Vanessa: Hi, I’m Vanessa from SpeakEnglishWithVanessa.com.
You don’t want to waste your time, right? Let’s talk about it. Today I have a special
treat for you. I’m going to help you learn seven things that you should avoid if you
want to be a fluent English speaker. Don’t do these seven things if you want to be fluent.
If you focus on these seven things, you’re going to be wasting your time. It’s not going
to be efficient. Instead, you’re just going to be wasting your time. So, to talk about
these seven things, I thought, “Who can help me the most to talk about learning language?”
Well, I have a special guest for you. Today, I’m going to be talking with two brothers,
Fran and Carlos, who run the YouTube channel YouTalkTV, and they have completely learned
English starting at the age of 25. It’s pretty incredible to completely learn a language
as an adult. Most of us think if you’re going to be fluent, you should start as a kid, but
that’s not the reality for a lot of us. For a lot of us, maybe for you too, you are
starting now as an adult. You’re kind of turning a fresh page. “I don’t want to learn like
I did as a kid. Now, I have to start over.” Is it possible, can you really become fluent
as an adult? Well, In today’s lesson you’re going to learn seven things that didn’t work
for me in my second language, which is French, and seven things that didn’t work for Fran
and Carlos, so hopefully you can avoid those things. Instead, you can focus your time wisely.
You can hear their story. Be inspired to realize, “I can do this as an adult. I can successfully
learn to speak English.” I hope you’ll enjoy our conversation.
Feel free to click CC to view the full subtitles for today’s lesson. That will help you to
catch every word. They use a lot of great expressions. They talk about a lot of pronunciation
and linking and some specific tips. So, I hope that the subtitles will help you as an
English learner as well to catch everything that they say. All right. Thanks so much for
joining me Fran and Carlos. Let’s meet them. Hi Fran and Carlos, thank you so much for
joining me today to talk about this interesting, important topic of what to avoid, don’t do
these things if you want to be fluent. Vanessa: To get started, would you like to
briefly introduce yourselves? I’ve mentioned you just a moment ago, but would you like
to share with my audience something about yourself?
YouTalkTV: Yes, Fran and Carlos Monaj, we’re brothers. So we’re from Spain, from Spain
and the thing is that we’re running a YouTube channel called YouTalkTV.
Mm-hmm (affirmative). The funny thing is we both learned at age
25 or later on in life and we were self-taught. Now what we kind of selling is if we did it,
then you can do it too. Just try to follow us. If you like the way we talk, we can take
you to our level or above, its pure logic, and that is the only thing we do, yes.
Vanessa: So you bring a completely different perspective to the table for people who are
learning, they can feel inspired by you, a role model and now you’re teaching and when
you teach something, you need to really know it. So-
YouTalkTV: Oh yeah, absolutely. You need to reflect on how you learned that, what difficulties
you have… Yeah, big time. We’ve taught over 10,000 hours each.
Oh, by the way Vanessa, we have a surprise for your audience, for your subscribers, which
is- Yeah, well the thing is that they’re going
to have free access to our course on YouTalkTV plus course where they can improve your English.
Yeah. We’re giving away a full year for free. And now it costs close to $300 a year. I’m
saying close because I don’t know the conversion. But anyways, we’re going to give it away for
free and the condition is going to be that you guys need to be subscribed to Vanessa’s
channel, Speak English With Vanessa, and go ahead and subscribe to our channel- YouTalkTV.
Exactly. And so it’s going to be a raffle and among those subscribers that are in both
channels, then you going to have a full year free.
Yeah, we’ll take it okay. Vanessa: Thanks so much for offering that
to my subscribers. Great. YouTalkTV: You’re welcome.
Thank you. Vanessa: You’ve done a lot of things successfully
with English and I imagine there were things that you’ve tried that probably didn’t work
over time or maybe for your students, you see, oh no, they’re focusing on this thing
that isn’t going to help them. So I thought we could talk about that together. Some things
that you tried, but that just didn’t work for you because nobody wants to waste their
time. You don’t want to waste your time. Our students don’t want to waste their time and
we don’t want to waste our time telling them- YouTalkTV: Absolutely.
