NO DIGAS “I won’t assist to the meeting today.” SI NO SABES PORQUÉ, SIGUE LEYENDO

Cuando yo era niño, mi madre siempre me decía, “Don’t talk to strangers” (¡extraños y no extranjeros!), si hubiesen sido extranjeras, no me hubiera casado.

Por mi parte pensaba, “Si no hablo con gente desconocida, como voy a conocer a gente nueva.” O sea, psicología de los niños. Sin embargo, puede ser un buen consejo general. Hay gente que se presenta como amigo o amiga, pero luego resulta que no son amigos para nada, si no, FALSO AMIGOS.

La primera vez que escuché el concepto ‘false friends’ fue en una clase de francés en un colegio de Irlanda; tendría unos 12 años. “These words are “faux amis” anunció el profe (tenía el apodo de “Frenchie” pero era Irlandés), explicando que por ejemplo un affair era una AVENTURA AMOROSA y une affaire era business“, entre las sonrisas de la clase de  chicos adolescentes de esa escuela católica.” Daba las clases en inglés con las frases a aprender en francés. (Y luego nos preguntamos porque no aprendemos los idiomas en los colegios).

Y, si hay muchos falsos amigos entre el inglés y el francés, ni te cuento la cantidad que hay entre el inglés y el castellano (y el català, és clar que sí). Pues, seguramente ya lo sabes, PERO, entonces ¿porque caemos en la misma trampa una y otra vez?

La gran mayoría de los errores vienen de la traducción directa, que es una estrategia para salir del paso o sacarte de un apuro, pero no funciona a la larga, y … ni a la corta.

El primer paso es lo que se llama en la psicología Gestalt, el “darse cuenta”. Si no te das cuenta y no no te enteras (contreras), pues, seguirás diciendo “I won’t assist to the meeting” toda la vida.

Voy a explicar los 2 errores a continuación.

Primero. La gramática. Si dice I won’t… en inglés, aquí quieres decir que te niegas a hacer algo. Sí, ¡no lo sabías! Lo que tienes que decir es I can’t o más la forma más formal I won’t be able to

Luego, tu false friend: “assist” quiere decir “ayudar”. Hay que usar attend SIN “to”.  Entonces, si no puedes asistir a una reunión dirás:

I’M SORRY, I CAN’T ATTEND THE MEETING TODAY.

Para empezar a darte cuenta, he dedicado muchas muchas horas recopilando los false friends, y los he presentado y explicado en mi nuevo libro con un capítulo para repasar y aprenderlos.

CÓMO HAQUEAR EL VOCABULARIO INGLÉS.

Si realmente quieres conocer a LOS AMIGOS DE VERDAD,

click on the linke below and MAKE NEW ENGLISH FRIENDS!

¿QUÉ LIBRO ME COMPRO o REGALO PARA NAVIDADES PARA MEJORAR EL INGLÉS? SOLUCIONADO: PUES, ¡ÉSTE!

Hace unos 2 años, haciendo limpieza encontré una libreta con los apuntes de mis clases que impartía…. del 1992! De allí me surgió la idea de recopilar los errores más típicos de los alumnos de inglés y los trucos de superarlos en un libro didáctico accesible y entretenido. Y, hay una sección para profesores.


UNA PEQUEÑA PRUEBA

Para darte un pequeño avance del libro, ¿dirías que un empleado que trabaja mucho es ‘laborious’? ¿Un ‘motorist’ en inglés conduce un coche? ¿En inglés se usa ‘parking’ para tu coche o un ‘camping’ para el sitio donde dejas tu caravana? ¿’Resume’ en inglés es resumir?


Pues la respuesta en todos los casos es «¡NO!». Si no los sabías o tenías dudas, ¡necesitas este libro! Y estos ejemplos son solo la punta del iceberg.

En este libro, hackeamos el inglés, del verbo hack, que, aparte de su significado informático, aquí lo uso para explicar formas de entender el uso del vocabulario inglés en los diferentes contextos.

Hay muchos hacks (trucos) en este libro que te darán herramientas para evitar los errores típicos debido a la traducción directa Y dominar el vocabulario. Y, encima, encontrarás 10 tips exclusivos y una sección para repasar y aprendértelo todo de una vez y por todas.

Si quieres dar un empujón rápido a tu inglés, este libro es para ti. Es fácil de seguir y te ayudará a practicar y memorizar lo que has aprendido.  

