Have you ever wondered why you understand most of what your teacher says in class, but understand less of what the characters you watch on TV say? There are a variety of answers to the question.
Americans, Brits, Irishmen, Australians — they all have different accents. In some films and series, there are multiple actors in the same scene with different accents. This can make listening to them confusing for non-native speakers, and can throw off their listening ability.
The Actor’s Accent — this doesn’t mean a UK accent or American actor simply speaking with their countries accent. Both America and the UK have a variety of different accents within their countries. Americans have the New York accent, the Southern accent, the Midwestern accent, etc. The UK has the London Accent, the cockney accent, the Irish accent, the Scottish accent, etc. There are even different accents within a country, unlike Russia.
Dialectical Differences — different countries have different ways of saying the same thing. I’m native to America, so for examples sake, I’m going to contrast American English words with words used around the globe. In America, we say «truck», whereas in The UK, they say «lorry». In America, we say «baby kangaroo», whereas in Australia, they say «joey». these differences can make it more difficult for non-native speakers to understand what is being said on TV.
The final reason, is because the vocabulary heard on TV is often extremely specific. For example, a show like «Breaking Bad» has a lot of drug related vocabulary and phrases, which is typically not taught in class. The same goes for a movie like «Django Unchained», where topics such as slavery and retribution are talked about frequently. Teachers don’t teach this sort of language in class because it is oddly specific and isn’t useful in most situations.
So there you have it. Why you can’t understand as much on TV as you can in class.
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