Why I Don’t Read From A Script

In this YouTube video I explain to you guys why I don’t read from a script when I record videos and episodes for Aussie English.

Why I Don’t Read From A Script

Ok guys, welcome to this video in Aussie English.

Today I wanted to talk to you a bit about why and how I do my different episodes. So, why I do them without a script and how I set them up. So, I guess first and foremost the expression ones I love… I love to go through the definition of each of these words that are in a given expression, and I often choose expressions that I will hear myself say as well as when I have conversations with other friends I’m all the time writing down these sorts of expressions that I hear and that I use, and especially when I talk with foreigners who speak English as a second language, a lot of the time I use these expressions without even thinking and they will say, “What did you just say? What does that mean? That sounds so weird?”, and then I realize, you know, all of a sudden I’ll be like, “Ok, what does this expression literally mean? Uh… it doesn’t make any literal sense but this is what we mean when we say this expression”. So, that is how I like to choose them. I’m not really into just searching on the web for weird ah… strange expressions for the sake of teaching them. There are a lot of weird Australian ones. I mean, one example could be “As dry… as dry as a nun’s nasty”, and it’s a bit of a vulgar expression, but at the same time it’s not really used very often. I’m not even going to define it here but if you want to look it up, “As dry as a nun’s nasty”, you can look it up on Google and you’ll find stereotypical ah… Australian expressions like that, but they’re not very often heard, at least with… with native speakers unless they’re trying to be a little cliché and, you know, make fun of the fact that someone’s Australian or that they’re Australian, or overplay the fact that they are Australian. So, they’re the kinds of expressions I like to choose, and the ones that I use. They’re ones that I catch myself saying, and they’re ones that I hear other people bring up and ask me to clarify on. So, that… that’s evidence to me that it’s worth explaining in an episode if a foreign… a foreigner has… has an issue with a certain expression that I use then that… that shows me that it’s worth explaining.

Another reason that I like to go over the expressions in a non-scripted way is because I feel like if I were to read of a script it’s a little disingenuous. It’s not… it wouldn’t reflect the kind of English you’re going to hear on a daily basis spoken by native speakers. So, what do I mean by this? If I were to read off a script the sentences would be perfectly, ideally perfectly formed. They would be short, you know, there would be no “You know’s”. There would be no “But’s” or “Um’s” or, you know, “Ah”, “Uh”, “But”, “Ah”. And those parts of English are important I feel, and it’s really important to include them in… in these recordings. I like that I say “You know” and “Um’s” and “But’s” and even though it… when I go through and write the transcripts I always kind of pinch myself and get irritated when I see “You know’s” and “Um’s” and “Ah’s” in the middle of sentences because written English would never look like that, and you’re taught to try and minimise how much you say that in school especially if you’re giving a speech or some kind of talk, but a lot of native speakers use this. I use this. I use this when I’m speaking with most of my friends. I use it when I’m speaking about things that I don’t know much about, when I know things that I know incredibly well, like even if I were to give a talk about my… my PhD project I would probably still “You know”, but I try and minimise the amount of times I say these things, but at the same time they are things that native speakers say all the time, and they are the kinds of things that you need practice listening to and hearing, and I feel like if I were to read off a transcript it would be giving you a false impression or a… a different ideal, a different experience than spoken English. If you were to speak with me in a room about a certain topic I would talk like this where I’m just thinking off the top of my head. It’s more a stream of thought as opposed to perfectly um… sensical grammatical sentences put together. So, that’s… that’s one of the biggest reasons that I kind of like but at the same time it’s a little ah… frustrating. I like doing these… these things without a transcript. The English isn’t always 100% grammatically correct but at the same time it’s the kind of English that you’re going to hear and that’s why I feel that it’s so important that you get exposure and experience listening to and reading off these transcript the kinds of um… the kinds of… the kind of English that I’m going to use, and that’s why I include the “Um’s” and the “Ah’s” and the “You know’s” in there also so that you can see that it wasn’t me ah… mispronouncing a word, or whatever, you can see exactly what that vowel sound or the sentence “You know” in the middle of a sentence, what it all means. So, that’s why I try and include it in the transcripts as well.


The last bit I guess I should go over is the pronunciation exercises. I still want to hear your feedback on this because I don’t know necessarily whether or not you enjoy these, whether or not they’re helping. I hope they’re helping. It’s the kind of thing that I use when I’m practicing my French and my Portuguese, and the podcasts that I listen to when I’m doing my Portuguese and French practice often have these kinds of exercises in them, and I feel that they’ve helped me personally improve um… my Portuguese and my French a lot, a lot. Especially, learning on my own. So, that’s why I feel like they’re important, but I would love to hear what you guys think and if the majority of you don’t like them then I can always remove them. If the majority of you like… like them immensely and want me to include more of them let me know. I’m thinking of doing some episodes that will just be listening and… and repeating exercises. But yeah, truly, truly give me some feedback. Let me know what you think and what you guys want. If you have any feedback too on the… the structure and the plans that I put together for these episodes let me know. Do you want them longer or shorter? You’re always welcome to give me feedback because at the end of the day I’m creating this podcast to serve your needs and to help you improve your English. So, any feedback about how I can best do that would be immensely appreciated.

So, that’s probably enough for today guys. I thought I would give you a bit of a break down of how and why I put together these lessons the way that I do. And I’ll chat to you soon. All the best.

Note: You’ll notice I wrote “You know’s” and “But’s” with an apostrophe [‘], this is because I don’t want you to confuse me talking about the plural of “You know” and “But” with the conjugation “Knows” and “Buts”.

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