Vanessa: You should do this. I thought today we could talk about seven things that our
students should avoid doing, so that they can really focus on what will work. So would
you like to get started with the first point and then we can kind of share our opinions
from our- YouTalkTV: Absolutely. Yeah. Go ahead.
Vanessa: Both of our experiences? YouTalkTV: Yes.
Vanessa: Cool. Well, my first tip for something that I did wrong when I was a beginner learning
French, which is the language that I successfully learned as a second language and maybe you
guys did this as well with English is, don’t dive into material that’s too difficult right
away. If you just start watching, I don’t know, Avatar or Titanic, something that’s
so long and so complex, there’s so much vocabulary that you don’t know. You can just easily feel
overwhelmed and frustrated and kind of want to give up. I’m never going to do this. It’s
just too much. So starting small is going to be more helpful. You can feel that small
win I did it, I watched this five minute video and I understood it. I got some new vocabulary
instead of a whole 45 minute TV episode or two hour movie. That can be so overwhelming
if it’s too much for you. So don’t do too much too soon. Take it slowly.
YouTalkTV: Yeah. Plus it can be really frustrating and maybe it’s going to make you give up or
something and that connects pretty well with one of our other mottos, which says which
says keep it simple and that’s an American saying and we love it. Just keep it simple
and this year in the Spanish approach of teaching English, they are always picking their more,
the most difficult approach, the most grammar complicated explanation. And we want to keep
it simple. There is a lot of difficult approaches to teaching grammar. And of course what you’re
saying, don’t go for movies, songs, because they constantly putting those sentences together
like, “Hey, do you mind if I sit down?” It is impossible for you to pick up. Don’t do
you mind if I sit down and they’re not going to say that. So prior to that, you may want
to make sure your students know some more simple structures or just go through easier
material. Vanessa: Yeah. When you finally, as English
learners, when you finally watched a TV show or a movie without subtitles, you’d probably
been you starting smaller first and then working up to that or maybe watching the TV show with
some titles in English first. You’re slowly working up to that and not just diving in
and then thinking, oh my goodness, that feeling of dread and fear though yeah if you start
small then it’s going to be a lot easier to approach and to get beyond that.
YouTalkTV: Absolutely. And especially talking about songs, songs
I think they are more difficult than a real conversation. I think so. People are very
frustrated. They get very frustrated with songs because they say, “Okay, what are they
singing here? I don’t understand. Oh my God, am I learning English but I don’t understand
that.” Songs are very difficult. Vanessa: Yeah, songs are poetry. Poetry is
tough. What about you guys? What is something that you think doesn’t work for your English
students, but you see them doing anyway and you don’t want them to waste their time?
YouTalkTV: Well, one of the recurrent mistakes that people tend to make here in Spain, at
least it’s to just to focus a lot on degrees and certificates and all that. It’s kind of
the, it’s on the rates now. Like everybody wants to have it, but that’s not going to
make you speak a better English. No. Most likely you’re going to get some idea but having
a B1 B2 that’s we call them here or even a C1 level is not going to make you speak good
English. It takes a lot more than that but people are really focusing on those degrees
and I think that’s totally wrong because they and don’t get me wrong. It’d be great to have
those degrees, but just as a result of you having a really good level of English.
Vanessa: Why do you think some people are so focused on getting those certificates?
Is that a hangover from our school years where we need that grade to feel good or why are
so many people focused on that. YouTalkTV: It’s also like Carlos said before,
it’s a kind of a requirement. It’s required. It’s an institutional requirement. Most of
the jobs, like if you want to be a civil servant. Vanessa: Okay.
