PLP 5 – English Fluency Skills
Learn how to develop all of your English fluency skills in episode 5 of the Power Learning Podcast!
Episode 5 reveals the great progress of the winners of our Master English Conversation Scholarship Contest after only two months of practice and gives the third tip for everyone about how to improve focus on improving individual speaking and fluency skills.
Enjoy this Power Learning Podcast episode, and let us know what you think in the comments!
Power Learning Podcast 5 – English Fluency Skills – full transcript below…
Hello, and welcome to episode five of the englishanyone.com Power Learning Podcast. I’m Drew Badger, the Co-Founder of englishanyone.com, I’m an English speaking confidence expert, an author, and an educational entrepreneur. And I’m really excited to get into this edition of the Power Learning Podcast, as we’ll be continuing with the progress of all four students, all four learners from around the world, that are improving their English each month with Master English Conversation. I’m really excited because they’re really proving that the power of the program is so fantastic. Honestly, they’re making such great progress, they really are the heroes of Master English Conversation, and I’m so excited to see them improving and learning more with the program each and every month.
They’ve only been in the program for two months now. They’ve got access to over a year of lessons, but they only have to study with one lesson set each month. So each month they get a new lesson set to practice with, and they can improve using the new words and phrases they’re learning, but also the fluency tips that they’re getting, so they can go out and start practicing in the real world in different ways. The subject for the March set of lessons was music and movement, so the students had to listen to different kinds of English sounds for…from different kinds of speakers, and they also had an assignment where they had to go out and listen to different versions of the same songs.
So there’s lots more to the lesson set, but for each lesson set they have a special mission homework assignment. And for this month, I asked them to go out and find music they…they could listen to, but it should be something popular that they could find that has different versions of the same music. Now, I recommended they do this, because it’s a lot easier if you can find one song that’s popular that has many different versions, so you can really get deep with the English. You can really go very specific with different sounds, and listen to how different speakers say the same sounds, and it’s really much more entertaining and interesting to learn that way.
So when you only listen to one person, like let’s say you only listen to me, or you only watch my videos, I don’t recommend you do that. You’re only listening to my pronunciation or the way I sound. So it’s really important that not only listening to different kinds of music, but also listening to different speakers, and listening to different people say the same thing. I recommend everybody get out and do that, and that way it will help you really develop your own unique speaking voice.
Well, I will let the four winners of our Master English Conversation Scholarship talk about their success, and their improvement over the past month, and then I’ll go back and introduce what we’re going to be doing for this month and the kind of extra speaking practice tip for learning English for everyone, uh, in addition to our four winners of the Master English Conversation Scholarship. Take it away.
Yen: Hi, my name is Yen, and I’m a student of Master English Conversation. I have learn a lot of things in this month lesson. I learn the names of some musical instruments, such as flute, tambourines, synthesizer, and also useful words and phrases, and had a chance to listen to different accents. And the song I chose for the special mission homework assignment is “All Out of Love”. This is a very famous song, so that I could hear many versions of the same song.
This song is sung by a lot of singers, such as Air Supply, who is a British [inaudible 00:04:05] and soft rock duo, and [Julian Taylor], who comes from Scotland, and other singers. But I still like listening to Westlife singing this song most because they are my favorites boy band. I also watched the video and listened to the song over and over again, and really master it. Because I don’t have time, I just found one song, but I try to find more song later. Thank you for listening. Goodbye.
Bhaskar: Hi there. I’m Bhaskar from India. I’m done with my March month’s lesson set successfully, and it’s amazing. We finished almost two months since starting English Anyone fluency program. Time is really moving fast and fast. And I dare say I’m improving my English fluency in that way day by day. I personally noticed improvement in my English. It really motivates me to do more practice with these lessons. Yes, really, it’s a natural thing. Whatever we do, if we see some result from it, we want to get into that more. It applies here also. I noticed improvement in English, and I want to do more practice with these lesson sets. While doing this month’s lesson set, I was also using one of the previous lesson sets, and other material from the site.
This month’s lesson set is all about music and movement. If you think is there any person in the world that doesn’t love music, the answer will definitely be no. Even though people can’t understand the lyrics, they will enjoy humming the rhythm. From this month’s lesson set, I had the opportunity to expose to different kinds of accents, to know a bunch of idioms related to music, phrases and [inaudible 00:06:06] that are useful for daily life. And as well as fluency tips. When we talk about the music from our country, before 1950 and 1960 our music was all about, uh, related to classical folk [inaudible 00:06:26] songs, etcetera. But after then, 80 to 90 percent of all our music is from movies. Other than film songs, there is no music from a common man point of view.
