"I Can't Understand When Americans Talk Fast! Please Help!"

Have you been confused when listening to Americans speak English? Are you confused because listening to other Indians or others from your country speak English is easy, but listening to Americans is a big problem? For those who say yes, you may wonder, “How can I improve my listening comprehension of American English?”

For those with limited interaction with native speakers, here are a few ideas: 
Hollywood movies
Actually, I am not a big proponent of using Hollywood movies to learn natural English conversation because movies, television shows and other programs are often highly rehearsed. They are not natural conversation. However, Hollywood movies can be helpful for shadowing exercises. For more on shadowing, click here.

American Songs
When I suggest American songs as an idea to improve comprehension, most 'freak out' thinking it will be way too tough. I do not suggest very fast songs, but songs where singers sing at a pace close to the pace people speak. Two songs you can try to listen to are "The Gambler" and "Operator." 

Actually, even better than Hollywood movies, which are rehearsed, I suggest podcasts of two or more people speaking in unrehearsed, conversational English. 

Weather reports
In the US, every area has two or more local tv stations. Find the local television stations of your area, usually NBC, CBS or ABC. Local news has a local weather segment. Usually this segment will introduce listeners to the local geography of the area as well as local ways of speaking.
Take a listen to the weather reports below. Listen, listen again, write the script, and send it to me, so that I can compare it against the actual script. Good luck.

To learn more about accent and clear speaking sessions, click here.

Related Posts:
How Understanding American Songs Helps in Understanding Fast Speech
Tone Expresses Confidence, Initiative and Assurance in American English (Video)
Common Questions Used in American Conversations (Video)  

Updated July 2015

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