Understand FAST English Conversations

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Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.

Are you ready to understand fast English conversations?

Let's talk about it.

Speaking naturally and fluently in English is a great skill, but when you're having a

conversation, if you can't understand what the other person is saying, you're going to

have a big problem.

So today, I want to share with you my top tip that will help you to understand fast

English conversations.

Today you're going to learn how to understand fast English conversations, we're going to

practice this method together right now today, and then I'm going to help you know how to

continue practicing this method so that it doesn't just stop today so that you can continue

and build your listening skills.

So how can you understand fast conversations?

Can you learn like a child, just taking in a lot of information for two, three, four,

five years, 24/7?

Or maybe you just think, "Oh, I can watch English TV shows 500 times and eventually

I'll just understand what they're saying"?

Well, if you listen to these conversations and you only understand 10%, 20%, we need

to take it back a little bit.

The best way to understand fast English speakers is to study and analyze native real conversations.

Make sure that you understand each word and then you can also imitate that same sentence

structure yourself when you speak.

Today, we're going to be doing this together.

We're going to be analyzing a short English conversation, including some idioms, expressions,

phrasal verbs that are included in that conversation.

So what I want you to do is I want you to get a pen and pencil ready because I want

you to be active during today's lesson.

We're going to be following four steps.

The first step is to listen to a fast, original conversation clip.

We're going to be listening to a clip from a guy named Nathan, who is a native English

speaker, and he's going to be talking a little bit about his experience with an international

public speaking organization called Toastmasters.

Then number two, we're going to listen to a slow version of this clip.

This means that hopefully in the slow version, you're going to catch each word, you're going

to hear words that you didn't hear the first time because with Nathan it was pretty fast,

but in the slowed down version it's going to be a little bit clearer for you to hear

each word.

Step number three is to write everything that you hear.

Whatever you hear Nathan say, whatever you hear me say, try to write exactly what you

hear.

And in the fourth step, we're going to check your writing with the original transcript.

You'll probably see, "Oh, I got that word correct.

I didn't know that that's what they said, but I wrote it correctly."

And you'll probably also see, "Oh wow, I didn't hear that at all," maybe there are some linkings

and reductions that you didn't know before.

So this is a good way to test what you know and also test what's difficult for you so

that you can improve that.

Maybe you don't write the correct word because you simply don't know it, maybe it's a new

vocabulary word for you.

This is a good way to expand your vocabulary.

Today, we're going to be talking about three words that you're going to hear in the conversation

with Nathan, so hopefully those will just add to your vocabulary.

Today's YouTube lesson is a free sample of my course, the 30 Day Listening Challenge,

which opens today, December 20th.

In the course, you'll study one lesson exactly like what we're going to do today.

You're going to build your listening skills day by day.

Students who have joined past Listening Challenges have said that the first few days in the course

are generally pretty tough.

This is a difficult technique because you're trying to listen for every single word, but

after a few days it gets easier and easier, and you really are building your listening

skills.

So if it's challenging for you, push on.

You can do it.

Remember that I said you'll need a pen and a piece of paper?

Well, today is an active lesson, you need to participate.

Let's take a look at the worksheet so that you can see exactly what I want you to be

writing down on your paper.

Here's the conversation outline, first you'll hear Nathan's voice, then you'll hear my voice,

then his, then mine.

And if you have a piece of paper, I recommend writing at least N, V, N, V, N, V so that

you can prepare yourself for what you're going to hear.

This is actually day 25 of the 30-day Listening Challenge, but it's a free sample today.

The course is open now December 20th to December 31st for only $30.

This means that on January 25th, you will study this lesson, but today it's a free sample.

Now let's listen to the fast original version of this conversation.

The clip is only 30 seconds, so it's going to go pretty fast, but try to write what you

hear.

Test your listening skills.

Let's listen.

Nathan: You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech

off the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech

off the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one two minute speech off

the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

Vanessa: Did you feel like that was definitely too fast?

Well, Nathan was speaking pretty naturally, and I was too.

