Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa, and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we're talking about…
Peter: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? And… How to Speak More of Your Target Language
Chigusa: You'll Learn...
Peter: One: Do Extroverts Learn Language Faster?
Chigusa: And Two: 5 Ways to Speak More, Even if You’re an Introvert
Peter: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned how to integrate self-study and learning with a teacher...
Chigusa: ...so you can learn your target language faster. And Peter, you also set your last goal for the year.
Peter: I did… I promised 25 minutes of Russian conversation as my December end-of-the-year goal.
Chigusa: And did you hit it?
Peter: Yes, I did.
Chigusa: Great, congratulations!
Peter: Thank you, Chigusa. I think… Every challenge, every goal you try and reach has its own set of challenges, but this was a tough one. I think they’re all tough in their own way, but to keep the mindset during this year when the routine is constantly changing. That was tough.
Chigusa: I think you did really great… with all of the other languages you’re maintaining. I’m just more surprised that you’re able to speak past 20 minutes. Speaking for that long in another language… is really hard.
Peter: Well, remember, I’m not doing all the talking for 20 minutes. These are timed conversations with my teacher. So, I’ll talk a bit, and she’ll talk a bit. I’ll switch to a new topic… and take up some time. And of course, I always ask questions, so it’s just not speaking, it’s listening - and listening is actually quite an interesting skill.
Chigusa: You can take up even more time, right? So you’re stretching things on purpose, Peter.
Peter: Well, it still counts, Chigusa! But you’re right. Speaking in another language for that long can be hard, Chigusa.
Chigusa: It doesn’t seem to be the case with you.
Peter: Well, remember, I hit a goal, miss a goal, hit a goal, miss a goal, change a goal, change a goal, change a goal… I think the reason why I’ve hit most… but not all… but most of my speaking goals... is...you know, speaking is easier for anyone who’s more of an extrovert
Chigusa: Would you say you are an extrovert?
Peter: I think you could say that. And I think there are some advantages to being an extrovert when it comes to language learning. And that’s the topic of this Inner Circle:
Chigusa: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert… And How to Speak More of Your Target Language
Peter: Let’s jump into part 1.
Chigusa: Part 1: Do Extroverts Really Learn Language Faster?
Chigusa: So, I’m curious, Peter, how did this topic pop up?
Peter: Well, first, it’s not such a common question, but it’s one I was very curious about… “Do introverts learn better, or do extroverts learn better?” So, I was reading a study about how extroverts have an advantage… when it comes to speaking and overall conversational skills, and it kind of makes sense. Now, this study didn’t take into account mistakes you may make, such as grammar, vocab, etc. But just that, extroverts speak more and create more opportunities for conversations.
Chigusa: So they could still be making mistakes all over.
Peter: Exactly. We don’t know because that wasn’t part of the study. But it could very well be the case.
Chigusa: Yeah, I’d imagine that’s true for extroverts. They’re willing to interact more… so it makes sense that they have an advantage there. Introverts tend to observe and listen more.
Peter: Exactly.
Chigusa: But could you say that extroverts learn faster?
Peter: That’s a good question, Chigusa. I don’t think one is better or faster than the other. Just that, studies show that extroverts have an advantage in speaking, and… introverts tend to be the better listeners, which makes a lot of sense, right?
Chigusa: Right. So they each have their own advantages. One has something that the other lacks.
Peter: Exactly. So if you speak less, your speaking skills will be weaker, relatively. And if you want to just speak a lot… you’re missing out on the other skills like listening and reading. So again, that study didn’t take into account mistakes, so it just that may be extroverts are more willing to put themselves speak, but it can also be that they’re more willing to make mistakes as well.
Chigusa: That’s not a bad thing, I think. So you can’t really say who learns faster.
Peter: Well, I think the person who learns faster… or maybe, the person has a better chance of becoming fluent … will always be the one that puts in the time… to learn, to practice, get assessed, adjust with the feedback… and not so much whether they’re introverted or extroverted.
Chigusa: I see. So, since you're an extrovert, Peter, speaking comes more naturally to you. Can you talk about how exactly… that advantage works for you as a language learner?
Peter: Chigusa, actually, you might be surprised. I didn’t start out as an extrovert.
Chigusa: Really?
Peter: You know, I think I took a few tests. I actually prefer to be at home, reading a book, in a nice quiet, calm environment. And that’s in my native language of English. When I started learning languages… that’s when I slowly became an extrovert. I think learning a language gives you a chance to reinvent yourself. Don’t you think?
Chigusa: Right, you kind of become a new you, a new version of you. That happens sometimes.
Peter: I think a famous French philosopher said, to learn another language is to acquire another soul. Kind of gives you a chance to reinvent yourself. Also, native speakers are very supportive and welcoming when you’re trying to learn their language. So, even if I felt shy at the start… It's kind of hard to stay shy… because they’re so supportive. When a Japanese learner talks to you in Japanese… What do you think, Chigusa?
Chigusa: I think that it’s great that they’re learning, and I love the energy, so I try to speak more… and I try to listen more and get things out of that person to get them going.
Peter: It’s kind of interesting, in English - in your native language, you might not take the opportunity to try to speak to someone because you’re more worried about other things - social things or whether this is the right time. But in another language, in a way, you have more ways to start a conversation. But going back to the question, as an extrovert, you kind of have a natural desire to connect with others and learn about them. So, I tend to create more opportunities for myself to speak.
