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AE 469 – Vlog: 1 Tip to Improve Your English Speaking
Windy! It’s cold. Windier than I would have liked, but we will see how we go today. I felt like doing a video, coming out here and doing some photography again. There are kangaroos all over the shop. Hopefully, some echidnas too. We’ll see how we go. And the sun has just come out very. Beautiful.
It’s pretty funny. There’s some offensively red plant protective covers, I don’t even know the name for them, hanging out here, and they stand out like a sore thumb. I’ll have to show you guys. Maybe they’re that colour to keep the kangaroos from running into them.
(You can) probably those birds in the background. Those noisy miners and they are not happy that I am here. So, I assume they are nesting at the moment. But check these things out, guys. They’re incredibly obvious, incredibly conspicuous.
All right, let’s get started, guys. Put my bag here down in some kangaroo poo. I don’t know if you can see kangaroos around here, but they’re just chilling out here behind me eating for the night, and I forgot my tripod so I’ve had to use this trusty stump and a rock here to stabilize the camera while I have a chat to you about your English. So, let me just steady this camera. I’m always getting these questions, “how can I speak more confidently?”, “how can I communicate better with people?”, and I think the biggest change that you can make, guys, the one biggest change that you can make right now without learning vocabulary, without practicing grammar, without doing any of that crap, without practicing, is just to stop giving out crap, okay. Stop worrying about what people think about your English and just start using it, start communicating, and I’ve noticed this recently that my Portuguese has increased leaps and bounds ahead of where it was when I stopped caring, when I stopped keeping track of mistakes, and when I almost see these mistakes as a badge of honour. Every time I make one it’s like another scar. If you’ve seen that movie recently, Black Panther, where the evil guy has just got scars all over his body and he’s racked these up, he’s got a load of these, because he’s killed people. So for every person he’s killed in his training, he’s given himself a scar. And I feel like people need to change their mentality with regards to making mistakes and see it more in a positive light. The more mistakes you make, the more your using your language, and the more you’re able to see where you’ve made errors and what you need to fix. It’s kind of like you make your English nude, you make it naked, when it’s out there for everyone to see, warts and all. And the biggest thing is too that you just have to keep trying to be understood. It doesn’t matter if you’re perfect, you’re not learning English to be perfect at English. You’re learning English to hopefully use it and communicate with people, have genuine conversations with people, you know, work, but I think mostly it’s just to share knowledge, to share communication, to make friendships, to fall in love, to bond with people, to share experiences, to connect. That’s what it’s all about and you don’t need to be perfect for that to happen.
So, yeah, I just wanted to have a little quick rant. Get this video together and talk about how, at least personally, I noticed that I improved dramatically after I stopped keeping track of what I couldn’t do, what I was bad at, and instead focus, shifted the emphasis, onto what I could do and what I was good at, and all of a sudden, I noticed that I was having longer conversations, I was having more in-depth conversations. I would come up against things I wouldn’t be able to say, I wouldn’t know the word for that, but you know what, I would just pull my phone up, I would look for it, I would translate it, and then I would say it, or I would make up a word that I thought, oh this is probably in Portuguese, and it wouldn’t be, but they would understand me, right. And I think that’s just the biggest thing. You just need to put yourself out there, guys. And it’s something that you have to practice. You have to keep trying. You have to keep putting yourself out there into awkward positions, into awkward situations, where you’re not prepared, where you don’t know what you’re going to say, where you don’t know what they’re going to say, and you just have to keep doing it, and the good thing is though, it gets easier and easier and easier the more you do that.
And I guess it’s a funny story for you guys, recently. So, you may or may not know, I had to move house recently with my fiancée who’s Portuguese, well, she’s Brazilian, she speaks Portuguese, and I said to her, earlier this year I said, I just want to speak with you as often as possible only in Portuguese. Okay? I want to get my Portuguese to a level for when we have children in the future, when I meet your family, I can communicate with them. I don’t want to be perfect. I don’t mind making mistakes, but I want to improve. So, that was the first thing, just saying, look, all in. Okay? I don’t care if it’s going to be painful to begin with. I don’t care if I won’t be able to have sophisticated conversations effortlessly like I can in English currently with my English speaking friends, but I know the harder I dig, the harder I work right now, the easier it is going to be later on. And anyway.
So, I said to her, we had to move, and I said to her, let’s try and find somewhere with just Brazilians or at least one other Brazilian. I want… I want to get exposure to other accents. I want to practice speaking with other people. I want to get to know other Brazilians. And so, I made a real effort or at least she made the effort. She was the one searching for places she made a real effort to find a house that had four other Brazilians in it. We moved into there. And since moving in, I also said, I just want to try and speak Portuguese but you guys. If you have English questions, if you’ve got problems that you want to work on I can, you know, try and help you, but I would rather speak in Portuguese, ’cause you guys have been here for years and speak English. Okay?
