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Jun from Hapa Eikaiwa Show You How to Beat English Perfectionism

Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 199: “Jun from Hapa Eikaiwa Shows You How to Beat English Perfectionism.” [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.

[Instrumental]

Gabby: Yeah. {sings} “Beat it, beat it, beat it.” You guys, in this episode, you’re gonna (going to) learn how to beat your perfectionism and start speaking fluent English.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Four words guys: Speak English with natives. If you are looking for a costeffective way to work one-on-one with English teachers, try italki. italki has more than 400 professional online English teachers to choose from in one place. If you get over to Italki now before this offer runs out, you’ll get ten

US dollars in italki credits to start practicing your English now for free. Go to www.AllEarsEnglish.com/italki. That’s AllEarsEnglish.com/i-t-a-l-k-i.

[Instrumental]

Gabby: Lindsay, how do you do?

Lindsay: Gabby. Why are you using that old school English? It sounds like you need to learn some common, real English.

Gabby: Oh, my!

Lindsay: Gabby, seriously. You need help and I know the perfect place you can go. You can go to AllEarsEnglish.com/100 to get the 100 most common phrases in every day English, real English.

Gabby: Goodness.

[Instrumental]

Gabby: Hey, Lindsay. How (are) you doing?

Lindsay: Hey. Hey, Gabby. Not bad and you?

Gabby: Oh, I’m really great because today we have a special guest. We have Jun Senesac here. He is the owner of BYB English Center in California and the owner of HapaEikaiwa.com. Jun, what’s up?

Lindsay: Welcome Jun.

Jun: Hey, what’s going on? How (are) you doing Lindsay? How (are) you doing Gabby?

Lindsay: Thanks for joining us.

Gabby: Great. Yeah. We’re so happy to have you here.

Jun: Yeah, thanks for having me on. I’m pretty excited.

Gabby: Yeah, cool.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: So I know you have a lot of experience, (um), in Japan, in the US and teaching English and I just thought it would be great, (you know), since you’re, (uh), the owner of an English school and you have a great website, you’re just offering so much for English learners, especially, (uh), in particular, Japanese English learners, who I know we have a lot of listeners who are listening in Japan. So I thought it would be really great if, (um), you could talk a little bit about, (you know), your, your philosophy and your tips, your top three tips. How can we become better English learners? What’s, what’s holding us back from, (you know), fluency in English? So let’s talk about it. Whatta (what do), what do you think Jun?

Jun: Yeah, well that, that’s a great question. (Um), and, (um), (you know), for me personally, I’ve been closely working with, (uh), Japanese students. (Um), so (um), lot of the, the, (you know), the tips I’m gonna (going to) throw out to you today are gonna (going to) be a little bit more, (um), related to the Japanese English learners. (Um), but, again, (you know), (I mean), I feel like these are some common stuff that everybody could also learn from. And, (uh), (you know), one of the first things that I do realize, (uh), with, (um), the Japanese learners that I, that I’ve been working with, (uh), the last, (uh), ten years or so, (um), is there’s a sense of being a perfectionist.

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: (Uh)…

Gabby: Perfectionist. When, when you want everything to be just right, just perfect, right?

Jun: E-exactly.

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: Then you have the fear of making mistakes, (you know), the idea of (like) having perfect sentences, (you know), the grammatical part, the vocabulary part, everything’s just (uh), (you know), at least in their mind, needs to be perfect. (Um), and I’ve seen – I know this tends to be a barrier

for a lot of the students. (Um), (you know), instead of just free-flowing, just instead of communicating and letting out, (you know), the words that they know, (um), they would take a second, take a few seconds, (uh), to think in their head and come up with the perfect sentences. And sometimes when you’re thinking too long, (you know), you kind of get left behind in the conversation.

Gabby: Right.

Jun: And by the time you try to express yourself, it’s going on, (you know), to the next topic. And I do realize, (you know), some students, (um), that – with that, (you know), with that (kind of) mindset, (uh), they never really get anything that they want to say across, (um), because they’re always thinking instead of talking.

