Real English Conversations Podcast | Conversaciones Reales en Ingles
59. IELTS Tips (Pt.2): Interview with Jessica Beck

59. IELTS Tips (Pt.2): Interview with Jessica Beck

September 14, 2020

Get more IELTS tips the second half of this special interview with ex-IELTS examiner Jessica Beck. You will learn if anxiety and being too nervous affects your test score (and also how to deal with your nerves), advice to handle tricky topics where you have no idea what to say, and lastly, some recommendations for materials to help you build your skills.

 

Transcription

Amy: This is something that I wanted to talk about, it's one of the questions from our community and it was dealing with nervousness because this is something you go to this exam. It's a big deal. There's a cost to be able to take the exam. There's a date set. There's a lot of pressure to perform.

Jessica: Totally.

Amy: So do you have any insight about, number one, how do examiners interpret this or react or if it affects the score in any way? And any tips related to how students can maybe reduce their nervous feelings at the time of the exam?

Jessica: Yeah. Oh, my gosh. That's that's a great question. How do examiners react to that? Well, so you're not graded on your level of nerves, right?

Amy: Or confidence.

Jessica: Yeah, totally. I have had candidates come in who were so nervous they could not make eye contact with me and maybe they just like stared at the wall behind me the whole time or they stared at their shoes the whole time. It didn't impact their score at all because that is what they had to do to be able to speak. And that's fine, guys, if as long as you're still talking, as long as you're not allowing that anxiety to get in the way of your communication.

But that's a rare case, because if we think about someone who's anxious, usually that's literally what happens, right? They start hesitating. They can't think of ideas. They start repeating themselves. They're saying, uhm and uh, a bunch. So, yes, that will give you a low fluency score if you hesitate or pause or say, um, or uh too often you'll get a five for fluency and coherence on the speaking exam. So the only way to combat that is by preparation.

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3 Keys IELTS Courses with Jessica Beck

Jessica has over 20 years of teaching experience, but additionally, during her time living in Taiwan, she had the opportunity to work as an IELTS examiner. The insider information and specific training that she is able to provide to help you get the 7+ score on your IELTS exam is invaluable.

Although Real English Conversations is an excellent resource for helping you to develop and practice your general English skills, we recommend specific training if you are planning to take the IELTS exams. With 100% confidence, we are recommending the 3 Keys IELTS Course to you. We also managed to get you a $50 discount for both of their courses!

 

Mentioned Links and Resources

58. IELTS Exam Tips (Pt.1): Interview with Jessica Beck

58. IELTS Exam Tips (Pt.1): Interview with Jessica Beck

September 8, 2020

Now you can get some great IELTS exam tips while you listen to part 1 of this special interview with ex-IELTS examiner Jessica Beck where she explains how much time you need to prepare for this test, depending on your level, and the amount of studying or practice you need to be doing daily to get a 7+ band score on the IELTS exam!

 

 

Transcription:

Amy:  Wow. That's quite a career that you have under your belt already. That's great. So why don't we start with the basics?

Some of our listeners here, they might not know what the IELTS exam is. I'm sure most do. But for those that don't. Can you tell us a little bit about it and why it's so useful or helpful for students?

Jessica: Yeah, for sure. So IELTS is an acronym, of course, because every industry is chock full of acronyms. IELTS means International English Language Testing System. And there are two versions, the academic and the general. So students take the academic IELTS exam when they want to attend an English speaking university. There's another option TOEFL the American test version of this. But most colleges around the world accept IELTS and not everybody accepts TOEFL. And I feel like IELTS is easier just because not the language level is easier.

But let's just say IELTS is more straightforward in the preparation process for sure, and then the general version is for people that want to immigrate abroad. So in fact, a lot of our students are in Brazil right now hoping to immigrate to Canada. That's like a huge, huge number of people are trying to do that.

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3 Keys IELTS Courses with Jessica Beck

Jessica has over 20 years of teaching experience, but additionally, during her time living in Taiwan, she had the opportunity to work as an IELTS examiner. The insider information and specific training that she is able to provide to help you get the 7+ score on your IELTS exam is invaluable.

Although Real English Conversations is an excellent resource for helping you to develop and practice your general English skills, we recommend specific training if you are planning to take the IELTS exams. With 100% confidence, we are recommending the 3 Keys IELTS Course to you. We also managed to get you a $50 discount for both of their courses!

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Mentioned Links and Resources

 

English Phrases Parents Say to Kids (57): | English Idioms and Expressions

English Phrases Parents Say to Kids (57): | English Idioms and Expressions

August 11, 2020

English Idioms and Expressions, funny phrases parents say to kids. In this English podcast, Amy & Curtis share the expressions they have heard their parents say to them while they were growing up. Here is a free list of more of these types of English idioms and expressions.

