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  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa  

  • from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. HuhWhat did you say? Let's talk about it

  • Have you ever been watching your favorite movie  or TV show and decided to turn it to English and  

  • then, "Oh my goodness, it's so fast. How in the  world are they talking so fast? I can't understand  

  • this." Well, don't worry. You are not alone. Many  English learners have had that same sensation  

  • of, "Oh, it's so fast. I will never understand  this." Well, I have some good news. In today's  

  • lesson, you are going to learn five  secrets to understanding fast English,  

  • improving your listening skills, and  understanding movies and TV shows

  • To help you master today's lesson, I have  created a free PDF worksheet just for you,  

  • my beloved students, so that you can download  this worksheet, study these five secrets, check  

  • out all of the tips and ideas that are mentioned  in today's lesson. And at the end of the PDF,  

  • make sure to answer Vanessa's Challenge Questionso that you can use what you have learned in this  

  • lesson. Don't forget to click on the link below  this video to download the free PDF worksheet

  • Let's get started with the first  secret. Problem number one,  

  • don't watch a movie or TV show that you are  unfamiliar with, or you only understand 10%.  

  • That's so frustrating. Instead, apply secret  number one. Watch a movie or a TV show that you  

  • already know in your native language. You are  already familiar with the story, the characters,  

  • possibly even some of the words. If you  need to use English subtitles, go ahead.  

  • But this is a great way to let go of fear, to  let go of the frustration, "I can't understand.  

  • I only understand every couple words and  it's just too much." No, watch something  

  • that you already know in your native language. Have you seen Disney's Frozen in your native  

  • language? Great, watch it in English. Have  you seen Forrest Gump in your native language?  

  • Excellent, watch it in English. This is a great  way to feel more confident and to improve your  

  • listening skills to understand fast English. Problem number two, don't study how individual  

  • words are pronounced. Instead, follow secret  number two, which will help you to overcome  

  • this problem and that is study some common  linking expressions in English. For example,  

  • if you ask me, "Vanessa, where are you going?"  And I say, "I'm 'onna go to the mountains."  

  • Okay, maybe you understood a couple parts of thisbut do you really understand the linking that is  

  • happening so that when other people say thiswho are not your English teacher, you can get it

  • Let's break down this sentence, "I'm 'onna  to go to the mountains." I'm onna...Well,  

  • I'm really saying I am going to. First, I'm  using a contraction. I am becomes I'm. And then,  

  • I'm pushing together, or linking together  'going to' which often becomes gonna. "I'm gonna  

  • take a nap. I'm gonna study English." But we  can reduce it even further and cut off the G,  

  • and say, "I'm 'onna," which is what I said  earlier. I'm onna, I'm onna. If you're  

  • listening for, "I am going to," you will not  get this. But if you understand some common  

  • linking principles in English, contractions,  "Going to" becomes "Gonna," or becomes,  

  • "'Onna," your ears will be more aware of it. Let's go to the last part of that sentence.  

  • "I'm 'onna go to the mountains, go  duh the mountains. Go duh. The word to  

  • becomes duh. This is very common after the  verb go. "Go duh the mountains. I'm gonna go  

  • duh school tomorrow." Go duh school. "I got duh  go to duh office." Go duh the office. Excellent

  • What's happening with that last word, mountainsMountains. Well, often, if there is a T plus  

  • N sound at the end of a word, we drop  the T and kind of swallow that sound.  

  • Listen to these other words that  are very similar. Button becomes  

  • but-n. But-n. Threaten becomes threat-n.  Threat-n. And Mountain becomes mount-n. Mount-n. 

  • Now you can say this word clearly and say, I'm  onna go to the mountains, mountains. It's okay.  

  • But you're going to hear people say, you're gonna,  I just used that reduction, you're going to hear  

  • people say mountains, and you need to be able to  understand it. We are all focusing on improving  

  • your listening skills for comprehension so that  you can understand how people are speaking in  

  • daily conversations. So with this one very  simple sentence, you learn some key phrases

  • I'm 'onna go duh the mountains Can you say that with me? Let's  

  • have a little pronunciation practiceAlso when you improve your pronunciation,  

  • you're also improving your listening, so they  are linked together. Let's say it together

  • I'm gonna go to the mountains. I'm gonna to  the mountains. I'm gonna go to the mountains.  

  • I'm gonna to go to the mountains. Lovely. Problem number three is don't get discouraged.  

