231 episodes

The Speak English Now Podcast is your resource for practicing your English speaking and listening. You will learn English with the Question and Answer (TPRS) and Point of View techniques. You won’t need any grammar nor boring exercises. You will also learn about the English culture and the language itself. Finally, you will get valuable advice on learning English. All the audio is in English and you can get the text at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

Speak English Now Podcast: Learn English | Speak English without grammar‪.‬ Georgiana, founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

    • Education

The Speak English Now Podcast is your resource for practicing your English speaking and listening. You will learn English with the Question and Answer (TPRS) and Point of View techniques. You won’t need any grammar nor boring exercises. You will also learn about the English culture and the language itself. Finally, you will get valuable advice on learning English. All the audio is in English and you can get the text at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

    #231 Please avoid saying these things in English

    #231 Please avoid saying these things in English

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.
    In this episode, let's look at some bad strategies and attitudes that don't quite work in conversation. I mean, like having awkward conversations.
    Next, you'll practice your fluency with a mini-story lesson—the best way to learn to speak English without translating mentally.
    All right, have you ever been with someone and not know what to talk about? It's happened to me sometimes. Every once in a while, we run into situations where it's difficult to continue the conversation.
    One example is what happens in an elevator. Imagine that you meet a neighbor you hardly know, and a typical dialogue ends up going like this:
    —Good morning.
    —Good morning.
    —Going down?
    —Yes.
    — ...
    — It's cold today, isn't it?
    — Yes, yes. It's going to be like this all week, they say...
    — ...
    As you can see, this conversation is not very intellectual. It's more about avoiding silence, which can be uncomfortable.
    This doesn't just happen in elevators but in all kinds of social interactions. I read recently that a silence of four seconds or more triggers anxiety.
    It doesn't get any better when you have to speak in a language you are learning. You have even fewer resources to express yourself.
    Today we are going to see which topics or strategies do not work well in conversations, especially with strangers.  The goal, I think, is to have a somewhat interesting conversation.
    Come on, let's move on to the first one:
    Talking about the weather
    Talking about the weather is not a bad thing, but if we only talk about it or any other obvious things, we are not going to make a good impression.
    Now I can think of a couple of situations where talking about the weather is an awful strategy.
    — A first date:
    Talking for 45 minutes about whether it's raining or hot or cold or windy isn't going to make you more attractive.
    — Job interview:
    Let's see...you don't know what to say...better not start commenting that it's a cold and foggy morning.
    However, there are also exceptions. If you have a date with someone who works in meteorology or your job interview is to work as a meteorologist... well, yes, of course, you have to talk about the weather, right?
    Let's see the next one:
    You don't listen.
    Yeah, I know it seems obvious, but... many people don't know how to listen, and it shows. When you really listen, you can find many ways to continue the conversation engagingly.
    Sometimes people just pretend to be listening. They repeat the last part of what you say in the form of a question. 
    For example:
    — When I was on vacation in Rome, it rained all week.
    — The whole week?
    — Yes, and we had to buy umbrellas.
    — Umbrellas?
    — Yes, and Bill Gates gave us all his money.
    — All his money?
    — Yeah... and you don't listen.
    — I don't listen?
    Well, you see what I mean, right?
    Let's continue.
    How to say it.
    It is not only important what to say, but how to say it.
    The most common mistakes are:
    — Talking too fast. Sometimes people need a slower pace to understand the message better. Not everyone is familiar with what you are saying.
    — Speak too softly. Shy people sometimes speak too softly and are hard to understand.
    — Speak without articulating well. Some people do not pronounce well, and it is difficult to follow what they say. It's better to speak clearly.
    — Speak without pausing. It is better to pause from time to time and observe how the other person reacts.
    Talk about something negative.
    Another mistake that some people make is to talk about a negative topic to strangers. I really don't recommend that.
    Talk about something boring.
    I don't think it's a good idea to talk for half an hour about what color you want to paint the bedroom wall. You have to know how to choose your topics. Basically, for you, it can be relevant, but not for the other person.
    Me

    • 15 min
    #230 
Irony, sarcasm, and cynicism. Differences.

    #230 
Irony, sarcasm, and cynicism. Differences.

    - Did you know that most English learners know more grammar than the native speaker but can barely speak?
    - Is that so? Now that's pure irony.
     