YouTalkTV: In Spain, I don’t know if you know what it is. If you want to work like in public-
Vanessa: Like a government employee? YouTalkTV: Exactly. And here’s explains a
lot of related to it, like if you want to be a teacher, you need to do kind of those,
that kind of stuff and there’s a lot of money involved. There’s a lot of money involved
because you pay taxes and you do pay training for those courses. It’s a whole marketing
behind that, marketing strategy- Vanessa: Sure.
YouTalkTV: I don’t think that it’s useful. It’s not good for our learners. Absolutely.
So we’re kind of fighting against that. Vanessa: I feel like that leads into one of
the other things that I recommend avoiding when you’re wanting to be a fluent speaker
and that’s just don’t wait to start speaking. If you feel like, for example, if you feel
like you have to pass an exam for your future interview, for a future job well, don’t wait
to do other real fluency activities before that. So if you wait to start speaking, it’s
just going to be more stressful. It’s going to be such a new thing that it’s a little
bit weird. I don’t know if you had this sensation when you were first learning another language,
but when I first heard my voice speaking in French or I lived in South Korea for a couple
of years, when I first heard my voice saying some Korean words, it felt so weird but after
a while it was completely normal. YouTalkTV: Used to it, right?
Yeah. Vanessa: Getting used to it and hearing okay,
this is my voice. I’m saying these words that have some meaning now, but it’s completely
different. As you get used to that, it feels more comfortable so don’t wait to just jump
into it and try to talk about what’s around you and drinking some water. There’s a picture
of an elephant on this glass- YouTalkTV: Yeah plus-
Vanessa: It looks like it needs to be washed- YouTalkTV: Plus-
Vanessa: You talking about it. YouTalkTV: The sooner you start talking, this
means you going to start making mistakes? And the more mistakes you make the quicker
you’re going to learn. Making mistakes here in our culture is kind
of overrated. Yeah.
It is our case. Oh my God, I’m making a mistakes. So you going to be penalized while in the
Anglo-Saxon culture. It’s like, I remember playing volleyball and I was really bad. And
at the end of the game everybody say hey, good man. Good, good game. Good game?
Vanessa: Sound positive? YouTalkTV: No.
Yeah. Okay, thank you but it’s kind of a cultural thing of making mistake is over penalized
and I think that’s something that’s going to hamper your learning process.
Especially talking about English, about to learning English and that if you practice
and you talk, so then you’re going to see that it’s useful. So I think that-
The purpose- because the way you study English is bad.
You study the theory, you study the grammar rules, you study the vocabulary but you don’t
feel that you’re going to use it. You don’t feel that’s something useful.
Vanessa: So in your opinion, do you think that there is a magic solution to learning
all of these complex or maybe simple things in English?
YouTalkTV: Wooh. Magic solutions? Yeah. That’s a great topic. The thing is that as something
we wanted to talk about is that about the magical solutions about the miracles. A lot
of companies are selling about English, right? So yeah, people realizing that well, they
can’t learn English, they can’t learn English with just a 1000 words, just without effort,
having a good time, while they’re sleeping, and that’s impossible. Of course there are
ways to make it simple, make it more simple and to make it easier. But yeah, it’s not
easy. If people were receiving so easy, everybody would speak English. It’s not easy. You need
to make a big effort and you need time. You need to spend time and you should make a big
effort. It’s like for example, when you’re training for a marathon, it’s something very
hard and have people say, “Hey, how can you do that? Are you going to run 30 kilometers
alone with this cold in an hour? How can you do that?” Well, but you have a goal, your
motivator. Vanessa: Yeah. So having that motivation?
YouTalkTV: It’s difficult and you need a big effort. If it were easy, nobody would be watching
this video here. Absolutely.
We wouldn’t be here And it’s a long process and it’s an ongoing
process and there’s a, there’s some method, there’s a couple of three companies here in
Spain they’re competing and one of them is saying, ‘Oh, learn English. Learn very good
English in only 15 minutes a day.” Yeah. That’s crazy.
There’s another one says Learn English only in 10 minutes a day, but there’s another one
that says learn English in only five minutes. Five minutes.
