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– Video Transcript Below –
Hi guys and welcome back to English Harmony video blog!
In this video I’m going to address the matter of me making mistakes while recording these videos. You see, the thing is that some people may hold to the opinion that once I’m positioning myself as an authority in the English teaching field here on YouTube and on my blog, that my English should be impeccable (my spoken English).
And there are certain people who are watching my videos and then they’re pointing out where I should have said things differently, they’re providing actual time stamps and everything, the exact time down to the very second where I’m saying things wrong.
Here’s the thing – I have to actually go back to the very origins of how I started running the blog and why I did it in the first place and what the whole English fluency issue is all about.
What The Whole English Fluency Issue Is All About
So here’s the deal.
For years, for long, long years I was learning the English language by focusing primarily on the written aspect of it. So I was very good at writing, reading and all that kind of stuff. So when I would speak, I had developed this habit of creating sentences in my mind as if I were writing.
And it was constantly clashing with my speech because I couldn’t speak spontaneously, okay? I had this – I would call it later on “a writing mind syndrome” whereby you speak as if you were writing because you just can’t get rid of that habit of constructing sentences by sticking words together given that you’ve been doing that for long, long years, okay?
So, your speech, your spoken language is not happening the way it should be.
So given all this, it’s not hard to understand that people like me and so many other foreign language speakers having faced this particular issue, find it very hard to make the transition from the writing mode into normal speaking mode whereby you can speak fluently without any concentration as to what exactly you’re saying.
You can just say it all loud without much thinking.
That’s the way I speak now.
But here’s the deal. I didn’t learn the English language right from the get-go as a spoken language, okay?
I was spending about half of the entire time I spent on this planet as an English learner. Probably half or even more of that time has been spent by focusing on textbook exercises, grammar stuff, writing and all that kind of stuff. Consider this, I started learning the English language at the age of 10 or 11 or thereabouts. Now I’m 36, that’s 26 years!
And I came to realize the foolishness of my ways and I realized the fact that the traditional English teaching system doesn’t work about 8 years ago or so. So it just goes to show that I spent the biggest part of my life as an English learner focusing on writing, grammar and all that. So even though I’ve successfully made the transition into normal speaking mode of my mind where I can speak spontaneously and without much thinking, there are still remains of that old Robby, if you like, who speaks very hesitantly and constantly thinks of “is this the right way of saying this or that particular thing? Should I word this sentence differently?”
The Problem Is – I Didn’t Learn English As a Spoken Language to Start With!
So here’s the thing. I didn’t learned the language in a normal way. Okay? So I will probably never achieve complete fluency. I will never speak just like a native English speaker. If you took another person just like me, turned all the years back and let him acquire the English language in a native environment and allow that person to pick it all up by way of listening, repeating, that’s how any language is acquired normally, right? That person would probably by now, not probably but most likely, that person would have achieved complete fluency and they would be speaking so much more fluently than me, okay?
But you have to take into account that I had to go through some sort of a rehabilitation, if you like. And that’s the case with so many other foreigner speakers. And that’s the reason why I’m doing all these videos, why I started the blog, why I’m publishing all these articles and videos to lead by example, to show you guys that you can train yourself to speak fluently albeit with making a few mistakes here and there but that’s okay. That’s okay!
So Why Is Making Mistakes OK If You’ve Learned English as a Written Language In the First Place?
Mistakes is actually an integral part of this whole thing and why an integral part? Because you have to embrace the concept of making mistakes. If you don’t – if you try to fight against it, it will automatically knock you back to the state of mind where you were before, where you start analyzing your speech and you will end up making even more mistakes.
So for those who are trying to point out the mistakes I’m making, guys, I know only too well how this or that particular thing is said correctly. When I’m writing articles for my blog I wouldn’t be making such mistakes in those articles because written language is a whole different story. I type it all up once, then I read it through. I change things around. My gut feeling tells me on most occasions what way things should sound and then sometimes when I spot mistakes I might have made, I correct them.
