Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about The 3rd Person Way to
Peter: ...Break Bad Habits and Speak More of Your Target Language
Becky: You’ll learn...
Peter: ...One, How I Accidentally Cheated with this Tactic
Becky: Two, The 3 Language Learning Benefits of Speaking about the 3rd Person
Peter: ...and Three, How You Can Apply it
Becky: ...All so you can master your target language and finally reach your goals!
Peter: Listeners, welcome back.
Becky: Last time, you learned the embarrassingly simple secret to speaking more of your target language.
Peter: We covered why speaking out loud works...
Becky: ...such as describing your daily activities as you do them...
Peter: ...and why recording yourself and getting feedback is a must...
Becky: ...all so you can speak more of your target language.
Peter: Becky, that was a great episode. Listeners, thank you for all of your responses.
Becky: I think so too, Peter. Alright, let's get into this month. Last month was good. How’d you do this time?
Peter: You know Becky, it’s always such a pleasure to come in knowing that I crushed my goal. Because I know that you’re rooting against me.
Becky: Why do you think that, Peter?
Peter: Because I know you very well.
Becky: I’m only wanting the best for you. So, how long was it?
Peter: I promised 10 minutes of German conversation....
Becky: Right.
Peter: ...and let’s see. 10 plus, 1, 2, 3... I’m at 15 minutes as of my last lesson with my German teacher.
Becky: Really? You know, Peter, you might hit your original 30 minute goal by December.
Peter: Well...that’s very nice of you to say. But... let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Becky: I’m just trying to be supportive, you know.
Peter: You’re just reading the script, Becky. But.. Small steps, small steps, Becky.
Becky: Was there any talking to yourself this time around?
Peter: Of course. I still do that. But, Becky, you know if something works... you don’t stop.
Becky: Good point. So, is this what you did this month? 15 minutes is a bit of a jump.
Peter: It’s a tremendous jump. So let’s get into today’s Inner Circle lesson and I’ll tell you how I managed to accomplish this.
Becky: The 3rd Person Way to Break Bad Habits And Speak More Language
Peter: And listeners, in this lesson you’ll learn:
Becky: ...One: How Peter Accidentally Cheated with this Tactic
Peter: Two, The 3 Language Learning Benefits of Speaking About a 3rd Person
Becky: ...and Three: How You Can Apply it Too.
Peter: And let’s get into the first part.
Becky: One: How Peter Accidentally Cheated with this Tactic
Peter: Okay, so if you’re wondering what I mean about a third person...
Becky: Do you mean, in the grammar sense? First person, I. Second person, you.
Peter: Exactly, Becky. And the third person is he, she or it.
Becky: Ah, got it.
Peter: Now the tactic is speaking about someone else using the third person...
Becky: ..to get more out of a conversation, right?
Peter: Right. And... I came across this tactic, by accident, in a skype lesson with my German teacher. But... listeners, if you apply this, it drastically improves your speaking skills and more importantly, your overall speaking time in the language.
Becky: Okay, I’m interested. How does speaking about a third person help?
Peter: So, most learners, they tend to stay in the first and second person tenses.
Becky: Right. A lot “I am...” and “You are...”
Peter: And when you speak in first and second person, you cover a lot of material quickly. You and the speaker who’s usually the teacher, as is the case in my case, cover a lot of the same things that we go over. For example...
Becky: How are you? I’m good. How was your weekend? Mine was good.
Peter: For the most part, there’s a lot of repetition in every conversation.
Becky: Yeah, those phrases almost become automatic...
Peter:...which is a good thing, but it’s also a bad habit. You stick to easy, stock phrases. Like, Becky, if I ask you... how are you? What would you say?
Becky: I’m fine and you?
Peter: My German teacher uses this. My Italian teacher uses this. In fact, it’s such a stock phrase and natural reaction for teachers and students that when I was teaching English, I banned my students from using “I’m fine.” Because that’s all they would say!
Becky: But why BAN them from saying?
Peter: Becky, sometimes I would see a student and it was written on their face – they were not fine. But you ask them and they would say “I’m fine.” So in order to break this habit, I would force them to use something else. That’s how my German lesson happened this week but something unusual happened this time. Almost by accident. Whenever I have a Skype Lesson, my son likes to drop by and see who I’m talking to.
Becky: ...Peter, he did catch you talking to yourself last time. I’d be concerned too. If I was your son.
Peter: Alright, that’s a fair point. And he’s done this with my Italian lessons, my Chinese lessons.
Becky: You’re still learning those?
Peter: They’re in maintenance mode. I have an Italian lesson on Sunday nights, Monday and Tuesday is German, Wednesday or Thursday is Chinese... and Japanese. I live in Japan so I try to speak it daily.
Becky: What about Spanish, Peter?
Peter: Spanish is in the leap year program. So, every leap year.. .I do an intensive... um... Yeah, Spanish is a bit on the backburner. But, my son likes to pop in and say hello. And I never let him talk to the teachers in English. So he always comes and asks questions “How do I say this in the language”, etcetera.
Becky: And how does he do?
Peter: He actually does pretty good. Of course, i feed him the lines. But, believe it or not, he gets very into our conversations.
Becky: Really? How so?
Peter: So, this is what happened accidentally and this is where speaking about the third person comes in. Because when he came into the conversation last week, suddenly we have a new person to talk about, and a new person to explain about. So, we wound up speaking for quite a while about my son.
Becky: For example like... How old is he? What does he like? What’s he studying in school?
Peter: Exactly. And my German teacher was very interested. My German teacher would ask in German, I would listen and translate, then we’d make the answer back in German.
Becky: Ah, and your conversations shift from talking about yourselves...
