If you are new here please read this first.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
Here’s how to improve your English listening skills when listening to my video: put the headphones on, playback the video and write it all down while listening to it!
Video Transcript Below:
Hi guys, hello boys and girls and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!
Today is Saturday and I’m having my Saturday afternoon decaffeinated coffee here. You know, this is actually the second cup of real coffee. Well, in this case it’s actually not a cup, it’s a proper mug, right? A huge mug for that matter. Guinness, right? But I’m not drinking beer, I’m having my second cup of coffee. I just said cup again, right? Second mug of coffee, right? But the fact of the matter is that you wouldn’t be normally saying second mug of coffee, second cup of coffee, that’s an expression. So I would say that I’m not really wrong in saying that this is my second cup of coffee. That’s what people would normally say. That’s how people would understand you best, right?
And let’s start focusing on the actual matter I want to discuss in today’s video. But just before we get down to business let me just tell you that today I met up with a friend of mine and he’s an Irish fella, right? I’m a Latvian living in Ireland, been living here for 14 years and I have an Irish friend named Will.
And as a matter of fact he is my good luck charm in terms of spoken English fluency. What it actually means is that whenever I meet with him I can give my fluency free reign and I speak just like a native English speaker, right? He is the one person that brings out the best in my fluency, right?
As I go about my daily business, dealing with people in the college and my students and so on, obviously I speak a lot in English with others but this particular person, my former co-worker Will for some reason or another is the one that I can speak with best, right? I’m so familiar with him that I just lose any awareness of the language boundary so to speak.
So you may want to click on this link. And the article in question is called who is your English good luck charm and it’s all about what a good luck charm person is in terms of spoken English fluency and that if you find, if you manage to find one then you may want to hold on to them, right?
Today’s Topic – Moving to an English-speaking Country!
Now, the actual topic for today’s video is moving to an English-speaking country. Let me just read out the comment asking me to record a video, right? So 17 hours ago at this stage I received a comment saying “Would you consider making a video on the subject of emigration? I think a lot of expats like myself are watching your videos and it would be really interesting. For example pros and cons of living in a foreign country, possibility of moving back and so on, right?”
And then I promised to that person that I would record a video on the subject just because it’s something that I’m constantly dealing with, right? You see, I’m an expat myself, right? I live in Ireland. Originally I’m from Latvia and there’s a good few Latvians living in this country as well, right? So as you can imagine over the years I’ve realized that there’s a lot of issues faced by foreigners living in an English-speaking country and I can actually go through them with you.
With that being said I’ve got plenty of content published on my blog as well, right? They’re not videos, they’re articles. Actually a video or two as well so I will mention them as we go along throughout this video, right? I’ll just point you to those links. You’ll click on them, read the respective articles, watch the videos – so as to paint a completely clear and full picture of the whole subject matter which is a foreigner moving to an English-speaking country, right?
Moving to an English-speaking Country is Like Recovering Eye-sight!
First of all, let me just tell you that moving to an English-speaking country is like recovering your eyesight if you’ve been blind for your entire life. You may want to click on this link here where I’m discussing this whole subject in the very detail. Suffice it to say it’s all about you having gotten used to certain ways of using your English language, right? Traditionally you would be just reading, being exposed to English as opposed to using it actively and then when you move to an English-speaking country it’s like recovering an eyesight and not being able to actually function properly.
Because what happens with those people who’ve been blind their entire life and then they recover eyesight for some reason obviously through surgery or something like that they can’t even function because their brain can’t process what they see, right? And the same goes with a foreigner have moved to an English speaking country. You can use the English language in a certain way but when you have to speak with real people in real life you just can’t. So that’s a big issue, right? And on a lot of occasions you have to kind of re-learn what you’ve already learned, right?
