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  • Do do do do, wow, Brad Pitt has a new life!

  • Now, what conversation would I have with him?

  • I mean, I don't have a - I'd love to practice - Hi, James from www.engvid.com . I mean,

  • if I ever met Brad, I'd love to have a conversation because we're like - see how we look alike?

  • No, we don't.

  • This lesson is on what - like, how can you practice conversation when you don't have

  • a partner?

  • It seems, you know, it seems, you might say oxymoron, you know, practicing conversation

  • without a partner when you need to have a partner to have a conversation, okay.

  • But, you know, that's not the word I would use, but it seems, you know, it seems impossible,

  • aright?

  • I'm going to give you four ways today that you'll be able to practice, which will give

  • you the practice of conversation without having a partner.

  • Don't leave just yet, I haven't lost my mind, we're going to go do it, okay?

  • Now, why?

  • Why is this important?

  • Well, number one, if you don't get the practice in, you don't have the fluency, the pronunciation

  • or even the vocabulary to maintain a real conversation if you don't get the practice.

  • But if you don't have partner, you don't get to practice, you're in what we call a Catch-22.

  • You don't have this, and you need this in order to get that.

  • So, in order to have a good conversation, you need practice in a conversation, but if

  • you don't have a partner to have a conversation, you won't get good at conversation.

  • Yeah, it's a problem.

  • So, I want to give you something in a structure, or methods you can take apart that you can

  • practice and notice next time you have a conversation, you're much better and improved so that you

  • can - ah, wait for it - create a relationship so they will have further conversations with

  • you and you'll have a conversation partner.

  • And that's why we're doing this.

  • So, when Brad and I meet, we'll have the perfect conversation.

  • Anyway, moving on.

  • So, before I go on, this video is for Alex, Mom - I'm very sorry I forgot your name - you

  • were such a lovely lady, and baby Matthew.

  • I was at a restaurant with a friend up at Shinobu in Toronto and this Russian family,

  • beautiful little family, came over and said "Hi, are you James from EngVid?" and I was

  • kind of like "Yeah", and they said "We watch in Russia." and I will say Hi, you're probably

  • back in Russia, and baby Matthew probably isn't a baby anymore, he's bigger, but it

  • was brilliant meeting you and this lesson is for you, okay?

  • Anyway, so this is four ways to improve conversation skills when you're alone.

  • I've explained the "why", so let's talk about the "how".

  • What I'm going to use is - well, the "how" is actually right here on the board but I'll

  • go into it.

  • We're going to start trying to use the four methods of learning that we have when you

  • learn a language, which is listening, speaking, or which are-listening, speaking, reading,

  • and writing, but I'm going to be listing them a little bit differently in order to emphasize

  • what parts we want to work on to improve our conversation skills alone, so let's go to

  • the board this way, this way.

  • Okay, so you notice I have input and output, and this include the skills I talked about,

  • like you're repeating yourself, yes, but I'm breaking them down into different segments

  • because each part, there's - in my opinion and from what I've read, there is way of using

  • these things and input is, obviously, inputting, putting stuff inside your head, you could

  • say, put in.

  • And when you input stuff, that's things like reading and listening, okay?

  • You're not producing anything yourself, you're sitting there and just stuff's coming in.

  • Input.

  • Output is like, out, putting out.

  • That's me right now, I'm speaking.

  • I'm speaking to you, that's output.

  • Also, writing is output.

  • It means I'm putting out information or I'm communicating with the world.

  • Input is taking information in to understand the world, output is to put information out,

  • alright?

  • So, let's go.

  • So, that's input and output.

  • The next one I want to do is talk about pacing.

  • Pacing is what I am doing now.

  • I'm walking.

  • But, how fast you walk, how long the strides, what is the pace, the speed?

  • When we talk about pacing in language, at the beginning of this video, you probably

  • noticed that I was speaking very, very fast or very quickly.

  • My pacing was fast.

  • I've slowed it down now.

  • Every language has its own flow and its own pace.

  • For example, "Ni hao mah" in Mandarin is not the same as "Coc de mas verna" in Russian.

