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  • Vanessa: Hi, I'm Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com. You don't want to waste your time, right?

  • Let's talk about it. Today I have a special treat for you. I'm going to help you learn

  • seven things that you should avoid if you want to be a fluent English speaker. Don't

  • do these seven things if you want to be fluent. If you focus on these seven things, you're

  • going to be wasting your time. It's not going to be efficient. Instead, you're just going

  • to be wasting your time. So, to talk about these seven things, I thought, "Who can help

  • me the most to talk about learning language?" Well, I have a special guest for you. Today,

  • I'm going to be talking with two brothers, Fran and Carlos, who run the YouTube channel

  • YouTalkTV, and they have completely learned English starting at the age of 25. It's pretty

  • incredible to completely learn a language as an adult. Most of us think if you're going

  • to be fluent, you should start as a kid, but that's not the reality for a lot of us.

  • For a lot of us, maybe for you too, you are starting now as an adult. You're kind of turning

  • a fresh page. "I don't want to learn like I did as a kid. Now, I have to start over."

  • Is it possible, can you really become fluent as an adult? Well, In today's lesson you're

  • going to learn seven things that didn't work for me in my second language, which is French,

  • and seven things that didn't work for Fran and Carlos, so hopefully you can avoid those

  • things. Instead, you can focus your time wisely. You can hear their story. Be inspired to realize,

  • "I can do this as an adult. I can successfully learn to speak English." I hope you'll enjoy

  • our conversation. Feel free to click CC to view the full subtitles

  • for today's lesson. That will help you to catch every word. They use a lot of great

  • expressions. They talk about a lot of pronunciation and linking and some specific tips. So, I

  • hope that the subtitles will help you as an English learner as well to catch everything

  • that they say. All right. Thanks so much for joining me Fran and Carlos. Let's meet them.

  • Hi Fran and Carlos, thank you so much for joining me today to talk about this interesting,

  • important topic of what to avoid, don't do these things if you want to be fluent.

  • Vanessa: To get started, would you like to briefly introduce yourselves? I've mentioned

  • you just a moment ago, but would you like to share with my audience something about

  • yourself? YouTalkTV: Yes, Fran and Carlos Monaj, we're

  • brothers. So we're from Spain, from Spain and the thing is that we're running a YouTube

  • channel called YouTalkTV. Mm-hmm (affirmative).

  • The funny thing is we both learned at age 25 or later on in life and we were self-taught.

  • Now what we kind of selling is if we did it, then you can do it too. Just try to follow

  • us. If you like the way we talk, we can take you to our level or above, its pure logic,

  • and that is the only thing we do, yes. Vanessa: So you bring a completely different

  • perspective to the table for people who are learning, they can feel inspired by you, a

  • role model and now you're teaching and when you teach something, you need to really know

  • it. So- YouTalkTV: Oh yeah, absolutely. You need to

  • reflect on how you learned that, what difficulties you have... Yeah, big time. We've taught over

  • 10,000 hours each. Oh, by the way Vanessa, we have a surprise

  • for your audience, for your subscribers, which is-

  • Yeah, well the thing is that they're going to have free access to our course on YouTalkTV

  • plus course where they can improve your English. Yeah. We're giving away a full year for free.

  • And now it costs close to $300 a year. I'm saying close because I don't know the conversion.

  • But anyways, we're going to give it away for free and the condition is going to be that

  • you guys need to be subscribed to Vanessa's channel, Speak English With Vanessa, and go

  • ahead and subscribe to our channel- YouTalkTV. Exactly. And so it's going to be a raffle

  • and among those subscribers that are in both channels, then you going to have a full year

  • free. Yeah, we'll take it okay.

  • Vanessa: Thanks so much for offering that to my subscribers. Great.

  • YouTalkTV: You're welcome. Thank you.