They’re huge companies with millions of dollars behind and trying to sell something that it’s-
They don’t tell you if you’re going to a couple of thousands of years so. It does. I think
the underlying things that he’s going to take you 80 years, a hundred years, the approach
of the, they’re focusing on, on showing or presenting English as something that is not
fun or you just get rid of. Vanessa: That’s kind of like a click bait
title almost. YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. Absolutely.
Vanessa: Just 10 minutes a day, but it’s not the reality. Like you said you are not telling
you the fine print. YouTalkTV: For example, in my case, well I
learned English in a year well, I had a base, but I learned in a year spending 10 hours
a day or 12 hours day, I think to me just a year-
Vanessa: You were focused. YouTalkTV: I devoted all my time.
But the funny thing I was going to say, the funny thing is that you’ve never been abroad.
No never. Just you’re on your own and never been abroad. So you, it’s possible. Just,
everything’s possible. No. Vanessa: Something I noticed when I first
watched your videos was how great, this is such a specific thing, but how great you’re
both for both of you, you’re /R/ sound is. YouTalkTV: Oh yeah.
Vanessa: It’s tricky for everyone from every language background, but I can tell that,
that’s something that you probably really focused on.
YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. Vanessa: And it really sets you apart from
other people who are learning language because you focused on that and that 10 hours a day
that you spent- YouTalkTV: Yeah.
Because what been. Vanessa: Was worth it.
YouTalkTV: Yeah. It was worth it. I remember very well even I remember even I used to record
myself. Used to when I started, I used to- Vanessa: Great Idea.
YouTalkTV: Record myself and compare, okay they are native speakers, said that is way
or so car. And I listened to myself with this is a car, no. I cannot repeat. So I used to
record myself so- And because our specialty now is to teach
Hispanic speakers how to learn English and we have even classified out the letters and
key and semi-key letters on, for example, we have the R being the number one key letter
to make you sound a native speaker. Vanessa: It helps a lot.
YouTalkTV: Oh yeah. A lot Absolutely. It is very common. The R is pretty
much in every other word, but it’s so character characteristic. And then in Spanish we, we
make it sound kind of similar. It’s like “rrrrr” you just put it, put it back. “Rrrrr”
So it’s really simple. Just change it. And there’s the R and we have the L, which is
a really defining sound in English like a pencil and table family, a little. And then
the short, I just not to make it, not to say I like it, but I like it. To make it sound
more like an A. and then when we have the S H like “shhh” Like she. And then we
have the J like jacket, like the G sounds, those are five key letters. It took us a long
time to learn and we’ve been focused that in past we used to focus on them for weeks
and weeks and so, but we found out that just by changing those five key letters it pulls
sounds going to make you sound good but understand way better.
Vanessa: Yeah. YouTalkTV: Thank you for picking up on that.
Vanessa: Well I like to share another tip, which is if you want to be a fluent English
speaker, do not make excuses. I feel like from everyone, everyone has experienced making
excuses or procrastinating, all of these types of things and I think the best thing we can
do is to reword it in your mind. If you say, I don’t have time, I’m too busy, which is
a common excuse or it’s too hard. If you reword that and say this is not my priority. Learning
English is not my priority. Every time you make an excuse, you’re saying that activity
is not my priority. If you have a boyfriend or girlfriend and
they keep asking you to go on a date and you say, I’m too busy, I can’t do it. Well it’s
not a surprise that person’s not your priority. So if you treat English like a relationship,
you have to spend time together. You can’t keep making excuses. You can’t make excuses
and say, I still want it. That doesn’t go together. If you really want something, you’re
not going to make excuses that you have to be positive and actually follow through with
those things. YouTalkTV: Yeah, you need to be productive
and it is not only starting from a book or doing exercises. You can always try to watch
movies in English or you like to read about by your favorite singer or rock star player,
whatever. You can look it up on Wikipedia or you can read a book you like book that
is like for example in Spanish you have very good authors that they write in Spanish or
you can always try to find it and translate it into English.
