match what you hear with your expectations. Don't let your brain correct the words that you hear. Just listen to the sounds like you're listening to music, or listening to a bird's song. Repeat what you hear, but repeat the sounds, not the words.

When I started to offer audio exersizes of my lessons on E4S, I had to make a decision. Should I hire voice actors who would read really slowly and clearly? Or should I have them read at normal speed and with normal, sloppy pronunciation? It really wasn't a hard decision. I chose to make the recordings as natural as possible, so that my students could hear what English really sounds like.

Tomorrow I'll finish up by reviewing the ideas that I've taught you. I'll also share a few more quick suggestions for how to learn more quickly.

Until then,
Founder of E4S