The #1 question people ask me is, “Stefanie, I understand everything you say! So why don’t I understand movies, TV shows and other native speakers in English?” In this video I attempt to answer that question.

Here are some of the reasons… Lots of native English speakers mumble, they don’t project their voice, and they use an outrageous amount of idioms. All of this makes it more difficult for you to understand them. I have good speaking habits and I speak to be understood. This is probably why you understand me so well. Also, in case you are wondering…. no, I don’t slow down or change the way I speak so that you can understand me better. This really is the way that I talk. However, in my YouTube videos, I am presenting information… and anytime we do a presentation, we automatically speak a little more clearly.

Next… I’m from California, so I speak with an English accent that you are probably very familiar with– especially if you watch lots of TV shows and movies with American actors. Remember, people speak English differently all over the world. So, you may understand me but struggle to understand an Irish news reporter. That’s normal. (By the way, when I went to Ireland in 2015, I barely understood people there! There accent and vocabulary was so different from mine.)

At the end of the day, improving your listening skills is like anything else… it takes time, effort, study, and practice. You need to listen to LOTS of English for many hours, day after day, year after year. That’s what it takes to finally understand movies, TV shows, and native English speakers easily. Most English learners that struggle with this simply haven’t been exposed to English long enough. Anyhow, there’s a there’s a lot more I could say about this… so I might have to make another video.

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