  • Vanessa: You've done a lot of things successfully with English and I imagine there were things

  • that you've tried that probably didn't work over time or maybe for your students, you

  • see, oh no, they're focusing on this thing that isn't going to help them. So I thought

  • we could talk about that together. Some things that you tried, but that just didn't work

  • for you because nobody wants to waste their time. You don't want to waste your time. Our

  • students don't want to waste their time and we don't want to waste our time telling them-

  • YouTalkTV: Absolutely. Vanessa: You should do this. I thought today

  • we could talk about seven things that our students should avoid doing, so that they

  • can really focus on what will work. So would you like to get started with the first point

  • and then we can kind of share our opinions from our-

  • YouTalkTV: Absolutely. Yeah. Go ahead. Vanessa: Both of our experiences?

  • YouTalkTV: Yes. Vanessa: Cool. Well, my first tip for something

  • that I did wrong when I was a beginner learning French, which is the language that I successfully

  • learned as a second language and maybe you guys did this as well with English is, don't

  • dive into material that's too difficult right away. If you just start watching, I don't

  • know, Avatar or Titanic, something that's so long and so complex, there's so much vocabulary

  • that you don't know. You can just easily feel overwhelmed and frustrated and kind of want

  • to give up. I'm never going to do this. It's just too much. So starting small is going

  • to be more helpful. You can feel that small win I did it, I watched this five minute video

  • and I understood it. I got some new vocabulary instead of a whole 45 minute TV episode or

  • two hour movie. That can be so overwhelming if it's too much for you. So don't do too

  • much too soon. Take it slowly. YouTalkTV: Yeah. Plus it can be really frustrating

  • and maybe it's going to make you give up or something and that connects pretty well with

  • one of our other mottos, which says which says keep it simple and that's an American

  • saying and we love it. Just keep it simple and this year in the Spanish approach of teaching

  • English, they are always picking their more, the most difficult approach, the most grammar

  • complicated explanation. And we want to keep it simple. There is a lot of difficult approaches

  • to teaching grammar. And of course what you're saying, don't go for movies, songs, because

  • they constantly putting those sentences together like, "Hey, do you mind if I sit down?" It

  • is impossible for you to pick up. Don't do you mind if I sit down and they're not going

  • to say that. So prior to that, you may want to make sure your students know some more

  • simple structures or just go through easier material.

  • Vanessa: Yeah. When you finally, as English learners, when you finally watched a TV show

  • or a movie without subtitles, you'd probably been you starting smaller first and then working

  • up to that or maybe watching the TV show with some titles in English first. You're slowly

  • working up to that and not just diving in and then thinking, oh my goodness, that feeling

  • of dread and fear though yeah if you start small then it's going to be a lot easier to

  • approach and to get beyond that. YouTalkTV: Absolutely.

  • And especially talking about songs, songs I think they are more difficult than a real

  • conversation. I think so. People are very frustrated. They get very frustrated with

  • songs because they say, "Okay, what are they singing here? I don't understand. Oh my God,

  • am I learning English but I don't understand that." Songs are very difficult.

  • Vanessa: Yeah, songs are poetry. Poetry is tough. What about you guys? What is something

  • that you think doesn't work for your English students, but you see them doing anyway and

  • you don't want them to waste their time? YouTalkTV: Well, one of the recurrent mistakes

  • that people tend to make here in Spain, at least it's to just to focus a lot on degrees

  • and certificates and all that. It's kind of the, it's on the rates now. Like everybody

  • wants to have it, but that's not going to make you speak a better English. No. Most

  • likely you're going to get some idea but having a B1 B2 that's we call them here or even a

  • C1 level is not going to make you speak good English. It takes a lot more than that but

  • people are really focusing on those degrees and I think that's totally wrong because they

  • and don't get me wrong. It'd be great to have those degrees, but just as a result of you

  • having a really good level of English. Vanessa: Why do you think some people are

  • so focused on getting those certificates? Is that a hangover from our school years where

  • we need that grade to feel good or why are so many people focused on that.

