#134 - 6 Reasons You Should Learn English in a Community

April 22, 2022

The thing people complain about the most when learning English is not having anyone to talk to, and that's why I created the Life in English Community. There are many ways to solve this problem, but in this episode, I'm gonna give you 6 legitimate reasons that learning English in a community is one of the best solutions.

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to share six simple reasons that you should learn English in a community. 'Cause if you talk to anybody who's gone to a quality language school or anybody in my community, for example, any one of these people will be able to tell you that it is truly priceless to have 24/7 access to not only a teacher but also a community of people, a group of friends or classmates that are also trying to achieve the same goal that you have, which is becoming fluent in this language. Anyone who has experienced this will be able to tell you that it makes all the difference in the learning process.

[00:00:39] So in this episode, like I said, I'm just going to share six simple reasons that you should consider doing the same exact thing. But first, roll the intro. All right, my friends, we're not going to waste any time. I'm going to get straight into these six very simple but very clear reasons that you should learn English in a community. Number one, the more people you have to study with, the better. Number one is a very simple reason. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you only need one quality language exchange partner to become fluent in any language. I mean, I learned to speak Portuguese by talking to just two people on a regular basis.

[00:01:21] Now, obviously, I talked to a lot more than two during my entire learning process, and I'm still learning today. I learn new things all the time. But I only had two consistent like, daily partners for like two or three years. And I still learned to speak the language at a pretty, what I consider a pretty high level. You see what I'm saying? So don't think that you have to have a bunch of people to talk to on a regular basis if you want to improve this skill. But what I'm saying is there are many times when you might find one or two really cool people, but maybe they're busy a lot. They have other things to do or whatever, but when that happens, you're kind of stuck. You can practice by yourself, but if you want somebody else to talk to, then you need more people. So the more, the better.

[00:02:06] And in a community, when you have, you know, even if it's just ten people, that's ten separate chances that you have to practice your English with a real person, you know? Because the simple equation is like this, more people equals more opportunities, equals more practice, equals better English. That's the idea. So when you have more people in this community, you have more chances to practice with real people on a regular basis. And I can't see the downside or the negative side to having more opportunities to do what it is you want to do. You know what I'm saying? So the more people, the better. Just remember that.

[00:02:42] Now, reason number two that you should learn English in the community is that it prepares you for real-world situations. Siturations, he said. Siturations is not a word. Don't say that. Situations. Real-world situations. That's what I was trying to say. A community prepares you for that. You know what I'm saying? Because you're most likely, in the real world, come into contact with all kinds of English speakers, not just native English speakers. Even though most English schools and most independent teachers prepare you for speaking with British people or American people in most cases. But the reality is, the entire world is learning English. You see what I'm saying? So you're almost certainly going to come in contact... Come into contact with people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or maybe fifth language. And it's just as important to understand them as it is to understand the native speaker. You see what I'm saying?

[00:03:40] So when you join the international community, it prepares you for what real life is actually going to be like, especially if you come to the US. There are hundreds, hundreds of millions of people who speak English as a second language and you're going to have to interact with those people. So by joining an international community and talking to myself, the native, but also other people from other countries, you're constantly preparing yourself for real-world situations. You know? It's a big world out there and a lot of different kinds of accents and dialects and word choice, you know, communication styles as well. So I think by joining a community, you get much more realistic preparation, much better preparation for real life when you're really going to be using this real English, you know?

[00:04:24] So reason number three that you should join a community if you're trying to learn the language, in this case, English is because you're forced to grow as a person and not just a communicator. I said that wrong. You're forced to grow as a person and not just a language learner. That's what I meant to say. Because one of the coolest things to me about learning a language is that you're forced to improve crucial communication skills that will serve you for years to come. And one of those skills is the ability to have healthy discussions and healthy debates with pretty much anyone. Because at some point you're going to come across somebody that has like, different thoughts or opinions or life experiences or philosophy or religious beliefs, something that's much different from the way you live your life. Eventually, you're going to come across that. 

[00:05:06] And when you're doing a language exchange and you find yourself in that situation, what are you going to do? Just end the conversation and say, "Fuck you. You're stupid" or block the person or curse them out. Like, of course not. Of course not. You can learn how to express your thoughts more accurately, and you're going to learn how to respect the thoughts and opinions, and lifestyles of other people, even if they're completely different from your own. Because that's the only way you can sustain long-term communication with anyone, in my opinion. And sustaining long-term communication is how you become fluent in a language. You have to have someone to talk to on a regular basis for an extended period of time.