Y puede ser el regalo perfecto para ti o para cualquier persona que quiera mejorar su inglés. Y como si fuera poco, está en oferta en Amazon ahora mismo en tapa blanda y ebook.

AHORA MISMO ES GRATIS EN KINDLE UNLIMITED

https://lnkd.in/dZTEh6qg

Season’s Greetings and a have a great 2023!!!

CÓMO HACER UNA PRESENTACIÓN EN INGLÉS. 5 CONSEJOS IMPRESCINDIBLES.

Hay montones de videos, gurús y consejos para mejorar tus presentaciones en general y en inglés en particular.

Para añadir algo de valor, os presento con 5 consejos tanto que HACER como EVITAR, que mucha gente que da charlas ni piensa.

Las palabras y el contenido de tu charla son SUPER importantes, y la forma de ensayarla también, sobre todo en un idiomas que no sea el tuyo, (explicado en otros videos míos). Pero, sobre todo, lo más importante para comunicarte con precisión, impacto y coherencia es la forma de combinar tu voz y tus palabras con tu lenguaje corporal.

Si tienes que hacer presentaciones o charlas siempre hay áreas que mejorar. Incluso los mejores ponentes buscan formas de hacer mejoras continuamente.

Espero que estos 5 TIPS te ayuden a reflexionar y llevar a tus charlas al siguiente nivel en inglés o tu idioma nativo.

Pincha aquí para descubrirlos (en inglés con subtítulos):

https://lnkd.in/dgazJyh9

GET MOTIVATED – THINK ABOUT DYING

Has anyone ever suggested that you think about death to get you motivated to achieve your goals? Did you suddenly imagine someone pointing a gun to your head and saying, “Write the first line of your book, or you die!”? Sadly, this only works for very short-term actions, like opening a safe or handing over the code to your Netflix account. By the way, I don’t know this from experience!

At the recent Speakers Association of Spain TalksX event 2022, where I gave a talk, I met Sébastien Roger de Nuñez (Thought Leadership Academy) who says he challenges potential coaching clients with this question, “You’re dying next week, but you have one last chance to do a talk in public; what would you talk about? Think about that one. Is it useful for you?

One of my favourite TED Talks of all time is Tim Urban’s Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator (for some reason!). https://www.ted.com/talks/tim_urban_inside_the_mind_of_a_master_procrastinator?language=en

Have you seen that one? I apologise for the spoiler, but he suggests that if you put your whole life (up to 90 years old) in a grid he calls a “Life Calendar”, with each box representing a week of your life you can see how few weeks we actually have left, especially as we get older. And that might cure procrastination. Try it, it’s quite sobering!

In English-speaking countries, we have something called the Bucket List, that is, a list of things we’d like to do before we die, or “kick the bucket”, an idiom meaning to die. Typical things include visiting an amazing place, jumping out of aeroplanes or joining the mile-high club perhaps before you do that, completing a qualification, or … speaking another language fluently!!!

The truth is that for certain goals, the thought of “doing them before I die” is a popular technique used to get you motivated.

It can certainly get you thinking, and is indeed effective to get you started, but you won’t achieve anything without actually putting the action in a calendar and working towards it creating habits and routines and adding a large dose of resilience or “Grit” to quote Angela Duckworth’s book. It’s the same whether you want to complete an MBA, do a TEDx Talk, retire at 60, play the piano or learn a language. No-one can do it for you, but with the right techniques and a coach all of those things become more achievable.

A near-death experience (NBD) can be the eureka moment for many people. Sadly, for me it didn’t work!!

At the end of your life, how do you want to feel when you look back? A quote which helped me do potentially difficult and scary things like jumping out of a plane, getting married, starting Idiomas Advantage and eating snails in Lleida (among other things) ….   is and has been, “You often regret things you haven’t done more than the things that you have.” Or as Mark Twain, the 19th century American author put it,

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines!

Below, you can read the poem Instantes, attributed to José Lluis Borges in both Spanish and English. How will you look back on your life at 85?!

So, what do you use to motivate yourself?

