In other words, although English has only 5 main vowels (a,e.i,o,u), we sometimes don't pronounce these clearly in unstressed syllables. In other languages with the same vowels, these sounds are almost always stressed. Here are a couple of examples in English:
- I want to go to the party.
- I wanna go ta the party.
- I have to call him tonight.
- I hafta call 'im tanight.
Keep in mind that faster speech doesn't mean better communication skills. I've created a Web site to help students called http://www.trainyouraccent.com/. There are also a number of good books that help students improve their use and understanding of conversational English. One of them is Whaddaya Say: Guided Practice in Relaxed Speech. You can find more of my recommended books and electronic devices at:
Besides understanding fast speech, what other factors do you think affect a student's ability to understand a language? Share your thoughts on this topic.