AE 540: 1 Tip to Level Up Your English

Learn Australian English in this episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I give you 1 tip to level up your English, starting your own Youtube channel!

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AE 540: 1 Tip to Level Up Your English

What’s going on, guys? Welcome to this video of Aussie English, today I want to talk to you, not about guns, but about an awesome, awesome way to improve your English. Ok? So, this is a sneaky little idea that I’ve had for a little while and I have finally summoned up the courage to do it in Portuguese.

Anyway, let’s get into it! Damn, it was loud!

Anyway, so the idea is to start your own YouTube channel, right? You guys might be thinking ”what the hell are you talking about?”, but for a while I have thought about doing this with Portuguese and I finally did that the other day and I wanted to tell you about my experience and why I think and how I think this is something important that you could do to improve your English, ok?

So, my story, I obviously am married to a Portuguese speaker from Brazil and I have been learning Portuguese ever since I started doing Jiu Jitsu. So, probably about five years now, maybe a bit more on and off, although, only more recently did I start really taking Portuguese seriously and actively studying it and trying to speak it in the house as often as possible with my wife and we’re doing this because we’re having a kid. We’re having a son in about three months, in June, and I want him to learn Portuguese so, he can communicate with his family back in Brazil and I want us to be speaking Portuguese in the house so, you know, he can learn English elsewhere, we’re in Australia. So, he’s going to have plenty of access to English, but not as much to Portuguese, anyway.

I’ve tried many different methods for learning Portuguese and try to improve my Portuguese and a big thing that I found that has helped me at least I’m obviously, as you’re watching this on YouTube, I’m incredibly motivated by creating content to help other people on YouTube and so, like you in English, I struggle quite often with trying to find interesting ways of studying Portuguese. You know, I read books, I watch TV shows, I watch YouTube videos, I read blogs, I get on Reddit, I talk to people, but not all of them are that interesting and it feels more like hard work than it does something enjoyable, right? And you don’t want it to become a chore. You want to enjoy the studying process. So, the biggest thing is obviously when you’re studying English my advice is always what do you enjoy doing in your native language, whether it’s reading watching TV listening to podcasts etc. that you can then do in English and switch that across? Right? So, I really like podcasts, I create a podcast called Aussie English, obviously I like podcasts, so I listen to a lot of podcasts in Portuguese or at least I try to, I like to watch a lot of TV series so, instead of watching these in English, I’m trying to do that in Portuguese. Now I’m watching The Mechanism at the moment, O Mecanismo, about corruption in Brazil, and so I’m constantly trying to find ways of doing what I already do in English and what I already enjoy doing and converting this into Portuguese because I want to spend as much of my day as possible in Portuguese, right?

That is the way that you get to a very deep level in a language, you can’t kind of treat it as a little hobby where you only do a little bit here and there and then stick to your main language for the majority of the time. I was watching One Language Teacher recently and he was saying you need to spend more than 50 percent of your time in the language you’re learning and for you to become competent and very proficient in that language you need to spend more than 50 percent of your time in that language for five years or more. And obviously this is just a rough thing, but he was trying to show that it is a serious commitment and that it takes a lot of time and this is why I think it’s so important to, obviously, find things you enjoy doing and doing them in the language you’re trying to learn, instead of like me, quite often going back and looking for the materials I like in English. You know, it’s easy to fall back on your native language, but yeah, anyway so, onto YouTube.

What I did recently was I decided to bite the bullet. I decided to finally do what I’d been planning to do and start a channel in Portuguese where I only speak Portuguese or at least I speak Portuguese, but I teach English in this channel, right? And so, obviously, I’m passionate about teaching English. I’m passionate about YouTube and online education. I’m passionate about learning Portuguese and speaking Portuguese and so, an obvious way of combining these things was creating a YouTube channel. So, what did I do?

Well, I’m already making videos in English, right? Teaching you guys stuff in English so, for the ones that I at least write a transcript out for, a script, I plan them ahead of time, I have a subject, I have the points about what I going to talk about, I decided that I would do this for Portuguese as well. Now, when I make a video in English teaching you on Aussie English, I’m going to try and do the equivalent, at least, you know, not these kinds of videos, but for the videos where I have them planned out I’m going to do it in Portuguese as well.

