1. SPEED COUNTS

One trick that is helping my students is speed. Many of my students are at a level where they are comfortable studying at home and taking their time to get it right. So they do well in school. But have difficulty in the real world and switching from using what they know going slow and comfortably to under pressure in real life. I had high school English students who could pass English tests that are difficult for me, but say “Hello” to them and they fail miserably. They panic and melt.

The trick is after the listener understands something, speed it up. Add pressure to come up with the answers faster. This is not for a grade. This is to improve everyday communication skills in both listening and interpreting and responding. Try it. At the end of my beginner classes I always ask a student what time it is and then push them to hurry up and tell me.

American English Class

2. FOR PRONUNCIATION PRACTICE

Please read very slowly and clearly. Exaggerate the mouth movements and get each syllable as clear as possible. And it sounds funny, but don’t get lazy on the easiest words between because when a student relaxes because they know the word pronunciation relaxes too much and the word sounds funny. And it is common to leave off the last sounds. Right becomes ri.

At first and for pronunciation practice go very sss–low—lee. Make every syllable clear and sharp. Do that several times into a recorder. Then try faster. And then relax and try very fast and see if you don’t hear a big difference.

3. DON’T ASSUME THE OTHER PERSON CAN GUESS

For several reasons. Maybe they guess wrong, it is not their job to guess, they could get the wrong idea completely and that could be a disaster.

True example: “Where is the bowl?” “It’s on the bum.” “Where?” “On the bum.” “What bum?” “Here. You don speak Engrish good.” “On the bottom.” “That what I say, bum.”

4. THERE ARE MANY VIDEO CLASSES ON YOUTUBE

Try different ones until you find a teacher who you feel comfortable with.

5. TELEVISION AND RADIO

There are many shows to watch and to listen to from kids shows to more adult shows to even songs with lyrics. Comedy shows are difficult for many reasons including culture and not being inside the area to understand current or past events. Also the use of slang can work to make understanding a joke more difficult so don’t feel bad if you don’t know why people are laughing.

6. RELAX AND DON’T CARE

I had a group company class once and no one would talk. I thought they couldn’t say anything at all. I couldn’t get any sound from anyone. They never even coughed. It was a long class. But then they invited me somehow to go drinking with them. After a couple of beers, they all were chattering away in broken English and enjoying it. Completely different people. So relax and don’t care if you screw up. Be not afraid to try.

I am not saying beer will solve English problems, but it may help alleviate any shyness. And shyness can be a serious block.

7. USE ELECTRONIC TRANSLATORS

I have used many different kinds of Electronic Translators in the past with good, results. Remember not all Electronic Translators are all great. I have used a few of them and you can read more about them here.

  1. CM Smart Instant Language Translator the best of the best will help you learn faster and you can get one here
  2. Footing Portable Language Translator next-best you can get one here
  3. Prefer Smart Language Translator an amazing Translator you can find it here
  4. Suyan Two Way Easy Trans Smart Language Translator great Translator and can translate 52 languages

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