In this episode of Embarrassing English Errors Ep03 I teach you the subtle difference in pronunciation of the words arse & us.
Download the full PDF transcript here.
Embarrassing English Errors Ep03 – Arse & Us
Hey guys, and welcome to this episode of Embarrassing English Errors. Today’s episode is going to include the words “arse” and “us”. “Arse” and “us”.
So, “us”, to define “us” it’s used by someone who’s referring to himself or herself and one or more other people. So, “to know us”, “to give to us”, “to be with us”. That’s what “us” means.
The word “arse”. This is a term used in English English and Australian English to refer to a person’s buttocks, behind, bum, butt. You sit on it. That’s your bum [arse]. Um… in American English they use the word “ass” instead of “arse”, and so, I’ll probably do an episode on “ass” in the future, but it’s less common in Australian English, particularly when you’re talking about your bottom. You wouldn’t say “ass” you would say “arse”.
Obviously these words sound very similar and I think the difference is mainly that “arse” is a prolonged vowel [sound]. So, you say “aaaaarse”. Whereas “us” is a lot quicker. It’s just an “uh” sound. “Us”, “us”. It’s not “uuuuuuuhs” it’s just “us” and “arse”. They’re the different ways of pronouncing those two words. So, I think it’s pretty much exactly the same vowel sound, except that “arse” is prolonged and “us” is incredibly short. “Us”, “uh”, “uh”, “uh” and “aaaah”, “aaaah”, “aaarse”.
So, what are some other words in English that have the vowel sound similar to that, or the same as that, from the word “arse”?
And what are some other words in English that have the same vowel sound as “us”?
So, you’ll probably notice when you listen to this again that when I say the words sounding like “arse” all of them have a longer vowel, “arc”, “art”, “artist”, “start”, but when I say any of the words that sound like “us” they all sound very short “a”, “but”, “cut”, “up”, “bus”, “puss”. They’re all very very short vowel sounds. So, that’s the main difference between these two.
So, let’s practice the pronunciation of the two different vowel sounds on their own, and I’ll run through this five times.
Ah – Uh x 5
So, let’s do some made up and real words now just to practice the sounds after consonants.
Parse – Pus
Blarse – Blus
Farse – Fus
Crarse – Crus
Strarse – Strus
Blarse – Blus
Narse – Nus
Thrarse – Thrus
Darse – Dus
Zarse – Zus
Karse – Kus
Marse – Mus
And to finish we’ll just go through the actual words “arse” and “us” ten times.
Arse – Us x 10
So I hoped you like this episode guys. I hope it’s helping with learning the difference in these sort of minor pronunciation of words that can lead to relatively embarrassing errors in English. And, it’s not really that big of a deal but it’s always nice to have confidence when you’re speaking and that’s why I think it’s important to practice these kinds of things because you’re never going to be worried about accidentally using the wrong word in certain situations if you practice these things, you know? So, you won’t avoid certain words, certain contexts or certain points of discussion out of um… embarrassment in the future. So, keep practicing, keep nailing it, and if you have any other questions or any other sounds that you’d like to work on send me a message or comment on something on Facebook and I’ll try and do an episode as soon as possible.
All the best guys!
If you guys enjoyed this episode of Embarrassing English Errors then make sure you check out the rest of the episodes and transcripts here. Also, don’t forget to come visit me on Facebook and let me know what you think of the podcast and say hey to the Aussie English community!
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About the AuthorI learn languages, teach Australian English, and love all things science and nature!
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Watch the interview video here:
AE 479 – Interview: How to Prepare for IELTs with Kit Perry
G’day, guys. Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.
So, today, I have an interview episode with you all about IELTs, and we do mention the PTE and some of the other tests as well. But yeah, I thought I would get on my fiancée’s old English teacher from Townsville, Kit, and he is from the Townsville International English School, and Kel had been harassing me for a while to get him on the podcast and saying he was an amazing guy, a really good teacher, has a lot to say, a lot of knowledge about IELTs and some of these other exams as well. And so, I thought it would be awesome to get him on and just chat to him about how to prepare for the IELTs, what to expect, how to do well on the IELTs, and hopefully put a few of your concerns at ease.
Anyway, without any further ado, let’s just get into this interview today with Kit from the Townsville International English school.
G’day, guys! Welcome to this video! Welcome to this interview of Aussie English, today I have Kit from Townsville International English School with me and he is my fiancée’s old English teacher. So, Kit, welcome to the podcast! Thanks so much for coming on.
Thanks for having me.
So, I guess, first of all, how did Kel get so good in English? What was her secret?
Well, there’s a few different things, I guess, to answer that question that’s Kel herself and her propensity or ability to pick up the language, but yeah, hopefully, I think there was an element of the school and what we do up here in her success as well. So, I think yeah there’s a few things involved in that.
That’s what I’m always saying when I hear like, she told me when she got here she spoke no English, at least I have no idea, but she said she spoke none, very limited.
Very, very limited. I remember when she first came in, we’re doing our placement test and we happened to have tablet chairs in the classroom that she was doing a test and I remember asking her, just a simple question, are you left handed or right handed? And, you know, I was just met with this complete blank sort of expression and, you know, from that point it was sort of obvious okay, well, she’s going to be pretty low. So, and yeah, she tested at a beginner level when she started and we had her for…I don´t know how long it was, but by the end, by now, you know, she’s… yeah, she’s brilliant.
You know, she speaks very much like a native speaker, I would say, you know, her vocab is incredible and yes, I don´t know, I think Raquel is a bit of an exception in some ways, you know, like I think she’s naturally talented at languages which really helped a lot and she has a great memory. I always… always think that, you know, when I have students with a really good memory that goes such a long way in learning a language. So, that also helped, but yeah, hopefully, you know, we played a part in her progression and where she’s at now too.
Yeah, definitely. I just think it’s so good that you can see how much someone could attain in just two years, you know? If they work their ass off she will say she read 30 books in a year or something and was just constantly studying. So, it’s good to know that, you know, obviously talent is part of it, but hard work is a massive part of this as well.
I absolutely agree. And she was really a very hardworking student so she really sort of, you know, put her best foot forward in everything she did. She was always doing homework, always asking for extra stuff to do. So, yeah, definitely goes a long way I think, you know, the attitude and the mentality of wanting to improve is what was there with Raquel, so yeah, definitely.
Yeah, she´s a bit of a champ.
Less about her and more about you, Kit. How did you wind up doing what you’re doing where you’re doing it? Can you tell me the story of how you ended up in Townsville, teaching English in a school?
Absolutely, yeah. So, I spent most of my young years in Townsville, actually I grew up in Townsville. I was born in Papua New Guinea, but then came back and lived in Townsville with my parents, so I grew up here. Went to the university down in Brisbane and then landed a dream sort of job up here in Townsville at a local high school and did that for about five years and I loved it. I had a great job, I had lovely students, beautiful sort of facilities and a great place to teach. However, I sort of felt over that time that my… my personal idea of what a good education is was a little bit divergent to what was going on at the school, that the focus of the school was very much on students getting, you know, As and, you know, producing results that, you know, maybe look good on paper, but I think in reality doesn’t necessarily go with what I consider a good or an effective education. So, I sort of… in many ways I sort of thought okay, well, you know, if I can’t achieve what I want to achieve as an educator within that system, that we would branch out and start our own school. One of the things that’s sort of, you know, the final straw that broke the camel’s back was I had 18 classes that I taught as a middle teacher, so 18 separate classes of students. It was ridiculous and I sort of…I went to the principal actually the year before I left and I said listen, it´s just… is too many, you know, like I was capable of teaching that many students, but… and knowing individuals for that many students, but it was just too much.
But how can you connect too, I mean, you might be able to remember their name, but how much time can you give to them?
