Lesson Transcript


Kyejin: Welcome to the inner circle. This is the monthly newsletter….
Peter: …giving you tried and tested learning methods to help you reach your language goals this year.
Kyejin: Hi, I'm Kyejin and I'm joined by my co-host, the founder of innovative language, Peter Galante.
Peter: Hi, everyone. Peter here. In March. I hit my goal of four hours of French a week
Kyejin: and I hit my goal too, but I did more. 32.5 hours plus I signed up for the DELF this June
Peter: and this signing up for proficiency exam where you have a clear date that you have to pay for. That really solidifies your goal, especially when you pay. You know, I think the amount you care goes up in proportion to how much money you pay.
Kyejin: Exactly.
Peter: And this is a tactic I also use at times to get myself going. For example, in person classes, you don't want to miss the class because you know how much you're paying for them.
Kyejin: Right, I understand. And Peter, we also set some goals for this month.
Peter: Yes, mine was to put in five hours of French a week for the month of April. And Kyejin, yours was…
Kyejin: I wanted to review all the grammar rules for the B1
Peter: Ok. And Kyejin. Do you happen to know how many grammar rules that was?
Kyejin: I don't have the exact numbers right now, but my premium plus teacher listed the grammar rules that I have to study for B1. And, yeah, I'm studying those grammars from FrenchPod101, and also my own book too.
Peter: Wow. On top of what already you're doing, right.
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: All right. So let's get into it. So Kyejin, my April goal was five hours a week and I managed to achieve the goal.
Kyejin: Wow, congratulations. How did you do that?
Peter: Well, I added an extra hour of in person lessons.
Kyejin: I see. It sounds like you are studying more and more.
Peter: Yeah, I think now I'm up to 20 hours a month, which I'll be honest, I've never increased this fast for any language I've ever studied. And yeah, normally I take a much more leisurely pace to studying. But I have to admit, I think two things are very big factors here. First is you…
Kyejin: the competition?
Peter: No, no collaboration. you'd like to say,
Kyejin: Yes, collaboration.
Peter: But it's quite powerful. You know, when we do these classes, I'm actually learning from you and this collaboration is quite powerful, especially if it's productive or it's positive. So sometimes competition can be quite negative. But you're really so positive. And really helping to inspire me because when I see 32 hours, 32.5 hours and I realize, wow, Ok, I need to increase that amount that I'm studying per week because Kyejin it is, it's motivational.
Kyejin: Yeah, indeed. But, you know, 32 hours is pretty long, but is mostly about the passive learning. That's what I'm actually very worried about. I don't really find time to sit down at my desk and study more… actively writing French or speaking French. It's more about like listening the French dialogues or reading some things. So actually, I think you are doing a really great job. You motivate me now.
Peter: Yeah. So I think that collaborating with someone and studying with someone, you know, is very, very powerful premium plus teacher helps any time you have this type of It, it really helps motivate people. So, that collaboration is the first part of it. And the second part I think let's go back to how we study in a minute, but the second part that's quite, I think really helped increase the amount of studying is having a concrete goal. And the DELF taking an exam where you're studying where you're testing all the skills is really motivational.
Kyejin: Indeed. And actually, I'm not focusing much on speaking and writing. Unlike you, you are spending a lot of time on them. So my May goal, if I can tell you, my May goal now is to focus on speaking and writing.
Peter: That's a very, very good goal. And those are two components of the test. But let's back up a moment here and let's bring everyone up to speed on the different types of what they call in the industry…. productive, which is speaking and writing and receptive… which is listening and reading. Kyejin, what's your understanding of both? Start with receptive where it's reading and listening.
Kyejin: Yes, I'm, I think I'm currently focusing on the receptive which is not intended honestly, but I'm spending a lot of time listening or reading some things in French on the commuting time. So unintentionally, I focus on this part more, but my weaknesses is actually speaking. So, yeah, I want to focus on this more.
