I listen to the Bible being read in Spanish on biblegateway.com. Doing so affords me understanding toward my ESL students.
When I listen to Spanish, I miss some words. Either a liaison between words tricked me into thinking I was hearing one word when I was hearing two others, or a word was used that was unfamiliar to me. At other times, a familiar word was used in an unfamiliar way.
Upshot: I lose bits of the meaning. Once I lose those bits, the words that follow impart less meaning to my mind. I start to feel confused.
When I don't gain meaning out of what I hear, then within a fraction of a second, my mind wanders. I start thinking in my native language about unrelated matters. Within another second or two, I yank my mind back to what I am hearing, and discover that my comprehension has fallen even further behind. If I concentrate hard, I can regain the thread of meaning, but overall I have absorbed only part of the ideas in what I have heard.
(1) I need to build clever, varied repetition into my instructions.
(2) I need to keep my instructions as brief as possible. The longer I talk, the more chance that students will miss words and lose meaning.
(3) I need to format my classwork to elicit frequent feedback from my students, and to give them many activities to do in which they generate spoken and written English.
(4) Continuing my practice of clarifying English words that are used in more than one way is critical. My clarifications not only add to my students' understanding of English, but also confer opportunity for the students to ask further questions.