[00:05:43] And once you master this skill of being able to have healthy debates and discussions with people from different walks of life, different social classes, people that look different than you, once you master the skill you give yourself the opportunity to see how diverse the world really is. You get a chance to learn about different ways of life and different ways of seeing the world. And you get a chance to make friends all over the world, like in different countries. And I just cannot stress enough like, how priceless that actually is, to have friends all over the world that are united with you by the... You know, with this language, let's say. It's a really priceless thing to have, man. Anyone who's traveled to a foreign country by themselves can tell you like, how priceless it is to have friends everywhere. You know what I mean? 

[00:06:33] So that's just another reason I think to join a community is because you grow as a person, you know, internally just as much as you do, let's say linguistically, by improving your language skills. Okay? So let's move on to reason number four that you should join a community and that is the other members of the community hold you accountable. This one is extremely important. Like, have you ever noticed that going to the gym is a whole lot easier when you have a partner to go with? Why is that? I think it's because you have someone who holds you accountable. Like, you know you got someone expecting you to show up. And for some strange reason, it's much harder for us to let other people down than it is for us to let ourselves down.

[00:07:16] That's why multiple partners or friends that support you and your goals are priceless assets to have. Trust me on that. Because if you don't have a partner and you decid... Or excuse me, you decide to skip the gym today, no one's going to know about it except you. But if you flake on your partner, they will most likely expect some type of explanation like, Yo, man, where the fuck were you at? I was calling you. You know we go to the gym every Wednesday, every Friday. What's up? Where were you? Right? And simply knowing this fact, knowing that somebody is going to be expecting an explanation if you flake, if you don't show up, simply knowing that can be enough to make you get up and go to the gym, even if you really don't want to do it. Right? It's the same with language.

[00:08:00] I think that practicing your language skills is the same as going to the gym. Except in this case you're exercising your mind and not your body. And when you have partners holding you accountable and expecting you to show up, you're much more motivated to show up and practice your English every day. Members of your community are a constant reminder that you need to practice and improve this particular skill. And they say that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you don't have people in your life that are holding you accountable and supporting you and your goals, you are at a distinct disadvantage. In my opinion. All right? 

[00:08:38] So let's move on to the fifth reason that you should learn English in a community. And that is learning with real people is just more fun. Going back to the example of athletics, for example, could you imagine if basketball were a one-player sport? What about soccer? Imagine LeBron James on the court all by himself just shooting the ball and dribbling in circles. Imagine Messi on the field running back and forth and just shooting the ball into an empty net. Now, we'd probably see them do some amazing stuff by themselves because they're really talented players, but after a while it would get pretty boring, right? That's because basketball and soccer are team sports. They're meant to be played and enjoyed with other people. Well, it's the same thing with language. Communication is a team sport.

[00:09:31] And when you learn a language in a community, you have more fun simply because you're using the language the way it was intended to be used, with other people. And we don't learn languages so we can talk to ourselves, even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking to yourself. Don't let anyone tell you different. All right? But we learn languages to communicate with other people, right? And for some strange reason, many English schools and independent teachers focus on a language learning methodology that isn't practical for learning a language. They try to get you to learn how to express yourself by studying words and grammar rules the same way you would study mathematic equations. But math is a science. Language and communication are forms of art. So when you put down the grammar books and decide to start interacting with a community of real people, I can guarantee that you'll start to see better results in your ability to comprehend and speak the English language, and you'll have a lot more fun doing it. 

[00:10:38] All right. Let's get on to the sixth and final reason that you should join a community if you're trying to learn English and that is you get to share your growth and your process with other people. It's really cool to see someone grow and develop over time, and it's even cooler to be a part of their growth process. And it's also really nice to share your growth with other people. And I know it might sound cliche, but it's great to be a part of something. I can't think of any disadvantages of being a member of a community that exists to help you grow as a communicator and a person. I mean, if you think like this podcast, for example, this is why I recommend to everyone I know, anyone learning a language to just start a podcast, even if no one listens to it. Who gives a shit? It's really not the point.

[00:11:24] But by doing that, just every day, every week, every month, whatever works for you, but by consistently recording podcast episodes in this language you're trying to learn or in my case, in this language I'm trying to teach, it's just like, you get a way to track your progress and your growth. I can go back to episode number one and see my growth and progress all the way up to Episode 133. You know? And if I would have kept the same record in Spanish or Portuguese, I'd have that same documentation of my growth and my progress. And it's just really cool to be able to look back and see that. It's really cool to be able to share that with other people. Because when I go back and listen to my podcast from a year ago and compare it today, that's an experience for me. But I'm also sharing it with all of you that are listening and watching, all of you that have been following for years now, you have seen the evolution of the Life in English podcast and myself as well. And it's just... I think it's a rich thing to be able to share your stories and experiences with other people.