  • The pace is different, alright?

  • So, we're going to look at pace and we're going to look at the speed, let's just get

  • rid of this bracket here.

  • The breaks in the language.

  • In English, we have certain breaks just as they do in Japanese.

  • Some breaks are harder, some flow like "Como estas muy?", alright?

  • If you're doing it in Spanish, it follows, right?

  • Less break.

  • We're also going to look at mimicking.

  • Mimicking is not the same as imitation.

  • I made a - immitate, it's delicious, yes, it's nice but it's not delicious, so no "mmm",

  • so im, it means, so I made a mistake, it happens to everyone, alright?

  • So, imitate, sorry.

  • So, imitating or copying is - imitate means to do something similar to.

  • Mimicking is to like, exaggerate and sometimes you do it to make fun of something, alright,

  • or to ridicule, but we're going to use this particular skill of imitating and copying

  • to help enhance your English.

  • Then, we're going to look at some creative practice.

  • A couple of things that you can do, or one thing in particular, to open up your mind

  • so when you get locked into a pattern or a habit, we call it a rut.

  • It's harder for you to learn new things or have new things come in, but if we can break

  • that up a little bit, it gives your brain the opportunity to start fresh or be new,

  • so it can absorb more information.

  • In fact, what I said here was opening the mind, so it can be more responsive and learn

  • more, faster.

  • Let me repeat that again, if we open your mind, we can make it more responsive, it means

  • it can move faster, and it can learn faster.

  • This is important, because what a lot of people forget is when things stop being fun or interesting,

  • you quit.

  • You stop.

  • And it's important to remember, if you've been even watching this video, you've already

  • given me 10 minutes of your life.

  • If you've been studying for a year, you've been studying and giving a year of your life

  • to something.

  • You don't want to quit because it's no longer fun or interesting.

  • To me, that has been a waste of something you worked on that you clearly want, but if

  • we can make it interesting and fun and you can learn faster, you can get more of what

  • you want here and now, we'll make you better at what you want and get the things you want

  • faster.

  • In this case, it can be getting a job, getting a relationship, or just being able to travel.

  • You put the time in, so let's make it worthwhile for you, okay?

  • Anyway.

  • So, these are the four things we're going to practice - or these four methods - in order

  • to help increase or improve our conversation skills when we don't have partner.

  • A lot of people said it couldn't be done, but they weren't me.

  • You ready?

  • See you in a second.

  • We're going to go the board for those lessons.

  • Okay, so we're back.

  • So, what I want to do is take on two of the methods right away, which is input and output.

  • They're like brother and sister.

  • You need one to go with the other and they usually go together.

  • When we're studying in English, if you're doing writing, we always say it's best to

  • read a lot first.

  • And if you're writing a lot, we say read a lot, so they go together.

  • Anyway.

  • I'm going to come here and say a simple statement.

  • Conversation is like a two-way street, okay?

  • A two-way street, you have traffic going this way and traffic going this way.

  • It's not just about you, okay?

  • You need to understand other people as much as you need to be understood.

  • You need to see their perspective if you want to have good communication.

  • And in this case, I'm going to be using input to substitute as your partner, your reading

  • partner.

  • I'm sorry, your reading partner.

  • I'm going to use reading to be your partner.

  • Now, you might say "How does reading substitute as a partner?"

  • Well, it's not just reading, we have to specifically talk about something called fiction, reading

  • fiction, and you might say "What is fiction?"

  • Fiction is a story that is not true.

  • When you think about romance novels, science fiction novels, comic books, they're not real,

  • but they're stories, they're made up stories.

  • Fiction.

  • What they have found, or during studies they have found, is that people who read a lot

  • of fiction tend to understand other people more.

  • They tend to have more empathy.

  • Empathy is they feel and understand others, right?

  • Or they feel the pain or the happiness that other people feel.

  • So, why is this important in our conversation skill when I'm by myself?

  • Well, if I don't have a person to speak to, it doesn't make sense.

  • It just doesn't work.