 

Transcription:

Curtis:  Hi, everybody. It’s Curtis and Amy here from RealEnglishConversations.com, and today we have a very interesting and entertaining podcast about the things that our parents used to say to us when we were growing up.

Amy:  Exactly. And actually, what I did was I created a post on Facebook and I asked all of my friends that are currently parents right now, what expressions they're using or things that they are always saying to their kids or things that they heard when they were growing up. So we have a pretty cool list for you. We’re not going to be able to get through everything but Curtis and I have both picked five that we heard all the time, and we’re going to teach you what they mean and when they're used so that all of the parents that are listening right now are able to use this with their kids as well.

Curtis:  So the first one that I heard as a kid growing up all the time was money doesn’t grow on trees, and when you're a kid, you always kind of want to go to the candy store or buy toys, you want money for something.

Amy:  Whenever you're at the store, there’s always something that you're asking your mom and dad to buy for you, “Can I have this? Can I have that?”

Curtis:  Kids don’t have that – that idea about money.

Amy:  Yeah, they don’t realize your mom has to work, your dad has to work. Money isn't endless.

Curtis:  So when you go up to your mom and dad and you say, “Hey, can I have $20?” for a video game, for instance. I used to buy Nintendo video games all the time and I’d want the newest one and the latest one.

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English Podcast (56): Working From Home | English Conversation Practice

English Podcast (56): Working From Home | English Conversation Practice

July 28, 2020

Working from home is more challenging than most people think! Improve your English skills while listening to this English conversation practice about our experiences adjusting to working in our home office.

 

Audio Transcription Listening Practice:

Amy:  Hi, everybody. My name is Amy Whitney and I’m here with Curtis Davies, and today on this podcast we’re going to be talking about what it’s like to work from home. And for us, this isn't something that happened recently but instead, it’s something that we started doing about three or four years ago. But we still went through a lot of the same problems that many of you have faced in the past months when you moved your work from the office or whatever you were doing out of your home to having to do things at your home.

 

I think it would be helpful for people to know where things started to change for us and when we started to work from home. Can you tell us a little bit about what your first experience was like and when it happened?

 

Curtis:  Sure. It was the first year when we moved to Mexico. Now, I was used to in Canada working as a delivery driver going from one place to the next, taking things to people. It was like a customer service type thing. Now, when I moved to Mexico, I had to transition to a desk job, sitting in front of a computer. The transition was the most difficult thing for me. It was because my home life and my work life kind of mashed together, I couldn’t separate the two. So, house chores I would think of as work. Then I had to focus on what I had to do for a desk job work. So the distraction from home work or home chores and what I was supposed to do work-wise, it was the separation problem there. I couldn’t separate the two.

 

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English Interview (55): Luke’s English Podcast | English Lessons & Learning Tips

English Interview (55): Luke’s English Podcast | English Lessons & Learning Tips

July 14, 2020

Special guest Luke Thompson and Amy share their thoughts on English lessons, learning tips, and how important it is to focus on grammar or if it’s possible to learn a language without looking at any grammar at all.

A great English lesson and discussion for our intermediate to advanced learners that aren't sure how much attention to put into grammar studies versus practicing what you already know!

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English Lessons & Learning Tips About The Importance Of Grammar:

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Transcription Preview:

Amy:  Hi, everybody. This is Amy from Real English Conversations, and I have a very interesting episode for you today. I have invited a special guest to join us to share his experience and knowledge about a topic that we’re going to be discussing. His name is Luke Thompson and he’s from Luke's ENGLISH Podcast.

If you haven’t heard of Luke before, let me just tell you a little bit about him. He has been teaching English for over 18 years. He spent two years teaching English in Japan. He’s originally from England and currently he’s living in France. Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast has received over 60 million downloads since it first started and beyond the impressive number of downloads, his podcast has been nominated for an ELTon Award, which is the English Language Teaching Innovation Award. And his podcast was voted #3 out of all British podcasts in the Listeners’ Choice Award, not just ESL podcast but all podcasts. Needless to say, Luke is a very popular teacher and we are fortunate to have him with us here today. How are you doing, Luke?

Luke:  Hello there. I’m very well. Thank you. Thanks for that nice introduction.

Amy:  You're very welcome and you absolutely deserve it. Today Luke and I are going to be discussing whether or not we think you need to focus on grammar or if it’s possible to learn a language without looking at any grammar at all. This is just going to be a casual, relaxed conversation where we share our opinion based on our experience, both as students and teachers. So before we get started, would you be able to introduce yourself to our listeners?

