I want to mention a few things that I have found myself saying repeatedly when I meet new people. I hope this will help all those who are new to our sessions. Here is the next point:
Slow down! I cannot emphasize this enough. This is the one piece of advice that I have found that will usually improve your ability to be understood by a native speaker. From what I have seen, this is the fastest way to go from hardly being understood when you are speaking to being very understandable. Fast speech does not equate to understandable speech nor does it equate to the appearance of intelligent speech, in fact, it works the opposite. It does not seem to make a difference where you are from, or what your accent is, if you slow down while speaking to a native speaker you will have the best possible chance of being understood. This goes for both slowing down while speaking the entire sentence as well as slowing down on the words themselves. Often, when a native speaker cannot understand the word you are using, simply slowing down while speaking each syllable of the word will allow the person listening to decipher what it is you are actually trying to say; many times, slowing down when you speak is all that is needed to be easily understood.
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