So what I did is – I created this English Harmony system which is a great product for those who want to restructure the English language in your brain so that you can actually speak with others fluently, right? And yeah, that’s exactly what happened to me. When I moved to Ireland I spent a good few years constantly reading, writing, learning grammar, building my vocabulary to no avail, I still couldn’t speak, I couldn’t figure out what’s going on. And only a few years down the line I realized that it’s all down to the lack of spoken English practicing and lack of natural spoken English speech patterns, right? So I went ahead, did all that job and there you go, I can speak pretty much fluently at this stage and I’m helping my foreign speaking counterparts all around the world to achieve the same success, right?
But anyway, that’s not the biggest focus of today’s story. The biggest focus is that when you move to the English-speaking country and you discover all these fluency issues that you’re facing and you’re working on it, it’s all nice and well but a lot of people don’t do it.
A Lot of Foreigners Just Stock to Their Own!
A lot of people just stick to their own. Basically expats sticking with each other and not making a lot of effort to improve their English. And the language is the biggest thing when it comes to integration. I’m a strong believer in integration basically. When you go to that English-speaking country you have to do your utmost to integrate.
Obviously integration is not going to happen, like I mean you’re not going to integrate fully. In order to do that you would have to marry into a local family and spend your entire time among native English speakers, right? Make friends and go out with them and so on and so forth. So that would be the full integration. As a foreigner in an English-speaking country I only know too well that that is rarely the case, right?
But still you have to make effort. You have to find some friends, you have to form relationships, and you have to go out there, meet people and speak with them. And that’s what integration is all about but if you just stick to your own, you’re just forming these islands of your own country within that English-speaking country whether it’s Ireland, the UK or America or Australia or whatever, you know what I mean.
And that’s what I’m totally against, right? I know that it’s human nature. I know that it’s going to happen no matter what I say now but I believe that any like really intelligent person should work against that human nature of theirs just to stick with your counterparts, with your native counterparts and you should actually do the utmost to improve the language, to go out there, to meet locals, to make friends.
I know it’s sometimes really like problematic because people have biases and they will judge you for your foreign origin and all that kind of thing and that’s what I’ve been encountering myself, you know what I mean. I’m not alien to all these issues but I’m not claiming to be some super integrated foreigner, you know, I have a lot of issues just like everyone. But the point is you have to make effort, you know?
Watching TV in Your Native Lingo Is the Biggest Culprit!
And funnily enough one of the biggest things is watching TV, right? As you all know guys these days everyone watches TV, right? The typical person would spend 2 to 3, maybe 4-5 hours, a night watching the box, right? And these days you can watch TV online and movies and TV programs and so on and so forth. So when it comes to watching TV and I’m basically not going to be referring to like online streaming. I’m not going to differentiate between the two, I’ll just say TV but you’ll know that I mean just consuming this audiovisual media, be it YouTube or whatever, right?
So watching TV, you have to make sure that you do it in English. If you live in an English- speaking country why on earth would you be watching your own like TV channels from your country?
But believe it or not that a lot of people do that. As a matter of fact, like all my Latvian friends – well, to be honest with you I don’t have a lot of like real friends but out of the Latvians that I know and that I’m in touch with they all order Latvian TV channels online and they don’t watch the local TV channels which is crazy to think about it.
They don’t know what’s going on locally, right? They live in this country but they know everything about Latvia it’s as if they live in Latvia, just being physically away from it, you know what I mean? And I think it’s a bad thing.
I’m not saying that you should be totally ignoring your home country. Obviously not. You’re going to be maintaining a relationship with those who’ve stayed there, with your relations, with your parents, whatever, extended family members. And you’re going to be keeping on top of the news maybe as well.
And that’s what I do as well every day, I would check the Latvian news websites to see what’s going on in my country, right? But the fact of the matter is that if you live here, you have to live here fully. And there’s no better way of integrating than exposing yourself to the TV channels in the local language and then watch English TV shows, programs, movies, all that kind of stuff and thus improve your English.
Obviously your ability to speak is not going to be directly influenced by the exposure. That’s what I’ve been going on about on my blog for years now, right? You can’t be just watching TV and then expect yourself to improve in the spoken department, right? But it will help. It will help, right? If you isolate yourself in your native language bubble and live in it for 10 years in a foreign country, guess what? You’re not going to integrate! You will barely be able to string a sentence together in English and that’s not the right way to go, right?