Chigusa: Like what kind of opportunities?
Peter: For example, one thing I do is… If I’m learning a specific language, I'll go to a restaurant from that country, so that type of cuisine. So, when I was learning Japanese, I’d go to Japanese restaurants. With French… a French restaurant.
Chigusa: And you’d speak with the staff.
Peter: Exactly. I’d try to become a regular there… So I can come back and try out some new phrases. Which is also good for them, too, right? But that’s just one example, Chigusa. I came up with 5 ways to create these speaking opportunities that’ll help you speak more — whether you’re introverted or extroverted. — and maybe even help you become more extroverted. So, let’s jump into part 2.
Chigusa: Part 2: 5 Ways to Speak More, Even if You’re an Introvert
Peter: The first one is… Increase speaking time and confidence through experience.
Chigusa: And what does that mean?
Peter: Simply put, the more experiences you have in life… or experience with certain topics, you become more knowledgeable...right?
Chigusa: ….Right, and you have a lot more to talk about.
Peter: So as your life or work experiences grow, so will your audience. You’ll find people coming to you to talk to you. It could be about business, travel, or just your own life stories. I’ve been to that country, I’ve been to that city, etc. But having all that experience makes things easy for you… as an introvert. People will come to you, so you don’t have to find them. The conversation will find you if you… if the conversation is about France…and you’ve been to France, the conversation will gravitate towards you. So the richer your experiences, the more you’ll find yourself inside - the center point of these conversations.
Chigusa: So, again, for a language learner… the trick is to one: be knowledgeable about something…
Peter: ….and two: be able to talk about your experience in the target language.
Chigusa: Do you do this with the languages you learn? Do people come to you?
Peter: I think it depends on the language. Again, the more you understand about the culture, the cuisine, the politics, the news, the pop culture, the architecture, the more you understand about these elements, the more the conversation tends to find you. And in a world where there’s so much collaboration, usually the top chefs in Japan are working with the top chefs in these other countries. So, if you know the top chefs in Japan, most likely they’ve collaborated, and all of a sudden, you’re talking about cuisine on a deep level. So it takes time, but yes, I think the conversation, as your experience grows, tends to find you.
Chigusa: Great, then moving on to Number two: Find the right audience.
Peter: This is another one that helps with speaking more. You have to have a receptive audience. If you don’t have an audience that cares, for example, imagine talking to someone that’s not interested in learning languages…
Chigusa: Yeah, they’ll give you 100 hundred reasons why they can’t learn…
Peter: ...But never reasons why it might work out for them, right? In my case, when I talk about business and entrepreneurship… with a non-business audience, it's very common to hear why ideas won’t work. But, when I’m talking with a group of entrepreneurs, the feedback is completely different. We’ll focus on problem solving and success and how to make the idea work.
Chigusa: So, find the right audience to share with.
Peter: Exactly. With language learning, it means… you need to find native speakers that share the same hobbies or interests as you.
Chigusa: And number three. Share the right subject matter.
Peter: Subject matter, meaning a topic to talk about. And I think the introvert-extrovert dynamic also depends on how much you know about a topic. There are topics I don’t know enough about to speak on… so I don’t speak much.
Chigusa: And you're more so of an introvert there.
Peter: Listening in a way. So, if your goal is to be more extroverted, then focus on the things you know about. Or, you can always gain experience in topics you don’t know much about, so you can speak more.
Chigusa: Okay, Number Four. Practice it.
Peter: Practice is as in… create those opportunities to speak. For example, like I said earlier, I’d go to restaurants and chat with the staff. I was learning Russian this year, so I made sure to visit a Russian restaurant. People in the service industry can be partners. I mean, that’s what they’re doing all day long. And doing that will boost your confidence.
Chigusa: So, it can be something like.. chatting with a barista, asking a taxi driver a question…
Peter: …or asking staff at an information booth a question.
Chigusa: Number Five. Learn how to listen like an introvert. So, how can this help one speak more, Peter?
Peter: So, this is where introverts have the advantage. They tend to listen more. So, the better listener you become, the more interesting questions you can ask… which results in a more meaningful conversation…. Which also means more speaking time for you. So you can speak more, even if you consider yourself an introvert, by listening well and asking relevant and pertinent questions.
Chigusa: Right, and if you ask good questions, you’re kind of making the conversation about the other person.
Peter: And this actually works well in your own native language. Most people want to talk about themselves, so if you make the conversation about the other person, it can turn into a great conversation…and increase your speaking time.
Chigusa: Listeners, if you want to learn how to ask questions...
Peter: …then check out our Top 25 Questions You Need to Know, where you’ll learn all about what to ask and answer regarding the most common conversational questions.
Chigusa: So, Peter, what about next year? What language will you be learning?
Peter: Chigusa, what did I say last time? I think it was… Hindi or Thai?
Chigusa: Hindi
Peter: Oh boy. Yes, Hindi. I think they’re equally challenging - these non-roman alphabet alphabets. So Hindi it is.
Chigusa: Alright, we’ll see in the new year! Listeners, thank you so much for being part of the Inner Circle...
Peter: We hope you’ve taken action on the tips you’ve picked up in these lessons…
Chigusa: ...because when you take action, you start seeing results…
Peter: ...and you start reaching your language goals. So, thank you again for coming along with us, and we’ll see you next year. If you have an update on your language learning journey, please send it to us.


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