Peter: It's quite interesting. The receptive, the listening and the reading are the actually the easier to do because you can kind of do them while you're doing other things like listening to a song…. they're easier to multitask. The productive way, you're speaking and writing, is actually, people will often say that that's a bit of a tougher one because you actually have to pull it out of your brain and create something. I actually spend more time on this productive side of things. And I have some techniques just maybe that I've developed over the years of studying different languages. My goal and the reason I kind of like interacting with a teacher is I can be pretty good at getting things off topic and what I mean by that.
Kyejin: Yes, for example.
Peter: So to give a case in point, I feel language is a tool, right? And then you're using the tool to accomplish something. So getting to know someone better, understanding the culture deeper, exposing yourself to ideas and things that you might not have come across in your own language and culture. So I quite enjoy forming relationships. So when I'm designing a conversation and what I mean by that is I spend most of my time front end, on the beginning part of a class when I walk in and the teacher says, how are you? My goal is to stretch that how are you into 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 minute conversation.
Kyejin: OK. It sounds like your life is very dynamic and dramatic. Many things are happening all the time, right?
Peter: That's an interesting way. Dynamic, I like that, you suggest it. But you know, sometimes these classes are quite long, an hour and if the pace isn't shaken up, sometimes the class could tend to be a little bit boring. So Kyejin, when you talk to your friend or you go to a class, what does the teacher you start with?
Kyejin: They usually ask me how are you (Ça va)
Peter: And how do you answer?
Kyejin: Oh, my answers are always fixed. Ça va bien, merci,, even if I'm not feeling very well. It's always Ça va bien, merci.
Peter: I'm well, I'm well, thank you, right?
Kyejin: Right.
Peter: So, yeah, I think this is quite the normal pattern and in fact, I used to be a teacher so I'm a little more, sensitive to this. It's that if, if you're a teacher and you have eight classes a day and 30 or 20 students and they're all answering, how are you? I'm fine and you, it gets repetitive and sometimes you can rush through this part. But it's quite interesting if you just take a little time and that's what I do. I take some time to come up with some interesting answers. So, for example, my French teacher asked, how are you? And my response was financially secure.
Kyejin: Ok.
Peter: Physically, well, spiritually, a little empty.
Kyejin: Ok? Is everything ok in your life? It looks like you're ok financially. But are you OK spiritually?
Peter: But your reaction is the exact reaction that my teacher had. She's like, are you OK?
Kyejin: Yeah.
Peter: But the expression on her face was just such surprise. Like she was expecting, “well, well, and you.” This was so outside the realm of like normal that she generally not as a teacher, like her basic empathetic self came out and was like, “are you OK?” in perfect natural French?
Kyejin: Yeah. Sure, of course.
Peter: And it led to a kind of a back and forth conversation and, you know, I'm limited by my vocabulary and things. But the class after was quite, it had a very different dynamic to it because she was generally interested in that class.
Kyejin: I think that's such an interesting way to learn the language. And I feel like, I don't know, I don't have any special way to learn a language. I just go to school and I listen to the teacher. Well, I answer with ordinary common or templates. But yeah, that's a great way to learn it. I envy you. Actually, I'm jealous.
Peter: Well, I think that it's one approach but again, my grammar has holes in it. and I tend to go outside of my level. So for example, spiritually is a, probably a C level, almost a native language word. But, I looked back at the languages I studied and I take the word soul. It's one of the high frequency words I use in each language.
Kyejin: Soul?
Peter: Like body and soul?
Kyejin: Oh, ok. I don't think I used that word like once a year or something. Less than once a year.
Peter: Yeah, but I noticed I have it across all of my language and that's because I'll use it in certain phrases to express my type of humor or something like this. So for me, it becomes a bit of a high frequency word in order to surprise or get elicit a response from my teacher that is so far like out of the realm of what my teacher is used to. And again, these kind of lead to very interesting conversations. However, I think your approach, I'm learning a lot from too. Where you show up, you do the work, you do the details, you focus on the grammar.
Kyejin: Right, Actually, I'm quite a serious learner. I ask a lot of questions to my teachers all the time. My goal was to review all the grammar rules for the B1 And actually we didn't finish April yet. So I still have some more grammar to look at. But yeah, I'm reaching my goal almost.
Peter: Have you ever heard of this quote “to be successful, You don't have to do extraordinary things. You just do ordinary things extraordinarily.”