Gabby: Oh, that’s so frustrating. So by the time you figure out the perfect way to say what you want to express, it’s too late and everyone’s…

Jun: It’s too late.

Gabby: …talking about something else.

Lindsay: Oh, my god.

Gabby: So…

Lindsay: Oh, that’s terrible. You’re drowning, right?

Gabby: Yeah. Well, Lindsay and I have talked a little bit about this before and we, we coined a term ‘perfectionist paralysis.’

Jun: (Uh-huh).

Gabby: Or, ‘perfectionism paralysis.’ Just that, when you stop, you stop and you, you want everything to be perfect, but it just paralyzes you.

Lindsay: (Uh).

Gabby: It makes you stop.

Jun: (Uh-hm).

Gabby: (Ugh). So…

Lindsay: How can students stop doing this?

Gabby: Yeah, how can we stop stopping? Or in other words, how can we open up and start expressing ourselves in more, more fluent English, like getting our thoughts out of our heads… Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: …and, (you know), (like), just out of our mouths, (like), how do we, how do we make that happen? What, what have you found that helps students?

Jun: Well, (um), (you know), one of the things, (um), and, (you know), I understand this too, (um), especially when you’re a beginner, is it’s scary. (You know), it’s, it’s the whole fear of making mistakes. (Um), and sometimes, (um), when, (you know), you are having a conversation for the first time in English, (um), especially, (you know), when it’s with a native English speaker, it can be scary and, (you know), I think that’s what holds a lot of students back is just the fear. (Um), and it… Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: …as a student if you could (like) overcome the fear and understand that you are learning English as a second language, this is not your first language and that you are going to mistake, (uh), you are going to make mistakes and you are going to – and you just say – as, as long as you can accept the fact that you are going to make mistakes…

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: …and people are not going to really judge you for that, (um), I feel once they could (kind of) get past that step, (um), it really does help them open up and become a better speaker.

Gabby: That’s so great, (you know), just the idea of being patient with yourself. I love it. And…

Lindsay: Yeah, that’s important.

Gabby: Yeah. And this reminds me – I heard somewhere, I read somewhere that (um), (you know), people aren’t just waiting to judge you. (I mean) most people are just worried about themselves as well. So if you think about everyone else just worried that they’re going to make a mistake, they’re not focusing on whether you are going to make a mistake, (right), like…

Lindsay: Absolutely.

Gabby: Yeah. So…

Jun: And especially, (like), (you know), with the Japanese students, (um), (you know), there’s a lot of foreigners out, (uh), live in Japan, (uh), and…

Gabby: Yeah. Like me.

Jun: Yeah, like yourself, but I’m sure when you get a chance you try to speak Japanese to some of the Japanese (uh), (uh), your friends, (uh), or your students that are out there. (Uh), and it’s interesting because, (um), (uh), (you know), I feel like when, (you know), foreigners speak, (uh), Japanese in Japan, you kinda (kind of) get the “Nihongo jouzu desu ne?”

Gabby: Oh, yeah. It’s a lie. I know.

Lindsay: Yeah, it’s.

Gabby: My Nihongo is not jouzu. My Japanese is not good.

Lindsay: But you’ll get that a lot.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: I got that too when I was living there. Absolutely.

Gabby: Well, actually I heard that when people stop telling you your Japanese is good, that means your Japanese is actually good.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Jun: Exactly. The other way around.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Interesting.

Jun: So I think it’s the same concept there, (um), (you know), with the Japanese learners, (uh), coming out here, (you know), I feel like most people are going to be welcomed. They, (you know), I feel like most people, (uh), (you know), who has (have) an open mind are going be, (uh), we know willing to listen to you and talk to you. (Um), and it’s, (you know), you just gotta (got to) get yourself out there, you just gotta (got to) give it a try, (um), and just accept that you’re gonna (going to) make mistakes and you learn from your mistakes and that’s how you grow. (Um), so…

Gabby: Yeah, that’s great. So…

Lindsay: Yeah. Absolutely.