Then I do the final proof reading and then I make sure that the article is polished to correct – to perfection. I was going to say polished to correction – and that’s a mistake, right? Obviously if I were to write that sentence, I would make sure that my article is polished to – I wouldn’t have written correction. I would have written perfection because when you write, you see what you write and then in a millisecond even if there is the thought of saying something different, you type the first letter wrong, you realize, you catch yourself typing up the wrong thing while you’re writing or whichever means – whether you type or you actually write with a biro then you just immediately go back and correct that word.
But when you speak there is no going back, okay? And the only way of making sure that my speech flows is by allowing yourself to speak without even thinking about correctness or mistakes!
And here’s the beautiful thing. The more you speak, the more spoken practice you do, the more mistakes you eliminate because there is this big thing called self-correction. And any intelligent foreign English speaker who is willing to work on his fluency, just like me and so many other guys following me on YouTube and on my blog, we actually know that we’ve just made a mistake and we make a mental note of it.
Then we go back in our minds and figure out what would have been the right way of saying it. Or even if we don’t consciously do that, deep down inside we still know what is the correct way of saying this or that particular thing.
Now, Do You Understand That Making Mistakes Doesn’t Mean That I Don’t Know The Correct Way of Saying It?
So there is no point in actually pointing out what I said wrong in my videos because if I were to write it all on a piece of paper or on the computer, I would have written it perfectly
I would not have made those mistakes because that would have been the writing process where you don’t make such mistakes. Whereas when you speak, the whole process is more spontaneous. And for you to say that if I’m an expert, I’m an expert and I’m an authority, then I should have made sure that my speech is perfect prior to starting with all these videos and all of that – if you’re saying that then well, if you, my dear YouTube watcher, if you are as perfect as that, if you can actually speak a foreign language very fluently at a similar level you can speak in English, without making any mistakes whatsoever, kudos to you!
I would say that in that case you’re actually coming out in the top 1% of foreign language speakers who actually can speaking without making any mistakes. But in real life most people, me included, make mistakes. We even make mistakes in our native languages.
So you can’t really demand that I spoke completely – what’s the word? Flawlessly. That my English would be impeccable, you can’t demand that. That would be possible, yes, if I prepared a script, went through it a number of times and then my speech would indeed be polished to perfection just like that script, but the reason I don’t prepare for these videos is quite simple. I’m leading by example!
I Just Want to Show Everyone Who Struggles With English Fluency That Making Mistakes is OK!
I want to show everyone who strives for their spoken English betterment, I want to show them that you don’t have to be beating yourself over the tiniest mistake.
I show them how spontaneous spoken English practice is done. And that’s the whole point. You may keep pointing out my mistakes with all those time stamps and everything. You may keep doing that all you want but it’s not going to – I don’t know. You’re missing the point completely.
And the point being – I make those mistakes not because I’m not aware of those mistakes but because I’m trying to show by that that’s pretty much the only way you can keep your speech going. That’s pretty much the only way you can open up your fluency, give your fluency free reign and see what happens. And never mind those mistakes. It’s about the mindset!
So there you go. I just spent another 10 minutes or so, my time pretty much needlessly because all this stuff I just talked about is looked at in the very detail on my blog across multiple articles and I’ve touched upon it a million times basically and I keep going on like a broken record but obviously this video was needed because I have to make the point so that those people who keep pointing out my mistakes probably get it this time round.
They probably wouldn’t be bothered going back checking my old articles but once this video is here, they will have no option but to watch it and maybe, maybe the truth will – well, not the truth. It’s not about the truth. It’s about my perspective. And the perspective of those who follow me on my blog and on my YouTube channel.
Basically, it’s about getting my perspective, understanding where I’m coming from on this, why I’m not bothered about those relatively few mistakes I’m making. All right. And I would imagine there’s a dozen or so mistakes in this video but I don’t care!
All I care is about my fluency, my ability to express myself to convey the message. And I hope that I did it successfully. If not, if you still don’t get it – there’s not much more I can do about it.
All right, thanks for watching, chat to you soon!
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!