  • A lot of English learners try to watch something  in fast English, or they have a business meeting  

  • where people are speaking so comfortably  in English. And they're just sitting there,  

  • fearful. "Please don't ask me a questionplease don't call on me to speak",  

  • because they can't understand the conversation  that's happening. And this can be really  

  • discouraging. You feel like you'll never be able  to actually understand what people are saying.  

  • So we need to just take it slow. I know we're  talking about fast English here, but don't  

  • expect yourself to be able to understand English  overnight. This is a journey. This is a process.  

  • So a problem that a lot of English learners have  is that they get discouraged too quickly and  

  • they're not realistic about it. So, let's see how  secret number three can help you with this secret

  • Number three is to take some notes. Whenever  you hear something fast, take a note about it,  

  • write it down in a notebook, write it down on your  phone. And when you learn one new quick phrase,  

  • every day, this will build and build and build  over time. So let me help you do this today.  

  • Take a look at this sentence. I got to go wellif you're in a hurry and you're at a friend's  

  • house and you look at the time, I got to go, I'm  going to be late. This is a great phrase to use,  

  • but what's happening here. There are a lot of  reductions, a lot of things that are cut out.  

  • We could say, I have got to go. This meansneed to leave, right now. I have got to go.  

  • But when we reduce that, we cut  out 'have' and 'got to' becomes  

  • gotta, gotta, but we don't pronounce the T. So we're going to reduce it one more time. And  

  • in American English, the Ts change to a D soundListen, when I say it, I gotta go. I gotta go. I  

  • gotta go. Oh, sorry. I gotta go, I'm going to  be late. I gotta go. Can you say that with me?  

  • Sorry, I gotta go. Sorry, I gotta go. Great. You  just learned one normal and casual and natural  

  • reduced English phrase. You did it, great. So  now I hope you feel a little bit less discouraged  

  • because you conquered that mountain, mountain. Problem number four, that I see a lot of my  

  • English students making is don't just speak with  yourself or your pet. This is a good starting  

  • point, but really to overcome that, secret number  four is you need to speak with someone else.  

  • There is nothing like havingreal-time conversation with someone

  • Do you know what real-time means? It means it's  happening at that second. You can't pause and  

  • rewind and go back. No, if you don't understand  at that second there's real world consequences,  

  • because you're going to need them to repeatYou're going to have to ask them, "Sorry,  

  • I didn't catch that. Can you repeat it?". Or  you're just going to stand there and smile. So  

  • speaking with someone else in a real-time  conversation is going to test listening  

  • skills and also help you to find the holes  in what's difficult for you. Maybe you can  

  • understand some topics, but other topics it's too  much. I know that when I was living in France,  

  • as my French listening skills grew, I could  understand a lot of people, but for some reason,  

  • there was the father of my host family,  I could not understand him at all

  • There was ways that he was linking or reducing  French expressions, the way that he was  

  • mumbling. It was so challenging. And finally, when  I could understand him, I felt so proud of myself.  

  • So it is essential to be able to have real time  conversations with someone else. If you feel  

  • like that might be a little too scary for you  right now, or maybe you're not in a situation  

  • where you can find someone else to speak with,  a good starting point is to check out my series,  

  • speak with me. You can click on the link up  here. In these videos I will give you some key  

  • vocabulary, some key questions, and we will have  a little mini conversation practice together. The  

  • good thing about this type of practice is that  it's kind of real time, but you can also pause  

  • the video and go back and practice it again. So  I hope this will be a good tool to help you with  

  • this secret number four, speak with somebody else. Problem number five that I see a lot of English  

  • learners make is they just watch English lessons  on YouTube, like this one. And while that's great,  

  • you can't only do that. You also need to be able  to practice real conversation, listening skills,  

  • because that's what happens in the real  world. Whether you're watching a TV show,  

  • whether you're talking with someone at a hotelwhether you're talking with a client on the phone,  

  • it's not exactly an English teacher who speaks  clearly and understandably and understands that  

  • you're an English learner. Nope, it's important to  step that up. So if you can already understand me  

  • pretty well, maybe you're using subtitles, maybe  not, that's okay, what if we added one more person  

  • to my conversation? What if we added someone who  speaks a little bit clearly too? Like my husband,  

  • Dan, check out this clip. See how you feel. Can  you understand generally what we're talking about

  • Dan: Can I say my second worst job

  • Vanessa: Yeah, sure

  • Dan: Can you guess what it is

  • Vanessa: I know you worked at a lot of coffee shops,  

  • but those weren't that bad. Dan

  • Working at a coffee shop is good. Vanessa

  • Okay, what was it? Dan

  • It's Sharpshooter. Vanessa

  • Can you explain about that job? Dan

  • Yeah. So I don't know if you've ever seen this  in your country, but have you ever been to a  

  • place where somebody takes your picture and  then later they try to sell you that picture?  