Absolutely, yeah, totally and that’s what it was, it was about sort of, you know, like yeah, I knew the students, but could I really connect? Could I really make a difference for them? No, it was too much and I said, you know, give me a couple less classes or one less class next year and I guarantee we can do more with these students, but I came back the next year and I think I had one extra class, so I said at the start of that year, you know, that’s enough, you know. It didn’t really match with my philosophy of education so my wife is also a teacher and so we basically had a discussion at the start of that year and said well, you know, if this is not…if it this doesn’t reflect who we are as educators, then let’s create a school that does. So yes we open TIES in about 10 years ago now and we’ve been going ever since and we’ve basically created everything from what we wanted to reflect as educators and what we thought was a great education. So, you know, we have small class sizes, with a maximum of 18 students, but typically we have between sort of maybe 12 or 14 students in the class. We had a lot of individualized focus within the class, a lot of attention directly with our students and you know, maybe going back to Raquel´s example, maybe that is one of the reasons why she for example improved so much is that we’re really able to make a difference in our students lives and in their… obviously, their English ability.
So, yeah, and everything we do here works from that philosophy and that core driving principle that we start the school with.
So, what kind of advice would you have for people thinking about getting into schools and working out whether a school is going to be good, whether it’s in general or just for them? Like, are there things, are there warning signs, are there things that they can find out about different schools or it’s just a crapshoot where you have to just hope?
I mean, at the end of the day, if you can talk to a teacher who has been in that particular school for a period of time and you can get honest feedback from them, I think that’s a good place to start, but it’s not always easy to do that. I think a lot of schools on the outside looking incredible and this particular school that I was at was incredible and beautiful school, beautiful facilities and everything, but I don’t think you can really get a sense of the true cultural, the underlying cultural, the education establishment until you’re actually teaching.
It´s a hard one.
Yeah, it’s a hard one, absolutely.
There’s kind of like an anecdote I know about… one of my friends are really into cars, he loves Ferraris and I remember he was with a friend looking for a Ferrari for him. He’s not rich, but the friend was and they test drove Shane Warne’s old Ferrari. Shane Warne’s a cricketer in Australia and it looked amazing and then they got in it and there were cigarette burns in the leather, it had been destroyed, but it was like they had no idea until they got in the car that it was a piece of junk.
So, it’s a bit like that, unfortunately, is it? That you sort of have to show up in and do it then you find out. So, what would you say, what are the key things that your school does or focuses on that enables students to sort of flourish?
Sure. So, one of our key principles is to understand the needs, interests and motivations of every student and then to use that within the classroom. You know, I always think if you can really sort of tailor your classroom to what your students need, what their interests are, what their motivations are, you can teach them anything and everything, you know, if you’re interested in cars and you’re teaching comparatives and superlatives, obviously some comparisons between different models or different aspects of a car. You gonna get that person’s attention and I think it’s it’s not something that’s, you know, you can’t really say there’s a generic way I guess of teaching a particular topic, but if you understand each individual student and their needs, interests and motivations I think you can teach them anything.
That’s so true, I think Like, thinking back to high school with teachers that I really admired and enjoyed learning from with those who connect with me on a personal level, as opposed to just this is how I teach and the students need to adjust to my methods.
And so, Townsville, how do you get students in Townsville? Like I would have…before meeting Raquel, I would have thought no one’s going to Townsville, it’s so far north in Queensland what are the reasons for people to, obviously, go to Townsville and to think about it as a location to get work or to learn English? What are the benefits of going to Townsville?
Absolutely. I mean it’s a hard one because we aren´t really well known internationally, but I think in many ways it’s a benefit for our students. If you compare the cost of living for example amongst largest cities in Australia like Brisbane or Sydney or Melbourne. The cost of living in Townsville is significantly cheaper. So, I think that’s a huge advantage. We’re sort of big enough that we have a variety of different industries where students can work, yet we don’t have the high-level competition that some of the big cities have as well so there’s a lot of jobs. The biggest hurdle for us I guess is the fact that we’re relatively unknown globally. Like, you sort of talk to anyone from overseas about Australia they´l mentioned Sydney, of course, and Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairn and other centres, but not a lot of them now about Townsville so, a lot of our students come from word of mouth. So, it’s students that have recommended friends or family members to come and study. We also work with education agents both in Australia and abroad who recommend us to students from overseas, but it’s probably the most difficult thing for us is the fact that Townsville is so unknown globaly.
Does it get easir to get to, though? Because it’s unknown and there are fewer people there. Is it easier for students to get visas or to get positions at schools and stuff like that there?
I mean, the visa regulations are the same regardless of where you´re located, in terms of the student visa.
Ah, ok, gotcha. Because I was thinking rural areas, but is that work related more?
Yeah, that´s more work related, but there are I mean, there’s a lot of students that are moved to Townsville, you know, to get points for visas and things like that, but no, for a student visa is exactly the same. Yeah, I guess it’s… we’re sort of like we talk about Townsville being a small city or a large country town, you know, so it’s sort of… it doesn’t match every student, like some students really want the nightlife of the big city, they want you know their huge shopping centres and things like that. And we don’t sort of offer that, you know, like we´re more for students that really want that sort of Australian experience and really immersive in the culture and serious about improving. I think Raquel is probably, you know, as a student is probably one of the best ones to sort of ask about that you know. What was her experience of living in a small…
She said It was the deep end of the pool, she got chucked in the deep end and was like ´´oh my God! All these people speak with the strongest accent!´ Sink or swim, you either learn that accent… And now her listening comprehension is off the charts.
It is, totally. I think there´s a lot more opportunities in a regional or more rural, although I wouldn’t say rural, but a regional area like Townsville. There’s more opportunities to get to know the locals, to you know, to have that one on one with people and connect with the local community which you do get in a big city, don’t get me wrong, but I just think that there’s more opportunities for it in a small place.
And so, I guess moving on to the different kinds of exams and things that you’re preparing students for. Can you talk about which ones exist and the pros and cons of doing each one? Which are the ones that your students focus on mainly?
Yes, so our main focus is IELTS, IELTS preparation. We have an IELTS testing centre in Townsville. We don’t actually have a PTE test centre at the moment so, students if they choose PTE have to travel to Brisbane or Sydney, which adds a bit of an expense to it. But yeah that’s the other option so, so you go out and you go PTE, then you’ve got a few other tests that are more sort of job related like you have OET, The Occupational English Test for Nurses and Doctors and Health Care Professionals, and obviously you know TOEFL and TOEIC and all the rest of them, but yeah, our main focus is on IELTS preparation, specifically, but in terms of the two big comparables ones it would be PTE and IELTS.
What are the benefits? What´s are the reasons you would pick one over the other?
Yeah, I mean, at the end of the day, they´re both a test of the student’s English language ability. So, you know, like a lot of students come to me and say ´which one is easier, Kit?´ ´Which one should I shouldn’t choose to do?´ and to be honest you know it’s in my opinion it’s much of a muchness. You know, like, there might be slight benefits for some students to do PTE, for example, if they´re good at keyboards and good at typing and they writing isn’t very good. Yeah that’s definitely going to be a slight advantage PTE. However, in saying that, you know, like I think that the advantage is so small that it’s… I wouldn’t even worry about it, you know what I mean? So, at the end the day for me it’s not about necessarily which test is easier, but about preparing your general English ability, your language ability to pass the test, if you know what I mean.
That’s it and I think it was one of those things that I didn’t… I hadn’t really had that much experience with understanding how it exactly worked, either the PTE or the IELTS, but you actually need to be studying not just English, but the specific exams, right? So that’s a key thing that a lot of English learning students don’t realise when they’re trying to prepare for these exams, they better realise that learning English is one part, right? But you need to also be focusing on what do I need to be able to do in this exam to get a good score.
Absolutely, an obvious difference between the two, with IELTS being paper based and PTE being computer based. However, in saying that, IELTS also does have computer-based versions I think in Melbourne and Sydney and perhaps Brisbane, I’m not 100% sure, but there is a computer based version as well. I guess another benefit of PTE is the time that it takes to get the results of its and then arts and things like that. But I mean at the end of the day they´re both a test of your English language ability.