 I’m dying to know…

Si pudiera vivir nuevamente mi vida,
en la próxima trataría de cometer más errores.
No intentaría ser tan perfecto, me relajaría más.
Sería más tonto de lo que he sido,
de hecho tomaría muy pocas cosas con seriedad.
Sería menos higiénico.
Correría más riesgos,
haría más viajes,
contemplaría más atardeceres,
subiría más montañas, nadaría más ríos.
Iría a más lugares adonde nunca he ido,
comería más helados y menos habas,
tendría más problemas reales y menos imaginarios.

Yo fui una de esas personas que vivió sensata
y prolíficamente cada minuto de su vida;
claro que tuve momentos de alegría.
Pero si pudiera volver atrás trataría
de tener solamente buenos momentos.

Por si no lo saben, de eso está hecha la vida,
sólo de momentos; no te pierdas el ahora.

Yo era uno de esos que nunca
iban a ninguna parte sin un termómetro,
una bolsa de agua caliente,
un paraguas y un paracaídas;
si pudiera volver a vivir, viajaría más liviano.

Si pudiera volver a vivir
comenzaría a andar descalzo a principios
de la primavera
y seguiría descalzo hasta concluir el otoño.
Daría más vueltas en calesita,
contemplaría más amaneceres,
y jugaría con más niños,
si tuviera otra vez vida por delante.

Pero ya ven, tengo 85 años…
y sé que me estoy muriendo.

PRESENTATION SKILLS COURSE FOR MEDICAL STAFF – BELLVITGE HOSPITAL

“That was great, when can we do more presentation workshops!?” “It’s been really useful.”

It was a pleasure to help these two doctors with their presentation skills over 2 sessions at Bellvitge hospital (masks still in force).

 The courses always include solid practice and theory on voice and language, but also practical presentation practice in front of a camera with personalized feedback and advice on the key aspects of delivering information clearly as well as a persuasive message.

I’m looking forward to going back soon to help other doctors improve their delivery of important research findings.

If you or your company are interested in improving your public speaking or presentation skills, please get in touch to see how I can help you.

IT’S MONDAY. WELCOME.

What’re you going to do in English this week?

I hope you’ve had a good weekend. I’m not going to say, “I hope you’ve had a PRODUCTIVE weekend!” because that will put me in the category of someone who doesn’t know how to enjoy my free time, right? How we categorise what constitutes fun and enjoyable activities is personal of course. But, were you productive?

If you’re learning a foreign language, what are you planning to do this week to improve it? If you’re doing classes, especially with IDIOMAS ADVANTGE, great, and good choice by the way. Whether you are or not, if you really want to learn a language, you need to immerse yourself in the language.

Luckily, there are so many fun things you can do these days, that it doesn’t need to feel like “work”.

I’ve spoken before about the Personal Language Learning System (PLLS) with its five strategies to really boost your language level by integrating it in your life. It’s all about doing things that motivate you, and basically things you’d do in your native language anyway.

Have you created any routines or habits at specific times and locations during the day? Are you going to listen to a podcast during your daily commute, your morning or evening run, or as you are enjoying your coffee or lunch break? When you get home and sit on your sofa, are you going to watch your favourite Netflix series in English or French or choose the Spanish audio version?

I absolutely guarantee that by choosing times and locations for your PLLS language learning, you’ll turbocharge your progress like never before.

So, what are you doing at the moment, or are you going to do this week to improve your language level? Let me know in the comments.

If you want to know more about the PLLS for you or your company, get in touch!

STOP WASTING YOUR LIFE WATCHING TV, Amazon Prime, YouTube and NETFLIX or CHANGE THE LANGUAGE

Do you know what a lot of business students tell me they do when they get home from work after a long tiring day at the office? Can you guess?

If you’re like them, you probably look forward to sitting on the sofa in front of your bigger-than-necessary flat-screen TV and settling in for a session of turn your mind off and watch the latest Netflix series that you’re into at the moment. It’s a lovely feeling, isn’t it?

A comfy sofa, a big screen, your stomach full of dinner and a favourite series to enjoy, perhaps with your partner with the kids in bed. It’s a bit of ‘me time’ or even ‘we time’. Hey, or why not start watching some YouTube videos…?

If it’s the weekend and you have even more free time, then that “let’s just watch one episode of Money Heist (La Casa de Papel), turns into a massive 3-hour binge session that takes you all the way through to the next meal. And why not? It’s your time. You’ve worked hard (probably), and you deserve it.

And then you turn the national TV on, and you feel you just need to catch up on the latest happenings around the Globe. After all, you need to do something productive and important now.