Peter: ...to my son. And here was what was interesting. I knew how to talk about myself. I’m American, I am 32... or something like this. But, you know, these were phrases that I memorized. But when I started to talk about my son, I actually had to think in the language. Instead of, I’m 40, i would say... He is 5 years old. I like movies. He likes legos. So, in a way,...
Becky: The concepts are still the same. You’re using what you’d typically say about yourself...
Peter: ...except, now, I’m talking about my son. And that's why I say it’s almost cheating because, if he wasn’t there, I would not have been able to hit 15 minutes of German conversation.
Becky: I see. But having him there gave you and the teacher more to talk about.
Peter: Exactly. And it’s great because we wind up teaching him a few words. For example, he’d say “How do you say hello in German” and I would teach him. He would say that to my teacher and she would respond in German. And we repeated this with many different phrases so it kept a lot of the conversation basic, but my teacher and I were continually speaking in German. We would listen in English and answer in German.
Becky: It seems like a very simple tactic actually.
Peter: It is but there are some powerful benefits that come with it. And let’s look at those in the second part.
Becky: The 3 Language Learning Benefits that Come With This Tactic
Peter: First: Speaking about the third person breaks bad habits.
Becky: Listeners, think of the common phrases you use: “Hello, how are you, I’m good. How about you?”
Peter: They’re mostly in the first and second person, right?
Becky: Right.
Peter: And if I asked you how old you are, you can easily say 42, right Becky?
Becky: I thought you said 32, Peter. What happened?
Peter: I thought we were talking about you here.
Becky: Oh, yes, I’m 32. Yes, yhat’s exactly right.
Peter: But again, how old you are and how old I am, you’ve said these phrases about 100 times before.
Becky: Yeah, that’s right. So, I see. You’re going outside of easy phrases and you’re forced to talk about something new.
Peter: Exactly. My teacher and I applied it to the rest of my family. My sons like legos. My wife likes to watch movies. I’m just taking the simple concepts, the simple sentence patterns – talking about likes – and now I’m multiplying by it by 3. I’m not just talking about me. But now, I’m talking about my family. So, the speaking time is increased by a multiple of 3.
Becky: Ah, and you get to speak a lot longer. So, that’s the second benefit. You get to speak longer. For example, I think your teacher would ask you – how are you, how’s your wife, how are the kids? And like you said, there are more things to talk about; you get to speak longer. What used to be a 3-minute recap of my weekend... would now be 9 minutes, right?
Peter: Exactly. And because she’s met my child, now, she asks about him too. And you see how this connection is now built and now we talk about this too.
Becky: This is a pretty clever tactic, I must say. Okay, what’s the third benefit?
Peter: The third benefit is... it forces you to think in your target language.
Becky: How so?
Peter: Well Becky, you’re learning Japanese right?
Becky: Right.
Peter: So when we spoke about your age, you know how old you are, right?
Becky: Yes, I know my true age.
Peter: Now, Becky, real fast, how old is... your mother or how old is your sister?
Becky: Yea... I had to think about that one.
Peter: You see, you had to stop there for a little bit, right?
Becky: Mmhm, didn’t come right to my head, no.
Peter: The first question is easy because it's about you and most of us are pretty self centered.
Becky: It happens with my phone number too. I can say my phone number in Japanese really quickly, without thinking... but, well, I don’t know your phone number, Peter. But I could not say it. It would take me a while.
Peter: So it’s a very, very good tactic to apply to your language learning so you can speak about things longer. And... think in the language! The more you think in your target language, the more natural it’ll become.
Becky: Speaking will be a lot easier because it’s already in your head. And, it forces you to ask questions like: “how do I say this in Japanese or German.”
Peter: Exactly, you’ll always run into these issues of wanting to express something...
Becky: ...but not having the words or grammar for it. So thinking in the language gets you learning more of your target language indirectly.
Peter: You got it.
Becky: Okay, so how can our users apply this? Speaking about a third person.
Peter: Let’s get into the third point. How You Can Apply This Tactic
Becky: Listeners, talking about the third person is a super simple tactic but it can boost your progress by 300%.
Peter: All you’re doing is taking the sample, simple concepts, the same sentence patterns you already know like: ... I like... I want...I’m so and so years old...
Becky: ...and applying them to other people. He likes... He wants. He’s so and so years old.
Peter: So, the easiest thing to do is talk about your family.
Becky: Or even famous people.
Peter: Great point, Becky. Listeners that’s all there is to it.
Becky: I have one question for you. Did you ever use “we?” For talking about you and your son?
Peter: Of course, yes.
Becky: Okay.
Peter: The plural first person. Again, it helps you really, many times when you take a language, especially private lessons, it’s just a first and second person conversation.
Becky: It’s like having extra talking points that can keep the conversation going.
Peter: Exactly, except in this case, it’s about other people.
Becky: Sounds great! Alright, let’s talk goals. You I know I like to talk goals, Peter. What’s the next one?
Peter: Okay, I’m at 15 minutes now... so let’s not aim too high here because i was actually cheating a bit. So, I’m actually going to aim for 14 minutes, 1 less than my goal this month, because, I really have to put in some study time to get back to speaking about me and my teacher.
Becky: Okay, I guess I’ll accept that. I don’t like this backtracking thing.
Peter: Alright, Becky, you know what? Then we’ll do 17 minutes, just for you.
Becky: I like that a lot better. Deadline?
Peter: September 30th, 2016.
Becky: Got it. And listeners, do you make the mistake of sticking to the first and second person?
Peter: And have you tried talking about a 3rd person? Or adding more talking points to your conversations?
Becky: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com.
Peter: And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.