So I want you to click on this link which is all about stopping watching TV in your language, right? And as a matter of fact there’s another article that I published at this stage 5 years ago. You may want to click on this link and it’s called Top 15 Invaluable Pieces of Advice for Foreigners Settling Down in an English-Speaking Country. So there’s a good few tips and tricks that I’m giving to you guys who are moving to an English-speaking country, right? What to expect, what approach to adapt when living there and so on and so forth, right?
Yes, Sometimes You Find Yourself Among Your Fellow Country-people, But There’s Always Something You Can Do!
And also I want you to click on this link and there’s a video about what to do if you can’t speak with natives in an English-speaking country, right? Integrating yourself, all nice and well but sometimes you just find yourself in a situation where you’re surrounded only with your native people so what to do in that case, right? Just watch the video just like I said but in a nutshell the solution is to practice spoken English yourself.
That’s what I’ve been doing for years and that’s one of the biggest reasons why my English is so fluent. I’m not bragging, I’m not saying that I’m just like a native English-speaker but I consider that my fluency is decent and it allows me to function in the local society properly. And that’s what we all should be aiming for. I’m not saying that everyone is going to achieve the same level of fluency as I have achieved, right? But provided that you work hard enough you will get there, you know. You will get a better job down the line, you will quite naturally make local friends and so on and so forth.
So you can make your life easier for yourself you’re going to make better impression of your like native background in eyes of the locals. They will see yourself as a really good person as opposed to someone who just isolates themselves living in the native language bubble and barely going out on the street and trying to integrate in the local society.
Just Make The Effort!
You just have to make that effort so that it could reflect well on your nationality, on your home country, right? That’s just the way it is. You can say all you want about like native English speakers judging certain nationalities just because of their lifestyle and just because they stick together but I can clearly understand where they’re coming from. If I look back at my own country there’s certain issues surrounding the same kind of lifestyle that some ethnic minorities are leading. Leading a lifestyle or doing a lifestyle? See I got a little bit mixed up.
Anyway, you get the drift, right? Certain ethnic minorities don’t really integrate in the Latvian society. They speak their language only and Latvians don’t really like that. And I can definitely tell you guys that you would be thinking the same of some ethnic group who moved over to your country and didn’t want to integrate, didn’t want to learn the local language. You would be against that. So try to put yourself in the native English-speakers’ shoes and see it from the other perspective, right? Try to see the bigger picture. It is bad if you just moved to an English-speaking country and don’t make any effort.
So basically that’s the moral of today’s video that’s the message I wanted to get across to you guys. If you move over to an English-speaking country live there and try to integrate, try and do your utmost to embrace the local culture, learn the language, make friends.
Obviously I’m not saying that everyone will achieve full integration but that’s something that we should aim for instead of just sticking to your own and just keep talking about your native place, your home country which is as a matter of fact what a lot of Latvians do!
Knocking The Local Culture Is The Worst Thing You Can Do!
They’ve come over but they knock the local traditions, the local culture, everything that’s got to do with Ireland they’re kind of against it. They’re only here for the money, you know? And they keep talking about the day when they will return back home.
I’m totally against that approach. If you will go back home at some stage down the line, so be it, right? Life goes on. You constantly – plans change and that’s just human, right? But while you’re living here you may want to just embrace it. Embrace the fact, take full advantage of the fact that you’re living in a different country, try to settle down, right? And who cares about what happens 10 years down the line? But don’t be living here and just constantly go on about the fact that in 10 years’ time you’ll go back home and you don’t care about what happens in this shithole. You know what I mean? That’s very bad. I’m against it, that’s my personal opinion.
If someone of you guys don’t agree with me, well, guess what? Anyone is entitled to their own opinion for as long as it’s the same as mine, right? Obviously that was just a joke but you get the drift, right?
So I guess that this is enough for today’s video. I would imagine that it’s gone over 10 minutes at this stage. So if you have any questions publish them in the comment section below and chat to you soon my friends. 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!
P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!