Native English speakers can definitely understand this conversation, so I want you to be able

to do that too.

You'll hear this style of speaking when you travel to the US, when you have a business

meeting, when you meet some international friends so this is a good way to test your

listening skills.

Now let's go to the slow version.

Remember, this is step two.

You're going to hear my husband, Dan, and I say the exact same words that you just heard

from the conversation with Nathan, but when my husband Dan and I say these words, it's

going to be reduced significantly.

It's going to be slower.

It's going to be clearer.

Hopefully, you'll pick up on other words that you didn't hear in the conversation with Nathan.

All right, let's listen.

Dan: You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Dan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech off

the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Dan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Dan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Dan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech off

the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Dan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Dan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Dan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech off

the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Dan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Dan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

Vanessa: Did you write down everything that you heard?

In the 30 Day Listening Challenge, you're going to be able to download or stream those

audio files so you can listen to them as many times as you want.

This is just a sample, this is just a practice, but you're welcome to pause the video and

go back and listen to them again.

How was it?

Was it too slow?

Was it too fast?

Did you pick on some words that you didn't hear the first time?

I hope so.

Now we're going to take a look at the transcript.

This is step number four.

And you're going to be able to compare what you wrote and what you heard to actually what

was said in the conversation.

In the transcript as well, we're going to focus on three new vocabulary words that will

help to build your vocabulary and increase your understanding.

You just heard Nathan say, "You will receive a topic or a prompt."

"Okay."

"And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech off the

cuff."

"Wow."

"With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech."

"That's bound to terrify anybody."

"Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most."

In this quick conversation, Nathan is explaining different parts of the Toastmasters meeting

that they have to improve public speaking each week.

One of the parts is giving a spontaneous speech in front of the group and that's what he's

talking about in the beginning up here, let's talk about these specific expressions, and

he says, yeah, this is really uncomfortable, but you grow the most, you learn the most

because you are feeling uncomfortable.

I think this is a great idea for learning English because when you get outside your

comfort zone, it's tough, it's uncomfortable, but you can grow a lot when you get outside

your comfort zone.

So let's talk about these three specific vocabulary words that we're going to focus on in this

conversation.

The first one is one to two.

You probably know what one and two means, but when we put the preposition to between

there, one to two, we're talking about a range.

He says you need to do a one to two minute speech.

The speech could be one minute, it could be one and a half minutes, it could be two minutes,

but it cannot be two and a half minutes.

The range is one to two.

And our sample sentence here is plane tickets to Asia are usually one to $2,000.

The range is $1,000 to $2,000.

At the end of that sentence, he explains that this isn't an ordinary speech that you prepare

for.

It's a speech that you do off the cuff.

Off the cuff.

What is this expression?

Well, a cuff is a part of a dress shirt, it goes around your wrist.

We say that's your cuff around your wrist, but this is an idiom, so it's not really related

to dress shirts.

It just means that you're doing something without planning, so you have to give a spontaneous

speech or you have to give a speech off the cuff.

Our sample sentence here is, he told me off the cuff that he is moving to Mexico.

He didn't plan to tell me, we weren't talking about his future plans, he just said, "Hey,

I'm moving to Mexico week."

Whoa, this is really spontaneous and off the cuff.

The final expression that we're going to talk about is one that I used, and it's to be bound

to do something.

The word bound has several different meanings, but specifically in this conversation I'm

talking about something that's definite.

It's certain.

So I said that's bound to terrify anybody.

We can substitute some words here and say, that is definitely going to terrify anybody.

Giving a spontaneous speech for one to two minutes, I think anybody would be terrified,

fearful about doing that, so I use the wonderful verb that's bound to terrify anybody.

Our sample sentence here is if you win the lottery, old friends from high school are

bound to contact you and ask for money.

This is kind of the stereotypical situation that when you suddenly get a lot of money

and it's a publicly known fact, people from your past start to call you and say, "Oh,

I've missed you.

How have you been?"

Because they just want some money.

So this is a definite, a certain situation.

Old friends from high school are definitely going to contact you and ask for money.