    Welcome to Speak English Now podcast, with your host, Georgiana. The podcast that will help you speak English fluently with no grammar and no textbooks.
    Hi! I'm Georgiana. Thanks for joining me for a new Speak English Now podcast episode. 
    Today we have a very interesting topic:
    I'm going to talk about three concepts that are often confused: irony, sarcasm, and cynicism. - Next, you'll practice verb tenses with a short story about two kids who have a problem on a frozen lake.
    Okay, let's get started.
    Yes, many language learners indeed know more grammar than the average native speaker, yet they can barely speak fluently. That's why I recommend my mini-course, where you can understand how to develop your speech, among other things.
    Go now to SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and sign up now. It's free!
    What is the difference between irony, sarcasm, and cynicism?
    We are going to analyze these concepts one by one, and of course, I will give you some examples; you learn very well with examples! And it's not irony :)
    Irony.
    The irony is an "expression that implies something contrary or different from what is said, usually as a mockery."
    Okay. To make it clear, a "mockery" is an action or words with the intention of laughing at something or someone. It can also be a simple joke.
    The irony is sometimes directed at oneself or a situation.
    Let's look at an example:
    - How was the date with that girl you met?
    - Ah, fantastic! It couldn't have gone better. She said she would call me... But she didn't ask for my phone number.
     
    When in the dialogue, he says, "it couldn't have gone better," he is obviously saying the opposite of reality and uses it as a subtle mockery of himself.
    Irony also occurs when there is an outcome that is not expected. For example:
    - A fire in a firehouse.
    - The financial advisor going bankrupt.
    - A dietician with overweight problems.
    All these situations have their dose of irony.
    Now let's look at sarcasm.
    Sarcasm is very similar to irony, but what differentiates it is the intention. Sarcasm is a cruel irony with which someone or something is offended or mistreated". 
    The person using sarcasm seeks to ridicule, humiliate or insult.
    Example:
    - The report won't be ready today. I think I'll finish it next week.
    - Ah, Tom...! You are always such a hard worker!
    In this example, sarcasm is used to attack Tom's work and make it clear that he works slowly.
    Finally, cynicism.
    I am not going to go into the philosophical doctrine of cynicism from Ancient Greece, but how it is commonly used.
    There are two ways of understanding cynicism.
    First, a cynical person is someone who has no shame. He or she lies unashamedly and defends dishonorable behavior and actions. In other words, someone who has no principles and acts without ethics or morals. For example, a politician is found to be corrupt, and he, instead of apologizing, says: "Well, this is commonplace. All politicians, in one way or another, do similar things." 
    Second, cynicism also refers to extreme skepticism. The cynic no longer believes in anything. He doesn't believe in politics, he doesn't believe in relationships, in friendship, etc. This leads to not trusting anything, having no principles, and being suspicious of everything. In a way, it can lead to behaving like the previous explanation about cynicism.
    I have a friend who thinks this way. In some things, she is not wrong. Perhaps the opposite of this kind of cynicism is extreme positivism.
    Okay, now we know these three concepts a little better. Information is power, and use power responsibly. :)
    Get the transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast

    • 11 min
    #229 Halloween 2022

    #229 Halloween 2022

    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently. 
     In today's episode:
    I'll be talking about one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States: Halloween. After that, you'll practice your speaking with a new mini-story while enjoying my new Question & Answer story.  
    Very well. Let's get started!
    Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the last day of October. I would say it's very popular because everybody's excited about it, especially children.
    The word Halloween comes from an old English expression, "All Hallows' Eve," and it means the day before All Saints' Day. 
    Children of all ages really love Halloween because they can dress up in funny costumes and knock on their neighborhood doors, shouting, "Trick or Treat!". The neighbors usually give them candies.
    The meaning of the phrase "Trick or Treat" is interesting. In this context, "treat" means getting the candies, and "trick" means the consequence of not getting the sweets. It's like an innocent threat children make. Of course, kids get really excited when they knock on strangers' doors in their neighborhood.
    Since Halloween originated as a celebration connected with evil spirits, the most common symbols are witches flying on broomsticks, ghosts, skeletons, black cats, etc. The black color is one of the traditional Halloween colors.
    Of course, pumpkins are also a Halloween symbol. I'm sure you've seen them in movies. People empty pumpkins and put a candle inside to make a lamp.
     How do you make a Halloween pumpkin? 
    The first step is hollowing out the pumpkin. After that, we use a keyhole we saw to cut the hole.  When using a candle for illumination, you can cut the hole in the pumpkin's top. For electric lights, make a hole in the bottom or side so you can hide the cord. The Halloween pumpkin is called Jack-O'-Lantern. It's common to see jack-o'-lanterns on doorstep decorations before and on Halloween.
    The name comes from an Irish legend about a man named Jack. He was so ungenerous that when he died, he couldn't enter Heaven, but he couldn't go to Hell either because he had told jokes about the Devil. As a result, Jack had to walk and walk with a lantern until the Day of Judgment.
    Here's what a typical family does at Halloween:
    They decorate their home. Americans spend about 5 billion dollars every year. They buy costumes. A costume is not cheap. It can cost $30 or more. They buy plenty of candy, and of course, they eat it. Kids go "trick or treating." In most towns, it's only allowed from 3 pm until5 pm because it gets dark quickly. Very well, now you know a bit more about this beautiful holiday. Maybe next time, you'll carve your own Halloween pumpkin and celebrate Halloween just like an American!
    Get the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast

