Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

slow down in English conversations

Do you think it’s easier to understand a language or to speak it?

When you hear people speaking in English, do you struggle to keep up?

Some people find it easier to understand because you can pick up words.

We’re going to look at how to more easily understand somebody who is speaking.

We’re going to see what it takes to keep up with somebody speaking English fluently and even quickly too.


How Easy Can It Be To Understand and Speak The Language?

When you think about it, people tend to find it easier to listen and understand the language.

You can pick up words here and there as you listen to people speak.

It may be harder to find things to say.

As you are listening to people talk, you are likely trying to figure out what to say back to them.

It can be a hard balance if you feel nervous about what to say.


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Here’s a question that came in from a listener that may be exactly what you are thinking.

Hello from Turkey! 

 My biggest English fear when it comes to English listening:

If somebody speak fast and a lot, I can’t concentrate to him/her speaking. I am listening to him/her and I try to understand what they are saying because I have to answer to him/her. I am thinking, What can I say? This is uncomfortable for me. How can I overcome this situation?



Practice Makes Perfect For Listening and Communicating

It’s a great question and it helps to know how to make great conversation.

Good conversation is about listening and knowing what to say in return too.

Here are some tips that can make the whole process easier–both listening and knowing what to say in a good conversation.


  1. Focus on Listening: Don’t worry about what you are going to say while the person is speaking. There is a tendency to be so nervous about what you are going to say that you don’t truly listen. OR you listen to the beginning of what someone is saying and spend the rest of the time worrying or making up an answer in your head. Don’t worry about what you are going to say.


  1. Give Yourself Time To Respond: To give yourself time, use fillers like “mmm, that’s interesting”, “I think” or “let me think about that for a sec.” You can even just pause for a minute and take time to think about your response.  Don’t feel like you are in a rush based on the conversation.


  1. It’s Okay To Ask Them To Slow Down: If you feel the person is speaking too much or  too fast, don’t be afraid to ask them to slow down. You can say things like “Can you speak a little bit slower, please? I’m working on my listening skills and want to make sure I understand everything.” If you say it calmly and ask for their help, they won’t be offended and they will be understanding.


  1. Build Your Confidence By Practicing Your Skills You want to be sure to practice your listening skills first and foremost. Then you want to practice your skills in formulating an answer as to what you want to say in response.  Practice talking about things you have listened to with a friend. How can you respond to them? Listen to as much as possible and have discussions about what you hear with someone.



Always remember that just because one person is too fast, it doesn’t mean you have to match their speed.

You can have a conversation without having to speak quickly.

Take a deep breath and be sure to stay calm and confident. You can keep up if you focus and think of what you want to say. You don’t have to keep up with the fast pace, just be mindful of what you are trying to communicate.

You will learn to master how to understand and what to say in return. This is all part of making important connections!


If you have any questions about today’s episode let us know in the comments below.

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