Learn English Like a Native with @English Like A Native (1)
Hi, Steve Kaufmann here and today I have a special guest Anna
Tyrie of English Like a Native.
And we're gonna talk about learning English, not other exotic
languages that I often talk about.
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Nice to meet you.
Nice to meet you.
So, uh, I often talk about learning other languages, you know, right now
it's Persian and Arabic or people are learning Japanese or French but you
teach English, which is the ... probably the language, by far in fact, the
language that most people are learning.
So I'm a native speaker of English, but I'm curious, first of all, I have a number
of questions, question number one...
oh, by the way, we leave a link to english Like a Native in our description
box so people can go there and find you.
And I know a lot of people listen to my videos in order to improve their English.
And so maybe they should, uh, they would benefit in fact, by
going to your YouTube channel.
Now, first question where, where do most of, what are the main sort of countries
of, uh, you know, the nationalities of people who are learning English with you?
Uh, so with me, I mean, as you can imagine, I've got people from all over
the world, but I'd say the majority of my learners, funnily enough, is
UK, US, uh, Italy, India and, and then it really kind of dissipates.
So you've got Brazil, but that's because, um, a lot of the people who
watch my content are actually living and working in English speaking countries
and so they really have that need and motivation to improve their English.
And so that's why I have this kind of demographic in English speaking countries.
But, um, outside of the UK and us, it is, uh, Brazil, India,
uh, and Europe across Europe.
Now, so then that's why I asked sort of the nationality or the, the
ethnicity of, of these learners.
So what would be the main sort of ethnic groups within the UK or the US?
what are the native languages?
It's Italian, British, um, Italian Brazilian, um, Indian um, Polish,
Russian, it's it's a real mix.
A real mix.
It is a real mix.
You're talking about small percentages.
Across the globe.
And, and what, what are the major difficulties that people
experience in learning English?
Uh, So, um, across the board, many of them have confidence issues and that
really starts to present itself when it comes to speaking the language.
So many of them get to themselves to an upper intermediate, even at
lower advanced level that still feel unable to communicate vocally
and they kind of hit a wall.
They can't recall the vocabulary.
They they're thinking too much about the grammar and the structure of the sentences
and they just feel really inhibited, um, not wanting to make mistakes, uh, and
worried about pronunciation and things.
So I think one of the things we try and do on English Like a Native is
just to kind of break down that fear.
Um, and also just to encourage them to speak as much as possible, you know?
Um, you know, it's really important to just get going right.
To make mistakes.
I mean, that's not unique to people learning English.
That's common to people learning any language.
Would you say that to some extent, their fear of making mistakes almost
makes them make more mistakes?
I, well, I think it's true in anything you're learning.
If you, if you get scared, if your brain is scared and you get
those stress hormones, your brain doesn't function in the same way
as it would when you're relaxed.
And so yeah I would say you do make more mistakes.
And you become it's like, I, I always say to my students to imagine
there's a bus going down the hill and the bus has no brakes and it's
getting faster and faster and faster.
And you can either choose to sit at the back of the bus and cower and let the
nerves just take over and ruin everything or you can jump into the driver's seat
and at least steer those nerves, just and, you know, take control of that energy
and, and change the energy into a positive energy is what I always try and push.
Well, I mean, it is true if we're, if we're at a party somewhere and somebody
walks in and you know, who is that person?
And you try to force yourself to remember the name.
You won't remember the name, the more pressure you put on yourself
to try to remember something the less likely you are to remember it.
So, uh, yeah.
So is, is the concern though, is it more that they feel they,
they have problems with grammar?
Is it that they don't have enough vocabulary or is it
concerns about pronunciation?
So with English pronunciation is tricky because our spellings
do not inform the pronunciation.
Our spellings are crazy.
And I think American English is easier.
Your system for writing, um, is, is, is much, it makes more sense, right?
For the pronunciation, but the British English spellings do
not make as much sense at all.
Well, I hadn't even focused on that.
How are they different?
So for example, um, example is, uh, flavor or color.
so colour American English is C O L O R, but in British
English, we have a U in there.
So it's C O L O U R.
But we have that in Canada, too.
