What to do when people don’t understand you

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Have you ever been in a situation where you’re talking to someone in English, and the person listening doesn’t understand you?
 
Well I have, too. And it’s quite normal.
 
But as a second language learner, this seemingly normal situation can be quite stressful. It may even be something that you fear. When someone doesn’t understand your English, you may start to think:
 
“OMG, my English is so bad that this person doesn’t understand what I’m saying. I am never going to speak English again.”
 
You just feel like going home and curling up in bed in embarrassment.
 
Does that sound like you?
 
If it does, there are other ways you can handle this situation. Because it happens all the time. Even to people who speak English fluently.
 
The reason someone does not understand you may not have anything to do with your English at all!
 
It could be due to other reasons — maybe you’re speaking too fast, maybe they need further clarification, or maybe they just need more time to understand.
 
So in our live session this week, I shared several things you can do when somebody doesn’t understand you. You can watch the replay here.

You can also listen to this session on SpotifyApple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.

If you fear that people will not understand your English, I highly recommend you watch this video. If you don’t have that fear, you can still learn how to make people understand you better.
 
Let us know what you think. Till our next post!

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Hi there!

We’re Azimah, Amnah and Aisya from Malaysia. We created My English Matters as an online platform to help people improve their English.

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