So, you know, I think or is an option if you both too.
Do you know the rough prices for each of them and how long’s…
They are about the same.
They´re about the same?
Yeah, exactly, in terms of price. I mean, in some areas IELTS is more expensive if it’s administered other location that isn’t the principal location, but generally speaking they´re both 330-ish dollars. So, yeah, no real difference in price point, just the fact that PTE the results come out quicker than IELTS, although I think IELTS is probably gonna up their game and change that soon with having a computer-based version as well. What else? PTE you can choose different times to do the test and there´s more frequent tests. Yeah. I mean, they’re pretty much, apart from that, they’re both a test of, you know, reading, writing listening and speaking, your vocab needs to be really good. I would say both are much of a muchness in my opinion.
Oh, brilliant, so what different kinds of exams for ILETS exist and what are the benefits or what are the reasons that you would do one over the other?
Sure, you’ve got the General at the Academic module. The Academic module is primarily used for gaining entry to to TAFE, like, vocational education or universities or for recognition to work in particular jobs like as a teacher, for example, you have to do an Academic IELTS test for teaching registrational, as a nurse or a doctor or another health care professional, that’s where Academic is the one that you need to do. The general module is more commonly used for migration purposes, to prove the level of English that a person has and to get different points at different levels within the nine band score for IELTS.
Having said that, it’s interesting, I find some students actually get higher schools in the Academic module than they do in the General module. So, in some ways it’s actually benefit to some students to do the academic for PR, for residency purposes, just depending on the student, you know? Like if I have… let’s say for example someone that has studied at university in Australia, they’ve done Accounting or whatever it is. I often would recommend to them to the Academic version because of the different scale for reading, in particular, it’s a lot easier easier in a sense or you can make more mistakes to get a higher score in the Academic than the General.
How do they differ exactly? Is it a different kinds of language? I mean, obviously, it’s academic language, but I mean, how foreign is that from the General one if you’re just saying learning English generally? Are you going to be able to do the Academic one if you wanted or you would need to sort of have some kind of experience in academic English at university or something?
Yep, sure, absolutely. So, I mean, I guess, at the end of the day, it’s like when I look at a student and if they have the option of doing the Academic or General, is about sort of identifying that student’s past experience in English and then which one is going to better suit them and what they need to do. So, yeah, so if I have a student that studied at university level in Australia, for example, then I often recommend to them to do the academic version of the test, just because I often find that they get a higher score, actually, than the general. So, yeah, I guess it depends on the students in a sort of case by case basis.
Brilliant. And so how are the exams scored? And what are the kinds of scores and what do they mean? I guess, what’s the minimum to say be able to do whatever it is that you need to do in Australia, whether it’s studying or residency or whatever?
Sure. So, it’s got an nine sort of band scale. 9.0 being the equivalent of a native speaker and then each level going down has a different sort of a descriptor as to the language ability of the student. Different levels are applied to different things so, if you have, you know, for example as a teacher, if someone comes from abroad who wants to teach in Australia. In most cases, they need an 8.0 in each. So, out of the listening, reading. writing and speaking they´ll need a 8.0 minimum in each, which is really quite a high level, to get a teacher registration.
I was wonderful and school that if I just went in blind and did the test.
I´m sure you would. I have had a few cases over the years where I had native speakers actually come to me because of they´d failed the test, but in most cases it´s just because they didn’t really understand the format or what was being asked of the test, rather than their ability.
Which emphasizes the importance in studying how to actually complete the exam, right?
Absolutely, 100 percent. It sort of…I guess, it’s a trick one. Most of my students when they get with doing IELTS preparation they want to know straightaway. What are the tips? what are the tricks? what are the techniques? And that’s important, don’t get me wrong.
You know, like, it’s… it’s quite a specific test and written in a particular way and actually there’s a benefit to that, in my opinion because if you understand the test, you can answer the questions much more effectively. However, in saying that, if a student doesn’t have the general English language level or ability right, you know, I can talk about tips and tricks and techniques until I’m blue in the face it’s not going to make any difference.
You need that ability to be able to improvise, right, on the spot. You’re not necessarily going to get the exact questions you’ve been studying, but you need to be able to know ´okay, how do I respond to this? What´s needed?´.
100 percent. Going back to the different levels required for different things, for nurses, for example, in Australia they have to do, if they do the IELTS test for their registration, they have to do the Academic modules and they have to get a 7.0 in each band, with nothing lower than a 7. Some courses at university ask for six overall. Some ask for six point five. Some ask for seven. Just depends on the university in the particular course, but for any of those examples it has to be an a. Academic test. For…More for migration purposes, students have the choice of General or Academic and the level that students get helps them in different points with applying for residency. So, you know if they can score higher, for example, or Academic they often say well, you know. you’re crazy not to do it, you know what I mean?
The good thing with Academic that it obviously applies… it covers what General covers and more.
It does, to some extent. Yeah, I mean, the only sort of issue I get sometimes with IELTS is that the results are only balanced valid for two years. So, you sort of yeah… you have to sort of think about timeframes and, you know… like I’ve got a student at the moment for example who has recently passed to get into university to study nursing and she got a 7.0 in each in a couple os higher results, which was high enough for her to get into university, but because it´s only valid two years, unfortunately, at the end, to get her qualifications recognised and her registration as a nurse, she will have to do the test again, which is a bit frustrating…
I can understand aside from obviously wanting more people to do the test more often to get money, I can imagine like… if you were to do the IELTS and then straight away leave and not speak English for two years, I can imagine that your English can deteriorate as my my French has, for example, since not speaking it for the last two or so years.
But it’s yeah, it’s frustrating as well for a lot of students, you know, that they have to do it again if they need it for registration purposes and something.
Far out! So, what would you say is the best way to prepare for IELTS? Is it that you definitely need to go to school? Is it that you don’t need a school? Like, if you were to give advice to someone who has obviously organised getting a visa and coming to Australia to study, you know, whatever it is, what’s the best way to go about studying for IELTS?
Sure absolutely. So, it’s a tricky one. I mean, I think you know most people can attain a certain level of language ability on their own, you know in isolation. But I think when you sort of… you’re talking about reaching that next level like a lot of students improve really quickly from the beginner to an intermediate level of language ability, but then they reach that plateau and they get really stuck there. I think any sort of preparation for any tests like IELTS sort of… in the same way as, you know, a student reaching a plateau, they need to have someone that’s looking at their level of English, the good things their are doing or the mistakes they´re making, a coach, trainer, someone that can look at them and say well, yeah, you do this great, but you know, if you want to attain that next level, you need to focus on your articles or you need to focus on your pronunciation of this particular sound. I think in isolation it’s really difficult for most students to attain a starting a 7.0, for example, or higher. It’s not impossible. You know, like there’s a lot of self-study material out there, but I really do feel like you need that feedback and that continual feedback.
Pushing you and giving you, as you said, feedback on the things you screwing up which you can’t necessarily get yourself, you know?
Absolutely. Having someone that knows the tests and is able to sort of identify your weaknesses and what you need to work on and them to give you continuous feedback to reach that next level. I think that’s really really important.
You know, there’s obviously face to face classes, there´s online providers, there’s lots of different options, but I think as long as you have someone, you know, a coach, a mentor, a teacher, someone giving you that feedback that’s really, really important.
And so, how long does it normally take people to prepare for the exam? You know, for say, someone like Raquel who had zero experience, it obviously took a year or two and can you compare her to say someone who does have say an intermediate level before they arrive in Australia and what each person would need to do to apply for or get a good score on IELTS?