  • YouTalkTV: It's also like Carlos said before, it's a kind of a requirement. It's required.

  • It's an institutional requirement. Most of the jobs, like if you want to be a civil servant.

  • Vanessa: Okay. YouTalkTV: In Spain, I don't know if you know

  • what it is. If you want to work like in public- Vanessa: Like a government employee?

  • YouTalkTV: Exactly. And here's explains a lot of related to it, like if you want to

  • be a teacher, you need to do kind of those, that kind of stuff and there's a lot of money

  • involved. There's a lot of money involved because you pay taxes and you do pay training

  • for those courses. It's a whole marketing behind that, marketing strategy-

  • Vanessa: Sure. YouTalkTV: I don't think that it's useful.

  • It's not good for our learners. Absolutely. So we're kind of fighting against that.

  • Vanessa: I feel like that leads into one of the other things that I recommend avoiding

  • when you're wanting to be a fluent speaker and that's just don't wait to start speaking.

  • If you feel like, for example, if you feel like you have to pass an exam for your future

  • interview, for a future job well, don't wait to do other real fluency activities before

  • that. So if you wait to start speaking, it's just going to be more stressful. It's going

  • to be such a new thing that it's a little bit weird. I don't know if you had this sensation

  • when you were first learning another language, but when I first heard my voice speaking in

  • French or I lived in South Korea for a couple of years, when I first heard my voice saying

  • some Korean words, it felt so weird but after a while it was completely normal.

  • YouTalkTV: Used to it, right? Yeah.

  • Vanessa: Getting used to it and hearing okay, this is my voice. I'm saying these words that

  • have some meaning now, but it's completely different. As you get used to that, it feels

  • more comfortable so don't wait to just jump into it and try to talk about what's around

  • you and drinking some water. There's a picture of an elephant on this glass-

  • YouTalkTV: Yeah plus- Vanessa: It looks like it needs to be washed-

  • YouTalkTV: Plus- Vanessa: You talking about it.

  • YouTalkTV: The sooner you start talking, this means you going to start making mistakes?

  • And the more mistakes you make the quicker you're going to learn.

  • Making mistakes here in our culture is kind of overrated.

  • Yeah. It is our case. Oh my God, I'm making a mistakes.

  • So you going to be penalized while in the Anglo-Saxon culture. It's like, I remember

  • playing volleyball and I was really bad. And at the end of the game everybody say hey,

  • good man. Good, good game. Good game? Vanessa: Sound positive?

  • YouTalkTV: No. Yeah. Okay, thank you but it's kind of a cultural

  • thing of making mistake is over penalized and I think that's something that's going

  • to hamper your learning process. Especially talking about English, about to

  • learning English and that if you practice and you talk, so then you're going to see

  • that it's useful. So I think that- The purpose-

  • because the way you study English is bad. You study the theory, you study the grammar

  • rules, you study the vocabulary but you don't feel that you're going to use it. You don't

  • feel that's something useful. Vanessa: So in your opinion, do you think

  • that there is a magic solution to learning all of these complex or maybe simple things

  • in English? YouTalkTV: Wooh. Magic solutions? Yeah. That's

  • a great topic. The thing is that as something we wanted to talk about is that about the

  • magical solutions about the miracles. A lot of companies are selling about English, right?

  • So yeah, people realizing that well, they can't learn English, they can't learn English

  • with just a 1000 words, just without effort, having a good time, while they're sleeping,

  • and that's impossible. Of course there are ways to make it simple, make it more simple

  • and to make it easier. But yeah, it's not easy. If people were receiving so easy, everybody

  • would speak English. It's not easy. You need to make a big effort and you need time. You

  • need to spend time and you should make a big effort. It's like for example, when you're

  • training for a marathon, it's something very hard and have people say, "Hey, how can you

  • do that? Are you going to run 30 kilometers alone with this cold in an hour? How can you

  • do that?" Well, but you have a goal, your motivator.

