Breakthrough the Listening Barrier in 90 days.

Do you feel frustrated when listening to British native speakers?

Do you worry about getting into conversations in English in case you can’t understand the reply?

Do you lose your confidence chatting to British native speakers because you can’t keep up with the speed of the conversations?

Then this is for you.

Breakthrough the listening barrier is my new 90-day programme that takes you on a journey through spoken English.  At the start, informal spoken English might sound like a fast non-stop stream of sounds, but by following the course of weekly listening training resources you will retrain your ears. After 90 days working with me, you will hear the separate words and understand the 35 keywords that native speakers pronounce differently to the way you might expect.

Is this 90-day training programme for you?

  • Your English is at a high intermediate / advanced level, you can read, write and say everything you need to.
  • You can listen to formal speakers and understand the dialogues in a textbook.
  • But when you listen to British native speakers it sounds fast and you can’t make out the individual words.

Then this course is for you.

How easy is it to transform your listening skills?

What if you had authentic real speed resources, with transcripts AND explanations of the connected speech?

What if you discovered the 35 words that are the key to understanding fast spoken English?

What if you had access to listening training sound files to train your ears and your brain to how these 35 words really sound in everyday conversations?

What if you had a native speaker sitting next to you who you can pause, rewind, and listen to on repeat.

What if you had explanations of the connected speech and explanations of the colloquial expressions used in everyday spoken English.

Does all this sound useful?

And that’s not all!

What if you found a particular auxiliary verb or contraction very hard to hear and you needed extra recordings to help you?

What if you could request bespoke resources to meet your own specific needs?

Then this programme is for you.

Who am I and why do I teach this?

I am Helen Cunningham with twenty years experience working as a lecturer in British universities and five years experience teaching English online.

My university students had fantastic IELTS scores and could understand every word when listening to a formal lecture.  But they struggled to understand the chatter in the coffee breaks.  They were frustrated when they couldn’t join in conversations in the pub after class.

What was going on?

Why couldn’t they hear the words in informal social conversation?

How we talk in formal situations, in lectures and business meetings, is very different to how we talk in informal social gatherings with friends and family.

In informal situations we speak quicker, we connect the words together,  we use reductions and weak forms all the time.  Our spoken grammar does not follow the same rules as the written, and we use colloquial expressions we don’t use when writing.

Teaching English Listening and Pronunciation online I developed my 4 step framework to Breakthrough the Listening Barrier.    I’ve created hours of resources, that I use in my individual skype lessons.  Now, for the first time, I’m opening up a whole programme that is built off my one to one teaching…at a fraction of the cost of one to one lessons!   

Look at what previous students have said:

Helen’s course is nothing like a traditional English course, in fact you’ll be guided through natural speech until your ears get trained to those unstressed little sounds, contractions and reductions that are hard to catch. You’ll be on your way to understanding the secrets of spoken English and make progress in no time.


My name is Marco , and I’m an Italian man , perhaps not so young, and I’d like to suggest to you all English learners to take part in Helen’s courses; I know that Helen’s way of teaching how to comprehend her fellow countrymen and countrywomen is the right path that can make the real difference…and believe me I’ve tested  it many times during my trips to England and Sheffield….  Too often us students tend to underestimate an important aspect of our learning journey , the listening skill , but when we are in a real English speaking country , we find some difficulties to catch and understand what they’re asking or saying to us…….and we make a pretence that we’ve understood what they’ve said to us….Participating to Helen’s course is a great opportunity to not miss , if you want to make an important step forward in your real English listening skills.


Do you want to understand real English? I recommend this course with Helen. She gives you tips how to teach our ears to understand how native speakers speak to each other. I had never done this before but it really works.


Join Breakthrough the Listening Barrier 90-day Programme at the Introductory Price

This 90-day programme is made up of separate courses that have never been available to purchase in this format before.   These resources have previously only been available to students purchasing a package of one to one lessons.   I am now releasing all this material as a complete programme which takes you on a journey through the secrets of spoken English.  On this journey you will discover the rules of connected speech,  you will learn all about the schwa sound, and how this sound appears in many of the 35  weak forms in spoken English.  You will also find examples of how our spoken grammar differs from written grammar, plus discover colloquial everyday expressions that don’t appear in textbooks.

Part 1  Prepositions, articles and conjunctions

with listening training to how they really sound.

Part 2 Pronouns

with listening training so you can recognise them in the weak form.

Part 3 Contractions of auxiliary verbs

listening training and extended listening exercises.

PLUS your chance to have Personalised Content made specifically for your needs

This programme is already full of amazing valuable content but there are new sections which will be made especially for you.  After each section, I take your feedback into account and create more resources to meet your specific needs. As well as the existing lessons, you will have the opportunity to choose five weak forms that you still find difficult to hear.   I will make new listening training materials for you that focus on these words.   It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to learn this closely with me and to have a listening course created to meet your own requirements.

This is your chance to co-create this programme and have sound files made to help you hear the words that YOU find difficult.

What if five  2-minute recordings to meet your specific needs are included in the price?

What you get:

An online course

An online course with over 40 lessons.   The lessons have sound files you can pause, rewind and repeat.

Each lesson has explanations and sound recordings with 5 – 10 listening training sound files per word to train your ears to hear the word in connected speech.

Each word has a worksheet and listening exercise so you can test yourself and see how you are improving.

After each section, there are extended listening lessons.  These are sound files from real-life-like situations in cafes, bars, train stations to check you can hear the words now that you know how they really sound in real everyday spoken English.

These longer sound files can be downloaded so that you can listen to them repeatedly on your phone or another device.  There are transcripts you can download as well if needed.  There are also lists and sound files of all the colloquial expressions used in each lesson.

A private Facebook group for course members

As well as the online course you get access to a private facebook group where you can ask questions for me to answer. You can participate in the challenges after each lesson.  And if you want feedback on your speaking using these weak forms you can post sound files and get feedback on your own pronunciation.

The Facebook group has weekly office hours.  These are guaranteed times I am in the group live to answer your questions and give you feedback.

This is not just an online course in which you work alone online.  It is a personalised programme.  You will have a lot of access to me, to ask me questions, to give me feedback after each lesson.  AND for me to give you feedback on your progress.

At the end of the programme you will be much more confident  when listening to British native speakers.   The everyday colloquial expressions used in social situations will be familiar to you.  The transformation when you can join in a conversation and keep up with the speed of the chat is amazing.   You can join in social activities and enjoy  British social life.

Breakthrough the Listening Barrier in 90 days.

Just £150 for
a 3 month programme

Do you have any questions?

How long do I have access to the online course?

You will get lifetime access to this course. This means you get access to new lessons and listening trainings every time the course is released.  The number of resources will grow each year as the programme runs and develops.

Who is this programme for?

Breakthrough the Listening Barrier 90 Day Programme is for non-native English speakers who are at an intermediate to advanced level.   If you are not sure if your level is high enough contact me and we can talk about it over skype.  If you can understand me talking in my Teacher Voice then this course is for you.  The programme will train your ears to understand the Everyday Voice I use with my family and friends.

When does this programme start?

This programme will begin in the second week of January.

Part 1  Weak forms – Prepositions, conjugations, articles    

This course will open on January 7th.

This section of the course has already been beta tested and the lessons are ready to go with sound recordings and extended listenings.    The facebook group will also be open from this date where you can ask me questions and post your own sound recordings for feedback.

Part 2  Weak forms – Pronouns

This section of the online course will start in February.

Part 3   Weak forms – Contractions and auxiliary verbs.

This section of the online course will start in March.

Any more questions?    Email me on or message me on facebook.