Know your world
Don't focus on what you don't know.
This is something I see in many students when I speak with them. They don't even realize they're doing it, but I see it when we're having a conversation. Some students will try to understand what I say word-by-word. We have a saying for this:
"They miss the forest for the trees."
They're in front of a big, beautiful forest, but they can't see the beauty because they're sitting there staring at a tree. That is to say they miss the message- the communication- for the individual words.
How To Correct This
Context is king. Look at the message that the person is trying to communicate and fill in the blanks for whatever it is you don't understand. Humans are very good at filling in the blanks for missing information. (Sometimes a little too good.) We do it all the time.
Looking at this symbol, you most likely know what it is. Even if you don't know what kind of bird exactly it is supposed to be, you know it's some sort of bird of prey. This is what I mean by filling in the blanks. Look at the message as a whole.
THE SAME WAY WITH LANGUAGE
You may not understand all the words or grammar somebody says, but there is probably a lot of a sentence that you do understand. FOCUS ON WHAT YOU DO UNDERSTAND and work from there.
A student had had a few interviews in English, and he said one didn't go so well. I asked him, "Were the interviews in English?" He didn't understand what I said. So, I repeated myself. He still didn't understand... And then I wrote the question in the chat, and he got it.
Where vs Were
He said he was confused because he thought I said, "Where" instead of "Were". This is exactly the kind of thing I mean. You should be able to take "______ the interviews in English?" and connect the dots to what it means. Learning this skill will help you learn a language faster and deeper. Above that, it will help your communication as a whole!
You may think this is a silly example, but this kind of thing happens way more than it should. You may already know this and do this, but it's always nice to have a reminder!