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Do You Have an English Disease? How to Treat it Like a Doctor
Lindsay : This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 170: “Do You Have an English Disease? How to Treat it Like a Doctor” [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.
Lindsay : So Gabby, a lot of our listeners are asking 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 of 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.
Gabby : In this episode, we’re going to share five tips to keep your English healthy by thinking like a doctor.
Gabby : Yo’, Lindsay.
Lindsay : Yo’, what’s up?
Gabby : Not much.
Lindsay : What’s up?
Gabby : All right. In today’s episode, we’re gonna (going to) be doctors.
Lindsay : I would never make it as a doctor. I would kill someone, I’m sure. Not on purpose, but, (you know).
Gabby : All right. Well, maybe we won’t be doctors, but we’re going to imagine we’re doctors and take the qualities of a good doctor and apply them to your language learning. So we’re going to encourage you all, our smart, brilliant listeners to become doctors and to operate on your English language skills.
Lindsay : Yes. Minus the scrubs, right. We don’t need to get into uniform.
Gabby : I like scrubs.
Lindsay : Oh.
Gabby : I like uniforms.
Lindsay : Really? I’m not crazy about uniforms.
Gabby : All right, we’ll leave it up to you guys…
Lindsay : Okay.
Gabby : …if you wanna (want to) wear the uniforms or not. But let’s talk about the ideas here. What are the characteristics or the skills of a good doctor? (I
mean), I think, first of all, you have to understand that you’re going to be faced with a lot of problems.
Lindsay : (Uh-hm).
Gabby : People are coming to see you all day long with their health problems.
Lindsay : Oh, my god. That’s horrible. So you need to be able to prioritize and what’s the word that doctors use to prioritize their problems?
Gabby : Triage. So let’s say you’re working in the emergency room or the ER and one person comes in with a sore throat and another person comes in with a bullet wound in the chest. So you have to be able to prioritize these different problems. Obviously, the more urgent issue is the bullet wound. So you need to take care of that person first. Similarly, with your English language problems, you have to figure out what is your biggest problem. And Lindsay and I – well, if you’re on our email list, you’ve gotten an email from Lindsay and I right after you joined, asking you what is your biggest problem or what is your biggest challenge in English. So that’s where we’re asking you to identify that bullet wound in your English.
Lindsay : And if you’re not on the email list yet…
Gabby : You gotta (got to) get in on it.
Lindsay : …you should go to AllEArsEnglish.com/100, download the awesome e-book and get on our email list.
Gabby : Great.
Lindsay : And we’ll talk to you a little bit about your challenge.
Gabby : Absolutely. Okay, so we triage our problems, we diagnose our problems. So we have to figure out, what exactly is the problem. (I mean), some of you have told us that your problem is speaking.
Lindsay : Right.
Gabby : But what does that really mean?
Lindsay : (Um). Does that mean pronunciation?
Gabby : (Uh-hm).
Lindsay : Does that mean confidence?
Gabby : (Uh-hm).
Lindsay : Does that mean…
Lindsay : Does that mean you have a lack of access to people to practice with?
Gabby : Right. It could mean a lot of things. So we have to dig a little deeper and get a little more specific in order to appropriately diagnose our problems.
Lindsay : Got it.
Gabby : Another thing that a doctor’s going to encourage you to do is have regular check-ups.
Lindsay : What would this mean for an English learner?
Gabby : (Right), so every year, you need an annual check-up or even more often, I would recommend, checking up on your English development every six months or every three months or even each month. Check up on your improvement to see how much you’ve learned, how much you’ve progressed, maybe where your deficiencies are, or where your problems are, so that you can create a plan of action…
Lindsay : (Mm).
Gabby : …and improve even more. You have to measure your vital signs in English, (right), your vital signs being your blood pressure, you’re (uh)…
Lindsay : (Uh-huh).
Gabby : …what your heart rate…
Lindsay : I don’t know [crosstalk].
Gabby : …your, (uh) – I know they, they measure a lot of things when you go into the doctor’s office: your weight, your height…
Lindsay : Your knee, make sure your knee moves.
Gabby : Your reflexes. Anyway, you want to check in or check up on your English skills regularly. Just reflect on where you are and how far you’ve come and show, show your gratitude to yourself, or to your teachers, your friends, people who have supported you, (you know), on, in your journey and how far you’ve come, but then also look to where your goals are and, and how far you, you have to go, right.
Lindsay : Definitely. And it’s also important to be able to ‘think on your feet’. This is a great expression.
Gabby : Yeah.
Lindsay : And it means to be able to be spontaneous and make decisions with a clear head, (um), under pressure. So a doctor…
Gabby : It sounds difficult.
Lindsay : …does this right, so…
Gabby : Yeah.
Lindsay : I was just telling Gabby a friend of mine is a new doctor and she was stressing out a few nights ago about how to diagnose an issue…
Gabby : (Mm-hm).
Lindsay : …(right), and what to do in a high-pressure situation when lives are on the line.
Gabby : Right, and you have to make quick decisions because waiting could be an even bigger problem.
Lindsay : Sure.
Gabby : Great point.
Lindsay : So thinking on your feet…
Gabby : Right.
Lindsay : So how would this translate to a speaking situation?
Gabby : Oh, sure if you’re speaking to a-a partner, a friend, a colleague, and maybe, (you know), someone asked a question you weren’t expecting or makes a strange comment that you weren’t expecting, you have to be able to think on your feet about how to respond or how to redirect the conversation.
Lindsay : Yeah, and I would say this would go as a good argument against memorizing.
Gabby : (Um), good point.
Lindsay : I know that some of you guys like to memorize.
Gabby : And to listen to real conversations that are not planned in advance. Just like All Ears English, we plan our topics and we think about what we want to tell you, but we do not ever script our conversations. What you hear is exactly just what we would say in live time, if we were speaking with you directly.
Lindsay : Right. And we want you to gain confidence by listening to that…
Gabby : Right.
Lindsay : …so that when you have the opportunity to be in that spontaneous speaking situation, you can think on your feet because you’ve been listening to this kind of conversation for months.
Gabby : Yeah, absolutely. (Um), another couple of points that a good doctor would be able to do is to figure out the appropriate treatment for you issues or your problems, which may include, (um), self-correction. It may include a referral, which means you might need to get help from someone else.
Lindsay : (Uh-huh), especially when it comes to test prep, right?
Gabby : Yeah.
Lindsay : So you just can’t – as we learned from Bruce Stirling, you can’t do it by yourself.
Gabby : Or pronunciation helps.
Lindsay : (Mm-hm).
Gabby : Sometimes it’s difficult to understand the correct ways of, (um), (you know), how to move your mouth. You need a, a trained professional to do that. (Um), so if you find yourself unable to correct your own mistakes, then look for help. Go for that referral. Find a specialist or an expert in, (uh), helping you with your English issues.
Lindsay : (Uh-huh).
Gabby : All right. So I would say that is about it. We have developed – sorry – identifying problems to prioritize them or triage them, diagnose to remember check-ups, to think on your feet and to figure out how to treat the problems.
Lindsay : There you go. That’s how a doctor works and that’s how you can work for success in English.
Gabby : All right you guys. So be a doctor and you’ll improve your English.
Lindsay : Thanks guys.
Gabby : Thanks for listening.
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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