AE 365 – WWP: What Do Language Learning & Fishing Have In Common?

Learn Australian English in this episode of the Aussie English podcast where I discuss the question, what do fishing and language learning have in common?

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AE 365 – WWP:

What Do Language Learning & Fishing Have In Common?

G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Walking With Pete.

Today, we’re going to be talking about what fishing and language learning have in common. So, what fishing and language learning have in common. If you guys don’t know what “fishing” is, “fishing” is the activity of catching fish. You might use a hook on a line, you know, with a sinker, with bait on the hook. You’ve got a fishing rod. You might be on a pier. You might be at the beach, at a lake, at a river. You throw the the line in, or you cast the line in, and you try and catch fish. You might use a net to catch fish. Some crazy people might decide to use dynamite to catch fish. I think I saw that on the second Crocodile Dundee movie where he’s throwing dynamite over his boat and it’s exploding in the water and then he just collects up all of the fish that float to the surface dead.

Anyway. I’m sure you guys know what fishing is. If you go out there probably don’t use dynamite as your first option. Stick with a net or stick with a hook.

So, what to fishing and language learning have in common? So, I just recorded an episode called The Brute Force Method to learning grammar, and a small part of what I went over was the importance of using English learning materials as a filter or as a sieve to catch, to pick up, to find to identify, mistakes that you are making. Your weak points. Your weak spots. The things in your English, your personal English, the English that you know, that you could improve upon, that you could fix, that you could make better, that you could improve. That’s where I feel like fishing and language learning cross over.

I sort of changed my whole view of reading books and watching movies with subtitles when I started learning French, because I suddenly saw all of these resources from two different angles. They’re there because they’re a a resource for entertainment or for study, if it’s a grammar, as opposed to if it’s watching Game of Thrones or TV shows like Vikings. But they’re also there is a form of, yeah, grammar and entertainment. So, they can be there for entertainment, and at the same time they can be there to help you study and learn and improve.

The point that I want to make though is that these resources can be used as a way of fishing for your mistakes, of I have a way of finding your mistakes.

And so, it becomes one of those things where I started making a game of reading as much as possible, of listening to as many podcasts with transcripts that I could read as possible, and as… of watching as many movies and TV shows as possible. And the game would be try and fish for as many words that I don’t know as possible, as many expressions that I don’t know as possible, as many grammatical aspects of the language that I didn’t know as possible, to further improve my French, in that case. And you can apply this in exactly the same way for your English.

So, imagine, for instance, you know, you’ve gotten a pretty good level of English. You’ve gotten to intermediate, to advanced level. I mean even someone at my level who could still improve and expand his vocabulary a great deal could apply this as well. But imagine you’re in a boat on an ocean, and in this analogy, in this metaphor, the fish in the ocean are the things that you don’t know about English, or the language that you’re learning. So, for example, maybe they’re new words or their new expressions. So, maybe we could say… So, maybe we could say the fish are new words, sharks could be new expressions, and I don’t know, tuna, maybe a really big tuna, could be the grammatical aspects of the language that you don’t know, that you want to catch.

So, the important thing about catching these things is repetition. It’s quantity. It’s volume. The man who is going to catch the most fish doesn’t do it in one afternoon. He does it because he goes day after day after day. Whether it’s down to the beach to cast his line in and try and catch a fish or learn a word; or whether it’s that he goes down to the pier and he throws his net in the water repeatedly to try and catch sharks or expressions; or whether it’s that he gets on a boat and goes out into the deep ocean to try and catch tuna or find grammatical points that he is uncertain about or doesn’t know in the language that he’s learning.

So, the basic idea here, guys, is that you use resources whether it’s text books, whether it’s novels, whether it’s TV shows with subtitles, or podcasts with transcripts. You use these as fishing implements that you go through in order to catch or in order to find, in this example, the parts of the language that you’re uncertain about or that you need to improve.

And so, I guess, that’s the end of this episode. That’s the basic idea. That’s where fishing and language learning overlap, guys. Use these resources. Treat it sort of like a game. Treat it like your hunting. Treat it like you’re fishing. You’re going out there and you’re trying to find as many unknown things for you personally that are going to advance your English as much as possible, and try and do it as often as possible.

So, keep a note pad beside your bed, for example. Take notes on your phone. I used to have notebooks that I would carry around with me that were very small. I’d have it in my pocket. And anytime I came across a word that I didn’t know or an expression I didn’t know, I’d write it down, I’d add it to the list, and that’s another fish that I’ve caught.

So, I hope you like this episode, guys. I’d love to know what you think. Is this a good metaphor for improving your vocab, grammar, or understanding of the language? And what are some other methods that you guys use in order to achieve these goals?

Anyway, guys I hope you have a great day or night or morning, evening, wherever it is you guys are, whatever time it is that it is there and I’ll chat to you soon. Thanks guys.

Check out all the previous Walking With Pete episodes here!


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