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Lesson Focus

Catching the Basic Ideas

When you’re listening to people speaking English, you don’t understand every single word that you hear. Sometimes, people use words that you don’t know. Other times, the words come out so fast that you can’t catch all of them. Often, background noise such as music or traffic makes it too hard for you to focus on the English. These are just a few of the problems that can cause you to miss some words when you are listening to people speaking English.

Some students of English get very upset when they miss a few words. They panic and feel like it is impossible for them to figure out what is being said. These students are making a serious mistake. They think that because they can’t understand everything, they can’t understand anything. They get sad and angry, and they stop listening.

Successful students of English know that they don’t have to understand everything. If they understand something, they can often figure out the basic ideas that people are talking about. These students don’t panic when they miss a few words. They relax and continue to listen. They know that catching the basic ideas is an excellent way to improve their English.