 Although the headlines have given you enough information to keep you up to date, you feel impelled to sit through the whole hour and digest the news that a group of journalists have chosen from countries and cities you can’t pronounce and events that have zero impact on your life.

But wait, you haven’t seen the weather forecast yet! What, from my location? No, from the whole country and in excruciating detail. Don’t go anywhere till you’ve memorised the tomorrow’s temperatures for every city in your country. It’s going to be a record somewhere I hear.  

It would only be a killjoy who would say, “What’s the point in that?” or “Don’t watch those series and films that make you happy, and the news that makes you more knowledgeable about irrelevant events.”

Well, let it be so. I’ll be the party pooper and ask what will you remember about today when you are on your deathbed?

Umm, I remember something about a superhero who jumped out of a helicopter and survived, and yeah, there was a flood in Pakistan or was that China or Zaragoza.

With such a limited amount of time on earth to make a difference, how many hours do you want to devote to watching other people live their lives?

Can you still watch hours of TV, series and films and still be productive and not a couch potato?

Well, actually you can. And this is how.

You take your remote control, click on Audio and toggle the English language option (or French if you’re lucky enough to be learning that language instead like me).

In fact, getting input and exposure to boost the language you’re learning is the only real justification for spending an exaggerated amount of time in front of any screen if you want to be productive, even if you’re retired or incapacitated.

Choose something you love watching and then change the language. Now, you’re enjoying yourself, learning something and not wasting your precious time.

If you want to learn more about the Personal Language Learning System (PPLS), get in touch as soon as possible.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS! y ¿LO MEJOR?

NADA DE INGLÉS DURANTE UN MES

Muchos esperan las <<ansiadas vacaciones>> porque me imagino que lo que se ha vivido antes ha sido… ansioso. Oigo una y otra vez frases como <<¡Necesito unas vacaciones ya!>>

Según Confucio, un señor que no solía dar puntadas sin hilo,

“Elige un trabajo que te guste y no tendrás que trabajar ni un día en tu vida”.

No sé qué tipo de trabajo tenía en mente allí en China por el año 550 AC, pero sabía construir frases con gancho sobre las que engarzar sus ideas. Hoy, él mismo encontraría trabajo como periodista o en el marketing o publicidad online sin problema.

¿Quiere decir que si coges vacaciones has elegido mal tu trabajo porque nunca has podido encontrar tu verdadera vocación o una afición de la cuál podrías ganar la vida?

Cuando Dalí veraneaba en Cadaqués ¿Se supone que ya no pintaba nada porque <<Estava de vacances>>?

Ya, pero no todos tenemos la suerte de poder trabajar de lo que nos encanta, sea pintar, cantar, diseñar bisutería o escribir libros. Pero, da igual, ya que tienes tiempo en estos días estivales.

Sea lo que sea tu situación o en qué playa, pueblo o país estés este agosto, puedes sentirte aliviado por fin, porque, al menos no tienes que hacer nada de inglés, francés, alemán… es que, necesitabas un descanso de tus clases de idiomas.

Para dominar un idioma, las clases son un simple complemento a lo que realmente necesitas hacer para aprender un idioma de verdad, y en mucho menos tiempo.

Si no lo sabías o no lo haces ya, el idioma que aprendes debe formar parte de tu día a día. Si no es así, sigue leyendo para descubrir cómo conseguirlo.

El secreto de dominar cualquier asignatura sea uninstrumento, una habilidad o un idioma es la regularidad; es decir, crear hábitos que acaban siendo simples rutinas que forman parte de tu vida cotidiana.

Hoy en día hay tantos recursos a tu disposición para aprender un idioma, que ¡ya no hay excusa! Dispones de canales de televisión y radio, en YouTube tienes contenidos de todo tipo que elegir a tu gusto y podcasts que saldrán por tus oídos. Y, lo tienes todo en cualquier nivel.

Luego, existe Netflix y Amazon Prime para ver tus series en un montón de idiomas.

Si ves contenido ya en tu idioma, cambia al idioma que aprendes, aunque sea por parte del tiempo con subtítulos en el mismo idioma. Escuchar, ver o leer un montón de noticias irrelevantes para tu vida no aporta nada en tu idioma nativo, pero en él que aprendes te despegarás cómo nunca hayas imaginado.

¿Cómo lo incorporo en mi vida durante las vacaciones?