Luke:  Yes. So my name is Luke Thompson and I’m an English teacher from England and a podcaster as well. I’ve been doing my podcast – Luke’s ENGLISH Podcast – for over 11 years now. And so, yes, I often talk about English. I talk about learning and teaching English. I talk about anything, really. What have you got, I’ll talk about it. But I like teaching, you know, and I like breaking down the language and stuff like that. And this question of, is it possible or should you learn English or any language without studying the grammar? This is the question, isn’t it?

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54. The ‘New Normal’ Life | American English Conversation

54. The ‘New Normal’ Life | American English Conversation

June 23, 2020

An American English Conversation about The 'New Normal' Life. As things start to open slowly after a long quarantine period, Amy and Curtis share some of their ideas and concerns about the simple things they used to enjoy without a second thought... Eating at a restaurant, traveling by airplane, or even watching a sunset. They also discuss the new strategies and the new way that they plan to do these activities in the future.

 

 

Audio Transcription:

Amy:  Hi, everybody. My name is Amy Whitney and I’m here with Curtis Davies from Real English Conversations. Today we’re going to be having an interesting conversation talking about what the “new normal” is, or what we think is probably going to be happening over the next year as we get out of our houses and start to move around a little bit despite the fact that the coronavirus is still present in our lives.

I think one of the first places that we can start to talk about is something that we completely took for granted before is a safe, normal everyday activity and that was eating out at restaurants.  So, Curtis, can you tell us a little bit about how we used to think about restaurants?

Curtis:  Well, we used to really like going outside. We work from home and it was a chance two days or three days a week to go to some of our favorite restaurants. The restaurants here are really, really, good. So, we would just go out, enjoy the evening and it would feel very, very good because we were out of the house.

Amy:  Exactly. We work at home all day so for us going out to have something to eat is a little bit of an escape from the workplace. Otherwise, as you can imagine, working from home all day, hanging around the house all night gets a little bit boring, and it’s nice to have a change of environment. So now we are not going out to restaurants. Do you remember the last time that we went out to a restaurant?

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53. Building Vocabulary Faster - English Lessons & Learning Tips

53. Building Vocabulary Faster - English Lessons & Learning Tips

June 9, 2020

Have you ever wondered why it is so difficult to learn and remember new vocabulary? In this English podcast lesson, Amy and Curtis will explain how building vocabulary can be easier if you apply a few simple strategies. This is a great episode to get some language learning advice to help you learn faster!

 

English Audio Podcast Transcription:

Curtis:  Hi, everybody. It’s Curtis and Amy from RealEnglishConversations.com. Today we’re going to be talking about building vocabulary and one critical step that you might be missing that could be making this much more difficult for you.

Amy:  Exactly. A lot of the students, what they do is they have a list of words, for example, maybe use flash cards, but there’s something that’s missing. Even though you're reviewing those words every single day in that moment when you're speaking, for example, or you're trying to remember a word and you know that you're supposed to know it but you can’t recall it. This is the critical step and what we’re going to be helping you with today.

Curtis:  Okay. Let’s get right into the core concept behind this technique. It’s really to give yourself enough exposure to the language through repetition or use to help you to understand it through that context and remember it easier.

Amy:  And when Curtis is explaining this, he’s not talking about exposure like immigrating to an English-speaking country or just watching TV shows, for example, or listening to podcast. There’s actually a little bit more to this and it’s being more specific with a deeper studying or revision of the content that you're being exposed to.

So we’re going to start by giving you some pro tips here. And don’t worry, we’re going to give some examples of different activities that we do and point out how each of these activities relates back to this technique. So what’s the first pro tip that you have, Curtis?

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52. Living Abroad in Mexico | English Audio about Immigrating to Another Country

52. Living Abroad in Mexico | English Audio about Immigrating to Another Country

May 25, 2020

In this English audio podcast episode, Amy and Curtis share their experience of what it's like immigrating to and living in Mexico. They will share the top reasons why they have chosen Mexico as their home while they discuss the people, the amazing landscapes, and geographic diversity, as well as Mexican food!

 

 

English Audio Podcast Transcription:

Curtis:  Hi everybody, it’s Curtis and Amy, and we are going to have a very interesting conversation today about living in another country. As some of you may know, Amy and myself are Canadian, but in 2016 we made the big move to live abroad in Mexico.

Amy:  Exactly. And we have another podcast episode called Moving to Another Country where we talked about what it was like to really prepare our house and change our lives from living in Canada to selling our house and everything we owned to be able to move to Mexico. So that’s a different podcast episode and you can definitely check that one out.

Curtis:  So, Amy, we get asked this question all the time about living here in another country and the question is, “Why do you guys want to live in Mexico?”   

