understand English speeders and be understood-at a party or social situation

10 Tips -Under­stand Eng­lish speak­ers and be under­stood at par­ties and social sit­u­a­tions

The oth­er day I was in a social sit­u­a­tion where there was a lot of back­ground noise, and the per­son speak­ing to me, who had not been here long, had a very strong accent in Eng­lish. I found it dif­fi­cult to under­stand them, and thought that it must be the same for them in reverse. This  got me think­ing about some tips for under­stand­ing Eng­lish speak­ers, and being under­stood in sit­u­a­tions where there is a lot of noise in the back­ground, such as at a par­ty or social func­tion or even at a con­fer­ence.

Tips To Under­stand Eng­lish Speak­ers In A Noisy Sit­u­a­tion

1) Move in a lit­tle clos­er to the speak­er- obvi­ous­ly with­out over­step­ping the appro­pri­ate amount of per­son­al space need­ed between you and them too much.

2) To under­stand Eng­lish speak­ers bet­ter –Lis­ten, Lis­ten, Lis­ten – ACTIVELY

Attune your ear. This will speed up your abil­i­ty to under­stand Eng­lish speak­ers gen­er­al­ly, not just when you are  in a noisy sit­u­a­tion.

Even if you are sur­round­ed by Eng­lish speak­ers in your every­day life, begin to active­ly lis­ten to how they pro­nounce words and attune your ear by lis­ten­ing to pod­casts of peo­ple speak­ing at a nor­mal rate, or being inter­viewed, and begin to attune your ear to what they are say­ing when you can’t see them. You can also use our accent reduc­tion cours­es for the same pur­pose. If you are sur­round­ed by peo­ple using a British accent, you could attune your ear lis­ten­ing to our British con­ver­sa­tions course as well.

Keep prac­tis­ing attun­ing your ear to under­stand Eng­lish speak­ers so that when you’re in a par­ty or social sit­u­a­tion, you can under­stand bet­ter and feel more com­fort­able in the sit­u­a­tion.

3) If it’s a con­ver­sa­tion with just one or 2 peo­ple, sug­gest that you move to a qui­eter spot because of the noise around you. Even if they are native Eng­lish speak­ers they’re prob­a­bly hav­ing the sim­i­lar dif­fi­cul­ties as you because of the noise.

4) To under­stand Eng­lish speak­ers, watch the speak­ers mouth. This at least gives you some extra visu­al cues to help you under­stand what they are say­ing. Some­times we are busy feel­ing bad about not under­stand­ing what’s being said and for­get to do this.

5) If you gen­er­al­ly have a prob­lem hear­ing what peo­ple are say­ing in a noisy envi­ron­ment, even when they are speak­ing your native or back­ground lan­guage , you may need to have your hear­ing checked.

Tips So You Are Under­stood At Par­ties And Social Sit­u­a­tions!

1) This one is a bit obvi­ous- speak more loud­ly, but try not to strain your voice too much.

2) Move your mouth more. Make an extra spe­cial effort to pro­nounce your words more clear­ly, and part of this is to move your mouth more. You need to drop your jaw a lit­tle more and open your mouth a bit more than usu­al. You need to make sure you move your lips for­ward prop­er­ly for the ‘oo’ or ‘or’ vow­els in words or, make your ‘ee’ long enough and don’t cut it short and make an ‘i’ sound. Often stu­dents say they’ve noticed they have to move their mouth more than in their native lan­guage, to speak clear­ly in Eng­lish.

3) Write out some things you might talk about, news top­ics, top­ics to do with com­mon inter­ests of the peo­ple at the par­ty, or to do with the top­ic of the con­fer­ence, or write out some lines regard­ing a com­pli­ment you might give some­one about their cloth­ing and ask where they got it, or prac­tise some ques­tions you might ask about their inter­ests, or how they know the host etc. Not only does this break the ice ( gives you some­thing to start the con­ver­sa­tion with), but also you will have prac­tised say­ing it clear­ly before hand.

4)  Use our accent reduc­tion cours­es to prac­tise speak­ing more clear­ly with the dialogs and hun­dreds of sen­tences avail­able to prac­tise with. Oth­er Eng­lish speak­ers can under­stand you bet­ter even if you only fix up one pro­nun­ci­a­tion error, and so you feel more con­fi­dent and com­fort­able in the sit­u­a­tion.

5) Don’t be afraid to speak slight­ly more slow­ly, as you would in your native or back­ground lan­guage in the same sit­u­a­tion.

I hope this has giv­en you some ideas of how to feel more com­fort­able in social sit­u­a­tions with your Eng­lish speech, and espe­cial­ly as this was part of the rea­son we devel­oped our accent reduc­tion cours­es. As I men­tioned, even chang­ing one pro­nun­ci­a­tion error, already makes a dif­fer­ence to your speech clar­i­ty and con­fi­dence in Eng­lish. Have a look here for more infor­ma­tion.

Best wish­es, Esther

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