La forma más fácil de incorporar otro idioma en tu vida es hacerlo al mismo tiempo que otra actividad, o sea, crear un hábito simultáneo.

Por ejemplo, si haces footing, fitness, bicicleta, natación, caminas, te bronceas en la playa, cocinas, limpias, etc, elige un podcast o video que puedes escuchar al mismo tiempo por la duración de la actividad.

Cuando estás en el coche, el autobús, tren, etc. haz lo mismo. Sabrás que has conseguido incorporar una actividad en tu vida cuando te des cuenta de que no lo estás haciendo y ¡te sientes raro!

 Ahora mismo, no puedo ni cocinar ni hacer fitness por las mañanas sin escuchar un podcast o un video de YouTube en francés. Y, cuando estoy solo, siempre como viendo algo en francés. Y, ¿sabes qué?

 ¡FUNCIONA! Lo garantizo.

Y, si aprendes inglés, ¿Por qué no estás en Inglaterra de vacaciones? ¿Por qué no has ido un sitio donde te hablan el idioma que aprendes? Estás perdiendo una oportunidad.

¿Es porque hace mal tiempo en Inglaterra? Pues, esto fue antes. Gracias al global warming, llegaron a 40,3 ºC en julio 2022, un récord absoluto, y los científicos y meteorólogos nos prometen más veranos calurosos en esta isla justo al norte de Europa.

Por tanto, haz la maleta para la playa de Bournemouth o Brighton el año que viene con tus podcasts y videos ya preparados, y kill two birds with one stone.

Happy holidays … in English!

Pregúntanos cómo puedes dar un empujón a tu inglés

GET PODCASTING this summer…

AND ALL YEAR ROUND

Listening to English-speaking podcasts is a great way to increase your English level. Playing back parts that you don’t understand and writing down words you don’t recognize will help you expand your vocabulary.

Which podcasts should I listen to?

We are spolit for choice, and luckily there’s something for eveyone and every level. You could being with either the The Learn English Podcast from the British Council or 6-minute English from the BBC. But, look at all the options below and chose something you like and for your level.

At the beginner level, in general, you’ll find that the programs are focused on basic language skills like “Let’s learn English,” “Everyday grammar” and “Words and their stories”.

If you are at an intermediate level, Podcasts cover a wider variety of topics, including health and lifestyle, science, technology, culture, and news, which can be particularly helpful for chatting to friends in English. All podcasts come with a transcript to help you follow along. 

Once you get to the Advanced level it’s time to start listening to more authentic material made for native speakers, such as the BBC and American news. Remember that you can listen to a huge number of radio stations from the UK on the App British Radios, and it’s free!

How do you learn English with a podcast?

All language learning experts and polyglots agree that massive INPUT is essential to increase not only your listening skills but also your vocabulary, grammar, accent, and even speaking!!!!

The more you watch, read and listen, the better your English will get. But, remember to make it a habit. Check out my other Blogs about making learning a habit and creating routines.

Extra tips for Learning on the GO!

  • Take notes of new vocabulary you find interesting. NOT everything.
  • Make sure you create a specific timeslot every day. Make it a habit.
  • For a few minutes repeat what they are saying in real time if you can: this is called SHADOWING.
  • If you can, play and stop and repeat to practice your accent.
  • Learning on the GO means listening to English while you are doing other activities
  • If you don’t understand everything, you can use the subsititles or slow the speech down.

Learn English Podcast from the British Council

The Learn English Podcast is excellent for beginners. It is aimed at  English language learners from A1 to B1 levels and episodes revolve around discussion and cover common everyday situations. Every episode comes with a transcript and a support pack with exercises to test your understanding. There’s even a free app!

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

British Council website

6-Minute English from the BBC

Are you short on time? 6-Minute English fits into even the busiest schedules. No excuses! 6-minute English is a news podcast produced every week and is aimed at intermediate speakers. Each episode comes with a list of vocabulary, a thought-provoking question, and a transcript so you can follow along in case you miss some words or phrases. 

The English here is spoken at a slightly slower speed than usual, making it much easier to understand. In addition, there are hundreds of episodes going back to 2014. Try listening to one six-minute episode per day, and your vocabulary will grow in no time.

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

BBC website

The English We Speak

The English We Speak is produced every week by the BBC. This series is even shorter than 6-Minute English, with episodes only 3 minutes long. Each episode focuses on a different English idiom or expression used in the UK, such as “play a blinder,” “take the biscuit” or “to cut a long story short.”