[00:12:22] That's why we like documentaries. That's why we like books, biographies, stories, and things like that. For the same reason, you know, you get to live this experience, you get to witness this growth, you know, through somebody else's experience. And to me, that's priceless. You know? When you can share like... Because we have members in the community right now who are at the more beginner stages and I can guarantee you six months from now, if we just continue doing what we're doing, talking every day, every week, and they're listening to the podcast and all these other things that language learners do, I guarantee you in six months we'll be able to look back at the conversations we had last week, for example, and see a clear difference. You know? 

[00:13:00] And I think you appreciate your process much more when you can look back and see how far you've come, when you have other members reminding you how far you've come, you know? And when you get to see these new friends that you have around the world also learning and growing with you and you know that you were a part of that. I just think it's really cool. Some people don't really care about stuff like that. But I think when it comes to doing something difficult and time-consuming and energy-consuming, like learning a language, it's always so much better when you do it with other people. And that's true for any skill you're trying to learn, I think. When you can share your growth and your progress with other people, the experience is just richer for me. You know?

[00:13:37] So, anyway. Those are the six reasons I think that you should learn English in a community. Let me just recap. Number one, the more people you have to talk to, the better. There is no downside to having an abundance of opportunities to practice your English if you're trying to learn how to speak English. Right? Number two, a community prepares you for real-world situations. There are more than just native speakers in this world that speak English, and you need to be able to interact with and understand natives and non-natives. There is no difference to me. Okay? Number three, you're forced to grow as a person, not just a language learner. Because it's great to become fluent in the English language. But it's even better to use that language to facilitate growth in other areas of your life by talking to people from different walks of life, with different beliefs or thought processes or philosophies, or whatever it is, you just grow in other ways that go far beyond language itself. And I think that's really, really valuable.

[00:14:30] Number four, other members hold you accountable. And this is important because sometimes if we leave everything up to ourselves and we're only accountable for ourselves, it's easy to let ourselves slide or let ourselves skip a day or skip a week or skip a month. It's very easy to do that. But when you have people holding you accountable or expecting you to show up consistently, sometimes that's all the motivation you need to actually show up consistently and practice this skill. It makes a huge difference. The fifth reason, learning with real people is just more fun than sitting and trying to memorize vocabulary in a book or watching movie after movie after movie. Having real people to talk to just makes the process more fun, more engaging. And the sixth and final reason is that you get to share your growth and your progress with other people and they get to share it with you, which creates a much more meaningful experience and growth process, I think. 

[00:15:21] Now, at this point, I'm pretty sure you know what's coming next. I got to talk about my community, one of the best places, I think, to improve your English with real people like myself. So if you like the idea of learning English in a community with real people, if you want, you know, a place where you can come and get your questions answered and make friends from around the world, you know, get access to the transcripts of every episode of this podcast, vocabulary guides, all the content and support that you need to learn English by yourself. Or I guess technically it wouldn't be by yourself because you'd be learning with us, if you're interested in joining the Life in English community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/VIP and get all the information you need about the community, what you need to do to join, and what you can expect once you actually join us. All right? So again, lifeinenglish.net/VIP. But that's it for this episode. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and it gave you some things to think about. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. This is the Life in English podcast and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to share six simple reasons that you should learn English in a community. 'Cause if you talk to anybody who's gone to a quality language school or anybody in my community, for example, any one of these people will be able to tell you that it is truly priceless to have 24/7 access to not only a teacher but also a community of people, a group of friends or classmates that are also trying to achieve the same goal that you have, which is becoming fluent in this language. Anyone who has experienced this will be able to tell you that it makes all the difference in the learning process.

[00:00:39] So in this episode, like I said, I'm just going to share six simple reasons that you should consider doing the same exact thing. But first, roll the intro. All right, my friends, we're not going to waste any time. I'm going to get straight into these six very simple but very clear reasons that you should learn English in a community. Number one, the more people you have to study with, the better. Number one is a very simple reason. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you only need one quality language exchange partner to become fluent in any language. I mean, I learned to speak Portuguese by talking to just two people on a regular basis.

[00:01:21] Now, obviously, I talked to a lot more than two during my entire learning process, and I'm still learning today. I learn new things all the time. But I only had two consistent like, daily partners for like two or three years. And I still learned to speak the language at a pretty, what I consider a pretty high level. You see what I'm saying? So don't think that you have to have a bunch of people to talk to on a regular basis if you want to improve this skill. But what I'm saying is there are many times when you might find one or two really cool people, but maybe they're busy a lot. They have other things to do or whatever, but when that happens, you're kind of stuck. You can practice by yourself, but if you want somebody else to talk to, then you need more people. So the more, the better.

