Karel was The Big Boss.
I taught English at his company every Tuesday and Thursday.
And while his employees got group lessons in the conference room, Karel got private lessons in his office.
After all, he was The Big Boss and he liked people to know that.
(He also had the biggest, nicest car in the parking lot— an American Humvee — a house in Italy, the newest iPhone, etc. etc.)
There was just one time when he didn’t feel like The Big Boss — when he had to speak English.
And he did not like that.
LESSONS WITH THE BIG BOSS
I sat down across from Karel’s desk.
His secretary brought my coffee, left, and then closed the door.
Now it was safe for Karel to speak English.
As part of his job, he had to meet clients from around the world.
And when they spoke to him, he couldn’t understand.
He asked: “What?”… “I’m sorry, could you repeat that?”… “I didn’t understand you…”
Finally, the foreign client would just speak directly to his colleague.
His younger colleague.
And she would then translate for Karel.
And Karel hated that.
He really, really hated that.
THERE IS HOPE
Karel’s story is not unique.
Many, many students over many, many years have told me similar stories.
They want to know:
How can I understand accents?
How can I understand native speakers?
How can I understand the first time?
And what’s the best method?
Don’t worry, I’ve got the answers for you.
There is hope.
Understanding is one of the easiest English problems to fix.
THE SURVEY RESULTS
Yesterday I asked you to tell me about your understanding.
- How much can you understand?
- How much time do you spend listening to English or watching English shows?
138 readers responded. (thanks!)
For those who spend little or no time listening every day…
On average, you understand 29.5%.
For those who spend 30 minutes or more listening every day…
You understand 54%.
The difference between just “a few minutes a day” and “over an hour a day” was 37%.
Want to understand better?
That’s the simple answer.
In the next lesson, I’ll tell you HOW to listen.