My first exposure to English songs may be in the year 2009 or 2010, and the songs I happened to hear, not more than a few, but, uh, there are a couple of songs that attracted me more, that are Michael Buble’s “Feeling Good”, and “What Makes You Beautiful” from One Direction band, and “Te Amo” from Rihanna. Etcetera. For this month’s assignment, I needed to master one of the recent top songs. Then I went through a few chart toppers, and I listened to every song. And they’re not bad for English learning students. I like all the songs, and I finally stopped at “Daylight” by Maroon 5. “Here I am waiting, I had to listen, why am I holding on. We knew this day would come, we knew it come along, how did it come so fast?”
I know I can’t carry a tune. Sorry if I butchered this song with this attempt. In a week’s time I listened to the song whenever I have a time to get a deep understanding, and also watched the videos related to this song, such as BFC, Daylight [Project ?], karaoke, acoustic versions of this song, and cover versions by many bands. It’s really fun to listen to the same song by different singers. From this month’s less…uh, from this month’s assignment, what I learned from this month’s assignment is practicing a song helps improve our pronunciation, and it’s a good way to know how to blend the words together. Okay, that’s pretty much it. Thank you, guys. Bye-bye. Until the next time.
Jaroslava: This month, I am better in listen English conversation. I don’t translate it to my language. I understand it just in English without translation. I was finding popular English song on YouTube for about three days or so. I had asked my friends, “What is your favorite English love song?” I want a song about love, you know. I listened my song and read lyrics. When I listened song, “My Life Would Suck without You” from Kelly Clarkson, I heard, that one, it’s my song. I had to listen carefully the song many times, because I didn’t understand all words. It was very quickly for me, and words blended together.
I really listened it over and over again. I heard different version of this song. I really like version from [Carlton Radlof ?]. My favorite acoustic version is just playing a piano. My son, Mike, installed karaoke program and check me how I sing. He is 8 years old. I sing the song every day. I never sang an English song before. When my sons watched the video for my song, “My Life Would Suck without You”, where Kelly Clarkson threw aquarium out window, [Marti ?] exclaim, “Mum, when you throw tank out window, I will rescue one of goldfish.” And Mike cried. “I will rescue second one.” That’s my boys. By the way, our goldfish still have aquarium.
At this point, I started to know the songs from Kelly Clarkson, “A Moment like This”, and “Stronger”. It’s much easy understand for me now. I was very surprised on Saturday when my sons run to me and shouted, “Mum, dad is singing English song.” I am married 15 years, and my husband never sang. It’s fun to study English with Drew.
Carlos: Hi there. Carlos again. I’m here in my house recording this audio for englishanyone.com., in order to say what I did in this month for the special homework assignment, and, of course, for the Master English Conversation vocabulary and grammar for March. Well, I been practicing a lot, even, uh, if my speech is not…is not that great, I know. Uh, I been listening to the audios over and over again, and I just…I just can say that English Anyone is very great. I just…I cannot stop saying that.
Yeah, Drew is very…he is very, uh, good teacher, and his sister speaks very, very fast. I can…I can say that. Well, I been, uh, watching, um, some others definitions, uh, phrases in this month, and there are many, many phrases, uh, in this month for the Master English Conversation. And also with the, uh, conversation that Drew had, uh, with [Shannon ?]. Shannon is…is…the accent of…of…of this…of this teacher is very…is very…I…I like that accent. I like Australian accent, I…I dare say. Yeah. I had…I had many, uh, I had fun listening to him and Drew, and I really liked that conversation, even more than…than Drew had with his sister.
But it was good as well, because Marie is a good, uh…she speaks very fast. Yeah. She’s really a really native speaker, and she speak very, very well. Um…She says, uh…she said many words that I didn’t know. Uh, and Drew was…was very patient in explaining those…those words. Like, for example, latch onto. That…that was really a phrase that I really liked. Yeah. Latch. Latch onto something. Um…Is something that you really want to, and you never…uh…go…or separate from…from that idea until you…you really get it. That’s very…a good phrase for me. Yeah, there are many, many phrases that I…I could listen to. Um…But I…I really like the…the idioms about music. I…I thought it was a [ago ?]…uh, about music, but, uh, they…they weren’t about music.