Kyejin: Oh, that actually relieves me Yeah, because I feel like compared to Peter, I don't have any extraordinary ways to learn a language, but I'm really doing ordinary things
Peter: Extraordinarily. well
Kyejin: Well, if you say that, thank you.
Peter: And I think the quote is by Jim Rohn. The point is, is that your way most of the time is I feel the better way. It's just not the way my brain is wired.
Kyejin: Yeah, maybe this will be more helpful for the exam because I don't think the exam requires words like spiritual, but for speaking with native speakers, I think your way is really great. You can have a phone conversation with native speakers.
Peter: I think I'm gonna try it during the test.
Kyejin: Ok. You make the examiner smile, I'm sure.
Peter: Yeah, that could go a lot of different ways, Right? So going back a bit and we, we started on this conversation because we're talking about the fact that Kyejin, you focused on active or passive. You were focusing on learning passive, where you spend a lot of time reading and listening, right?
Kyejin: While I'm doing something else, for example, walking to the station or sitting down on the train.
Peter: Yeah. And again, I'm focusing more on speaking and writing. I will spend a lot of time thinking about responses, translating them, practicing them and going in with the goal of trying to make my speaking sessions longer. So what if we traded? What if I gave you my list of interesting things to say to elicit maybe different responses than you're used to from your teacher? And you give me your B 1 grammar list. Is that a fair trade?
Kyejin: Sure. And actually this, your know-how right? Your special list. Sure. Of course, because B1 list, well, you can easily find it but Peter's special word list, of course, that's more than fair.
Peter: Wow. OK. I thought that I was getting a better end of the deal. So if you're happy with this collaboration, then I'm happy to make that exchange and maybe we can even put some of the things that these prompts that I use inside of the PDF for this month.
Kyejin: Sounds amazing. I would love to see that.
Peter: And maybe we could put an excerpt of your list for grammatical terms to see how you use them because yeah, I'm curious to see the list now. I like grammatical patterns. So I'm curious to see the sample sentences because maybe I'll go in and change the sample sentences to something more interesting to get more responses.
Kyejin: OK. That's a great collaboration.
Peter: So let's talk about a couple of tools and tactics that we have here, you know, one way to take listening and reading, which is a passive and receptive activity and make it productive where you're actually actively doing something is… for reading is… you can read out loud Now, Kyejin, do you read out loud?
Kyejin: I can't do that on the train. Well, I should do that at home instead.
Peter: It's one of these things. It seems simple, but it's actually very, very, very hard to do.
Kyejin: And I love reading it out actually, recently I'm spending more time on passive learning. So I haven't really read out. But before we came back to the office, I used to read out a lot. That helped me a lot.
Peter: It's quite nice and maybe I could read out and then send a bit of it to my French teacher because the French pronunciation is actually very, very complicated.
Kyejin: Indeed. Yes, I agree.
Peter:I heard this story about, Kyejin, do you know Will Smith the actor?
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: So when he was on a show called Fresh Prince of Bel Air, did you ever hear about the show?
Kyejin: No.
Peter: It was one of his first shows. And I think, I think if I remember correctly, one of his co-actors said that he would memorize not only his lines, but everyone's lines.
Kyejin: OK
Peter:And then when he, after he said his lines, he would mouth the words of the other lines.
Kyejin: Why?
Peter: Because he, I think he wanted to understand the whole script to you. So yeah, I was gonna ask on the train, were you that passionate where you were mouthing the words as you listened along?
Kyejin: If I live in another country, maybe that is possible. But as you know, in Japan, talking on the phone is not allowed and I'm reading out some lines maybe.
Peter: Also Kyejin mouthing means he would not make the sound but he would just go like this, just move his mouth to the words that the other person was supposed to say.
Kyejin: Then I can do that. Sure.
Peter: But that's like, I think an extreme tactic. His co actor found it very annoying because she's trying to do her lines.
Kyejin: Yeah, maybe. their co actors cannot focus on their acting. It's like he's copying my line.
Peter: So this might be an extreme way. I think the basic way is try to read along, try to read out loud. Maybe the next extreme would be if you're in a public place, mouthing the words. But that might be a little extreme.