  • You need to interact with someone, and if I can't react or, you know, work with a real

  • person, the next best thing is a fiction novel, because as the writer writes, they are asking

  • us to get into someone else's head and understand them and understand how they communicate.

  • And even though it's not a one on one real person, it's similar enough that they have

  • found that it improves people's ability to communicate after reading a lot when they

  • meet real people.

  • In fact, they say that in some ways, that people who read a lot of fiction have better

  • communication skills and interact better with people than people who just talk.

  • Because it's the whole thing of seeing things from their perspective, taking your time to

  • understand it, because you can't - they don't allow you to speak, you just take information

  • in - input - and as you're taking it in, you're like "Okay, I got it, I got it", and if you

  • don't get it, you don't understand the story though, it doesn't make sense.

  • But when you do get it, the story comes alive and you're like "Wow, that is so cool!".

  • And what's really cool is that you get to actually say something after, but being understood

  • is great.

  • Letting people know you understand them is sometimes better, because then they give you

  • the opportunity to be understood.

  • And, by the way, when we go up here to the board, I do have a little statement on that,

  • which is I want you to read and read fiction in order to get that perspective from others

  • and that empathy and that, you know, ability to work in social circles.

  • But, I also want you to know that it's not just me saying this.

  • Here is something right here where it says, okay, here's something.

  • I'm saying, "Reading helps people modestly improve understanding and their mental reaction

  • to others in social situations."

  • I took this out of Psychology Today, it was written in 2018 from a research study, okay?

  • That's because they found that, and I found that in my classrooms, the ones that read

  • the most were the ones much more capable of communicating with others, right?

  • And that's all this is saying is that you read, when you're in a social situation which

  • is in a school environment, on a date, or in a business environment, you're the one

  • who can actually speak to other people, because you're listening to them, and that's the important

  • part.

  • So, the reading becomes the partner that you need when you don't have one.

  • Cool?

  • Good.

  • So, now that you've got (muffled) because you want to talk, you're like, I did all this

  • listening, I'm taking all this stuff in, when is it my turn?

  • Let's talk about writing.

  • Now, you might say writing has nothing to do with speaking, but there is a thread that

  • they both have, or something that joins them together, which is thought.

  • One thing about writing is, or speaking, is when I'm speaking to you, I can make a mistake.

  • That mistake is instant.

  • I wouldn't say it's permanent but in a way it's instant and you can be judged on that

  • right way.

  • When I write that same statement on a piece of paper, you don't know what I've written

  • until you get to see it, so I get the opportunity when I write it down to change it and modify

  • it and improve it, look for mistakes in it.

  • In fact, when I do lessons, I do that very same thing.

  • I write all the stuff on the board, then I get a friend to look it over and say, "Look

  • it over!" and he checks for mistakes and I go "Okay, great!" and ok, see if I made a

  • mistake, because sometimes I miss something.

  • And by the time you see it, it looks pretty good and I'm like yeah, well, we correct it.

  • Now, that wouldn't happen if I didn't do that.

  • You might go "Mistake, mistake, mistake, mistake" and you'd be so caught up in my mistakes you

  • wouldn't actually see what I'm trying to say.

  • Writing gives you the opportunity to correct what's going on up here, or to see what's

  • going on up here and get the help you need to fix it.

  • Now, the beautiful thing about writing is you can be creative with it.

  • You can change things around and experiment to see.

  • You can be more forceful or you can be softer, and you can do all of that while doing it,

  • you're actually doing it with repetition and improving the natural flow that will come

  • out of your mouth, because as you fix it, you're not just fixing it for the paper, you're

  • fixing it for your mind so your mind knows the most accurate or the most correct way

  • of expressing what you want to say to people so they can understand you.

  • So, you're writing, you know, a page a day, two pages a day, and I'm not saying go crazy,

  • but I would say yeah, take a day.

  • Write out a page, a paragraph, of expressing yourself.

  • Put it away for about ten minutes, come back to it then read it again, read what you've

  • written, look for mistakes.

  • You'll find them, if you put it away, you'll find them then correct it, put it away again

  • and come back to it, you might even find other ones.