This podcast is especially interesting if you in the UK or moving there, or just want to gain more natural English. , this program is highly recommended. The vocabulary is a bit more complex

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

BBC website

Global News by the BBC

One final mention for one of the BBC’s many English podcasts. Why not start listening to the news in English? It’s a great way to get more English language exposure into your daily routine. 

New episodes of the BBC’s Global News are published twice a day and report on issues that affect the whole planet. As you might have guessed, this show is beneficial if you would like to learn British English. 

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

BBC website

BUSINESS ENGLISH PODCASTS

Down to Business English is a podcast for people who use English as a Second or Foreign Language (ESL/EFL) in their work environment and are trying to improve their overall language skills.

In each episode, hosts Dez Morgan, Samantha Vega, and Skip Montreux discuss business news making headlines around the world. Through their discussions, they introduce professional vocabulary and phrases, review useful grammar structures, and identify cultural differences that may impact doing business in an international work environment.

Where to listen:

https://downtobusinessenglish.com/category/free-podcast/

SPECIFICALLY AMERICAN PODCASTS

Voice of America: Learning English

If you want to learn American English, then Voice of America: Learning English might be a better choice for you. It’s a clear website that offers different podcasts for beginner, intermediate, and advanced ESL learners.

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Voice of America website

All Ears English

All Ears English is another great option if you already have an intermediate level of English and want a little more entertainment. All Ears is in American English and is presented by two ESL teachers, Lindsay from Boston and Michelle from New York City.

In very short episodes, they discuss American culture, and explain confusing English expressions in a friendly and fun way. Their motto is “connection not perfection” so expect a focus on everyday English as it is spoken in the real world!

Also, they produce the show with the IELTS in mind, so anyone about to sit the exam will find it especially useful.

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

All Ears English website

Espresso English

The Espresso English podcast is made for beginners and intermediate-level learners. It is presented by Shayna who is the teacher at Espresso English and everything from vocabulary to grammar to pronunciation is covered in the 350+ episodes.

One of the fantastic features of this podcast is the fact that there are so many episodes and they cover many common problems  The shows features American English and they only last 5-10 minutes.

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Espresso English website

Advanced English podcasts aimed at Native Speakers

If you want to take your English to a really proficiency / near-native level, then you need to start listening to authentic material for native speakers. Here are a few suggestions for podcasts in this category.

The Joe Rogan Experience

The Joe Rogan Experience is one of the biggest podcasts globally, and in 2020, the show signed an exclusive deal with Spotify worth a reported $100 million. His podcasts with interviews are aimed at native speakers, and has a huge range of tòpics in over 1,660 episodes with subjects ranging from comedy and science to politics and sports.

You can also watch and listen to his show on YouTube.

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Youtube

Spotify

This American Life

This American Life is a great choice for English learners who want an insight into the culture of the USA. It is a mixture of journalism and storytelling, focusing on real-life tales from citizens of all regions of the country. The stories are varied and original. One episode was taped for 24 hours in an all-night restaurant; another interviewed students at a high school which experienced a mass shooting. It has won a host of awards and is consistently rated among the most popular in the US. 

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

This American Life Website

THE LEARNABILITY SHOW by IAN GIBBS

A great show to listen to for teachers, trainers and learners. You can find out how to learn in general while improving your English. A win win! 45 minutes per episode.

Where to listen:

SPOTIFY

https://open.spotify.com/show/7DHnKutoRi6ixnJvylHcoA

Overheard at National Geographic

National Geographic is a very popular American magazine (and TV channel) famous for incredible stories and photography related to science and the environment. 

Overheard is about the discussions Nat Geo employees have had while taking breaks. Expect crazy stories from explorers, photographers, and scientists from around the world. 

Episodes last around twenty minutes, It’s perfect if you want to be amazed at the strangeness of our planet. 

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

Google Podcasts

Youtube

National Geographic website

NO SUCH THING AS FISH

When learning any new language, some people say that jokes and humour are the hardest thing to understand. Yep, it’s not easy.