  • I was that guy. So we took the same  pictures. It was going onto a boat,  

  • on one of the rivers in Pittsburgh, Vanessa

  • Kind of like a cruise boat, but river cruise. Dan

  • It was very kitschy though. Not high class at  all. So people, before they got on the boat,  

  • we forced them to stop and go through the  line and we'd take their picture. And it  

  • was like required, but people were like,  "I don't want to get my picture taken". 

  • Vanessa: Everyone had their own cameras  

  • and phones, they didn't need that. Dan

  • Yeah. Mind you this in like 2010 where people  already had phones on their cameras and stuff.  

  • That's at least getting more popular. Vanessa

  • They didn't need your picture. Dan

  • And so I had to take everybody's picture. And  then when they got off the boat, I stood at  

  • the side and said, "Hey, come over here, buy this  picture". And they were like $20 for one picture,  

  • terrible rip off. Even I knew it was a terrible  rip off, just not a worthwhile business, at least  

  • in 2010 when I was doing that job. Vanessa

  • Maybe 10 years before thatit would have been cool

  • Dan: It was a viable business like  

  • 30 years ago. Vanessa

  • Okay, maybe that went all right for youBut what if we added a different speaker  

  • who speaks a little bit faster and maybe  the topic isn't so comfortable for you?  

  • Check out this clip and watch what we're saying. Brandi

  • So there's a lot of different factors that go into  play and it takes, that's why like, especially in  

  • this market, it's great to work with a realtor. Vanessa

  • We would have had no clue what to do. I pretty  much guarantee we would never have gotten this  

  • house without you. Brandi

  • I'm so glad it worked out. It's so cool to  see. I've always feel like people land in  

  • the right places, even if it's a little  tricky. They lose out on a few houses,  

  • it's always a bummer, but people always land in  the place that they're meant to be. And I always  

  • keep that heart, like when somebody loses, it's  just knowing that that wasn't the right thing

  • Vanessa: Yeah, that wasn't the destiny that  

  • was meant to happen. Another place would come up. Was it a little bit more challenging? What about  

  • the next step? What if we took out the video  completely and you only listened to our voices?  

  • Check out this quick clip where  you're going to only listen to the  

  • audio of me speaking with my friend, who's  here in that past video, Brandi. Listen

  • Brandi: If it's possible, pay off a car,  

  • it's a big chunk of change, but sometimes lenders  will say it's more important to pay off your car  

  • than it is to put this towards a down paymentSo sometimes a lender, a good lender again,  

  • is an important thing, because they can help guide  you as to what makes the most sense to help you  

  • get the house that you really want. Vanessa

  • It's a little bit tougher in that situation. What  if you had a teacher to guide you someone nice,  

  • someone helpful, maybe someone like me, someone  who could guide you through all of those  

  • challenging conversations who could introduce you  and explain new vocabulary and who could help you  

  • to not feel so overwhelmed when you're listening  to fast English. You would be able to understand  

  • fast English like never before, and maybe  you would even have fun. I'd like to  

  • invite you to join me in the 30 Day English  Listening Challenge. Every day for 30 days,  

  • you will grow your listening skills so that you  can comfortably understand your coworkers, friends  

  • across the world when you travel, people on the  phone and your favorite movies and TV shows.  

  • Click on the link in the description to getspecial 25% off offer only available to you here  

  • only on this YouTube video. So make sure you  click on that link and join me and thousands  

  • of other English learners who have felt more  confidence, have felt their English listening  

  • skills grow so that they can go into the real  world and understand what other people are saying

  • Now it's time for you to use what you've  learned in this lesson. Tell me in the comments,  

  • what is something that you got ta do todayUse that phrase. I gotta go to the store.  

  • I gotta do some work. I gotta pick up my kids  from school. Use that phrase and say it out loud,  

  • when you're using this and practicing it yourselfyou will remember it. And that is the goal. Well,  

  • thank you so much for learning English with me.  I hope to see you again next Friday for a new  

  • lesson here on my YouTube channel. Bye. The next step is to download the free  

  • PDF worksheet for this lesson. With this  free PDF, you will master today's lesson  

  • and never forget what you have learnedYou can be a confident English speaker.  

  • Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel  for a free English lesson every Friday. Bye.

Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa  

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5 Secrets to Understanding FAST English

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    洪子雯 posted on 2021/06/11
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