Julia and Sammy meet in a cycling accident! Then they want the same taxi. Will they get on?

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Hello Yu Ko,

It is difficult to cope with fast speech, especially through the telephone. The first thing I would suggest is that you develop one or two very polite ways to ask the other speaker to repeat what they said if you did not understand it. For example, you might say:

Could you say that once again, please, a little more slowly. The connection is not the best and I didn't quite understand.

Do you mind saying that again please? I didn't quite follow.

 

Another technique is to check that you understood what the person said or wants. For example, you could say:

So if I understand correctly you need to... / your problem is... / what you are saying is that...

 

As far as developing listening skills goes, the key is practice. Using the transcripts which we provide with our listening texts is a good idea so that you can read and listen at the same time. This will help you to get used to the rhythms of natural speech and to see how words change and are linked when they are spoken in fluent connected speech. Try also reading the transcript along with the recording after you have listened and done the various comprehension tasks. This will help both your speaking and your listening.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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