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Real Life Radio Podcast on How to Live English, Not Just Learn It
Gabby: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Number 124: “Real Life Radio Podcast on How to Live English, Not Just Learn It.” [Instrumental]
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.
Gabby: Hey, guys. We’re holding a live event called the “Key to Connecting with Americans” because a lot of you have told us that you don’t feel confident; you actually feel awkward and you don’t know what to say at professional networking events in English. So we’re here to help you and we’re holding this event to share with you five real natural English phrases that we use every day in professional networking situations. Also, as a bonus, you’ll learn to avoid one cultural mistake you don’t know you’re making. So join us, Lindsay and Gabby, for this free live event on Tuesday, June 10th, at 9 am EST. That’s New York, Boston time. To reserve your spot, go to www.AllEarsEnglish.com/Key, k-e-y.
Lindsay: In today’s episode, you’ll meet our Australian friend, Chad, from Real Life Radio, who teaches English in Brazil and he’s going to give you guys three awesome tips to keep it real in English.
Lindsay: Hey, Gabby. How are you?
Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. I’m doing awesome ‘cause (because) we have a guest today.
Lindsay: We do. We have Chad Fishwick from RealLifeGlobal.com. Welcome, Chad.
Chad: Hey guys. What’s up? How (are) you guys going today?
Lindsay: Doing great. Thank you.
Gabby: It’s awesome to talk with you.
Chad: Thanks for having me here on the podcast.
Lindsay: All right.
Gabby: So it’s Real Life English today.
Lindsay: Real Life English. So Chad, in your opinion, what are the three keys to real life fluency?
Chad: All right. So the three keys to real life fluency – this is something that I’ve (kind of) put together based on my teaching experience and language learning experience.
Chad: And one of the first ones I wanted to talk about was to not just learn the language, but to actually live it.
Gabby: I like that.
Gabby: ‘Cause (because) that’s different…
Gabby: …(right). Learning the language could be maybe you’re just taking an, an English class.
Gabby: But what does it mean to live the language? What does that mean?
Chad: Well, yeah, exactly. (I mean) a lot of people, I think, look at language learning as, (you know), (kind of like) a subject, a school subject. And…
Chad: …it’s very limiting, it’s very – I don’t know. I guess quite boring as well. So when I say to live it, I mean in a way to, you have to find a way to connect your English learning to your life in some way.
Lindsay: Can you give us a, a concrete example of how you would do that or someone who’s done it.
Gabby: Yeah, yeah, ‘cause (because)…
Gabby: Yeah, go ‘head (ahead).
Chad: (Uh) definitely. (I mean), I can maybe use a personal example.
Lindsay: Sure. Please do.
Chad: (Uh), well for example, when I was in high school, it was – I, I had an Indonesian class. So…
Chad: …a language which I didn’t really have any use for. It wasn’t very interesting. (I mean), I don’t want to talk bad about Indonesian, but I just couldn’t really apply it in my life in any way, but…
Gabby: Is that popular in Australia?
Chad: Indonesian? (Um), yeah. It’s, it’s – I guess so. (I mean)…
Chad: …’cause (because) we’re so close to Indonesia and it’s…
Chad: A lot of people go there for tourism, but I didn’t really have much – (uh), I didn’t have many plans to actually travel there.
Gabby: Or not much contact with Indonesian in real life?
Gabby: Got it.
Chad: Yeah. So, (you know), just like having to go home and do my homework and even sometimes the terminology people use, (like) to study to go home…
Chad: …do homework it’s…
Chad: …(kind of) boring and…
Lindsay: Yeah, yeah.
Chad: Causes resistance
Lindsay: Totally, totally.
Gabby: That’s right.
Chad: But, (uh), for example, then later on in my life, when I was about, when I was about 16, 17, I started having a lot of contact with Brazilian culture.
Chad: I started practicing Capoeira I know you guys have done that.
Gabby: We do. We’ll have to all play sometimes.
Lindsay: Yeah. It’s so fun.
Chad: Yeah. Definitely. (Um), so yeah, I just started getting very involved in Brazilian culture and I just started really, I really wanted to start learning Portuguese…
Chad: …just my (uh), my motivation to (like) practice the martial arts and learn the language at the same time…
Chad: …has just made the learning process so much easier. It was very fun. It was…
Lindsay: Aw, that sounds so fun.
Gabby: Well, and the language is a big part of the martial arts, so I think that helps. (Um) and I think doing something physical like a martial art or a dance or something where…
Gabby: …you can connect with the culture and it doesn’t really require you to be fluent at first, but it’s like that motivation. That, that’s really helpful.
Chad: Yeah, and it’s something else that Capoeira has – it’s, (uh), the whole music aspect…
Chad: You have to sing
Lindsay: So cool.
Gabby: Right, right, right. Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah, I love that. I love that.