Yeah, it’s a hard question to answer. You know, it’s sort of like the “how long is the piece of string?”, but, you know, because it all comes down to individual aptitude and how much they apply themselves and a lot of different factors, and also it comes down to the level, you know, like once you’re talking about like a 7.0 or an 8.0 and those higher levels, the differences between them and the subtleties of the language and getting students to reach the level takes a lot more work. You know, it’s almost like that last 10 percent takes 90 percent of the effort. So, it depends on the level of the student when they start, I guess, and how high they want to get. And obviously the aptitude and the attitude and all those sorts of things as well.
But, generally speaking, you know, we get lots of students that perhaps come in at an intermediate level and maybe need to get a 7.0, for example, in most cases I would sort of recommend one or two terms to get to that level.
How long’s a term? 6 months?
So, for us, it’s 11 weeks. Yeah, four eleven-week terms during the year. Generally speaking probably yeah, one to two terms to get to that level, but it depends on the student. I mean, you know, I’ve had some that you know have done brilliantly like I had a French student last year who, before starting with us did an IELTs testing on the 6.0 overall, studied with us for six months and by the end of the year, the six months, she got like an 8.0 overall with a couple of 8.5 and 7.5 so that’s a really, really high number. So that’s not uncommon too, I actually. How do you go from Colombia who recently did the test and again, passed it at 8.0 overall. So, I mean, those higher levels are harder to get too because of the subtleties and complexities of getting there, but generally speaking one turn most students got by one level. So, if I have a student that starts at 5.0 at the start of the term, generally speaking, they should be up to a 6.0 by the end of the, but it depends on every student, some are quicker, some are slower.
So, what’s normally the most difficult part to for people? I’ve heard that writing and speaking tend to be the most difficult parts, where you’ve got to produce, you’re not reading and you’re not listening. Is that true?
Yes and No. I think it depends on the individual so much and it depends on, you know, to some exten the first language, the country, the culture and so many different things. I might find, for example, maybe an Italian student my struggle with the reading part, whereas a brazilian student might struggle with the writing. I think it depends too much on the individual. You know, I think that there is definitely within IELTS there is a level that a lot of students get stuck at an academic which is 6.5, you know, you get a lot of students that are achieving 7s or higher in speaking and reading and listening, but that writing of the 6.5, they really get stuck on there.
That’s the story that I’ve heard of the writing constantly bringing the overall score down and that’s what´s screwing them over.
Absolutely and yeah that 7.5 Academic is a real sort of gateway mark for a lot of different things so, but in saying that, you know, like I think if you have a teacher who is very familiar with the writing criteria and how it’s marked and they needed very specific feedback on your task response, on your grammar, on your coherence and cohesion, on your spelling, your vocab, for example, and they say to you, well, based on you task response this is bringing you down to a 6.5, based on maybe you’re making the same grammatical errors too many times or whatever it is, I think, if you have that direct feedback and you can identify those mistakes, then it’s not really that hard, it’s just that you need someone to give that feedback and I think a lot of students miss that, unfortunately, and I think if you’re studying in a really large classroom, it’s really difficult for a teacher to provide that as well. I think having that sort of individualised, one on one sort of attention within a smaller class or small school, for me, anyway, I think that makes the biggest difference. You know, like, yeah, I think that what makes the difference.
Awesome, man. So, say you’re preparing for an exam. What if instead of asking you for, you know, the tricks and tips, what are the things that people who fail do too much of? What is the kind of person or what are the kinds of habits or things that someone who is going to not score very high, even if they have the ability, what are the kinds of things that they’re doing with regards to say study outside of class and then when they in the exam themselves? Are there any things that you would say look that’s a no-no, you need to not do that, we need to avoid this?
You know, I mean I think again it comes back to the individual and being able to identify with that student and help them to sort of understand where they’re making their mistakes and I don’t know if I can generalize about that, if you know what I mean, like it´s just… it really depends on each individual. But I mean as long as a student has an awareness of where they’re making mistakes and why they’re not achieving a particular level that they need and they’re given constructive feedback as to how to fix that, and you know that continual process I think at the end of the day that’s the most important thing.
Is there a trick to fostering that? Because I always get questions about building confidence and how do I speak English more confidently? It feels like quite often the answer is just do it, which isn’t necessarily a very productive and actionable piece of advice, but is it just a case of you just need to start trying and it’s only going to get easier with regards to building confidence for these exams or for just speaking in general?
I think building confidence is, again, comes down to the individual. I think there are some… nationalities I can say that are naturally or genuinely quite confident.
Yeah. Having said that, you know, not all Brazilians are out there and are extroverts, you know, like the stereotype, you know. So, I think it’s easy sometimes a little bit to stereotype in that way. But yeah I if I generalize there are some nationalities that I teach that are naturally more extrovert and I think that does help them in some ways to pick up language quicker. However, in other ways I think it’s also a burden to their language learning ability because quite often that confidence, unfortunately, can equate also with continually making the same mistakes and not really working on it and focusing on it. I always think if I could take you know maybe a South American brain and an Asian brain and put them together, you’d have the perfect language learner, but unfortunately we’re not like that and that’s not necessarily a bad thing too, you know, like we all bring our own you know baggage if you like to learning a second language.
And I think that if you if you’re able to identify those areas of your language and your language learning ability and then you work on the ones you weak at, then you you’re going to improve in the end. So, yeah. So, if you have a student who is typically you know maybe more shy than other students, I guess, for me it’s about building that confidence within the classroom. It’s about you know, as a teacher, for example, if I have a… you know, like when I ask students questions I try as much as I attempt to ask a question that I know they’re capable of answering. You know, like, I don’t put a student on the spot and make nervous about not knowing it. So, I guess, a lot of it comes down to your…the student experience of learning languages as well, I think you’re a great teacher can make an amazing difference for students, but then I think as well, unfortunately, a poor teacher can also have the opposite effect. So, yeah, if I have a student that’s a little bit more introvert and nervous about the language then, for me, it’s about identifying, like I said start, like their needs, interests and motivations. So, if I find that they’re particularly interested in sport or music or some particular topic and I use that in a classroom that’s immediately going to start building that confidence I think of them and being able to use the language. So, yeah, I guess once again it comes back to the individual and I guess as a teacher being able to understand that person and incorporate as much of them into the classroom as you possibly can.
What advice would you have for someone on…well, if you have any advice left over for doing well in the IELTS, but also just doing well with regards to their experience learning English in Australia are there any things that you would suggest students try and focus on or keep in mind when they come to Australia and study English or think about doing the IELTS?
Absolutely. I mean, apart from coming to Townsville to study English at Townsville International English School.
Sneaky plug there.
Honestly, I think do your research, you know, find a school that sort of matches or find a location in the school that matches what you want to get out of the experience. I guess take an interest as well. You know, I find students that that take an interest in the learning process do a lot better than those students that, you know, are a little bit disinterested. So, it’s a two-way street, like I think teachers can do a lot to help that, but I also think, you know, at the end of the day it’s about that student’s attitude towards learning as well. I mean for Raquel, for example, that’s one thing that is really in her favour. You know, she… I think very much had a thirst for knowledge and a passion for learning the language and I think that shows in how quickly and how effectively she picked up the language. So, yeah, I guess advice to people probably yeah, do you research before you come, try to choose a place that matches your own what you want to get out of the experience.
And then once you actually arrive and get in the classroom, try dissidents immerse yourself, you know, like when the school does outings or excursions get involved with it, when they do offer conversation classes in the afternoons or whatever, get involved in it, and try to take an interest in everything, you know, ask questions. I think that goes a long way.
Awesome! Well, Kit, thank you so much! Again, Kit is from Townsville International English School, guys! I think Kel would say definitely go to Townsville if you´re thinking about coming to Australia and you haven’t pick the city yet so, thanks again so much for joining me, Kit.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
All right, guys. So, I hope you enjoyed that episode today. Thanks again Kit from the Townsville International English School for coming on the podcast and sharing all of your knowledge about the IELTs exam.