Um, for example, I, I could say that, um, sometimes I, I did some things in a wrong way. Like, for example, break, broke a dish of my mom and…or I did something that I…that I didn’t mean to…to do, but I had to face the music, you know. Um, for example, I was be…I had to be…tell, told…told off by mom. Yeah, it was really…that’s really interesting, those phrases. Likes, uh, for, uh, in the other…on the flip side is, for example, uh…uh, when I had good grades my mom, uh, and, and people say that I was a good…a good boy, because I was a very good student. Um…And my mom always says, uh, that’s music to my ears. And there are many good phrases. There are many, many that I cannot, uh, say right now.
Um, the conversation with Shannon, that was good. That was very, very good, and I…I was listen to…to it many, uh, had fun with it, and…But the part, the tough part, the toughest part was, um, the grammar part. Yeah, I…I didn’t…I didn’t, you know…I had a lot of fun, I had been…I have been listening to…to it many times, and…For example, the…the third [conditional ?] is…is very difficult, actually. Um, but it’s…you can get it with practice, I…I can say. I am…I’m practicing right now. I been, uh, listening to…to the audio many times, reading the transcript, and I could say that this is very…this is very important, and is difficult in the same way.
Um…Well, uh, my…uh, for my, uh, mission, for the mission of the month, I been…I been listening to “Creep”. “Creep” is a…is a great song by Radiohead. Radiohead is a British band. Um, actually is the…is the only song that I know from Radiohead, um…And the…the song is, is very, uh, is very interesting. Uh, you can hear to it, you can listening to it, but it’s, um…it’s about a girl, but it’s also about, uh…it’s a complain of, of these guys about how…how perfection can fit you in this world. Which is not true. I think that is the meaning of that song. Uh, uh, sometimes you want to be that guy, you want to be, uh, perfect, you want to be, uh, very…very good looking to…to be, uh…uh, the blueprints of some, somebody else. That is not true, and I think, uh, it’s, it’s about how people see you, in, in…in your…in the deep. Yeah.
Uh, well, I…I been listening to the covers that the song has, like, uh, the acoustic version as well. There are many good version of it, um, even the song was the…the… the soundtrack of the movie, the, of the movie, “Facebook”. Yeah. And it’s a…it’s…it’s a…it’s a version of a choir that I can’t remember the name. But it’s a choir, uh…There are many kids, because there are kids who are singing the song, and they take that song, they took that song, but for…for the movie very good. You can…you can type Creep on YouTube and you will see many different version of the song, and I really…I really liked…I really like, uh, okay. Um…Well, this is at the end. This is my…my audio for this month. I hope you enjoyed it. Um, and see you next time. Bye-bye.
All right, I’m back. I hope you enjoyed listening to all them. It’s really amazing how they can go through only just two months in the program and they’re already using more English, they’re learning the actual words that native speakers use, and they were using this month’s vocabulary naturally inside their audio recordings for this month. So I’m so proud of all four of you guys. You’re really an inspiration to me, and I’m so excited to see that you can really get out and practice. And it’s not so difficult to learn how to speak real fluent English if you can get out and actually find the right tools and the right teacher, and then actually practice.
So the practice is key. I’ll be honest, the most important think you have to do is practice. It doesn’t matter what you’re using. The program could be amazing, but if you don’t actually get out and practice, just a little bit every day, then you’re not going to be able to see improvement in your English very quickly.
It’s really been amazing to watch their progress so far. I’m so proud of you. Jaroslava, Carlos, Bhaskar, and Yen, it’s really been amazing to listen to your progress, and I’m so excited to see what happens after six months, and then after a year. I’m so proud that you’ve been using the phrases that you’re learning, you’re really getting out and practicing, and it just shows, it, it’s been really amazing to watch your progress, even after only two months.
All right, well, let’s get into this month’s…for April, yes. We’re already in April, it’s turning into spring over here now in Japan. So let’s go over first a quick review of the first two months of the program and the tips that I gave both for the four learners of the Master English Conversation Scholarship Competition, but also for everyone else listening out there.
So in month one, I talked about the flow of your language, and how you can improve your English using only one sound. Remember that if you listen to the different ways people speak English, they’re getting those sounds and that pronunciation from their own language. So you really have to pay attention to these ways that we pronounce things in English if you want to become a great speaker that also sounds like a native English speaker. So you really have to listen carefully and work on the flow of your language.
Right now, I’m not speaking natively and naturally, because I really want to have people really understand what I’m saying. But right now, very quickly I’ll give you a very natural explanation, a very natural flow of my language, and this is how I speak. So you see it’s a little bit faster, a little bit more difficult to understand, because the words and sounds are blending together. But, if you listen carefully, and you really focus on the flow, and listen to lots of different speakers, then you’ll be much better at listening and being able to develop your own unique sound. So remember to find your own voice, and the flow of the language is the best place to start for that.