So, that was one of the things that happened. And then also, when I’m at home all the time working, right. Obviously, I have a YouTube channel I have a podcast. Make sure you check it out. TheAussieEnglishPodcast.com . But I’m always at home, and guess what, there are other people at home quite often. And so, I had to keep putting myself in positions where I was going to have to speak with them. So, I would wake up in the morning and I would situate myself downstairs ready to have breakfast, have my coffee, work on a little Aussie English on the computer, but any time someone would come downstairs, bam!, I get to practice my Portuguese. So, again, I’m shifting out of the comfort zone and I’m trying to force myself to keep doing this, to keep doing this, to keep practising, and I think you guys need to apply this in English.
As much technology as there is today, and as as many different ways that we have in which we can learn a language, whether it’s Portuguese or English, there are also so many other ways that you guys can get around having to use your English or having to use whatever language it is that you’re trying to practice, and that’s the thing you need to stop yourself from doing. You need to go and buy a ticket for the bus? Don’t buy it online. Don’t buy it at the machine. Speak to someone. Have that one to one interaction. I know that in Melbourne if you go to the station quite often you can buy your ticket from person or you can buy from a machine. So, you know…
Almost lost it. A bit of wind.
So don’t avoid those situations. Look at them as you’re gaining experience points, right. You’re playing a game and you’re trying to gain as many points as you can. Every single time you struggle, you’re gaining points, you’re gaining experience, and it’s like going to the gym, for me. This is another tangent.
When I first started going to the gym, I hated it. I hated working out, I hated the feeling, I hated feeling uncomfortable, but pretty quickly I started to enjoy it, because I saw the struggle as a way of evolving, as a way of improving, as a way of growing. And so, really quickly my mind actually changed and I would be looking forward to going to the gym and lifting weights, because I knew every single uncomfortable moment, every ounce, every moment of pain was a step closer to being fitter, to being stronger, to being healthier. And it’s the same thing with your English. You work on your psychology and you start thinking, every time I make a mistake, every time I’m using my English, every time I’m uncomfortable, that’s a step closer to being able to speak confidently, to being near or at native level English. You guys can achieve that. It’s just a matter of working your arse off, right. I could become so many things in the world, right. You could become so many things in the world. The thing that’s stopping you is procrastination and fear of the uncomfortable.
So, I think if English is something that you take seriously, if English is something that you really want to get good at and you want to get good at it fast and you want to get to an amazing level, start, start right now. Get off your arse. Go talk to someone. Go look for an uncomfortable situation where you can say and you can feel afterwards, you can say to yourself, Yes! I’ve worked on it. I’ve found a weak point that I need to improve upon. I found the edges of my comfort zone and I’ve pushed. I haven’t just stayed in there. You know? It’s easy to stay on the couch all day and not leave the house if you’re needing to find work, but don’t get comfortable. That couch gets incredibly comfortable, guys. Avoid it at all costs. Get out there, go for a run, grab your camera, take some photos of some kangaroos, talk to yourself, you know, while you’re out walking, practising, practising, practising.
Anyway. That is all I really wanted to say today, guys. It’s just keep trying to find the edges of your comfort zone. If you want to be able to maintain that momentum and improve as fast as possible in any sort of endeavour that you’re interested in, whether it’s English, martial arts, photography, whatever it is, getting fit, you need to find where it is uncomfortable and you need to try pushing past that a little bit more every single day.
So, with that, guys, I hope that helps. I would love to know what you think. Put a comment below and let me know when was the last time you felt uncomfortable in your English, but then afterwards felt that feeling of I earned that. I worked really hard. I wasn’t perfect but now I’m a little bit better. Okay, so with that, guys, I hope you have a good one. And I’ll chat to you soon.
Man, so there’s some… There’s kangaroos all over the shop here, right. So, you’ll see… you probably see behind me there’s kangaroos up on the hill here eating. There’s kangaroos down in this valley here. They’re all sheltering from the wind and keeping warm. And you’ll see Canberra behind me here. But there was some really cool wallabies. I’ll have to find out what they were. Fortunately, so I was walking up this this path here, and you might see, if I can put my finger on it, there were some logs here, and I came up the hill, because it drops off a bit as soon as you go over it. And I saw… I thought, oh, there’s some kangaroos hiding behind this log, I’ll try and creep up, and they turn out to be wallabies, man.
And these are not common, I haven’t seen these. I’m not sure of that red-tail wallabies. Pete, look it up. Put a species name on the screen for those interested. But they had a joey. One of them had a joey in its pouch, and it stood in front of me on the path here, because I stood still, you know, like this, well, like this with the camera in front of my eyes, and got some shots of it. Anyway, I thought I would share that with you and I might see if I can jump down this little valley here and get some more shots of them, because they’re bloody quick, man, and you’ll see they move completely differently from kangaroos that do the standard bom, bom, bom. These ones are like, pew, pew, pew. Exactly like that.
Anyway, I’m going to switch lenses and we’ll see if we can find some.
So, here are the wallabies, guys. You’ll see there’s a mob of them here. Look at them go.