Chad: And it’s, it’s – that’s another big problem that a lot of people have is that they’re very scared to actually speak. But when you’re in, for example, in a Capoeira class and the teacher’s, (you know), making you (kind of) sing…
Chad: …in front of people, you (kind of) really lose that, (uh), that embarrassment, (you know).
Gabby: That’s right.
Chad: You have to overcome that very quickly.
Gabby: It’s a really unique way to learn language.
Lindsay: Oh, so cool.
Gabby: Yeah. Now that’s…
Lindsay: So cool.
Gabby: …a great example.
Lindsay: I like that idea.
Chad: Awesome. (Uh), do you want me to to jump off to…
Chad: …jump off to number two.
Lindsay: Sure, go for it. What else do you have?
Chad: (Uh), well, this is something which a lot of people ask me personally. It’s about, (you know), (like) grammar. They generally at the start of any language learning process, a lot of people focus a lot on grammar, but in my perspective, how I like to teach my students at least, is to – like I said, (kind of) connect the language and start building some vocabulary and start trying to use it and things like grammar is something that you can (kind of) use as a base…
Chad: …to (kind of) understand what you’re already using.
Chad: I don’t know. Again, from my personal experience, I (kind of) use grammar as a way of feeling more confident when I speak, but it wasn’t (like) the, (uh), the main focus of my study.
Lindsay: Oh, right.
Gabby: Right, right. It can’t be only about grammar.
Lindsay: It’s very easy to get paralyzed if you spend too much time focusing on grammar.
Chad: Yeah. It’s, it’s (kind of) – sometimes it can – exactly. It paralyzes you. It’s something that you – it makes it very, like a black and white subject. It’s either right or wrong the way that you’re speaking. But if you can just communicate, I think that’s your, your first goal in any language.
Gabby: Yeah. So maybe building your vocabulary up and then having basic grammar, but…
Gabby: …I think the vocabulary is so key to expressing yourself and understanding other people too, right.
Chad: Yeah, definitely. Yeah.
Lindsay: I think that’s what a lot of our listeners want to do, they want to make that transition to, to that real English because…
Lindsay: …they’ve been in school and learning, (you know), grammar points and conjugations and things, and they want to be able to start speaking real English and this is a good way to do it.
Chad: Yeah, and especially – probably I’m sure that your listeners, (like) for example, right now, the way that we’re speaking, we’re speaking just like native speakers talk in a general conversation.
Chad: So a lot of the time, little grammar things, like even conjugations like using present perfect, present perfect continuous. These sounds like, “I have been.” I don’t say that. I’m like, “I’ve been.”
Chad: “I’ve been there.”
Chad: You can’t even really hear that in a, in a, in a conversation amongst native speakers.
Gabby: Yeah, well, it’s crazy if you learn the grammar first then you’re thinking, ‘I … have … been.’ Right. And then when you go to speak, it’s like, ‘Oh, man, I’m not going to sound very natural.’ So I think…
Gabby: …the real life way, what it sounds like to me is (kind of), (um), maybe do more listening and build your vocabulary and then (like) pay attention to when people say things differently like, “I’ve been” instead of like “I … have … been”.
Gabby: (You know), don’t look for that. Don’t expect it, and don’t repeat it. Yeah.
Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah.
Chad: And I’m sure, (you know), just also – like you said, listening a lot. We see the podcast…
Chad: …your podcast must be great. (I mean), it’s a…
Gabby: Well, it is actually.
Chad: Get into a routine of just listening every day even if it’s just a little bit.
Gabby: Absolutely. Yeah, listening is, is key to stay fresh with your English and, (you know), really, (um), speak and understand (like) real native English. I think that’s, that’s what we’re both all about, (you know), Real Life English and (um) All Ears English, it’s (like) getting that fresh, natural native English out there…
Gabby: …(um), as a resource for you guys, for the listeners.
Lindsay: It’s so important right now is just – it’s time for – yeah, this is really what people want right now, (you know). Absolutely.
Chad: And a lot of people get a little bit maybe scared, (like) I’m sure there are a lot of people listening right now who can’t obviously understand 100% of what we’re saying, but I think you have to just be comfortable with not understanding everything.
Gabby: Well, and…
Chad: people just say “Oh, I can’t understand it, so I’m not going to bother.”
Gabby: Well, I want to tell everybody a secret that, (you know), I don’t understand 100% of English conversations.
Lindsay: Yeah. Of course not. Of course not.
Gabby: There’s always that moment, especially if you’re in (like) a loud, noisy restaurant or bar and (like) you don’t understand 100% maybe you can’t hear it, but, but (like), (you know), you don’t – even native speakers, we don’t understand 100%.
Lindsay: Right, right.
Gabby: You just – you have strategies to get along and get – (I mean) to make conversation even if you don’t understand everything.
Lindsay: Or, or certain topics, like we could – we, we live near Harvard and we could go over to Harvard, they could be talking about hedge funds, we wouldn’t know what they were talking about. There are certain topics where you might not have any idea…
Lindsay: …but it’s fine.
