Listening and studying with podcasts is one of the best things you can do to improve your English. In my last post on finding time in your busy life to study English, many of the featured language teachers recommended using podcasts. If you talk to successful English speakers, they will invariably say they listen to podcasts. A lot of podcasts!
But which podcasts should you use if you want to improve your speaking, listening, grammar and vocabulary? In this article, I’ll show you:
Read on to learn which podcasts you should use to improve your English:
Who doesn't want to learn English as fast as possible? Enter the smartphone and useful apps you can use during your commute, while having your morning coffee, or on your lunch break.
Mobile apps can help you use your time effectively and help you learn faster.
Plus, learning a language using apps is like playing games. With most apps you won't just find vocabulary and boring grammar exercise, but languages games that in some cases give you points and time challenges.
If you are wondering which apps to start with, here are five of the best:
Do you ever wish you didn't ever have to make small talk?
Maybe just thinking having conversations makes you nervous. And then once you are talking, you also worry if you are saying the right things, and you worry you are using incorrect grammar and/or strange words. Even worse, you worry that you might forget words all together! You might think, "How can I ever keep this conversation going?"
But try not to worry! Remember that even native English speakers sometimes have a hard time with small talk.
I’ve often felt uncomfortable when talking to acquaintances (people I kind of know), co-workers and new clients or new students. I’ve thought things like, “Oh no! I’m going to run out of good questions! I'm not going to have anything to to say!”
If you've been following this series of articles, you now have reviewed how to start a conversation in English and what NOT to say.
Now you need to know how to keep that conversation going!
Here are some tips that I use myself (especially when speaking foreign languages) to keep conversations alive and interesting:
At my last job as a junior high English teacher here in Mexico, I always felt just a little bit nervous arriving at school.
I felt nervous because even though I'm pretty fluent in Spanish, I wanted to be professional and not make mistakes in Spanish while having simple conversations with the other teachers and the school director.
I also knew that it was important for my working relationships that I be able to make casual, friendly small talk with my co-workers. But even though I'm fluent in Spanish, I didn’t grow up in this culture. So another thing I would worry about was whether or not I was talking about an inappropriate subject (something I SHOULDN'T say).
One thing that makes small talk easier in your native language is that you pretty much know the best and most appropriate topics to talk about according to your culture.
So for Part 2 of this series on small talk, I want to share my understanding of topics and specific questions that you should AVOID while making small talk in English with Americans:
Small talk. I get nervous just thinking about making small talk, and I speak English as my first language!
People (okay, maybe even me too!) love to say things like, “Ah! I HATE small talk!” ...or “Why do I have to make small talk?”
But, if you want to get ahead in business, it’s important to form relationships, real working relationships, with your co-workers, boss, clients and other people in your field or related fields.
And here’s a secret for you: small talk is the basis for being successful in business and in your professional life.
The best way to start is with simple conversations. Read on for 30+ professionally appropriate conversation starters:
The first thing that is taught in typical English classes is almost always the formal version of the language. I learned the same kind of formal Japanese in my first Japanese language classes before going to Japan.
But do you know what happened when I made some real Japanese friends? I didn’t understand them! I had to learn to speak casual Japanese, as opposed to the formal version. The good thing was that my friends and co-workers were really kind and helped me learn how to speak casually.
The thing about English is that even in “formal” situations, English speakers use pretty casual spoken English. Casual and normal spoken English is important to know for U.S. business if you want to build working relationships.
RELATED: Making Small Talk in English Part 1: Starting the Conversation
Today I want to give you better, friendlier and more casual options for the commonly taught (but RARELY used) phrase, “Thank you very much.” I will be your patient American friend and teach you some other more common phrases you can use instead of "Thank you very much."
Read on to learn more commonly used ways to say “thank you very much,” so that you don’t sound like a formal old business man who never smiles:
Learn to speak real, conversational American English with Sabrina, an American English teacher.
Interested in online
Learn more here:
The Best Podcasts for Improving Your English
Are You Super Busy? Here's How to Find Time to Study English (Even When You Are a Busy Professional)
Essential Steps to Conversational Fluency
Talking About Business - Are You Pronouncing 'Business' Correctly?
You'll Never Guess How Staying Silent Can Improve Your English
How to Pronounce ‘Internet’ in American English
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