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Dance Your Way to English Success
Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Number 154: “Dance Your Way to English Success.”
Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.
Lindsay: So, Gabby, a lot of our listeners are asking me where they can see and get the transcript from this podcast.
Gabby: Right, because reading while you listen to the episodes will help you improve your listening skills even faster. And we do have text transcripts at every single episode. So if you haven’t seen those yet, don’t miss out. You can find them at AllEarsEnglish.com/conversations. That’s c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n-s.
Lindsay: To succeed in English, you need a mindset shift. Today, we’re gonna (going to) show you two ways to change the way you think about learning English.
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. How are you?
Lindsay: Great, Gabby. You?
Gabby: I’m doing wonderful and hello to our attractive and intelligent listeners. We hope you’re doing well.
Lindsay: Thanks for being with us today guys. We’re happy you’re here.
Gabby: And we wanna (want to) thank a few of you for leaving some five star reviews. I’m so excited. We just got our first review from the Dominican Republic. Thank you [inaudible 01:47].
Lindsay: And thank you to TK Greg from Russia. Thank you for that review. We had [inaudible 01:54] from Brazil. And…
Lindsay: …what else do we have Gabby?
Gabby: …and [inaudible 02:01] from the US So, thank you guys. Sometimes it takes a couple of days for your reviews to show up, but we do see them, we read them, and we really appreciate them. They’re super motivating to us just like our podcast is motivating to you. So, thanks for keeping up that communication, and showing us that you enjoy the podcast. It means the world to us.
Lindsay: Exactly, so please go ahead on over to iTunes, your local iTunes store and let us know what you think about All Ears English. We will look for them soon.
Gabby: Great. So, today’s topic is about a mindset shift that must happen for your success in learning a language. So this is an interesting strategy that really has to do with the way that you perceive or the way you see your English studies.
Lindsay: Yeah, your entire view has to flip upside down.
Gabby: Yeah, I think – (you know), if you start learning English in school, there’s a lot of focus on getting a good grade, on passing your class. And having English as something that it’s almost like you, you attain English; it’s almost like something that you would own.
Gabby: Right? Like you own a house, you own a car, you own English.
Gabby: But that’s the wrong way to think about English. It’s not something that you can buy.
Lindsay: Right. It’s not a commodity.
Gabby: You can buy an English class, you can buy an English book, but you can never buy English skills. That’s something you have to work for.
Lindsay: Right, and so what we want you guys to try to do, is to not separate yourself from the language.
Gabby: That’s right because when you separate yourself from the English language, when you see language as something that you can buy, something you can quickly attain just by paying for it, you’re excluding English from your life, from your, from your deeper meaning as a person.
Lindsay: Right, and you’re also losing a sense of power there. Because you’re placing the responsibility on someone else, maybe your teacher, or some other way…
Lindsay: …rather than placing the responsibility on yourself…
Gabby: That’s right.
Lindsay: …to improve.
Gabby: Absolutely, and it’s so easy, I think, to purchase a course…
Gabby: …or purchase a certificate course. (You know), you get your piece of paper at the end, but what does that really mean?
Lindsay: I know.
Gabby: Did you really learn it?
Lindsay: I’ve noticed that certificates are a big thing.
Gabby: Right. The certificate might be proof that you purchased the course and maybe that you attended, but where was your brain, where were your emotions?
Lindsay: (I mean), what does the certificate mean when it’s just on the wall? (I mean), who really cares?
Gabby: Well, it might be helpful for your resume, or if you’re looking for a job…
Gabby: …but in the end, it’s your skills that are going to keep the job.
Lindsay: Right. And the other thing that happens when we start to think of English as a commodity, we also start to think of English speakers as a commodity.
Gabby: Oh, yeah. I know when I was living abroad, I had people approach me more than once and just directly asking me, “Can I practice English with you?” And (you know), I’m a helpful person, but I teach English as a job. That’s my career. And when people just approach me on the street and they wanna (want to) use me to practice English, that doesn’t feel good.
Lindsay: What was that exchange like? Were they making eye contact with you, or not really, or how did it feel?
Gabby: Just a quick, (uh), “Excuse me, can I practice English with you?” And it, it’s a bit too direct. (I mean)…
Gabby: …I may have helped the person, but, (you know), if they had approached me as more of a friend or, (you know), someone they were interested in getting to know, or if they, if they really just wanted to learn English, maybe they could’ve asked, “Excuse me, (um), are you an English teacher? You look like you might be from the US. I’m interested in studying English. Can you, (um), tell me, (you know), are you giving classes?”
Gabby: (You know), and maybe their language, (um), ability wasn’t there yet, but the point here is, when you meet someone who speaks English, maybe a native English speaker from the U.S, don’t treat that person as just, a, a, an English practice, (uh), session…
Lindsay: [crosstalk] object.
Gabby: Right. Treat that person as a, a potential friend.
Lindsay: Right, and on a deeper level, again, as we said, don’t separate yourself from the language. So, we have two strategies to share today, right Gabby…
Lindsay: …about how we can actually not separate ourselves from the language.
Lindsay: (Um), so the first one is something that I was able to do when I was living in Japan. I was teaching for a language school in Tokyo, and I knew that a typical tradition in Japan is after work, to go out for drinks, (um), with your colleagues. So I did that many nights a week, (right). So we would go out, we would enjoy, we would build relationships
Gabby: Nice, socialize.
Lindsay: So my Japanese learning wasn’t limited to just my language exchange, or my Japanese class in the morning. It was in the evening over drinks with my colleague, with my school manager, assistant manager, the other Japanese English teachers.
Gabby: Okay, that’s great.
Gabby: And actually in Japan as well, when I lived there, I decided to take dance classes, because I enjoy dance very much, and so I went to regular dance classes. They weren’t international classes, they weren’t for Americans; they were for anyone. But everyone else happened to be Japanese. So they taught the class in Japanese, and it was a great way to just live in the language, to live my life in Japan through Japanese, doing something that I enjoyed. I was actually able to meet some really wonderful people. I remember one man specifically. I think he must have been in his ‘70s, and he was an excellent salsa dancer.
Lindsay: Oh, cool.
Gabby: He was amazing. He’s such an inspiration that…
Gabby: …he was still dancing that long. And, (you know), I remember this person because we connected through dance. And he…
Gabby: …he wasn’t just someone I was trying to, (you know), use as a language object. (I mean), that’s crazy.
Lindsay: Yeah, that’s so cool.
Gabby: You, you can connect so much more deeply if you use language as a tool to explore your life, explore your interests, your hobbies, explore your professional interests.
Gabby: English is a tool, English is a way of life.
Gabby: English is something that you earn through dedicated practice. It’s not something that you can just buy.
Lindsay: Absolutely. I like that. So, guys, try your best to make this shift in your mindset…
Lindsay: …in the way that you approach learning English, and living in English, and thanks for listening today.
Gabby: Thanks guys. Good luck.
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.
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