Guys, I hope this helps. I hope that if you are planning to do the IELTs exam in the future or if you’ve done it in the past and may need to do it again sometime soon, I hope that this episode helps. I would love to know what you think. So, make sure you leave a comment below on the website and I will check you guys soon.
Catch you, guys.
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AE 506: Kel & I Talk about Our Wedding & Marriage in Australia
What a beautiful day! I have just woken up and it is so calm out here on the deck. Anyway, I am putting together currently, I mean, you’re about to listen to it, I’m putting together the episode for the podcast where we talk about our wedding, we got married! Let me show you! On the weekend and it was an amazing experience and I had a few questions from some of the people who had seen that we got married on Instagram, can you talk about…
What have you got in your face, mate? This is my folks’ dog, ah he’s got sand, he’s been on the beach.
So, they were asking about talking about Western culture and marriage here. And so, we didn’t have the typical marriage as you’ll find out in this episode, but yeah Kel I sit down, we chat for about 24 minutes or so about the wedding, about marriage in Western society, in Australia, and also in Brazil as well.
Hopefully you get heaps of vocab, heaps of expressions, different things to talk about marriage if you guys are already married or going to get married in the future so, be a good episode to learn about how to talk about those things and you’ll also obviously get to hear about what the day was like. So, yeah and apologies that I didn’t get an expression episode out on Sunday, that was the day after the wedding, the wedding was on Saturday and I didn’t have enough time, had friends down was entertaining then, was with Kel and was also hungover and sobering up on the Sunday. Anyway, let’s get into this episode.
You ready to rock? Now you have to do it. Nah, nah, you do it. You’ve got to do “What’s up, guys? Welcome to this episode of Aussie English.” No, you do it. Go for it. You have to do it. No, go for it. No, you do it. No you got to do it. No. You got this. No, no, baby. Go for it. You got it. No, no. Go for it.
G’day, guys! Welcome to this episode of Aussie English. See how easy that was?
Today we’re going to be talking about the wedding. Achievement unlocked!
Achievement unlocked! Good.
So, where do you want to start, Kelly? What’s the… so, once upon a time there was YouTube.
There was… I think everyone pretty much knows about how we met and things like that.
So, we can fast forward through that, we met on YouTube. Kelly commented on a video. I saw she was Portuguese. Well, Brazilian speaking Portuguese and I was like hey do you want to practice? like oh yeah by the way you’re also really cute.
And then fast forward one year three months and you’d moved down here.
And we were in a relationship. Fast forward nine months. We’d gone to Canberra. Kelly got a job there and then Kelly quit the job to study back in Melbourne. Kelly got pregnant.
Another achievement unlocked.
Another achievement unlocked. And then we also organised the wedding as well, but the wedding was going to be obviously November 17.
Yes. So, the first idea we had was… we always wanted something really simple and low key and like not of people, my family is now here, so…
That was the difficult thing here. We either married in Brazil with all of your family, none in my family, or we get married here with all of my family none of your family.
But to go to Brazil there would be a lot of money spent…
Especially considering we would come back here.
So, we decided to, you know, just have a celebration here with your family and some friends of ours and but we were going to do there at the Magistry, I believe that’s what it’s called.
Where were going to go just to the…I guess the city hall or whatever it is and a sign the documents and just have it officially done without any big ceremony as such.
But then we thought well we already live in an Ocean Grove.
We found the celebrant.
Oh yes, true! The day we were going to Melbourne to, you know, give the papers the Registry whatever. We realized we needed a celebrant and there was a bit of a misunderstanding, on the website Deaths and Marriages and Births wherever, they are quite clear. Like if you have to arrange your own celebrant or if you just give in the papers, you sign everything and they arrange everything for you. But basically, I thought well…we do have to celebrate, we haven’t arranged that. So, I just googled something like wedding celebrants, non-religious, whatever in Melbourne.
Because we didn’t want to get married at a synagogue, church, mosque or anything like that, it was just we need someone who says the words can do the documents, the legal documents and then can obviously hand those in.
And we found Mr. Wayne.
We found Wayne. So, somehow Kel found…I think you emailed a bunch of these people who were just listed so, there’s obviously some kind of list of registered celebrants and.
He replied to me really quickly and he was happy to meet us in Melbourne, he lives in Melbourne in his apartment. The funny thing was, when we got there, one, he’s not a average celebrant.
He’s a surgeon and his wife is an obstetrician. So, a doctor for children or for giving birth, right? And so we would just like it what? Why would you be a celebrant and yet you’re a… you’re probably a millionaire, you know, like a surgeon and he’s just like I retired and I just did this for fun now and he mainly just married friends so, he was like how did you guys find me because I don’t marry people I don’t know, usually?
Usually his friends and people he knows.
It’s much easier for him to work with them.
And he just does it as a hobby, of a way of meeting people and getting out into something interesting and fun to do.
And we were just like this random couple, knocking at his door like hey, can you marry us? And he was absolutely amazing, friendly, like really…He has a good sense of humor.
So, I think he asked us where are you planning on getting married? What do you want to do? Blah blah blah. And we were just like well…we had just planned to go to the Registry just sign the documents. Do you want to do that? And then he was like… better idea, we’ll do it somewhere nice, you know, we can do it in Melbourne, you could do it at my apartment, you could do it somewhere near your place in Ocean Grove. And then he mentioned the fact that he goes down there every second weekend or something to learn how to make gin, in a gin distillery, a place where they distill gin close here and we were like oh maybe we’ll check that place out because he said you can get married there. It’s very new, it’s really cute. You know, they serve food, they serve the gin and the whiskey that they make there as well as other drinks. So, it’s a nice kind of…kind of equivalent of a vineyard, right? Like if you guys go to a wine tasting places and vineyards it’s kind of like that, but it’s for whiskey and gin there’s no wine or vines there. So, that was really cool, we went and checked that out.
Yeah…everything was so random and unusual, right?
Unplanned, true. We went there and we absolutely loved the place. Is his name Russ?
Russ, as in Russell.
The owner of the whiskery.
Not like Ross, from Friends. Russ.
He was just great with us, really generous.
Really friendly guy.
You guys just come, you know, the place is yours, you know.
It was all free.
The thing was too, he was like I’m not going to close the venue down for you, guys, because he has other people who come and they buy drinks and do everything because it’s open to anyone, but you guys can do it for free so, you just find a little area you guys can get married there and then afterwards you can get drinks, you can get food, you can do whatever you want on the grounds.
And because he had such a small group of people, I think we were 17?
Yeah there’s probably about 17 to 20 of us maximum, not over 20.
It was great because, you know, everyone could chat to one another and like just enjoy themselves, we didn’t have to give attention to a lot of people. Everyone was having fun.
That’s it, because, I mean, it’s probably hard for you, guys, to… I guess realise or notice what I’m like, but I’m pretty modest or at least I’m not even modest, but I just don’t like attention. Like I can do this sort of stuff, obviously, and I enjoy doing this, but when it comes to like people paying direct attention to me and, you know, me standing up in front of a group of people and especially when it’s like they’re there to congratulate you, you know, birthdays for instance, I hate birthdays and I don’t mind groups of people and teaching and stuff, but when it comes to people going Oh well, that’s amazing, that’s so good Pete, I’m like don’t to do that.
So, I was like not a big waiting I don’t want to invite extended family I just kind of want friends and family close friends and family there and keep it really small and we’ll get it done fast. Fortunately, Kel was the kind of person who wasn’t after a huge wedding either, mainly because you want to save money and not to spend out the wazoo so, we could talk about that too so, we had a small wedding. Friends and family, less than 20 people. The venue was free. So, there you go.
Yeah, we were really lucky.
The celebrant was 400 dollars, which is pretty cheap. That’s the standard, I think, it would be about a few hundred bucks. usually, especially for simple weddings like that. The rings, we can talk about this. This is a white gold, so Kel and I went to… I can’t remember the name of the place…
Jersens? Something like that.