  • Vanessa: Yeah. So having that motivation? YouTalkTV: It's difficult and you need a big

  • effort. If it were easy, nobody would be watching this video here.

  • Absolutely. We wouldn't be here

  • And it's a long process and it's an ongoing process and there's a, there's some method,

  • there's a couple of three companies here in Spain they're competing and one of them is

  • saying, 'Oh, learn English. Learn very good English in only 15 minutes a day."

  • Yeah. That's crazy. There's another one says Learn English only

  • in 10 minutes a day, but there's another one that says learn English in only five minutes.

  • Five minutes. They're huge companies with millions of dollars

  • behind and trying to sell something that it's- They don't tell you if you're going to a couple

  • of thousands of years so. It does. I think the underlying things that he's going to take

  • you 80 years, a hundred years, the approach of the, they're focusing on, on showing or

  • presenting English as something that is not fun or you just get rid of.

  • Vanessa: That's kind of like a click bait title almost.

  • YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. Absolutely. Vanessa: Just 10 minutes a day, but it's not

  • the reality. Like you said you are not telling you the fine print.

  • YouTalkTV: For example, in my case, well I learned English in a year well, I had a base,

  • but I learned in a year spending 10 hours a day or 12 hours day, I think to me just

  • a year- Vanessa: You were focused.

  • YouTalkTV: I devoted all my time. But the funny thing I was going to say, the

  • funny thing is that you've never been abroad. No never. Just you're on your own and never

  • been abroad. So you, it's possible. Just, everything's possible. No.

  • Vanessa: Something I noticed when I first watched your videos was how great, this is

  • such a specific thing, but how great you're both for both of you, you're /R/ sound is.

  • YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. Vanessa: It's tricky for everyone from every

  • language background, but I can tell that, that's something that you probably really

  • focused on. YouTalkTV: Oh yeah.

  • Vanessa: And it really sets you apart from other people who are learning language because

  • you focused on that and that 10 hours a day that you spent-

  • YouTalkTV: Yeah. Because what been.

  • Vanessa: Was worth it. YouTalkTV: Yeah. It was worth it. I remember

  • very well even I remember even I used to record myself. Used to when I started, I used to-

  • Vanessa: Great Idea. YouTalkTV: Record myself and compare, okay

  • they are native speakers, said that is way or so car. And I listened to myself with this

  • is a car, no. I cannot repeat. So I used to record myself so-

  • And because our specialty now is to teach Hispanic speakers how to learn English and

  • we have even classified out the letters and key and semi-key letters on, for example,

  • we have the R being the number one key letter to make you sound a native speaker.

  • Vanessa: It helps a lot. YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. A lot

  • Absolutely. It is very common. The R is pretty much in every other word, but it's so character

  • characteristic. And then in Spanish we, we make it sound kind of similar. It's likerrrrr

  • you just put it, put it back. “RrrrrSo it's really simple. Just change it. And

  • there's the R and we have the L, which is a really defining sound in English like a

  • pencil and table family, a little. And then the short, I just not to make it, not to say

  • I like it, but I like it. To make it sound more like an A. and then when we have the

  • S H likeshhhLike she. And then we have the J like jacket, like the G sounds,

  • those are five key letters. It took us a long time to learn and we've been focused that

  • in past we used to focus on them for weeks and weeks and so, but we found out that just

  • by changing those five key letters it pulls sounds going to make you sound good but understand

  • way better. Vanessa: Yeah.

  • YouTalkTV: Thank you for picking up on that. Vanessa: Well I like to share another tip,

  • which is if you want to be a fluent English speaker, do not make excuses. I feel like

  • from everyone, everyone has experienced making excuses or procrastinating, all of these types

  • of things and I think the best thing we can do is to reword it in your mind. If you say,

  • I don't have time, I'm too busy, which is a common excuse or it's too hard. If you reword

  • that and say this is not my priority. Learning English is not my priority. Every time you

  • make an excuse, you're saying that activity is not my priority.