Chad: Yeah. I think (like) just, just focusing on, (uh), just understanding as much as possible, even if it’s (like) only 30%, 40%. I think just having constant contact is ultimately just gonna (going to) improve your listening, improve (like) your ear and it’s gonna (going to) help, (um), I don’t know, I guess it’s gonna (going to) help – I think listening can also help your pronunciation in many ways.
Gabby: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. For sure.
Lindsay: For sure. And then you said, you had one more idea, right?
Chad: I do have one more idea. And that is having, (uh), maybe the importance of community, the importance of being around people who can support you with your, with your language learning.
Gabby: Yeah. So talk more about that, (like), yeah, who, who might be part of your support community.
Chad: (Uh), I guess either (like) colleagues, people who study with you. (Um), even nowadays with the internet, it’s a great way to connect to people from all around the world.
Chad: (You know), you can connect to English learners from the other side of the world. You can connect to – for example, Real Life English, we have an online community where a lot of people make friends. They, they try to (uh) – I think a lot of people sometimes Skype each other.
Gabby: Well, yeah, it’s so cool with the internet. (I mean) you’re pointing out a lot of good options. And, (you know), I think we could include ourselves in our, our listener support community. (You know), we, we may not live in the same city, we may not be able to, (you know), Skype with every single one of our listeners, but, (you know), this is your community too and you can, (you know), join our Facebook or Twitter and that’s a way to have (kind of) a conversation online these days and that’s just so cool.
Gabby: That’s so cool. We’re part of the community too.
Chad: Yeah, I, I, I’m just saying this also because here, locally, where I am in Brazil, I know many of my students – let’s say they study the same class together…
Chad: …and I see them outside of class and when they start speaking English together, they’re not really supporting each other. One of them gets a little bit embarrassed.
Lindsay: Yeah, that happens a lot.
Chad: “I’m not going to speak now.”
Chad: “We’re not in English class. I’m only, I’m only going to speak to you in English, in English class.” But…
Lindsay: Right, right.
Chad: …it’s just a barrier you have to come across, and (uh), I think the more you just practice as much as you can, whether it’s people locally, people online, you just have to have people that encourage you and (uh)…
Lindsay: So you just have to go…
Lindsay: …go out and find your opportunities.
Chad: Yeah, even having, (like), some role models, (you know). Maybe some teachers, obviously you guys are probably role models for a lot of your listeners.
Gabby: Well, I really like the idea of supporting each other because I, I think what you’re talking about is if you’re having a conversation – let’s say, (you know), I’m learning English and I’m trying to practice with my friends from class, (you know), to support them and, and tell them, “Hey, it’s, it’s okay to make mistakes. Let’s just practice, (you know). Don’t worry about it.”
Gabby: (Like) to (kind of) make that supportive atmosphere, as opposed to doing what I see some of my students doing too, which is, (you know), “Ha, ha, ha, you’re so dumb, you made a mistake.” (I mean), it’s awful. That’s no way to support each other.
Lindsay: That’s no way to support. No. That doesn’t make for a good environment.
Chad: I just – this (uh), this (uh), this whole idea of community can also come back around to that first idea of, (you know), living the language because…
Chad: …just through what I’ve been doing online and connecting with people, (uh), from around the world, it’s really interesting, the kind of people you meet and (like) you just get a totally different perspective on someone’s culture…
Gabby: Oh, yeah.
Chad: …and you can just connect with them one on one and obviously English is a great way to do that because it’s becoming this, this global language…
Chad: …that everyone is starting to learn, connect with each other online through English, so…
Chad: You can (kind of) come back around to the whole they’re just learning, living.
Gabby: I like that – how we’re coming full circle. So don’t just learn it, live it, and then have (kind of) constant contact with the language, but, (you know), whether you’re using it in real life, or – well, online is real life too, right.
[crosstalk] Yeah, it’s just another tool.
Gabby: And then the community support is really key.
Gabby: So I love those tips. Those are really great.
Gabby: Thank you, Chad.
Lindsay: Thank you so much, Chad, for coming on today. And so where can our audience go to find you online?
Chad: Yeah sure you can check out our website, it is RealLifeGlobal.com.
Chad: And there you will see we also have a podcast much like yours, but obviously it’s two, two men on the podcast. You guys are two females…
Lindsay: Yep, yep.
Chad: And yeah, you can also check us out on our Facebook community. Just type in Real Life English on Facebook, it should be the first community that pops up.
Lindsay: Perfect. Excellent.
Both: Well, thanks so much…
Gabby: …for joining us. It was fun.
Lindsay: Yeah, thanks.
Chad: Pleasure. Thanks for inviting me on the show today.
Gabby: All right.
Lindsay: Thanks a lot.
Gabby: Talk to you later.
Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put 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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