Yes, something in Melbourne and she was pretty much like we want wedding bands. This is called a wedding band, where it’s just a plain ring and she’s like cheapest ones you’ve got, but for context, mine was about 900 dollars for the whole process, Kel’s was over 500 dollars so, you’re looking at about fifteen hundred bucks for white gold rings so, that’s gold silver and platinum.
They’re very simple and I know I sound really stingy, but ….
There’s no point. I feel like too, I’m locking up a lot of… I don’t want to lock up a lot of money in something like this that I’m never going to have access to again, right? I’d rather spend. What this means is more important than what it is. And so it could be a chisel or a burger ring, though I probably wouldn’t last very long, and that’s what it means more so and I can spend that money on other things like holidays or Aussie English or clothes or baby stuff, whatever.
I think having the baby, being pregnant and very soon having the baby is kind of… is in my mind all the time, so I’m like…
We can’t keep putting the bank to zero.
So, we spent that on the rings, we spent 400 something..
So less than 2.000 for the rings and the celebrant.
We were lucky that your parents are really generous.
My parents paid for the food and the drinks at the whiskery, but considering it was probably 20 people, each person probably had two drinks and a little bit of food. Dad probably didn’t spend over 500 bucks, maybe a bit more than 500 bucks if that.
Yeah, if that. It wasn’t an expensive place.
It wasn’t ridiculously.
And we didn’t have all these meals coming out. The food was finger food, so the kind of food that you can just… comes out on plates like cheese platters, pizzas and you can just take a little bit here and there, it wasn’t like a three-course meal, which was fine too because we were there for lunch and again we didn’t want to spend a shitload of money and we didn’t want.
We initially were thinking people would just buy their own food were hungry, because that’s an option too right if you guys go somewhere you can just say guys we’ll shout you the first drink or something, you know, the first drinks on us, not even that, maybe we’re keeping it small, we don’t want to spend a lot of money. So, if you guys want to buy drinks and food you know you can do that individually, totally up to you, guys, but Dad just surprised us and was like oh here’s my credit card if anyone wants to buy something go for it. Here it is.
And that’s another advantage of having such a low-key sort off party, if you have to pay for the food and drinks it’s not going to be a lot of money.
That’s the thing that can go really expensive really fast.
If you have 200 people you do not want to offer that.
100 bucks each. That’s 20 thousand dollars.
That’s 20 thousand dollars.
Yeah. So, what else? That was it.
What are the other customs? So, I had a question from I think it was Evra. I’m not sure, there was someone who asked me via email can you talk about customs in getting married so, usually the father of the bride will pay for the wedding. That’s a typical thing, although that’s not… that’s not back held to. My dad would probably tell my sister to get stuffed if she said I want a wedding with 200 people, it’s going to be fifty thousand dollars, we’re going to have horses. We’re going to have…He would be like I don’t have 50 thousand dollars to spend on you. So, typically in Western culture the dad of the bride will pay for the wedding and it’ll be… you’ll have a ceremony. If you’re religious, it’ll be at a church or a mosque or a synagogue or whatever where you get married and then you usually have the bride and groom go away with photographers for a few hours and get photos at all these different places, at wherever you guys are interested the beach, could be, you know, the stables with horses, a vineyard, the bay.
And then after that you have…sorry?
We are a really lucky couple, because it happens that your dad is a photographer, so he took all of our photos, you took really good photos of me getting ready, like friends helping out and.
We had the camera at the house whilst Kel was putting the dress on and everything, I was just like oh just taking photos.
Your photos are really, really good.
We’ll show you some, you’ll put them on the video hopefully.
We didn’t have to pay for that, but the celebrant, Wayne, was saying that a wedding of some of his friends or whatever just the photos.
Videographer, so people doing the photos and the videos is 8 thousand dollars, for one day’s work. I guess they’re doing the editing afterwards.
Yeah. But it’s just, we have other priorities, right?
Exactly. So, yeah often the bride and groom will get, their pay someone else externally to do the photos, a proper wedding photographer, so that you’ve got memories and everything and maybe videos. And then after that in the evening you usually have a reception where you receive all of the guests and they can congratulate you one on one and chat to you, you’ll have speeches where everyone…the parents of the bride and groom get up and talk and say, you know, it’s amazing to have x y z in our family and it’s such a pleasure. We hope you guys you’re an amazing couple, we’re going to have kids blah blah blah. And then the bride and groom will usually get up and say something and then you’ll have meals usually spread out so, like you’ll have one meal, speeches, another meal, speeches and then at the end after all the food and when everyone’s probably pretty drunk you’ll have the first dance so, someone to play a song, the song of the couple and they’ll have their first dance together and then usually that lasts for 30 seconds to an entire song and they’ll ask for everyone to then come on to the dance floor. And then, after the reception, everyone usually goes home, wasted. And then you’ll have a honeymoon and it can be directly after the reception where you and the fiancée, sorry, you and your wife, the wife and the groom can now go away on your honeymoon. Or it could be it… could be a period of time after the actual wedding itself, may be days or weeks later.
Yeah, I was going to say I don’t feel that in Brazil there’s a…I don’t think there’s much pressure on the father to bride to pay for the wedding. It is a convention, but I think…
That would be a Catholic thing too.
I think families are happy to share. I would expect my parents to be happy to pay for a couple things and your parents pay for other things, but not like oh yeah that’s my dad’s job to do that or like even your dad’s job, like his is a very shared sort of agreement or whatever arrangement when someone gets married that the families share the costs.
I think you could have that here too you would just have to sort of talk about it.
Yeah, it depends on the party you want to have as well, for us if we were in Brazil or your families my family was here it would be easy to do that because you always wanted like something simple and tiny, but if you have a massive party that’s much harder for people to afford.
Well, even us we’re well off, you know, standards wise, I mean upper middle class in Australia, but I can’t imagine asking my dad to spend tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding for me. It’s like one day, you know, I would feel too guilty as an Australian or a Westerner doing that. I mean and there are people who do that. We had a story at one of my friends who came to the wedding was telling us about her friend who spent a hundred and fifty thousand dollars on their wedding and her money to her husband or fiancé at that time, she got him to sell an investment property that he had, an investment property to pay for the frickin’ wedding and she didn’t even like the wedding!
Oh I would get divorced! Next day!
So, that blows my mind, spending that amount of money and it’s I think for them it’s obviously much more a status thing and showing off to everyone and making sure everyone knows that you had all this money, you don’t have it anymore.
There’s nothing, if you have the money, there’s nothing wrong with having a big party and you know.
But I think you have to sell an investment property to pay for the wedding, you don’t have the money.
If you’re rich and if you can afford that, go fo it, it’s beautiful, you have all the photos and you know videos and stuff, but for us, one, we don’t have this money, two, that’s not a priority and we’re just not one of those people, right? We kind of like simple stuff and we, you know, we don’t spend money on expensive things so, it wouldn’t be…us if we we’re going to spend a lot.
That would add another level of uncomfortableness to the experience. If it were incredibly extravagant and.
And that’s one of my favourite things about the wedding. Two things, one, everyone loved the place! It was a beautiful sunny day, which is quite lucky again because it tends to rain a lot here or be cold, but it was a beautiful sunny day. People just loved the whiskery, everyone was happy, comfortable and the thing I liked the most was that you were very comfortable. We didn’t want to have vows or, you know, I’m uncomfortable standing in front of people and saying things, English is not my first language so, I was like oh if I have to say, you know, a poem or whatever I’ll quite… I might stumble into my words, but we were really, really comfortable.