Gabby: So, don’t…

Lindsay: And what…

Gabby: Oh, sorry, go ahead Lindsay.

Lindsay: No, I was just gonna (going to) say one other things that we like to emphasize in this show is ‘connection, not perfection,’ right? So…

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: Yeah, I can see that.

Lindsay: Yeah, thinking about connecting with people and forgetting about those mistakes. So this is right in line with what we’re struggling with here. Absolutely.

Gabby: Yeah, definitely. So I was just going to recap. So far, (um), you said as far as how to just get the thoughts out of your head and start speaking more fluently, (um), be aware of your perfectionism, (you know), be aware if you’re stopping because you don’t want to say anything that’s not perfect. So, so don’t be afraid, (right), don’t be afraid to just talk. Don’t be afraid to

make mistakes. (Um), also remember that people want to actually talk to you. They are not going to judge you and you said people are really welcoming. I think, actually, people in California are especially welcoming. (Um), I, I love being out in California myself, and, and I think Americans, in general, can be welcoming, if I can generalize about that. (Um), but yeah, most people are going to be helpful and wanna (want to) listen to you. And your last point you said learn from your mistakes. That’s so true. That’s – yeah, and that’s the way to learn is to make those mistakes and then learn from them.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Jun: Right.

Gabby: So cool. So, (I mean), those, those are three great, great tips. Just, (um), try to get rid of the fear, (uh), be aware that other people want to be friendly with you, (uh), and then love from your mistakes. I love it.

Lindsay: Ah, that’s fantastic.

Gabby: Yeah.

Lindsay: Thank you for your thoughts today Jun.

Jun: Oh, not a problem.

Gabby: So if, if people want to, (uh), find you and your work and, and, (you know), I do recommend, (um), your, your strategies here for, for everyone, not just for Japanese learners of English, but I think these all apply to everyone, (you know), just to, (uh), learn from your mistakes and so on. So, I would encourage, (uh), people to find you and what you’re doing. (Um), where, where can they go to find out more about, (uh), your work?

Jun: (Um), so my, (uh) blog…

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: …is (uh), HapaEikaiwa.com.

Gabby: (Uh-huh).

Jun: (Uh), that’s Hapa (h-a-p-a) and Eikaiwa, (um), if you’re a Japanese student I think you’ll know how to spell that.

Gabby: Yeah.

Jun: E-i-k-a-w-a-i. Is that right?

Gabby: Wait, Hapa Eikaiwa, I think E-i-k-a-i-w-a.

Jun: That, there you go.

Gabby: Only because I have it written down in front of me. And I…

Jun: (Um)…

Gabby: Is… I think…

Jun: Yeah, so on, on there it’s (um), everything is written in English and Japanese.

Gabby: Oh, cool.

Jun: (Um), I try to update, (um), some commonly (mista-), (uh), commonly, (um), misused English words by Japanese learners. (Um), (you know), just like you guys I do a little podcast where we, (you know), provide, (um), a little conversational English to go with a little Japanese explanations to help out. (Um), a little bit more for beginners, (um)…

Gabby: Okay.

Jun: …I guess and, (um)… So yeah, on the site you’ll be able to find a lot of useful, (uh), information for, (um), just everyday conversational, (uh), expressions.

Gabby: Awesome, that sounds really helpful. Thanks for sharing that.

Lindsay: Awesome. Thanks so much.

Gabby: Yeah. Well, Jun it’s been a pleasure to talk with you today and thanks for giving some great advice to our listeners. We really appreciate it.

Lindsay: Yeah, thanks a lot Jun.

Jun: Yeah, thanks for having me. I had a really great time talking to you guys today.

Gabby: Awesome.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Gabby: Thanks Jun.

Lindsay: Thank you.

Gabby: Have a good one.

Jun: All right. Same to you. Thank you.

Both: Bye.

[Instrumental]

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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