In month two, we talked about using your interests. You should always be thinking about how to study something you’re interested in, or do something you’re interested in, in English. It’s not helpful to study lists of vocabulary words, because your brain is not a computer. It doesn’t learn that way. And that’s why it can be so frustrating for learners, because people are wondering why. Is…is the problem me? Am I the one that can’t learn the language? And I remember feeling the exact same way when I began learning Japanese. I thought, wow, maybe I’m the problem. I guess some people are good at learning languages and I’m not one of those people. And I was really sad, and, and, and angry and depressed about that.
And the important thing to remember is that it’s not the kind of person you are, because you can always change that, it’s the systems that you use in order to get fluent. So those systems become the most important thing you need to focus on if you want to become a fantastic speaker. So remember to use your interests, and think of the world as your classroom. Find things you’re interested in that you already like doing in your own language, and then you’ll be much better at finding those things to do in English. So think about that.
Well, for this month we’re getting a bit more specific, you’ll notice each month, as we learn to build English fluency the native way, over the course of this year with the four winners of the Master English Conversation Scholarship Contest. So for April, what I really want you to understand is how fluency works by improving each of the individual skills that you’re using to…in order to speak, and in order to listen, and talk, and write. All of these things are individual skills that you need to improve in order to get better. And just like starting, uh, a business, or, you know, trying to do anything that has a lot of complicated steps and lots of different things that need to work together, kind of like a…a complicated machine, like a submarine, something like that.
Basically you have something that can have many different working pieces together, and if one of those doesn’t work properly, then the whole thing doesn’t work properly. And what happens with native English speakers, and what happens with people learning English, is that they may have one or two skills working very well, but if they’re missing one or more than that, then the whole thing doesn’t work very well. And that’s why people struggle to build confidence.
So this month, what I want to talk about is how to remove the ropes. And this is the…the idea of being a boat that’s right next a dock. So a…usually a large boat, like a ship, it will have many different ropes that are attached to the dock. This is the kind of piece of wood that people walk up to, the dock, so that they can get on the boat. And if it’s a really big ship, a very complicated, big thing, then you’ve got lots of ropes that are attaching the boat to the dock, so that the boat doesn’t go away.
A very small boat maybe has just one rope to keep it attached to a dock, so it’s easy to take the rope off of that dock and start sailing the boat, or start moving the boat around. But a bigger boat has a lot more ropes. And it’s the exact same thing with being able to become a good person in business, or become a good person as a speaker of a different language. Because each of these ropes is a different skill that you need to improve and you need to get better, so you can take it off of the dock and actually begin moving the boat.
So, what I want you to do this month for April is to really think about all of the individual skills and…and kind of give yourself a…a personal speaking evaluation. You can take a moment, or, you know, take a week, or however much time you need, and really think about where all of your skills are. Some skills may be very good. You may be a very good listener. And other things, maybe writing, is not so good, uh, or speaking is maybe the worst for you. It depends on what your individual, uh, skills are and what your individual level is for each of those skills. But if you can think about all of those things, and really focus on them individually, then you can begin to untie all of those ropes, so that you can begin sailing, or begin moving your ship towards confidence.
So think about it like that. And if you can’t see everything yourself, it’s always a good idea to find other people that can help you. So just like me, when I help students out I can be a person outside of the student. I can give them tips and help them improve, just like you can find a local teacher, or somebody that can listen to your English and help you see that, ah, your pronunciation is…is okay, but you really need to work on your vocabulary, anything like that, where you can focus on each of the individual skills.
And then, for a time, just focus on one of them. Don’t worry about trying to be perfect or make everything fantastic from the beginning. What you want to do is focus on one particular skill, like pronunciation, and just kind of focus on that. And you don’t have to make it perfect, but just pay attention to your pronunciation, and really work on phonics and sounds, and any particular skill you’re working on you can always get to smaller parts of that, and work on that. So this month, focus on your skills, get learning lots of different things so you can…you can get your ship sailing on to confidence.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of the Power Learning Podcast. I’m really excited to make more of these, and I’m also super excited to hear all of the progress that our fantastic subscribers are making. Not just the winners of the scholarship contest, but I get emails from students, and cards, and letters, and I’m really excited to hear all of the successes that people are making with the program. Have a fantastic day, and I will see you next time with another edition of the Power Learning Podcast. Bye bye.