And I found this really, really, difficult, but really rewarding and very productive because I have to think about the subject I want to teach, I have to write the transcript in Portuguese, I have to then check the writing that I have written to see that it’s, hopefully, as correct as possible, although, obviously, I have Kel here who I can do that with, you can do this online with websites like Lang 8 where you can upload any writing to have corrected by native speakers. That’s Lang 8. I’ll put a link below. There are plenty of other websites too, like iTalki or Go Speaky, where you can find language partners to do exchanges with and obviously you could get them to correct your work. So, there’s plenty of ways of doing this for free. That’s why that’s not an excuse, ok?

And even if you get it wrong even if it’s not perfect which a lot of my stuff, or a lot of, I’ve done one video! My first video was definitely not perfect, but it was as close to perfect as it can be and so, that is what I think is really helpful for me and my Portuguese. I have to plan the video, I have to write the video, I have to correct the writing and then I have to film it and so, that process is definitely not the same as this process, where I can just think off the top of my head, I can just talk, I do very few cuts. In Portuguese I make a lot of errors. I mispronounce things, I use the wrong grammar. I have to repeat things, I forget what I am trying to say, it is difficult, but it is very rewarding and when I got my first video published the other day where I was teaching 10 slang terms in English it came out so much better than I was expecting and I only got good feedback from people, I think partly because Brazilians are so nice. So, they were very kind, you know, saying you speak incredibly well, they’re not very critical, they’re not very horrible so, thank you so much Brazilians, you guys are lovely, but yeah it was really encouraging and it made me want to do more and more and more. And it’s something that I really enjoy doing. So, it’s not a chore.

Alright, so finishing up the video, how do I think you guys can apply this when learning English yourselves? I think you guys can all make a YouTube channel. If you have a phone, I’m filming on my phone right now, if you have a phone you can film, audio, I have this cheap little mic here. You don’t even need a mic, really you can record audio and video on the phone without any other extra devices. You can upload it to YouTube on your phone. So, my point here is the technology is not a barrier to making a YouTube channel. We all have access to what we need in order to make a YouTube channel. Obviously, you can spend more money and improve the technology you have, but to begin with that’s not that important.

Secondly, I think that it will help you improve your English if you are teaching English in your own language. So, that’s one way of doing it, you could think ok, my native language is Mandarin Chinese or Cantonese Chinese, right? I want to create a channel where I teach the English that I’m currently learning, right? Maybe I’m showing Australian English, maybe I am interviewing Australians and translating the interviews into my native language. So, there’s plenty of ways where you can make those videos bilingual and so, you can bridge the gap, right? Between, obviously, learning that language and not necessarily being really proficient and doing most of it in your language, but still talking about English and you can go all the way to creating the video primarily in English. So, yeah I think you guys can definitely do that. It doesn’t have to obviously be teaching English, it can be about any kind of hobbies that you have, any interests that you have. Maybe you get on YouTube, you create these videos and you don’t even publish them publicly. You could have them private, but the process of making the videos is what I think is really going to help your English, right?

It’s that time to reflect and think about what you want to talk about, to plan what you want to talk about, to then have to talk about that thing and speak and practice your speaking skills and then editing it all, you know, analyzing it again, “what can I do better? What could I do next time? What did I do really well? and I should give myself a pat on the back”. So, that’s it, that’s effectively it, guys.

I think you could all start YouTube channels if you want tomorrow, if it’s something you’re interested in, if you’ve been thinking about it for a while. Bite the bullet, do it, right? It’s really rewarding and I assure you the feedback you’re going to get from people is by and large going to be positive. I rarely, rarely, rarely ever get comments criticising me, saying that I’m a horrible person and my Portuguese is horrible, my channel socks. It never happens, right? People generally aren’t horrible. They want to support you. They want to help you. They want to give you a pat on the back. They want to encourage you. So, that’s it for the video, guys, gone to about 10 minutes here. I hope it helps. I hope it’s interesting and I would love to know what you think in a comment below and tell me what would you start a YouTube channel about? If you could start a channel today, ok? Anyway, Pete, from Aussie English, thanks for joining me and I’ll see you soon. Peace!

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