Or we could say, they are bound to contact you and ask for money.

If you didn't understand those three vocabulary words when Nathan and I said them, it's probably

because you don't know them and hopefully now they feel a little bit more comfortable

to you.

So what we're going to do is we're going to listen to the original fast conversation again

and I hope that this time you'll be able to hear some of those new expressions because

you know the general meaning of the conversation, you'll feel a little bit more comfortable,

and you'll see that just in the last couple minutes, your listening skills group.

Are you ready to listen?

Let's listen to the original conversation a couple times while looking at the transcript

so that you can listen and see at the same time.

Let's listen.

Nathan: You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech

off the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech

off the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

You will receive a topic or a prompt- Vanessa: Okay.

Nathan: And you have to get up in front of the group and do a one to two minute speech

off the cuff.

Vanessa: Wow.

Nathan: With an introduction, you know, just like any normal speech.

Vanessa: That's bound to terrify anybody.

Nathan: Right.

And that's really the most uncomfortable part of the meeting, but it's where you grow the

most.

Vanessa: How did you do?

Could you understand a little bit better than before?

Imagine if you studied like this for five to 10 minutes every day for 30 days.

If you did this and studied consistently, your listening skills are bound to increase.

Thousands of English learners around the world have already joined the 30 Day Listening Challenge

pack one, pack two, and pack three, and now the pack four is open.

So I encourage you to check it out and to study like this every day for 30 days.

Students in the course said that some days were more challenging for them and some days

were easier for them, but by the end of the month they had dedicated themselves to studying

and analyzing real conversation clips with over 11 different native English speakers

for five to 10 minutes every day.

And in the end, their listening fluency improved, but most importantly they could take those

skills that they learned in the course and use them in the real world.

It's great to improve with the course material, but it's essential to be able to use that

when you travel to another country, when you have a business meeting, when you have a conversation

with someone, when you're watching a TV show.

You want to be able to transfer those skills to the real world and that's something that's

excellent about the Listening Challenge because this is real material, this is real conversations

from native speakers.

So you'll be able to use it in the real world.

Starting from today, December 20th to December 31st the 30-day English Listening Challenge

pack four is open for $30.

If you haven't joined pack one, two or three, don't worry.

It's okay.

Each pack is an individual course.

They all are the same level because they all feature real English conversations with real

native speakers, but you can study each course, each pack individually.

The challenge will start on January 1st.

This means that I will send you the day one material on January 1st.

It includes all four things that we looked at today, the fast original clip, a slow version

of the clip, a worksheet so that you can write down exactly what you hear, and also a transcript

with three new vocabulary expressions so that you can expand your vocabulary out as well

as your listening skills.

Let's go on and take a quick sneak peak inside the course website so that you can see exactly

what you'd be studying.

When you join the 30-day Listening Challenge pack four, you'll get access to this page

immediately.

Today is day zero.

Any day before January 1st is day zero.

Let's see what you can access today.

You'll find a course guide with my recommended study plan for each day, as well as a calendar

that you can use to check off each day when you finish.

I recommend printing these two documents and looking them over before January 1st so that

you're comfortable with how you're going to study the different material that you're going

to study before the course actually begins on January 1st.

On day one, January 1st, you'll have access to the day one lesson, which you can download

or stream on the website.

Then on January 2nd, you'll have access to the day to lesson, and on January 3rd you'll

have access to the day three lesson, etc. throughout the rest of the month.

If you enjoyed today's lesson but you'd like some more information, no problem, you can

click on the link up here or in the description to learn more about the 30-day Listening Challenge

pack four, which is open starting today.

And now I have a question for you, was today's lesson helpful for you?

I hope so.

Thank you so much for learning English with me, and I hope to see you for five to 10 minutes

every day in the month of January for the 30-day Listening Challenge.

Thanks so much.

I'll see you next Friday for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel.

Bye.

The next step is to join the 30 Day English Listening Challenge.

You'll be on the right path to increasing your listening skills and understanding fast

English speakers.

Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons.

Thanks so much.

Bye.