[00:02:06] And in a community, when you have, you know, even if it's just ten people, that's ten separate chances that you have to practice your English with a real person, you know? Because the simple equation is like this, more people equals more opportunities, equals more practice, equals better English. That's the idea. So when you have more people in this community, you have more chances to practice with real people on a regular basis. And I can't see the downside or the negative side to having more opportunities to do what it is you want to do. You know what I'm saying? So the more people, the better. Just remember that.

[00:02:42] Now, reason number two that you should learn English in the community is that it prepares you for real-world situations. Siturations, he said. Siturations is not a word. Don't say that. Situations. Real-world situations. That's what I was trying to say. A community prepares you for that. You know what I'm saying? Because you're most likely, in the real world, come into contact with all kinds of English speakers, not just native English speakers. Even though most English schools and most independent teachers prepare you for speaking with British people or American people in most cases. But the reality is, the entire world is learning English. You see what I'm saying? So you're almost certainly going to come in contact... Come into contact with people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or maybe fifth language. And it's just as important to understand them as it is to understand the native speaker. You see what I'm saying?

[00:03:40] So when you join the international community, it prepares you for what real life is actually going to be like, especially if you come to the US. There are hundreds, hundreds of millions of people who speak English as a second language and you're going to have to interact with those people. So by joining an international community and talking to myself, the native, but also other people from other countries, you're constantly preparing yourself for real-world situations. You know? It's a big world out there and a lot of different kinds of accents and dialects and word choice, you know, communication styles as well. So I think by joining a community, you get much more realistic preparation, much better preparation for real life when you're really going to be using this real English, you know?

[00:04:24] So reason number three that you should join a community if you're trying to learn the language, in this case, English is because you're forced to grow as a person and not just a communicator. I said that wrong. You're forced to grow as a person and not just a language learner. That's what I meant to say. Because one of the coolest things to me about learning a language is that you're forced to improve crucial communication skills that will serve you for years to come. And one of those skills is the ability to have healthy discussions and healthy debates with pretty much anyone. Because at some point you're going to come across somebody that has like, different thoughts or opinions or life experiences or philosophy or religious beliefs, something that's much different from the way you live your life. Eventually, you're going to come across that. 

[00:05:06] And when you're doing a language exchange and you find yourself in that situation, what are you going to do? Just end the conversation and say, "Fuck you. You're stupid" or block the person or curse them out. Like, of course not. Of course not. You can learn how to express your thoughts more accurately, and you're going to learn how to respect the thoughts and opinions, and lifestyles of other people, even if they're completely different from your own. Because that's the only way you can sustain long-term communication with anyone, in my opinion. And sustaining long-term communication is how you become fluent in a language. You have to have someone to talk to on a regular basis for an extended period of time.

[00:05:43] And once you master this skill of being able to have healthy debates and discussions with people from different walks of life, different social classes, people that look different than you, once you master the skill you give yourself the opportunity to see how diverse the world really is. You get a chance to learn about different ways of life and different ways of seeing the world. And you get a chance to make friends all over the world, like in different countries. And I just cannot stress enough like, how priceless that actually is, to have friends all over the world that are united with you by the... You know, with this language, let's say. It's a really priceless thing to have, man. Anyone who's traveled to a foreign country by themselves can tell you like, how priceless it is to have friends everywhere. You know what I mean? 

[00:06:33] So that's just another reason I think to join a community is because you grow as a person, you know, internally just as much as you do, let's say linguistically, by improving your language skills. Okay? So let's move on to reason number four that you should join a community and that is the other members of the community hold you accountable. This one is extremely important. Like, have you ever noticed that going to the gym is a whole lot easier when you have a partner to go with? Why is that? I think it's because you have someone who holds you accountable. Like, you know you got someone expecting you to show up. And for some strange reason, it's much harder for us to let other people down than it is for us to let ourselves down.

[00:07:16] That's why multiple partners or friends that support you and your goals are priceless assets to have. Trust me on that. Because if you don't have a partner and you decid... Or excuse me, you decide to skip the gym today, no one's going to know about it except you. But if you flake on your partner, they will most likely expect some type of explanation like, Yo, man, where the fuck were you at? I was calling you. You know we go to the gym every Wednesday, every Friday. What's up? Where were you? Right? And simply knowing this fact, knowing that somebody is going to be expecting an explanation if you flake, if you don't show up, simply knowing that can be enough to make you get up and go to the gym, even if you really don't want to do it. Right? It's the same with language.

[00:08:00] I think that practicing your language skills is the same as going to the gym. Except in this case you're exercising your mind and not your body. And when you have partners holding you accountable and expecting you to show up, you're much more motivated to show up and practice your English every day. Members of your community are a constant reminder that you need to practice and improve this particular skill. And they say that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you don't have people in your life that are holding you accountable and supporting you and your goals, you are at a distinct disadvantage. In my opinion. All right? 