Amy:  And it’s said with a little bit of a confused tone or they don’t really understand why. And I can’t blame them because internationally a lot of the news that reaches other countries around the world is related to, I don’t know, we’ve got drug cartels, violence, there’s poverty here and different issues like this. And these issues aren’t really issues that aren’t present in many other countries around the world, but in particular, Mexico, unfortunately, has a bad reputation for these types of things. But we want to explain today some of the wonderful things that this country has to offer and why we’ve chosen to make this our home and not just for a couple of years. Like, we love Mexico. We consider ourselves as Mexicans right now, not obviously by nationality but we really love the culture and want to stay here.

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51. Interview Snowboarding | Advanced English Conversations

51. Interview Snowboarding | Advanced English Conversations

May 11, 2020

My interview guest Moreno is back to for part 2 of this interview for an advanced English conversation about snowboarding, hockey, and other Canadian culture. Snowsport enthusiasts will love this discussion!

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Transcription:

Amy: The way that we actually met is through a mutual passion that we have for snowboarding. I remember when I met you, I was absolutely crazy for the sport and I was really, really excited to hang out and have an opportunity to snowboard with you. I know, in my opinion, I think that you are quite an athlete, very talented, and the things that you do are great. And you actually inspired me to become a much better snowboarder. If you remember, you introduced me to snowboarding in trees and much more extreme snowboarding.

Moreno:  I do remember. A lot of fun, a lot of fun.

Amy:  And I was a complete chicken but you helped me to get over that.

Moreno:  Well, that’s what friends are for. You needed a little push, a little guidance, right?

Amy:  That’s right. You know, learning from somebody who is very good at it was a big inspiration. So, how did you get into snowboarding?

Moreno:  Well, I probably started when I was like five years old and I stole my brother’s skateboard, and I didn’t give it back to him.

Amy:  Okay.

Moreno:  So I kept it from him and started skateboarding just as a regular kid. And I used to ski with my family in the ‘80s at a small ski hill outside of Ottawa.

Amy:  I guess skiing was the thing at that time.

Moreno:  Yeah, it sure was. It still is. Skiing is never going to disappear. Skiing is always going to be popular, but it was mainly just skiing. I guess when I was around 14 when snowboarding slowly became more popular. I guess it was early ‘90s maybe. Snowboarding was getting more popular but also a little cheaper to buy the gear and things like that. I finally bought a new snowboard. It was the surf style, the skateboarding style. It was the sideways, surf style that really was familiar with my skateboarding, and I thought it was cool. It was a cool thing. It was, like I said, lay back surf style was what I was looking for and that’s how I started.

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50. Interview Space Exploration | Advanced English Conversation

50. Interview Space Exploration | Advanced English Conversation

April 20, 2020

In this advanced English conversation, a special guest, Moreno Scatozza, joins us to talk about space exploration and some really interesting facts about outer space!

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Transcription:

Amy: Let’s get started with the interview. How are you doing today, Moreno?
 
Moreno: Good. How are you?
 
Amy: I’m doing great. Thanks. Let’s get started with a little bit of an introduction about you, if you could.
 
Moreno: Absolutely. So, hi, everyone. My name is Moreno Scatozza. I am a big fan of astronomy. I have a podcast which I speak about the facts of space and planets, stars, anything really to do with astronomy. And I have episodes on this podcast and I’d like to simplify things for the general public, let’s say. Because let’s face it: space, astronomy can be very confusing and also there’s just so much to talk about. So, in my podcast I’d like to kind of simplify things and also put things into category so you could really see things a little more clear.
 
Amy: Yes. So it’s basically trying to take the scientific version, which is a little bit boring and overwhelming for the typical person and put it into a term that makes it interesting and understandable.
 
Moreno: That’s what I’m aiming for.
 
Amy: Nice. That’s cool. Well, I’m sure that some of our listeners that are interested in space exploration and just things that are going on in our universe and planet are going to be interested to check out some of your episodes. How did you get started into this? Where did it come from, this inspiration?
 
Moreno: Well, I’ve always just loved space since I was a kid. I also wanted to learn more. Once you learned something that you're interested in, you wanted to just keep learning like a snowball effect. You want to progress and want to know why, and after you know why, you want to know why why. And when it comes to space, it’s infinity so there’s always the unknown and it’s always a mystery. So it’s almost like solving things and understanding things. Once you understand things about space, you also understand about things in your normal day-to-day lives, and I find that connection really important and I think a lot of people should know about.
 
Amy: Okay. Now I want to know exactly what you're referring to. So, how have you found that connection between what you've learned about space to how it relates to your real life?

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Real English Conversations is a website for students that want to start USING their English skills! Join our WhatsApp group to practice speaking and get excellent online lessons that can be studied anytime.

Members of our website get immediate access to:

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