I guess too…something worth talking about or mentioning too is that Wayne, the celebrant, what happened with that is that he reads out what marriage, is what it means and the contract you’re about to enter into. And then he repeats a certain set of sentences that I have to repeat after him and then Kel has to repeat after him as well so, I do mine first like I Peter Smissen voluntarily enter into this agreement blah blah blah blah blah. And then at the end it used to be that you would one of you would say I do and the other one would say I do, but now it’s just we you do. We say we do and then at the end we put the rings on each other’s fingers so I do Kel’s finger, she does my finger, puts the ring on and then he says I now pronounce you man and wife yeah and presents us to the crowd.
Well, we had the option if we wanted we could have said something special to each other, like something that I had written or about as, our stories.
The vows. You can say like I’ll love you forever and I would cut my left arm off to be with you.
Some couples sing to each other, I thought about that and even the thought of having, saying something in Portuguese, just because, you know, people wouldn’t understand.
Eu gosto de você, cara. (Portuguese – I like you, mate)
But then I’m like I just want to get it done and then join the party, having time with people.
So, it was probably five or 10 minutes and then we we were having drinks and eating.
And also to mention clothing the standard sort of thing for Western weddings. The man will have a tuxedo of some kind usually, although it can be any kind of suit really. So, what you’re comfortable with and it may go from, you know, having a tie, having a vest or a bow tie, having the jacket on pants everything like that and the woman will usually have some kind of white wedding dress and they can go… they can be incredibly extravagant all the way to pretty simple and she’ll usually have a veil on her head as well, sort of like white lace that goes over the face that he lifts up at the end to kiss her, when you kiss the bride.
I didn’t have that.
And the good thing too was Kel had a friend in Canberra that she’d met who was the same size as you and said oh you can just use my wedding dress for free. So, she had bought that wedding dress for probably two and a half to three thousand dollars and Kel to use it for free for that day. Saving a great deal of money.
It fits perfectly, everyone was saying you look really nice and I loved the photos the dress and everything. So, again, one, we were really lucky and I’m quite…you know, I really like reusing things and getting things second hand. So, when she offered I was like, you sure you want to do it? Because some people get jealous about you know their wearing dresses and stuff.
But you were just like hell yeah, I’ll use this.
I’m just like, if you’re comfortable with that, and she came to the wedding, her husband came. If it’s not awkward for you, I would love to use your dress. She was like go for it and yeah, it was perfect!
And I just had a shirt and some nice chino pants because I was like… we went shopping for me and it got pretty easy to quickly spend thousands of dollars or hundreds to thousands of dollars on a suit and Kel is like no, she wouldn’t even let me get a jacket.
People will think I control the finances.
You do to some degree, but I don’t really care enough. If I wanted it that badly I would push. So, I ended up buying a shirt, a nice shirt and some nice pants and that was all I wore. I already had some nice shoes and to be honest I got those from Target or something and they look really expensive, but they cost about 30 dollars to be honest.
Didn’t know that!
So the whole wedding I think all cost us maybe two and a bit thousand dollars.
2 grand, I would say.
That’s about it. We could have probably gone to three or four thousand if we’d had to pay for a dress as well and for all the food. Well the venue and everything else, but yeah. So, that was that was a wedding on a good budget on a good budget.
Absolutely. It was much better than I expected. It was absolutely amazing. It was as natural, quick, like…
The weather was beautiful.
It was beautiful.
We were situated under this tree that was flowering with these purple flowers that were falling on the ground, that was pretty cool.
So I’m really happy with everything, it was everything I wanted, it was really nice.
But yeah, hopefully you, guys, enjoy this episode. Hopefully there’s a lot of information in here with regards to weddings, especially obviously Australian weddings and hopefully… I would love to know what you think. I guess, that will be interesting. Do you guys want huge extravagant weddings or do you imagine having small weddings like ours that are pretty modest? You know and let us know in a comment below.
Make it easy for yourselves. Spend the money on something else. Buy a house, buy a car, buy a camera and go on holiday.
Do other things.
It is your day, you can do whatever you want.
I think that’s an important thing too, is that it ultimately is your day and you should definitely take control of it and say I’m going to do what I want to do, not what I think others want or not what other people want and then try to impose on you as well.
Don’t compare yourself to like…oh someone I know had this massive party. If you believe in other things like I would much rather have a small party with a tiny group of people, go for it! No one has nothing to do with it.
Anyway, thanks for joining us, guys. See you soon!
Alright, guys! So, I hope you enjoyed that episode, I would love to know if you guys have gotten married or if you’re thinking of getting married. Give me your opinions. Give me your views. Tell me your experiences and what is marriage like in the country that you’re from. You know, I can imagine that it is completely different in places like Russia or China or India. So, yeah let me know what you think in a comment below. A comment on Facebook or whatever it is and I will be getting back into the routine of podcasts and videos as usual this week as usual yeah. Anyway, thanks for joining me.
Banjo is looking pretty chuffed! Look at this! You going to say goodbye? Going to say goodbye, mate! Look at that sand on your face.! You had a good time at the beach. Did you? Anyway, guys! Thanks for joining me and I’ll chat to you soon.
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By pete — 3 months ago
AE 504: How to IMPROVE Your English-Speaking Confidence!
All righty guys, it looks like summer has arrived! It is a hot one, actually. Need to wind down the windows and let the hot air of the car out because it’s boiling inside here, but yeah back in Ocean Grove.
Living with the folks at the moment for the next few months as we get settled and get organised and yeah, I’m enjoying being back. Canberra was good, Canberra was good, but I definitely know how it feels now to be away from family and friends, you know, it wasn’t the same experience as I’m sure a lot of you guys have gone through with regards to moving, moving abroad, moving overseas and having to live away from friends and family and effectively start again, but I definitely felt that to some extent as I knew absolutely no one in Canberra. Actually, that’s a lie. I knew one person who I saw once, two people two people. I lie. I lie. I knew two people, but I wasn’t very close friends with those people. So, I had to sort of kindle those relationships and become closer with them, but yeah.
It was difficult not being near family or anything like that the entire time, that was, that was quite hard so, I can appreciate what it’s like guys moving away for substantial amounts of time and having to restart your life because at the time we thought we were going to be there for two years, but only ended up being there for about six months fortunately or unfortunately.
Just going to straighten this camera. Anyway, today I wanted to chat about confidence and building confidence when speaking English or when wanting to learn English because I had a lesson recently with one of my students and he had some difficulties at work so, I might tell you his story because I won’t mention his name, but he had been hired for a job and after a few months they had decided to let him go because they decided that they didn’t
have the money to have him on board at his experience level and not have someone with more experience to help train him up so effectively they needed someone with more experience and they only had enough money to hire one person.
So, they decided they had to let him go but in the process of letting him go they had made him do a few exercises and like presentations to try and test whether he was going to be good enough for that position. So, I was helping him prepare for one of the talks that he had to give in order to try and, I guess, show confidence when he’s speaking when he’s presenting in English and, hopefully, keep his job.
But he lost it, unfortunately, because they had already decided that they needed someone more experienced, with more experience. I guess the good thing was though that he has grown a lot through that experience and he had to obviously work through some very tough situations and practice his English and presenting skills.
But the funny thing is with with this guy he speaks really well. He speaks really well, but he lacks the confidence because of these things that he’s gone through so, his confidence has been a bit chipped away at, it’s been a bit reduced because of these experiences where he is working for a company in Australia obviously is mostly Australians. They all speak English fluently and he has the same demands put on him as they would put on a native speaker.
Despite being able to speak incredibly well, obviously, sometimes probably more often than than a native speaker he finds it hard to find the words or to express himself as clearly and it’s led to this sort of positive feedback loop of second-guessing himself, so hesitating a lot more than normal and he was saying to me when I had these lessons with with him I’m really frustrated because I know I can speak really well. I I feel like my English has gotten a lot worse recently, not because I can’t speak English, I can’t use the tenses like my grammar and my vocab hasn’t gotten worse, but I’m finding it harder to express myself and when we got to the root of the cause that was more related to his confidence than his actual speaking
abilities and I guess that was an interesting thing for me because, he was the first person I’ve sort of encountered where his English was fine, but his speaking had taken a hit. It had been reduced because of this issue with confidence.