    • 12 min
    #228 How to stop making mistakes when speaking English

    #228 How to stop making mistakes when speaking English

    Transcript: Hi! I’m Georgiana, and here to help you speak English fluently. Thanks for joining me for another episode of the Speak English Now podcast. 
    Today, I talk about how to stop making mistakes when speaking English. And how to improve writing.
    – Next, we’ll practice fluency with a question-and-answer exercise.
    If you want the complete courses with hours of audio designed to develop your fluency, don’t hesitate. Visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/courses
    There are several levels. 
    Ok, let’s start!
    Many students asked me over the years how to avoid making mistakes when speaking English. 
    And that’s an excellent question.
    As you know, the best way to become fluent in English is by listening to plenty of content that’s easy for you to understand. You should comprehend 90% of the content. Otherwise, it is too difficult for you. And even if you like novelty, the truth is that repeated listening to the same content helps you to automate your speech. 
    For example, listening to a story allows you to intuitively understand how sentences are constructed without having to learn grammar rules. This way, you will be less insecure when speaking because you will not have to constantly think about whether you are making mistakes.
    To speak fluently, you have to do it without worrying whether you speak perfectly. 
    So as I was saying, it is very important to listen to understandable content. That is, depending on your English level, it is necessary to select the content that is not difficult to understand.
    A typical mistake is to listen to content that is too complex with the idea of trying to force progress. It is always better to lower the level until it is easy to understand most of the words. This way, the brain is in “comprehension” mode. If it is too difficult, your brain eventually switches off and stops paying attention. 
    Students have also asked me if it’s a bad idea to consult the grammar rules. And how can you improve your English writing?
    The typical student using my courses has already studied some English with some formal grammar and is frustrated because he or she cannot speak. That is why I insist that to improve fluency, it is necessary to listen a lot and not rely on formal rules to produce the language. Having this clear, there is nothing wrong with consulting a grammar book.
    Regarding writing well, it is very important to read a lot and, above all, to read text similar to what you want to write. For example, if you want to write a text that describes things that happen nowadays, reading many newspaper articles may be a good idea. That’s the basis: read a lot. Of course, practicing is also essential, but I would spend the time this way: 90% reading and 10% writing.
    If you are really motivated, a good exercise is to read an article a couple of times and then try to write a summary without looking at the article, if possible, using expressions and vocabulary specific to the article. Then consult the article and analyze what you could have done better.
    On the other hand, we have to keep in mind that the process of learning a language involves making many mistakes, both spoken and written. This is normal. 
    As you progress, you make fewer and fewer mistakes. Over time you start speaking intuitively, just like a native speaker. Most of them speak fluently without knowing the specific grammar rule; they just know when a sentence “sounds wrong.” This is the ability that we want to develop.
    We can observe, for example, how children make quite a few mistakes, but after many hours of listening and reading, those diminish over time.
    Many teachers try as much as possible to prevent the learner from making mistakes from the beginning. But this ends up damaging spontaneous speaking, which is strongly linked to the development of fluency. It also generates unnecessary anxiety.
    If you have questions like this, you can send me a message through my website SpeakEnglishPodcas

    • 14 min
    #227 English Pronunciation practice with tongue twisters

    #227 English Pronunciation practice with tongue twisters

    I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.
    I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.
    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently. Speaking English is way easier than it seems! You just have to use the right material and techniques.
    In this episode, you’ll learn some new tongue twisters in English to help you with your English pronunciation.
    And with a mini-story, you will improve your fluency. A mini-story is very simple but very powerful. I ask easy questions on purpose so that you can simulate a conversation. It’s like talking with another person in English.
    Before we get started, go to my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com
    to get the transcript. It’s free! 
    Ok. Let’s start!
    So, do you remember what a tongue twister is? 
    It can be a difficult phrase that we say quickly, usually because of a sequence of almost similar sounds. 
    For example, “Peter Piper picked a pickle of pickled peppers.”
    Many people use tongue twisters to speak clearly, including actors, politicians, etc.
    These allow you to practice pronunciation and agility when it comes to producing sounds in English.
    So today, we are going to practice English pronunciation with new tongue twisters.
    Are you ready?
    Let’s go!
    I will start saying each tongue twister slowly, and then I’ll go faster. 
    At first, they may seem very difficult, so make sure you have the text in front of you to be able to follow it better.
    Ok. So, I will say it very slowly:
    1. I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.