 But try this British podcast where Each week Dan, James, Anna and Andy discuss their favourite facts unearthed in the past seven days. ​

New episode every Friday from 2pm

website:

Where to listen

Apple Podcasts

https://www.nosuchthingasafish.com/

TO SUM UP

I hope this has inspired you to add more English to your life. Even if you take classes, they are never enough to get you quickly to the next level. There is no substitute for exposure to a language, so get exposing yourself TODAY!!

Let me know in the comments which podcasts you listen to.

STOP WASTING YOUR LIFE READING and LISTENING TO IRRELEVANT NEWS: And change the language

Throughout most of my adult life I’ve loved listening to the news in the morning during breakfast or travelling to work in the car. I would put on the radio and find a news channel to get up to date with the latest goings-on in the world.

I’ve also got even more excited about sitting down on Sunday mornings and reading through the entire Sunday paper while dipping different pastries in my coffee with a smile on my face.

Then, with the news on my smartphone, I was soon disappearing head first down rabbit holes in Germany and the floods in some region I couldn’t pronounce or locate, and then appearing again on the island of Kiribati, where I discovered it’s going to be the first nation in the world to disappear under the ocean.   

However, one day while watching another video, this time about successful people, one of the common themes was “I don’t listen to or read the news.” At first, I thought it was just part of an eccentric personality and just one of a millionaire businessperson’s habits, such as getting up at 3am, working out at 5am and then having a Sirtfood breakfast before driving to work in their Tesla.

But no; it seems that it’s a pretty common theme with most very successful people. Before I continue, and before you object, let’s rule out reading and listening to news that you need for your work. For example, economic and stock market news for people working in finance.

So, I decided to stop reading or listening to the news, deleting my favourite news App on my phone and decided to see what would happen. At most, I was basically reading the main headlines for the day in a couple of minutes and then moving on. The strategy was to be highly selective, and not go into an irrelevant depth of knowledge that was absurd. And it worked. Nothing changed in my life except my increased productivity and feeling less stressed!

Why is knowing about what’s going on in the world a waste of time? Knowing about how the war in Ukraine is advancing can seem like a useful and even humanitarian thing to be up to date with. However, any more than reading a brief headline is irrelevant unless you are directly involved in the conflict.

As humans, we seem to have a natural desire and love of gossip and finding out about things in general. Put bluntly, we have a morbid curiosity to discover things in more detail than we need. Sadly, we don’t discriminate.

As an example, think about the evening news in two ways.

1)the piece of news

2) the details of the piece of news

How much of the news do you even need to know about? For example, there’s a forest fire in another remote part of your country, another country or even continent. It’s irrelevant. In fact, there are fires all the time, and you don’t even know about them. And, you don’t ‘need’ to know.

The theft of cars has gone up in another part of the country, there was a train cash in another part of the world, there was a terrorist attack in the Middle East, a train was derailed in the UK due to high temperatures. A swimmer was chased by a shark and a man bit a dog. You could spend the rest of your life just reading about other people’s lives and random events that have nothing to do with you.

What about the weather? A good example of how ridiculous the ‘News’ has become is the Weather on TV1 Spain, that must last at least 10 minutes and gives you a detailed analysis of every province of Spain and its islands. Even if you didn’t have Google weather, you could find out the weather in your location in 20 seconds. But you feel compelled to ‘finish’ the news and sit through and later discuss the bad weather they’re having in a location a 1000kms from where you live. I could go on.

You’re wasting your time, you’re wasting your valuable life and your productivity is zero.

 Yes, but it’s my relaxation time!!! I really enjoy listening to the news and the detailed analysis of the irrelevant item while driving to work.

The question boils down to one key point; what else should you or could you be doing with your time?

If you can’t think of anything better to do in your life, then it’s time you found something!! But that’s the subject of another article.

For me, the only useful thing about the news is to practise and learn a new language. If you’re learning French, and you’re going to listen to irrelevant news anyway, why not tune in and find out about the metro strike in Paris, the melting snow caps in the Alps and how it’s affecting livelihoods there, and then move on to  residents’ opinions on the extreme temperatures on the French Riviera?

Did you know that regular exposure to a language is one of the most important ways you can boost your learning? And on many news channels, the news is repeated every 15 or 30 minutes. Perfect for a language learner. Useless for everyone else.

So, if you still feel impelled to find out about a load of information that wastes your time and adds nothing to your life, then at least do so in another language. In that way you’ll be using your time productively and can kill two birds with one stone, or faire d’une pierre deux coups or even matar a dos pájaros de un tiro.