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How to Use the TV to Start More English Conversations
Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 7: Wisdom Wednesday.
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real Native English conversation. Now here are your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, coming to you from Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Lindsay: In this episode, you’ll learn how to use the TV that you have in your home to learn new vocabulary words, feel more comfortable with the language and start conversations with local people.
Gabby: All right. So today we want to share a tip with you to help you to learn English and that tip is to turn on the TV while you’re making dinner or maybe doing chores around the house. Just turn on the TV of course in the language that you’re learning, so in English.
Lindsay: Right. And this is the benefit of living in the country that you’re actually studying the language in right? So if you’re living in the US, that’s fantastic, but often, even if you live abroad, you can definitely find a channel in English, right?
Gabby: Oh yeah. Or online if you have the internet, you know, you can find programs in English. You can listen to the news, the BBC, NPR, um, a couple of my favorites there. And you can use Hulu. You can-I don’t know there’s (there are) so many different – go to American, um, uh, channels as well like ABC, NBC, Fox- so many choices.
Lindsay: So many options. So the benefit of this is that if you’re there, you don’t necessarily have to even be watching the TV right? So if you’re just cooking dinner as we said or just being there, just letting yourself be in that English environment can make a huge difference in terms of being comfortable with actually listening to the language.
Gabby: Yeah. So I know Lindsay, you’ve lived abroad, so have I, and you have experience with this. So how did you use this to help you?
Lindsay: Yeah. I mean, I would just come home after a long day at work of teaching English and I would just turn on the TV in Japanese and it helped. Just to get into that mode of ‘Okay, I’m here in Japan. I’m just going to listen to Japanese.’ And it really did help me to feel more comfortable around it.
Gabby: So you were living in Japan. I also lived in Japan and um, in addition to the TV, I would often listen to the radio and it’s the same idea. I mean you don’t have to be watching the TV. It’s just hearing the words and um – yeah I was in Japan at the time of the really big earthquake and the word ‘earthquake’ was repeated so many times, so I learned it… Lindsay: You learned it.
Gabby: …because that repetition really helps so.
Lindsay: That’s interesting.
Gabby: Kind of a small good thing to come out of that at that period of time. But um, also I know you’ve lived abroad in um – where was it, France?
Lindsay: In Latin America and France a little while.
Gabby: Did you do this there too?
Lindsay: Um, not as much. Not as much. I didn’t have a TV.
Lindsay: But I would just say that this gives you that confidence. Right.
Lindsay: So you’re hearing it – as you were able to hear that word ‘earthquake’ then when you were out with Native speakers, you could hear them say it and then you’d know what they were talking about.
Lindsay: And that gives you that little edge.
Gabby: Yeah. Exactly. I think it really helps with your listening comprehension, with your pronunciation too. Uh, it’s just, you know, it’s an easy way to improve your language skills, so turn on the radio, turn on the TV, um, and uh, and I think if you, if you watch a variety of programs, like watch the news, watch a sitcom, watch a comedy show. I don’t know, a drama.
Gabby: That’ll help you as well. I mean why not find a – what – Grey’s Anatomy about medical English.
Gabby: Or um – what’s a legal English show?
Lindsay: Like Law & Order or something like that.
Gabby: Law & Order. I think one barrier is sometimes not knowing the names of popular TV shows, like if you’re not really um, familiar with, with what’s on air, but ask, ask your friends, ask your host family, if you have a host family, or ask your co-workers what they watch.
Lindsay: Yeah and it’s also good to be tuned in to what’s going on in pop culture, so you can participate in those conversations.
Gabby: Have something to talk about. “Hey, did you watch that show last night?” Lindsay: Yeah and sometimes that’s the thing that might hold you back, right? From actually getting into that conversation, so if you can connect with somebody based on what happened in some show…
Gabby: Yeah. And Americans love watching TV and talking about TV so. I know some of the um, most recent ones were what Breaking Bad, um, Walking Dead.
Lindsay: Or like Orange is the New Black is a big one. Have you seen that?
Gabby: I have not. But I thought I’d just drop some TV show names that I’ve heard people talking about.
Lindsay: Yes. Cool.
Gabby: So it’s just really uh, really popular. So turn on that TV.
Gabby: So we’ve made a special resource for you all. It’s an e-book with ten top ways to learn English with a podcast. And you can get that e-book for free if you come to visit us at www.allearsenglish.com/free. So come on over and get your copy.
Lindsay: Thanks for listening to the All Ears English Podcast. We’re here to help you learn English and you can help us by leaving a five star review on iTunes.
See you next time.
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