Vanessa: Sure. YouTalkTV: There’s no excuses. There’s today
nowadays it’s… you have all kinds- It used to be more difficult. I don’t know
20 years ago. 20 years ago it was more difficult to find, I have a lot of to find movies in
English, to find books in English, but now you haven’t tried it. You have the TV, you
have books, you have everything here. Vanessa: So a lot of resources.
YouTalkTV: Yeah, YouTube first you have YouTube and I think one of the biggest problems about
excuses is that people really believe those excuses, they really think that they’re not
going to learn, because every time someone comes to us and they want to learn English,
they always say the same. They say, I can’t, I’m too old.
I’m not cut out for languages. Yes. They even think it’s a country thing. It’s
a cultural thing. People from Spain can learn languages. We can’t correct our accent. We’re
not cut out for that, or they’re just putting themselves just making excuses for themselves.
Yeah. Absolutely. People really believe that.
Vanessa: Yeah. That negative self talk. Really. Yeah, you begin to believe it. So do you have
any other tips for something that students should avoid so they don’t waste their time
while they’re learning English? YouTalkTV: Yeah, the thing is that, well people
always think that living abroad is going to be something like magic and they going to
learn English without an effort. Of course it helps. It helps a lot because if you’re
in the perfect environment, but the thing is that as we told you part of that learning,
unless he takes a big effort and the people think that just living abroad is going to
be just to get your English, you’re going to get without an effort and that’s unreal.
That’s not real. You have to make an effort. You have to study and especially if you want
to work on pronunciation because you just want to do, just sit there following people
who live here in your country I was here in Spain, they’ve been here for, I don’t know,
10 year, 15 years. They are still making the same mistake.
They have an accent. Vanessa: That’s kind of what people are making
as an excuse sometimes that, well I don’t live in the U S so I’m not going to speak
English fluently or maybe someday when I live in the US I’ll speak English fluently. But
like you said, like for you Carlos, you’ve never lived in an English speaking country,
but it’s still possible- YouTalkTV: Oh yeah very possible.
Vanessa: To have your English and I have a video on my channel that says it’s about how
to start learning English at home while you’re not living abroad because there’s so many
people, like you said, who live abroad, live in an English speaking country for 5, 10 even
20 years and they still aren’t satisfied with their levels. So if those people aren’t satisfied,
don’t wait until you get there. Just start now. There’s so many ways that you can improve
your speaking while you’re still in your home country. It’s not impossible. Don’t make excuses.
YouTalkTV: I’ve told you a lot of our students are from the US. We have a lot of students
from the US they’ve been, they’ve been living there for many years and they found… They
came across our channel and they said, “Oh man, I’ve, I hadn’t ever been taught these
things. I’m making progress. I’m a cashier and now I’m using your tips and now I’m…
The customers are telling me that I’m improving.” And so the power of the equation is practicing
on what power of the equation is having a good method, like Vanessa’s method, so yeah.
Vanessa: You still have to put effort and to make it work.
YouTalkTV: And that leads us to an important point here. And it’d be, don’t underrate the
power of pronunciation and fluency in English. And why is that? Because focusing on your
pronunciation, linking words, intonation, you name it on the way you sound, it has a
double impact. The first one is you going to sound way better. Maybe your grammar is
not really good. Maybe you don’t have any degrees. Will you go to the US and you say,
“Hey, what do you want me to do? Do you want me to go? Do you want me to stay? Do you want
me to give you a hand?” They’ll listen to you say that and they’re
going to open doors. But guess you sound good. So the first thing by correcting your, not
only your pronunciation but your linking words and what happens is that with those Soft T’s
and Tap T’s and skipping the H like “talk to ‘im” instead of “talk to him” and
all that, what happens is that you sound good but seeking consequences and it’s even more
important is that you understand better. So that’s, another motto that we have is sound
good understand better is by saying, “Hey, what do you want me to do? Do you want me
to go?” If you pronounce it that way, then the first consequences that when Vanessa says,
“What do you want me to say? Or what do you me to do?” We understand that.