[00:08:38] So let's move on to the fifth reason that you should learn English in a community. And that is learning with real people is just more fun. Going back to the example of athletics, for example, could you imagine if basketball were a one-player sport? What about soccer? Imagine LeBron James on the court all by himself just shooting the ball and dribbling in circles. Imagine Messi on the field running back and forth and just shooting the ball into an empty net. Now, we'd probably see them do some amazing stuff by themselves because they're really talented players, but after a while it would get pretty boring, right? That's because basketball and soccer are team sports. They're meant to be played and enjoyed with other people. Well, it's the same thing with language. Communication is a team sport.

[00:09:31] And when you learn a language in a community, you have more fun simply because you're using the language the way it was intended to be used, with other people. And we don't learn languages so we can talk to ourselves, even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking to yourself. Don't let anyone tell you different. All right? But we learn languages to communicate with other people, right? And for some strange reason, many English schools and independent teachers focus on a language learning methodology that isn't practical for learning a language. They try to get you to learn how to express yourself by studying words and grammar rules the same way you would study mathematic equations. But math is a science. Language and communication are forms of art. So when you put down the grammar books and decide to start interacting with a community of real people, I can guarantee that you'll start to see better results in your ability to comprehend and speak the English language, and you'll have a lot more fun doing it. 

[00:10:38] All right. Let's get on to the sixth and final reason that you should join a community if you're trying to learn English and that is you get to share your growth and your process with other people. It's really cool to see someone grow and develop over time, and it's even cooler to be a part of their growth process. And it's also really nice to share your growth with other people. And I know it might sound cliche, but it's great to be a part of something. I can't think of any disadvantages of being a member of a community that exists to help you grow as a communicator and a person. I mean, if you think like this podcast, for example, this is why I recommend to everyone I know, anyone learning a language to just start a podcast, even if no one listens to it. Who gives a shit? It's really not the point.

[00:11:24] But by doing that, just every day, every week, every month, whatever works for you, but by consistently recording podcast episodes in this language you're trying to learn or in my case, in this language I'm trying to teach, it's just like, you get a way to track your progress and your growth. I can go back to episode number one and see my growth and progress all the way up to Episode 133. You know? And if I would have kept the same record in Spanish or Portuguese, I'd have that same documentation of my growth and my progress. And it's just really cool to be able to look back and see that. It's really cool to be able to share that with other people. Because when I go back and listen to my podcast from a year ago and compare it today, that's an experience for me. But I'm also sharing it with all of you that are listening and watching, all of you that have been following for years now, you have seen the evolution of the Life in English podcast and myself as well. And it's just... I think it's a rich thing to be able to share your stories and experiences with other people.

[00:12:22] That's why we like documentaries. That's why we like books, biographies, stories, and things like that. For the same reason, you know, you get to live this experience, you get to witness this growth, you know, through somebody else's experience. And to me, that's priceless. You know? When you can share like... Because we have members in the community right now who are at the more beginner stages and I can guarantee you six months from now, if we just continue doing what we're doing, talking every day, every week, and they're listening to the podcast and all these other things that language learners do, I guarantee you in six months we'll be able to look back at the conversations we had last week, for example, and see a clear difference. You know? 

[00:13:00] And I think you appreciate your process much more when you can look back and see how far you've come, when you have other members reminding you how far you've come, you know? And when you get to see these new friends that you have around the world also learning and growing with you and you know that you were a part of that. I just think it's really cool. Some people don't really care about stuff like that. But I think when it comes to doing something difficult and time-consuming and energy-consuming, like learning a language, it's always so much better when you do it with other people. And that's true for any skill you're trying to learn, I think. When you can share your growth and your progress with other people, the experience is just richer for me. You know?

[00:13:37] So, anyway. Those are the six reasons I think that you should learn English in a community. Let me just recap. Number one, the more people you have to talk to, the better. There is no downside to having an abundance of opportunities to practice your English if you're trying to learn how to speak English. Right? Number two, a community prepares you for real-world situations. There are more than just native speakers in this world that speak English, and you need to be able to interact with and understand natives and non-natives. There is no difference to me. Okay? Number three, you're forced to grow as a person, not just a language learner. Because it's great to become fluent in the English language. But it's even better to use that language to facilitate growth in other areas of your life by talking to people from different walks of life, with different beliefs or thought processes or philosophies, or whatever it is, you just grow in other ways that go far beyond language itself. And I think that's really, really valuable.