We have that in Canada, too.
never really thought of it as a problem, but the bigger issues are like, uh,
although and bough and through and cough and rough are all written with O U G
H and they're pronounced differently.
And that's true on both sides of the Atlantic.
So yeah, English spelling is a problem.
And you think then the pronunciation, the difficulties people have in
English with English, pronunciation comes from the spelling, or
that's just one of the factors.
It's, it's one of the factors.
Um and that there aren't...
the rules aren't very consistent either with pronunciation so that's
tricky, but also one of the biggest issues for learning English is the
idiomatic language and the phrasal verbs because there's no blanket rule.
Again, you have to learn on a case by case basis.
And we use so many phrase of herbs and so many idioms in just day to day speaking
that you can know the vocabulary, but not know the phrases and so that's tricky and
that just like just requires exposure.
You just have to keep exposing yourself to that kind of
language, um, to native speakers.
And, and this is so the name of my, my channel English Like a Native is it's
a little bit of, um, people see it as a negative thing sometimes in the industry
to, to do something like a native, you'll never be a native of that language.
So why should you try to be like a native.
That was, that was never the point of my brand name.
The brand name is more about acquiring and learning like a native does, so
not stressing about grammar rules and spending more time just listening and
enjoying language in a, in the same way you would your target language.
So watching films in, in your target language and, um, hanging out with
friends and speaking in your target language, in a relaxed environment,
and just trying to enjoy it rather than sit and study and study the rules.
To be honest, most natives do not know their own language in
the way that a non-native would.
We don't know the grammar rules.
We, we never study them.
We just acquire them.
We just understand that something sounds right or something sounds wrong.
And sometimes we make mistakes.
As a set...
as a standard thing across the UK, you know, in the north, in the north,
there'll be, um, grammar, mistakes that are just an accepted way of speaking.
It's just what we say.
Well, we have that everywhere now.
I mean, in North America, you hear people say I would've went, I would've went.
You know, that's, it's becoming more and more common.
It's just, it sounds so bad to me, but a lot of people say that.
So um, yeah, I agree with you.
You know, I think the native is the model, you can't get away from that.
The native is the model.
Uh, even though we're not gonna sound like a native, but that's in fact we wanna
get as close as possible to the native.
It's a bit of a problem in English because even within a country like
the UK, there's so many regional accents, so which native are you going?
You know, which, which form of the language, which type of pronunciation is,
is the most popular with your learners?
Who do they wanna sound like?
Well, I, I, on my channel, I cover a number of regional
accents, regional British accents.
And, um, I do also cover a lot of differences between American
English and British English because people are interested.
American English is more globally studied.
And in, and it's the same in America.
Of course, there's lots of variations of American accents
that are wildly different.
Um, but what I always, I teach RP, which in fact, there aren't, there are not many
people in the UK who actually use RP...
Now, just to explain to my audience, what is RP?
RP is received pronunciation and it's the standard, people don't like this word,
natives don't like this word, but it's the standard accent of, of British, because
it's, what's written in the dictionaries.
It's the, the...
it's non regional.
It doesn't belong to a region.
It was introduced many, many years ago as a way of speaking, if you were
educated and this is why it has a bad, a bad reputation in the UK, because if
you speak like this with a, an RP, then people assume that you are very wealthy
and, and snobby, posh, well educated.
And that you look down on the lower classes.
Which is crazy now, because that's not, is, it is what it is.
I don't wanna open that can of worms.
I think if you are learning, if you want to learn British English
or any variation of English, I don't think it really matters.
It has to be something you want to learn, like what you feel passionate about,
because I can understand anyone speaking English, what, whatever variation it
is, there might be few little regional differences, dialect that's different.
But generally it doesn't matter which version you go for, but if
you are going to move to an English speaking country, I'd always
say, perhaps it's interesting...
it would be good for you to learn or become familiar with that particular
regional accent or at least the dialect, because for example,
scousers in Liverpool, in the north of England have a very different
way of talking than, than I do.
And if you learn from me and never exposed yourself to a scouse accent, or any of
their dialect, you'd arrive there and not have a clue what anyone was saying.
So I think, um, it depends on your situation and also what
you are passionate about.
I mean, I agree.