We understand that. Because you speaking the same language.
Vanessa: When you also pronounce it correctly, then you’re used to it and you hear other
people saying it, you can feel much more comfortable because you’ve been saying it like that. I
feel like that happens a lot with linking expressions because we link all the time.
Every language links somehow- YouTalkTV: In Spanish too.
Vanessa: Yeah, that’s essential for understanding more. And if you, a lot of people, I feel
like their goal is to understand songs and movies and TV shows, but the only way to do
that is to understand how the intonation, the linking works. So if you’re doing that,
you might as well use it. Well in pronunciation today.
YouTalkTV: It is speaking the same language and no matter how many times you repeat, wait
a minute, wait a minute, even if you say it a million times, you know the rest of the
English section speaker’s not going to change and say, wait a minute. They’re going to continue
saying, wait a minute. Yeah. So the most intelligent one is say, wait a minute. So if you say wait
a minute most likely you’re going to get to understand. Because that, don’t get me wrong,
they’ll understand you and no matter what, if you say, wait a minute, I have a bottle
, you understand that. But the problem is you’re not going to get to understand the
real thing because they speak differently and that’s what we want to get across to you.
You’re never going to sound confident. Absolutely.
Vanessa: Sure, sure. So have you felt that as your pronunciation has improved your listening
and understanding has improved too. It just goes together.
YouTalkTV: That’s have direct impact. Of course.
Vanessa: I think it will help people also who are struggling to think, should I improve
my pronunciation? People can understand me. It’s okay to realize, yeah, it’s going to
improve a lot of other areas as well. YouTalkTV: And you have, I guess I was checking
all your channel and you have some videos on that too, on real English and what happens
when you put words together and those- Vanessa: Yeah that’s an essential piece.
YouTalkTV: Exactly. Yeah. And that’s not, that’s not really been taught. That’s not
typical. So that’s- Vanessa: So congratulations to all of our
students who are trying new methods, new approaches. And this is part of it. Thank you guys for
joining me. So this has been a wonderful conversation. I’m sure that our students have enjoyed it
as well. YouTalkTV: Absolutely. And thank you for having
us. It’s been such a pleasure and it’s an honor.
Vanessa: Thank you guys also for offering my subscribers a free year of your course.
That’s really cool. So all they have to do is just subscribe to your channel.
YouTalkTV: Yeah, exactly. And we’ll make sure that they’re subscribed to your challenge
too coming. So, that’s a way you will have to double check that they’re coming from your
channel. And so that’s it. Subscribe to our channel. And we’re going to raffle off foyer
for free off our you talked to me plus course. It’s a course focusing on what we were talking
about. Yeah. Fluency, pronunciation. Just make it sound like really what we do. They
can have the link to our channel in the description. Vanessa: Well thanks so much and I hope we
can do this again another time. YouTalkTV: Oh, absolutely.
Sure. We’re looking for more collaboration. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.
Vanessa: Bye. Thanks so much Fran and Carlos for joining me on my channel to be an inspiration
and a role model that it is possible to learn English fluently and naturally as an adult
if you’d like to continue learning with them, make sure you check out their channel in the
description. You can also join their raffle, which is a pretty cool thing that they’re
offering you guys. Thanks so much for learning with me. And I have a question for you. What
is something else that you think English learners should avoid if they want to be a fluent English
speaker? Hmm. So anything else that you shouldn’t do? If you want to be a fluent speaker, I
don’t want you to waste your time. I don’t want to waste my time. Nobody wants to waste
their time. So make sure that you check out the comments and see what other things people
recommend. All right. Thanks so much for learning with me and I’ll see you again next Friday
for a new lesson here on my YouTube channel. Bye.
The next step is to download my free ebook, five steps to becoming a confident English
speaker. You’ll learn what you need to do to speak confidently and fluently. Don’t forget
to subscribe to my YouTube channel for more free lessons. Thanks so much. Bye.