[00:14:30] Number four, other members hold you accountable. And this is important because sometimes if we leave everything up to ourselves and we're only accountable for ourselves, it's easy to let ourselves slide or let ourselves skip a day or skip a week or skip a month. It's very easy to do that. But when you have people holding you accountable or expecting you to show up consistently, sometimes that's all the motivation you need to actually show up consistently and practice this skill. It makes a huge difference. The fifth reason, learning with real people is just more fun than sitting and trying to memorize vocabulary in a book or watching movie after movie after movie. Having real people to talk to just makes the process more fun, more engaging. And the sixth and final reason is that you get to share your growth and your progress with other people and they get to share it with you, which creates a much more meaningful experience and growth process, I think. 

[00:15:21] Now, at this point, I'm pretty sure you know what's coming next. I got to talk about my community, one of the best places, I think, to improve your English with real people like myself. So if you like the idea of learning English in a community with real people, if you want, you know, a place where you can come and get your questions answered and make friends from around the world, you know, get access to the transcripts of every episode of this podcast, vocabulary guides, all the content and support that you need to learn English by yourself. Or I guess technically it wouldn't be by yourself because you'd be learning with us, if you're interested in joining the Life in English community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/VIP and get all the information you need about the community, what you need to do to join, and what you can expect once you actually join us. All right? So again, lifeinenglish.net/VIP. But that's it for this episode. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and it gave you some things to think about. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. This is the Life in English podcast and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

Writing prompts

  • In your opinion, what are the most impactful parts of a being a community member?
  • Compare your experiences learning in a school and learning by yourself. What are the differences?
  • Do you learn better by reading, writing, listening, or doing? Why is that way most effective for you?
  • How has learning English impacted or changed your life?
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Transcript

[00:00:00] What's up, everybody? You're listening to another episode of Life in English. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. And in this episode, I'm going to share six simple reasons that you should learn English in a community. 'Cause if you talk to anybody who's gone to a quality language school or anybody in my community, for example, any one of these people will be able to tell you that it is truly priceless to have 24/7 access to not only a teacher but also a community of people, a group of friends or classmates that are also trying to achieve the same goal that you have, which is becoming fluent in this language. Anyone who has experienced this will be able to tell you that it makes all the difference in the learning process.

[00:00:39] So in this episode, like I said, I'm just going to share six simple reasons that you should consider doing the same exact thing. But first, roll the intro. All right, my friends, we're not going to waste any time. I'm going to get straight into these six very simple but very clear reasons that you should learn English in a community. Number one, the more people you have to study with, the better. Number one is a very simple reason. I'm a firm believer in the idea that you only need one quality language exchange partner to become fluent in any language. I mean, I learned to speak Portuguese by talking to just two people on a regular basis.

[00:01:21] Now, obviously, I talked to a lot more than two during my entire learning process, and I'm still learning today. I learn new things all the time. But I only had two consistent like, daily partners for like two or three years. And I still learned to speak the language at a pretty, what I consider a pretty high level. You see what I'm saying? So don't think that you have to have a bunch of people to talk to on a regular basis if you want to improve this skill. But what I'm saying is there are many times when you might find one or two really cool people, but maybe they're busy a lot. They have other things to do or whatever, but when that happens, you're kind of stuck. You can practice by yourself, but if you want somebody else to talk to, then you need more people. So the more, the better.

[00:02:06] And in a community, when you have, you know, even if it's just ten people, that's ten separate chances that you have to practice your English with a real person, you know? Because the simple equation is like this, more people equals more opportunities, equals more practice, equals better English. That's the idea. So when you have more people in this community, you have more chances to practice with real people on a regular basis. And I can't see the downside or the negative side to having more opportunities to do what it is you want to do. You know what I'm saying? So the more people, the better. Just remember that.

[00:02:42] Now, reason number two that you should learn English in the community is that it prepares you for real-world situations. Siturations, he said. Siturations is not a word. Don't say that. Situations. Real-world situations. That's what I was trying to say. A community prepares you for that. You know what I'm saying? Because you're most likely, in the real world, come into contact with all kinds of English speakers, not just native English speakers. Even though most English schools and most independent teachers prepare you for speaking with British people or American people in most cases. But the reality is, the entire world is learning English. You see what I'm saying? So you're almost certainly going to come in contact... Come into contact with people who speak English as a second or third or fourth or maybe fifth language. And it's just as important to understand them as it is to understand the native speaker. You see what I'm saying?

[00:03:40] So when you join the international community, it prepares you for what real life is actually going to be like, especially if you come to the US. There are hundreds, hundreds of millions of people who speak English as a second language and you're going to have to interact with those people. So by joining an international community and talking to myself, the native, but also other people from other countries, you're constantly preparing yourself for real-world situations. You know? It's a big world out there and a lot of different kinds of accents and dialects and word choice, you know, communication styles as well. So I think by joining a community, you get much more realistic preparation, much better preparation for real life when you're really going to be using this real English, you know?