    Are you ready to speed it up? (Say it faster.)
    I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.

    Ok. Even faster!
    I saw a kitten eating chicken in the kitchen.
     
    I hope you’re having fun. Let’s continue!
    2) I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.
    Ok. Now I’m gonna speed it up! (say it faster.)
    I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.
    Ok. Even faster!
    I thought I thought of thinking of thanking you.
    3) A big black bug snoozed on a big black rug.
    Ok. Say it faster!
    A big black bug snoozed on a big black rug.

    Even faster!
    A big black bug snoozed on a big black rug.
    4) Thin sticks, thick bricks.
    Ok. Say it faster!
    Thin sticks, thick bricks.

    Even faster!
    Thin sticks, thick bricks.
     
    5) Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.
    Say it faster!
    Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.
    Even faster!
    Fred fed Ted bread, and Ted fed Fred bread.
    Ok, that’s it for now; I really hope you’re having fun practicing your English pronunciation, but before we continue… 
    I want you to learn English 3 times faster, and that’s why I created a video course. Visit: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get my video course for FREE!

    • 11 min
    #226 English Accent Reduction - Tongue Twisters - The S sound part2

    #226 English Accent Reduction - Tongue Twisters - The S sound part2

    Today we will continue the accent reduction exercise with some fun tongue twisters in English.
    And with the help of a point-of-view story, you will learn grammar in context without memorizing any boring rules.
    Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.
    Do you know how you can help me? You can share the podcast with your friends and family. Tell them to go to SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and get my free mini-course.
    That would mean a lot to me. Thanks.
    Oh, by the way, remember that you can check out the transcript on my website:
    speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast
    Ok, let’s start!
    Last week we started this accent reduction exercise by focusing on the S sound with the help of some fun tongue twisters.
    So, let’s remember the tongue twisters we used last week to help you improve your English pronunciation.
    I will go fast, but if you want to practice them, you can do so by listening to the previous episode on my website.
    Listen and repeat:
    #1 I saw Esau kissing Kate. I saw Esau, he saw me, and she saw I saw Esau.
    #2 Santa’s Short Suit Shrunk.
    #3 You cuss, I cuss, we all cuss for asparagus.
    #4 Thin sticks, thick bricks.
    #5 Systematically assisting Sisyphus’s stealthy cyst-susceptible sister. 
    I hope you’re having fun. 
    Let’s practice with new tongue twisters.
    Are you ready? Let’s go!
    I will start saying each tongue twister slowly, and then I will go faster.
    At first, they may seem very difficult, so make sure you have the text in front of you to be able to follow it better.
    Ok. So, I will say it very slowly:
    1. She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?
    Now I will say it faster.
    She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?
    Ok. Even faster!
    She saw Sharif’s shoes on the sofa. But was she so sure those were Sharif’s shoes she saw?
    Let’s continue!
    2) The chic Sikh’s sixty-sixth sheep is sick.
    Let’s say it faster!
    The chic Sikh’s sixty-sixth sheep is sick.
     
    Even faster!
    The chic Sikh’s sixty-sixth sheep is sick.
    3) There’s a pessimistic pest amidst us.
    Ok. Say it faster!
    There’s a pessimistic pest amidst us.
    Even faster!
    There’s a pessimistic pest amidst us.
    4) Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
    Say it faster!
    Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
    Can you say it faster?
    Which witch switched the Swiss wristwatches?
    5) She sells seashells by the seashore.
    Let’s say it faster!
    She sells seashells by the seashore.
    Even faster!
    She sells seashells by the seashore.
    Well, that’s all for now; I hope you had fun practicing your English pronunciation, and you didn’t get tongue-tied like Smith. We’ll see what happened to him and why he was crowned king. 
    But before we continue… If you want to know how to speak English using the proper techniques, visit SpeakEnglishPodcast.com and subscribe to my mailing list. I will send you my video course for free. So you can learn how to speak English fluently once and for all!
     
    Get the transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/

    • 13 min

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