You need casual English. You need the English that native speakers use with each other. You need to learn the English that Americans use with their friends, their families, and their co-workers.
This is the common, everyday English that we constantly use.
And yet, this kind of English cannot be found in English textbooks. Schools don’t teach it. Very few English learners know it. Which is why so many learners come to the United States and can’t understand regular conversations.
In San Francisco, I have met many students with high English test scores, and great grades in their English classes… and yet, when they sit at a bus stop they cannot understand what people are saying around them. They have absolutely no idea what normal Americans are saying.
They have been trained in formal, academic English– with a focus on grammar rules. I think this is totally backwards.
Common, casual conversation should be the first thing you learn. The first need, after all, is to communicate with other people. You want to chat with people on the bus. You want to make friends and understand what they are saying. You want to talk to your co-workers. You want to understand TV shows and movies.
Learn that first… then, and only then, focus on academic English.
To help you, my friends Kristin and Jo are currently working on a new collection of recorded, real, spontaneous conversations. These are real conversations with friends, family, and business partners. They aren’t censoring anything. You’ll learn the real English that we use every day with each other– including slang, idioms, swear words, sexual comments & jokes, cultural references, etc.
You’ll hear filler words (such as “ahh”, “uhhm”, “you know”, “like”). You’ll hear the natural rhythm of English.. the way we go back and forth, the ways we interrupt each other.
They’ll have all the conversations transcribed, and then they’ll make short notes to explain the slang, idioms, etc. that you can’t find in a dictionary. They’re doing this because they have realized that this is a huge need. In fact, this is probably the biggest need our members have.
They hope to build a big collection of these conversations, with text and explanations, for you. So when you come to the United States or another English speaking country, you’ll understand what everyone is saying.
In the meantime, do yourself a favor- use movies and TV shows to start learning casual English now.
[Disclosure- We are an affiliate of Learn Real English].
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