[00:04:24] So reason number three that you should join a community if you're trying to learn the language, in this case, English is because you're forced to grow as a person and not just a communicator. I said that wrong. You're forced to grow as a person and not just a language learner. That's what I meant to say. Because one of the coolest things to me about learning a language is that you're forced to improve crucial communication skills that will serve you for years to come. And one of those skills is the ability to have healthy discussions and healthy debates with pretty much anyone. Because at some point you're going to come across somebody that has like, different thoughts or opinions or life experiences or philosophy or religious beliefs, something that's much different from the way you live your life. Eventually, you're going to come across that. 

[00:05:06] And when you're doing a language exchange and you find yourself in that situation, what are you going to do? Just end the conversation and say, "Fuck you. You're stupid" or block the person or curse them out. Like, of course not. Of course not. You can learn how to express your thoughts more accurately, and you're going to learn how to respect the thoughts and opinions, and lifestyles of other people, even if they're completely different from your own. Because that's the only way you can sustain long-term communication with anyone, in my opinion. And sustaining long-term communication is how you become fluent in a language. You have to have someone to talk to on a regular basis for an extended period of time.

[00:05:43] And once you master this skill of being able to have healthy debates and discussions with people from different walks of life, different social classes, people that look different than you, once you master the skill you give yourself the opportunity to see how diverse the world really is. You get a chance to learn about different ways of life and different ways of seeing the world. And you get a chance to make friends all over the world, like in different countries. And I just cannot stress enough like, how priceless that actually is, to have friends all over the world that are united with you by the... You know, with this language, let's say. It's a really priceless thing to have, man. Anyone who's traveled to a foreign country by themselves can tell you like, how priceless it is to have friends everywhere. You know what I mean? 

[00:06:33] So that's just another reason I think to join a community is because you grow as a person, you know, internally just as much as you do, let's say linguistically, by improving your language skills. Okay? So let's move on to reason number four that you should join a community and that is the other members of the community hold you accountable. This one is extremely important. Like, have you ever noticed that going to the gym is a whole lot easier when you have a partner to go with? Why is that? I think it's because you have someone who holds you accountable. Like, you know you got someone expecting you to show up. And for some strange reason, it's much harder for us to let other people down than it is for us to let ourselves down.

[00:07:16] That's why multiple partners or friends that support you and your goals are priceless assets to have. Trust me on that. Because if you don't have a partner and you decid... Or excuse me, you decide to skip the gym today, no one's going to know about it except you. But if you flake on your partner, they will most likely expect some type of explanation like, Yo, man, where the fuck were you at? I was calling you. You know we go to the gym every Wednesday, every Friday. What's up? Where were you? Right? And simply knowing this fact, knowing that somebody is going to be expecting an explanation if you flake, if you don't show up, simply knowing that can be enough to make you get up and go to the gym, even if you really don't want to do it. Right? It's the same with language.

[00:08:00] I think that practicing your language skills is the same as going to the gym. Except in this case you're exercising your mind and not your body. And when you have partners holding you accountable and expecting you to show up, you're much more motivated to show up and practice your English every day. Members of your community are a constant reminder that you need to practice and improve this particular skill. And they say that you are the sum of the five people you spend the most time with. So if you don't have people in your life that are holding you accountable and supporting you and your goals, you are at a distinct disadvantage. In my opinion. All right? 

[00:08:38] So let's move on to the fifth reason that you should learn English in a community. And that is learning with real people is just more fun. Going back to the example of athletics, for example, could you imagine if basketball were a one-player sport? What about soccer? Imagine LeBron James on the court all by himself just shooting the ball and dribbling in circles. Imagine Messi on the field running back and forth and just shooting the ball into an empty net. Now, we'd probably see them do some amazing stuff by themselves because they're really talented players, but after a while it would get pretty boring, right? That's because basketball and soccer are team sports. They're meant to be played and enjoyed with other people. Well, it's the same thing with language. Communication is a team sport.

[00:09:31] And when you learn a language in a community, you have more fun simply because you're using the language the way it was intended to be used, with other people. And we don't learn languages so we can talk to ourselves, even though there's absolutely nothing wrong with talking to yourself. Don't let anyone tell you different. All right? But we learn languages to communicate with other people, right? And for some strange reason, many English schools and independent teachers focus on a language learning methodology that isn't practical for learning a language. They try to get you to learn how to express yourself by studying words and grammar rules the same way you would study mathematic equations. But math is a science. Language and communication are forms of art. So when you put down the grammar books and decide to start interacting with a community of real people, I can guarantee that you'll start to see better results in your ability to comprehend and speak the English language, and you'll have a lot more fun doing it. 

