Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Welcome back to another edition of Speak English fluently. I am your host Steve Hatherly and I thank you, uh, very much for joining us once again. I'm very excited today because my guest is the owner and operator of her very own YouTube channel. It's called Arnel's Everyday English. Which offers English lessons for ESL and EFL students. She is from the United States originally. But she has been living in the U.K… living and working for the last 11 years. Her channel is extremely popular 497,000 subscribers. And that's just the last time I checked. So I'm sure the number is even higher now. The channel keeps her very busy, as does her regular teaching job, as does her family life at home. And, therefore, I thank her very much for joining me today. Arnel, welcome. And it's so nice to meet you and have you here. Thank you, Steve. I love that introduction. And I'm really excited to be here as well. Well I think we're finished then. We got a good introduction. We can just we can just end there. Yeah, goodbye. Goodbye. Well, let's talk about you before we talk about your channel and the details of your work and all of those things. So you're from the United States originally. Which part? I was born in Arizona. Very nice. Arizona. But I left when I was six months old because of my dad's job. I traveled everywhere. So I left the U.S. when I was seven. I left when I was seven and I haven't lived there since, oh wow, um, yes, I've been, where did I live? I lived in Korea. I lived in, um, South Korea for one year. And then Germany for 10 years. And then the Netherlands for four years. And I've been in the U.K. for 12 years. Goodness me. Oh, I apologize. It's been 12 years now, not 11 in the U.K. You truly are… you truly are a citizen of the world then. I am... I am but I still have my family in the States. And I like to go back and visit them, um, from time to time when I can. But, yeah, I've been in the U.K. Do you travel to China or Korea much at all? Because I was reading in your bio, and you told me before we got started today, you get this question a lot about your ethnicity. You're American but you're also a mix of Chinese and Korean. So you visit the States. Do you also visit China and Korea too? Yes, lots of people ask me where I'm from. So my dad - he's American. My dad's American - my mom is Chinese-Korean, um, so I… the last time I was in Korea was 2014. Okay, so, no, I don't visit Korea often but I do have relatives in Korea. I don't have relatives in China. But my Chinese relatives are living in Taiwan. Oh, I see. And also, it will be a much further trip for you to come visit this part of the world than it would be to get to the United States. I suppose yes… yes and, um, I have three little kids, Steve, so I think any parent knows traveling with kids is no fun. So how… how old are your children? My son is eight. I have one son he's eight. And then I have twin daughters. Twin daughters! They are five. Oh, my goodness! Where do you find the time to do all of this YouTube work plus your regular job? That's a good question yeah, um, I eat coffee… coffee is my answer. I think a lot of my followers know I love coffee. I need several strong coffees a day to keep me going. But not after 3 p.m. I learned that from watching one of your videos. Yes, exactly. Otherwise, I can't sleep that… I'm jittery the whole day. Um, and I didn't have coffee before this interview Steve just to calm my nerves. So you know before this interview, if you pass out halfway through, then we will understand. So let's talk about your career then. Um, when did you get into teaching? Is it something that you transitioned into or has this been your thing since the beginning of your career? No, um, so I told you I lived in the Netherlands for four years and that's where I did university. And I, um, was originally a dancer. Oh, wow. Yeah, I don't think anyone knows that, so this is the first time… I'm… I'm kind of announcing that. Um, I trained as a dancer professionally since I was 13. And then, um, I went to university for dance. So my bachelor is in contemporary dance. So what kind of dance were you doing in your university studies? Um, well we had ballet training every day but it I specialized in modern dance. And it's kind of hard to explain modern dance. Um, I wish I had a clip to show you on my phone. I could show you a modern dance but you can Google it. Everyone can google modern dance. So the plan was then, in your younger years, to pursue dance professionally obviously, so when did that decision come to, kind of give up on that part of your life? If… if in fact you did, and transition… and transition into this part? Well I graduated, um, from uni in 2010. And to be honest, I had been dancing for such a long time that I was burnt out. So I didn't want to dance anymore. I was burnt out by I guess the… the dance world. I could describe it like that. I was really burnt out. I didn't want to keep going so I thought I'm going to travel. And I think, as you know, a lot of people who travel, they also teach English. Sure. And I thought I can't just be a native speaker and teach English. I have to, um, get some training, I have to learn how to be a teacher so, um, at this point, I was in the U.K. and I decided to do my, um, TESOL training. And from there, I never traveled because what happened. The school that you got your TESOL training from is the school that you started to work at correct? Correct, yes. Thank you. Thank you for reminding me. I remember my own I read. I read that bio very carefully. Yeah, I… I completely forgot, so keep reminding me. Um, because I couldn't forget, um, yes at first it wasn't a, um, how did I start? I think I first started out by doing the summer school. It's… a lot of junior students from Europe would come to England. And I was a summer school teacher. And from there, I… my contract kept getting extended, um, you know six more weeks another six weeks. Um, yeah so that's kind of how my teaching career started. And it was, um, a wonderful learning experience. I think all, um, teachers and newly qualified teachers know when you're first starting out, it's stressful. It's stressful walking to a classroom with, you know, 15 students. But that was good for me. It really helped me, um, help me progress. A lot of new teachers perhaps don't realize, and maybe even a lot of students don't realize, that teaching there's… there's a large performance element to teaching and that's difficult to get used to in the beginning. Right, yes, um, I remember the very first lesson I taught. So when you do your TESOL training, on day one, you have to teach. I had no teaching experience and I remember very clearly how to teach the weather. And I was so flustered. I was speaking really quickly and I was writing on the board and I was just talking. And I think I kept getting… well the students were just staring at me. They all had blank expression because I was speaking too quickly and, um, I was so nervous and that made me even more nervous. So I would say my very first day in the classroom is not something I want to remember. I can remember my first day on the radio and I, uh, I don't look fondly upon that experience either. So I completely understand what you're saying. Yeah… yeah and I remember afterwards, I got some feedback from one of the professional teachers and he said I really liked how he used two colors on the board. So I used one red pen and one green pen. And I said, “Oh, thank you,” but I actually didn't know I was doing that. It was… I was like, yes I planned… I plan to use two colors, but in fact I was just so nervous I was using random pens in my first class. That's funny. Yeah, so how long were you a teacher than before you decided to go the YouTube route? Um, seven eight years. Oh, wow, okay. So it had been a while?