Kyejin: Yes.
Peter: Listening, you can answer back if you're listening to something or you can sing along or use a technique called shadowing where you hear something, then you repeat it back, you hear and you repeat it back. Songs are excellent for this. Especially now you can see the lyrics as you're listening along, you can talk back.
Kyejin: Oh, that's interesting. So you have some ways to make the receptive learning, productive learning. You turn receptive learning to productive learning.
Peter: And then we have the best tool for that on our site for JapanesePod101, FrenchPod101, all of our 101 sites… is that you can go to the line-by-line, play the audio then repeat it back.
Kyejin: Right, repeat after the audio. That's actually very powerful.
Peter: So these are a few techniques that you know, if you're gonna try your productive focus next month, I recommend that you try and for everyone out there listening, I recommend that you try.
Kyejin: I'll do that. Thank you.
Peter: What can I do…
Kyejin: I have a question. Yes, you do come to the office or you go somewhere by taxi or train. What do you usually do?
Peter: I should say that I study my language via the innovative language 101 app. But, you know, my time tends to… one of the hardest things is opening… the productive, not in the language learning sense, but actually doing something good for myself… is opening that app over the sports scores or over the newspapers. So I usually check sports scores and I usually check the news 8, 7 out of 10 times and then 2 out of 10 times, I will open the language learning app and then the last time I will open a game.
Kyejin: interesting.
Peter: Can I change my answer?
Kyejin: You can't, its recorded, Peter. Well, actually I did the same thing before this collaboration with you before. I mean before our collaboration because yeah, that's fun. And I also want to know what's going on in the world. So I used to check the news or check the messages from my friends. But now I have to focus on learning French and I don't really have much time. So I tried to turn my commute time to learning time. So I got a rule. So always when I walk from my place to the station, I listen to our audio lesson, which I already listened to before. When I walk, I cannot concentrate so much. So sometimes I miss some words or sometimes I'm not listening, but I already listened to that audio lesson before. So it's ok to miss some words and on the train when I go to work, I always listen to a new lesson. So I decided that rule and if I feel tired then I do, for example, like assessment. Assessment is more, I think, it's more interactive so I can focus better if I'm tired. Even if I listen to the audio lesson, I can't really focus on it. So I make the rule and I'm trying without the rules before. Yeah, I used to just, yeah, read some news or texting my messages. So maybe why don't you try that? Not every day. But for example, like when I go to some place, I always listen to FrenchPod101, for example, when you all come to the office.
Peter: Yeah, that's a, that's a great idea. So listen to a lesson that you've listened to on the Station. New lesson on the way to work. OK. I'll try that. I'll try it three times a week.
Kyejin: Oh, wow. OK. You said the exact number three times. So I'll ask you again next month then.
Peter: And you know what's nice is that you're piggybacking on a routine. You already go on your commute every day, right? So now you've added this to your commute. You're piggybacking on an existing routine of you coming to the office. OK. Excellent. All right, Kyejin. So I think we have a pretty good thing. So what is your goal for next month?
Kyejin: For next month? As you mentioned, I'll try more productive learning and active learning. Which means I focus on speaking and writing more. And on the train, I try to read out quietly some French lines and answer back, answer back to my audio lessons when I listen to something.
Peter: Yeah, that could be very, very good. And I will try to add one more hour. So I'm gonna go from five hours to six hours. But I'm gonna add this next hour completely on receptive learning, listening and also reading and apply it three times a week. I will try what you're doing. I'll listen to a lesson I've listened to on the way to the station, walking into the station, new lesson on the way… and I will do my best to shut off all the other noise and I will get my… I'm gonna get that to six out of 10 times that I open my app, I'll use it for something productive.
Kyejin: Great. I think this is a true collaboration. We help each other.
Peter: Yeah. it never occurred to me that we could both root for each other to pass.
Kyejin: Sounds good. And the deadline is May 31st 2023, right?
Peter: Right. Listeners. What about you? Let us know what your small measurable monthly goal is. Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com. And stay tuned for the next inner circle.


Kyejin: Bye everyone.
Peter: Thanks for listening and see you next time.