[00:10:38] All right. Let's get on to the sixth and final reason that you should join a community if you're trying to learn English and that is you get to share your growth and your process with other people. It's really cool to see someone grow and develop over time, and it's even cooler to be a part of their growth process. And it's also really nice to share your growth with other people. And I know it might sound cliche, but it's great to be a part of something. I can't think of any disadvantages of being a member of a community that exists to help you grow as a communicator and a person. I mean, if you think like this podcast, for example, this is why I recommend to everyone I know, anyone learning a language to just start a podcast, even if no one listens to it. Who gives a shit? It's really not the point.

[00:11:24] But by doing that, just every day, every week, every month, whatever works for you, but by consistently recording podcast episodes in this language you're trying to learn or in my case, in this language I'm trying to teach, it's just like, you get a way to track your progress and your growth. I can go back to episode number one and see my growth and progress all the way up to Episode 133. You know? And if I would have kept the same record in Spanish or Portuguese, I'd have that same documentation of my growth and my progress. And it's just really cool to be able to look back and see that. It's really cool to be able to share that with other people. Because when I go back and listen to my podcast from a year ago and compare it today, that's an experience for me. But I'm also sharing it with all of you that are listening and watching, all of you that have been following for years now, you have seen the evolution of the Life in English podcast and myself as well. And it's just... I think it's a rich thing to be able to share your stories and experiences with other people.

[00:12:22] That's why we like documentaries. That's why we like books, biographies, stories, and things like that. For the same reason, you know, you get to live this experience, you get to witness this growth, you know, through somebody else's experience. And to me, that's priceless. You know? When you can share like... Because we have members in the community right now who are at the more beginner stages and I can guarantee you six months from now, if we just continue doing what we're doing, talking every day, every week, and they're listening to the podcast and all these other things that language learners do, I guarantee you in six months we'll be able to look back at the conversations we had last week, for example, and see a clear difference. You know? 

[00:13:00] And I think you appreciate your process much more when you can look back and see how far you've come, when you have other members reminding you how far you've come, you know? And when you get to see these new friends that you have around the world also learning and growing with you and you know that you were a part of that. I just think it's really cool. Some people don't really care about stuff like that. But I think when it comes to doing something difficult and time-consuming and energy-consuming, like learning a language, it's always so much better when you do it with other people. And that's true for any skill you're trying to learn, I think. When you can share your growth and your progress with other people, the experience is just richer for me. You know?

[00:13:37] So, anyway. Those are the six reasons I think that you should learn English in a community. Let me just recap. Number one, the more people you have to talk to, the better. There is no downside to having an abundance of opportunities to practice your English if you're trying to learn how to speak English. Right? Number two, a community prepares you for real-world situations. There are more than just native speakers in this world that speak English, and you need to be able to interact with and understand natives and non-natives. There is no difference to me. Okay? Number three, you're forced to grow as a person, not just a language learner. Because it's great to become fluent in the English language. But it's even better to use that language to facilitate growth in other areas of your life by talking to people from different walks of life, with different beliefs or thought processes or philosophies, or whatever it is, you just grow in other ways that go far beyond language itself. And I think that's really, really valuable.

[00:14:30] Number four, other members hold you accountable. And this is important because sometimes if we leave everything up to ourselves and we're only accountable for ourselves, it's easy to let ourselves slide or let ourselves skip a day or skip a week or skip a month. It's very easy to do that. But when you have people holding you accountable or expecting you to show up consistently, sometimes that's all the motivation you need to actually show up consistently and practice this skill. It makes a huge difference. The fifth reason, learning with real people is just more fun than sitting and trying to memorize vocabulary in a book or watching movie after movie after movie. Having real people to talk to just makes the process more fun, more engaging. And the sixth and final reason is that you get to share your growth and your progress with other people and they get to share it with you, which creates a much more meaningful experience and growth process, I think. 

[00:15:21] Now, at this point, I'm pretty sure you know what's coming next. I got to talk about my community, one of the best places, I think, to improve your English with real people like myself. So if you like the idea of learning English in a community with real people, if you want, you know, a place where you can come and get your questions answered and make friends from around the world, you know, get access to the transcripts of every episode of this podcast, vocabulary guides, all the content and support that you need to learn English by yourself. Or I guess technically it wouldn't be by yourself because you'd be learning with us, if you're interested in joining the Life in English community, you can visit lifeinenglish.net/VIP and get all the information you need about the community, what you need to do to join, and what you can expect once you actually join us. All right? So again, lifeinenglish.net/VIP. But that's it for this episode. Hopefully, you enjoyed it and it gave you some things to think about. I'm your host, Tony Kaizen. This is the Life in English podcast and I'll talk to you soon. Peace!

[END OF EPISODE]

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