I am originally from China and have lived in the UK for the past two and a half years, but English is not my first language. I spent one year studying a Master's degree and one year working an office job with almost no English native speakers. I have started a new office job in an office of almost only English native speakers one month ago.
In the first two years there were occasional situations when I did not understand what other people were saying, but I usually could clarify this quickly and these events did not adversely affect me.
In my new job I have great difficulty understanding the English spoken by the native speakers. There have been embarassing moments when I misunderstood a question asked by someone and went on to answer a different question. I also feel that colleagues avoid chatting with me because they find communicating with me troublesome. Social situations with my colleagues, such as team lunches, are frustrating for me, because I am not fast enough to keep up with their conversation and cannot participate.
I am afraid to ask colleagues to repeat themselves if I don't understand something, because I am afraid that they will judge me and will avoid talking to me even more. Also in group conversations I believe that it is inapproprate to demand spending a lot of time repeating things that everyone except for me understood. While my supervisor is very patient, I am also worried that he regrets hiring me.
My questions are:
Is it appropriate to use a regular feedback meeting with my supervisor to bring up this problem? I am afraid that this will make me seem weak in the eyes of my supervisor. I am also afraid that this may be taken as a sign of rejecting responsibility for my own shortcomings, which I want to avoid.
I am not going to attain perfect listening comprehension overnight. What are good ways to practice listening comprehension of English that is spoken fast and uses rare words? I have no difficulty understanding most things that are said on TV, and also watching TV does not seem like an effective learning activity.