And so, the last few lessons we had been working through how to build his confidence to improve his speaking where he already obviously has a solid foundation with regards to his speaking and that’s why I wanted to make this video today guys for you to talk a bit about what you can do if you find yourself in a similar situation where, well, you don’t even necessarily have to be in a similar situation if you’re working on your speaking and trying to improve your speaking as well. This advice will obviously help you too, but if you are in a similar situation where your speaking is already at a very good level, but you’re finding it’s still hard to express yourself because of being nervous anxious and feeling like you just don’t have enough confidence, hopefully some of these tips and tricks or this advice that I will give you will help.
So, I sat down with this guy in a Skype call the other day and we were working through ideas about how he could build his confidence around speaking and and we we worked out that the problem with with why he was so nervous was because he was always, every time he was speaking English, was in a situation where something was on the line. All right, meaning that where he was at work, and he was speaking with colleagues and he was worried about his job or he was worried about his work.
So, he was constantly nervous there or he was in class with me and he felt a little bit nervous there as well because he is trying to learn he’s trying not to make mistakes and I said to him are you going out and finding ways to speak English and to engage with other people where English doesn’t have so much weight on it where it’s not so important as to whether or not you’re correct when you speak or as to whether or not you communicate your ideas concisely and very quickly? And he said no, the only time I really speak is at work and in classes with you, and I said well, there you go, that is something that you need to do. It would be like me wanting to get better at Jiujitsu, the martial art that I used to do, but the only training I ever did was competing right so it would be like me always going to competitions and
expecting to try and improve, whilst also trying to compete and when you compete obviously you’re not in an environment where you can freely try new things, where you can take more risks, right? If you’re always practicing your English when you’re in a situation where you can’t take risks, you can’t be relaxed and you can’t try new things then you’re not going to improve and you’re going to become a lot more nervous, a lot more self-aware and have issues with your confidence.
So, what did I suggest to this guy that he could do firstly and and you know this is a pretty obvious one. Try and find something you’re interested in where you have to use your English and engage with other people. So this could be joining a sports club, doing some kind of recreational activity in groups, right? There are loads and loads of meetups that you can go to whether they’re related to English or not one example is that yesterday I went to Werribee zoo to do some photography with one of my friends Richard, who is a second…He speaks English as a second language, but he speaks like a native speaker, he’s been in Australia for five years now, and he spoke a long time before that, but before we went to Werribee zoo, he actually went on Facebook and found a walk around Melbourne to a photography group Meetup thing and spent two hours walking around, Melbourne, practicing his photography and it was free. There was no payment, it was mostly, I think mostly Australians, some foreigners as well, but he got to chill out with them and practice his photography which like his English well, his English is good, but his photography is very poor. He’s very much a beginner when it comes to his photography, right?
So, he was out there trying new things. There was no real… his photography wasn’t on the line so, he could just muck around practice take risks and feel at ease, obviously, you could do this same sort of thing, but with your English, so tip number one there, I would get online whether it’s on Google or on Facebook and look for some kind of group or Meetup related to a passion of yours. It doesn’t have to be English. Obviously, it can be English, it could be an English meetup group, but it could be related to photography. It could be related to sightseeing and travel it could be related to maybe you’re a mother or a father a new mother or a father and you could go to a meetup group for young parents, there are so many groups on there guys. Just find something you’re passionate about and try and do that once a week, you know, it could be an hour but once a week where you get to indulge in a passion of yours, but also practice English in a safe environment an environment where you don’t need to be perfect, you take risks and you can just do so in a relaxed manner, that is a great way to practice your speaking and to build your confidence, whether it’s in English alone, or it’s in another activity like photography.
Now, the other tip that I gave him was to check out public speaking groups. So, there’s one in Melbourne and I’m not sure this could be all over the place. It could be everywhere in Australia in the big cities, but there is a a group called Toastmasters, Toastmasters, I’m not sure if this is free or not. I have a feeling it is, but I could be wrong Toastmasters is a group that you can meet up with or you can go to that practices public speaking, so it can be for anyone whether you’re in business whether you’re a student at university, whether you’re learning English as a second language and usually the whole focus the whole point of these things is to just improve your public speaking, so it could be that you need to present at university and maybe they will critique you that will give you advice but it’s a safe environment because they as well are learning how to speak publicly, it could also just be practicing your English in general where you get up and introduce yourself and, you know, talk about yourself in front of them, but I think the basic idea here is that you will work on your public speaking which will definitely help you build confidence in English.
So, anyway, those were the main sort of points that I ended up saying to this guy, I was like you need to find time outside of work and outside of lessons with me where you can be speaking English and practicing your English and it’s not a risky moment, right? like the time that you’re spending doing. This isn’t going to make you nervous, isn’t going to make you anxious because it doesn’t matter if you get anything, right or wrong, the focus isn’t on how correct or efficient your English is, the focus is on just enjoying yourself and meeting other people.
Oh, I just I just remember the third one, the third one here, guys. Language meetup groups. I’m sure a lot of you will know about these in Melbourne in Sydney in Brisbane all the big cities around Australia and if you’re overseas, I am sure if you are in America or Canada there will be language meetup groups elsewhere in the big cities there to go to those guys, they tend to be free the ones that I went to in Melbourne when I was practicing my French and practicing my Portuguese were one called Lingos and another one called Mundo Lingo, okay? So, you should be able to find those or equivalents to those online if you go to Google or Facebook and type in language meetups, you’ll either find their website or their Facebook page and these are usually weekly or monthly meetups where foreigners and native speakers of English from that country as well can meet up to practice languages so, it’s not just English that they’ll be practicing. It’ll often be English speakers, they’re wanting to practice foreign languages as well. You know, whether it be Chinese or French or Portuguese. And so this is another relaxing, informal environment where you can meet many different people in the same boat as you learning languages their humble, they’re working on their confidence as well. So you you don’t need to be anxious you don’t need to be nervous and you can share your experiences, your worries, your concerns, all of that sort of stuff whilst also having fun and meeting new people, right?
So, language meetups are also an amazing place to just hang out meet new people, especially if you’re new to the area it’s a great place to meet native speakers and are foreigners as well and hopefully foreigners who don’t speak your native language and work on learning languages anyway, so I hope that’s helped guys at the moment.
I am off to Torquay I am about to catch up with two of my mates Dave and James. You’ve probably seen them in other episodes, we haven’t caught up in a week or two. So, we are going to go and get some healthy fish and chips there is a restaurant in Torquay called ‘Fishos’, called ‘Fishos’, just passing the airport here, you might see some of the planes out the window here a fish and chips place called Fishos and it is really gourmet. It’s very nice. They have fresh fish, that’s locally sourced. They have salads that you can pick to have with your fish. I think there were some sweet potato chips not just potato chips sweet potato. That’s healthy, huh?
Anyway, so I’m looking forward to that and I brought my camera gear so, I might go out and take a few sneaky shots before we get down and get down to business and start eating some food because I’m also quite hungry. It’s after lunch so, I hope that helps guys. I hope you’ve enjoyed this episode. Don’t forget to check out the Aussie English Podcast if you want to learn Australian English or English in general, that is theaussieenglishpodcast.com, if you’d like to support the podcast and Aussie English in general there’s a link down below for the Patreon page where you can sign up to donate as little as a dollar a month and if you would like to learn English in more depth, go over to theaussieenglishclassroom.com and that is where I upload a course every single week, I add to that constantly and there are videos and other materials in there that will help you Learn English, build your vocab and speak English confidently like a native speaker a lot faster.
So, get over there and try it, it is just a dollar guys to sign up. So, give it a go! I’m gonna stop rambling, keep driving and I’ll see you guys later. Thanks for joining me guys! See ya!
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