VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW:
Hi guys, and welcome back to the English Harmony video blog!
In today’s video, I’m going to address a question asked by one of my YouTube commentators whose name is Shamil. Hi, Shamil! How are you getting on? Thanks for asking the question, it’s a very valid one. Let me read it out first.
“Robby, are you currently learning any new language? It’s just that you’ve figured out how to efficiently learn English and reach fluency in English so why limit yourself with English only? Why not apply all of your experience on, for example, French? Surely you can apply the same way of learning techniques and become fluent in French or in any other language in no time. Maybe we’ll see you in the future on your new channel in French! Regards, Shamil”.
Thanks for the question. It’s a very valid one. Indeed, I’ve figured out that I can actually learn and improve my English by using all these colocations and phrases and a lot of self-practice by repeating the phrases and memorizing them all over again, using in my self-practice sessions then using them in real life conversations with people.
So, all of these methods and techniques together coupled with fluency management techniques whereby I monitor my fluency all the time and whenever I feel that my fluency goes down a bit, I apply all these methods, right, and there’s a number of them. The simplest one is to slow your speech down, right. There’s more techniques.
If you feel that you’re really stuck, you actually try and speak much faster as some sort of a reverse psychology. Basically, you’re trying to make as many mistakes as you actually can and sometimes, it actually helps you to get through the plateau, so to speak.
You actually start speaking much better for some reason or another, and then there’s a technique whereby you just try to empty your mind and basically get rid of all those negative thoughts and you just basically speak about whatever comes into your mind. You just don’t care whether what you say might be a bit erroneous, maybe there’s a few mistakes in it, whatever. You just don’t care about that, you just lose yourself basically and distance yourself from other people’s opinions, emotions, what they might think, whatever.
I’ve discussed all of these strategies in great depth on my blog throughout the years, so obviously…
I can manage my English fluency and reach quite a good level in spoken English, why couldn’t I do the same in other languages?
Of course I could but first and foremost, right, I just don’t have time for anything else.
I have a job.
I have this English Harmony blog.
I have the Accent Adventure blog, which has been neglected lately and I don’t really like that but that’s the way it goes, right, where I was learning to speak with the American accent and the British accent, and it’s my hobby.
There’s the Fluency Star Skype-based English Coaching program and I actually have another small side business where I’m trying to start selling some jewelry online. I’m a family man above everything else. I have errands to run, cooking to do and shopping, this, that and the other, house chores and heating needs to be fixed. The car needs to be taken to a mechanic, which happened today actually and then I have to go and pick it up later on, so there’s constantly something going on.
Basically, for me personally, it’s time constraints.
Reason #1 – Time Constraints
I don’t have the time to start learning another language because I don’t even have enough time to do everything that I actually have to do in relation to my existing responsibilities and duties and tasks and everything, right. That’s the first most important reason.
Secondly, even if I wanted to, say if I could allocate half an hour’s time every day to learn, say French or maybe work on my German, considering I studied German for seven years, if I’m not mistaken in high school, right, starting in primary school going into high school and then I actually did the test, the exams and everything and I scored quite well. I graduated in German with flying colors, so to speak, but eventually… can I speak now? No, because I haven’t been using the language and that is the second problem!
I could allocate some time to learning German, to improve it again, to revive it in my brain and actually, as a matter of fact, sometimes when I try to say something in German and yes, there is something still deep inside of my head and I believe that in, say half a year’s time, I could actually bring it all back and start speaking in German.
But even if I allocated some time for it, there would be no practical application for it in my daily life, right. There’d be none.
That would be all there is. I would just do my best to improve the language but how would I use it? I would have to purposefully make time to use the language somehow; start reading maybe in German, but that wouldn’t be active application of the language. To keep the speech going, I would have to… well, obviously the answer is staring right in my face, right.
I would have to start speaking with myself in German but I just don’t have the motivation. I don’t have the drive. There’s no need for it.
Reason #2 – No Practical Need for Another Language
I believe that at the end of the day, every human being is a practical creature, so to speak. We do what’s necessary. We do what’s required.
I live in an English speaking country and I need the English language. Well, obviously I love the English language and even if I lived in my country again – if I moved back to Latvia at some stage in the future, I believe… not that I believe but I know for a fact that I would keep my English the way it is.
I would keep up with my daily spoken English practice. I would keep watching Netflix shows, Netflix programs in English. I would keep reading English fiction. I would not just switch back to Latvian because I love the English language and I wouldn’t want to lose it, but now at this particular point in time, there’s no need for me to learn another language because I live in an English speaking country and English is what I use, right. I just don’t feel motivated to do it so basically it’s time constraints; I don’t have time for it, and secondly, I don’t need to learn another language, simple as that.
But What About Polyglots?
Obviously there are people who are passionate for other languages, the so-called polyglot’s, right. You may want to check out this website Fluent In 3 Months where Bennie, an Irish guy, travels the world and he learns a few languages a year and he actually follows, generally speaking, the same principles as I do.
You don’t spend much time on grammar studies and the passive immersion but you just start using the language actively as soon as you can. His approach is to go out and talk to people and by way of making a lot of mistakes, at some stage down the road, you will reach conversational fluency.
If you throw yourself into that environment that time will come pretty soon, and it’s possible to achieve conversational fluency in any language in three months and that’s what Bennie proves on his blog. Although three months is not really a given, it’s not guaranteed, right, but it’s just a rough guideline. It’s just to show what’s possible if you really set your mind to it, right.
But then again – Benny has loads of time, right.
That’s what he’s been doing for years, travelling the world and everything. Me – I’ve settled down here in this country, right, and I have all these responsibilities and I have my daily routine and everything, so to free up some time to learn some language just because I kind of should do it doesn’t really compute with me, do you know what I mean?
It’s not going to work out, you know. I might try it for a week or two but at the end of the day, the interest will wane and then I will just stop doing it. I know that for a fact. That’s the reason, my friends, why 99% of pupils, of school students don’t actually speak languages they study at school because there’s no practical application for those languages.
99% School Students Don’t Speak Languages They Learn Because They Don’t NEED Them At That Particular Time!
My daughters, they learn Irish at school. They’ve been learning Irish for geez, how many years now? Six or seven years, right, probably even longer. I’ve lost count of years actually but the simple truth is, they don’t speak the language because they don’t use it. It’s only in the classroom environment that the students are required to do it and human nature is to go against what you’re required to do.
The same principle applies if I try to persuade myself to learn a language, I would kind of force myself to do it but the moment I force it, there’s the counteraction which would push me away from it, do you know what I mean? It’s reverse psychology. It’s very interesting but that’s how human psyche works, my friends.
Basically, that’s all I have to say on this subject and thanks, Shamil, if I’m not mistaken, that was your name. Yes, Shamil, thanks a lot for asking the question and I hope it explains everything.
Obviously, if you are passionate about languages, kudos to you. I only congratulate those people who can learn a lot of languages, but then again, you see, there’s always the question of how well you’re able to use those languages.
If you don’t use them regularly, even polyglots forget languages to a certain degree. They might know ten languages but they will never speak all ten of them equally as well. It’s just not possible. There would be a few languages that they use more often and then the rest of them would have to be revisited, reviewed from time to time to maintain a certain level in that language, right.
Yes, that’s about it, my friends. Post any comments in the comments section below if you have any questions. Talk to you soon again. Bye bye!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!