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Speak English Now Podcast: Learn English | Speak English without grammar.

Language Learning Podcasts

The Speak English Now Podcast is your resource for practicing your English speaking and listening. You will learn English with the Question and Answer (TPRS) and Point of View techniques. You won’t need any grammar nor boring exercises. You will also learn about the English culture and the language itself. Finally, you will get valuable advice on learning English. All the audio is in English and you can get the text at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com




The Speak English Now Podcast is your resource for practicing your English speaking and listening. You will learn English with the Question and Answer (TPRS) and Point of View techniques. You won’t need any grammar nor boring exercises. You will also learn about the English culture and the language itself. Finally, you will get valuable advice on learning English. All the audio is in English and you can get the text at SpeakEnglishPodcast.com




#253 Words and Phrases to Describe Large Quantities in English

Today, we will keep exploring and learning more about expressing larger amounts. When we want to talk about more significant quantities, we can use different words and expressions. These terms can indicate having more of something or a significant amount. When referring to small amounts, we use words like: "a little" or "a few." And when it comes to large quantities we can use words like "a lot," "many," or "plenty." Let's practice with a few examples. For example, instead of saying, "I have a few books," you can say: I have a lot of books. I have many books. Let's imagine we want to express a large quantity without specifying an exact number. Here, we can use words like "numerous," "countless," or "a great number of." These terms indicate a large quantity, even if an exact number is not specified. For example, instead of saying, "There are a few birds in the sky," you can say: There are numerous birds in the sky. There are countless birds in the sky. There are a great number of birds in the sky. Great! Let's continue! "If you have a lot of something, you might use the word 'multiple.' For example, if you're discussing an online shopping order, you might say: I ordered multiple items on Amazon, but they all arrived separately. (It's like having a relationship with a delivery driver who just can't commit.) If you're sharing a funny story about a doctor's visit, you could say: According to my doctor, I have multiple personalities. Now, I can finally put the blame on someone else for my mistakes! Ok! Let's continue! When we want to highlight a very large amount, we can use phrases like "a huge amount of," "a significant number of," or "a vast quantity of." So, you can say: The company invested a huge amount of money in research and development to create a groundbreaking new product. According to a recent survey, a significant number of students prefer learning through the internet. The library had a vast quantity of books, with rows upon rows of shelves filled from top to bottom. If you have more than you need of something, you could use words like 'plenty,' 'lavish,' 'overflowing,' 'teeming,' 'replete,' 'brimming,' 'packed,' or 'jam-packed.' 'Plenty' means more than enough. For example: There was plenty of food at the picnic. There were sandwiches, fruits, cookies, and more. Read the transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#252 Words and Phrases to Describe Small Quantities in English

Today, we'll talk about words and phrases that can help you express the amount or quantity of something and when to use them effectively. Get the text on my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/ Let's start by discussing small quantities. If you only have a little bit of something, you might say "a few" or "some." A few means three to five of something, while some are a bit more vague and can mean any small amount. For example, if you're discussing job opportunities, you might say: I've applied for a few positions, but I haven't heard back from any of them yet. If you're talking about your progress in learning English, you could say: Even though I've been learning English for quite some time, I still face difficulties in speaking fluently. When you have a bit more of something but not a lot, you could say "several." Several usually means more than three but less than ten. For example, if you're talking about books you bought from a bookstore, you could say: She bought several books from the store, including a mystery novel and a travel guide. Or maybe you need a "handful" or a "bunch" of something. A handful represents the amount that can be held in your hand, while a bunch refers to a group of things that are tied or held together. For example, if you're at the beach collecting seashells, you could say: I picked up a handful of shells at the beach. If you're asking for a snack from a bag of chips, you might say: Can you pass me the bag? I just want a small bunch. Ok, let's continue! If you have a collection of items, you could say "a group" or "a cluster." A group typically refers to a small number of things, while a cluster denotes a small group of things that are close together. For example, if you're discussing a meeting you attended with indecisive people, you could say: I attended a meeting with a group of people who struggle to make decisions, but we couldn't come to an agreement on what to discuss. Get the text on my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#251 Technical problems on Zoom

Do you need help with technical problems during Zoom calls? In this episode, we'll cover common tech problems in Zoom meetings and how to handle them using helpful phrases. And you'll practice your speaking with a fun mini-story. Get the transcript on my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/ Zoom has become a crucial tool for remote work and communication. But, as you may have experienced, technical problems can pop up during a Zoom call. As an English learner, it's important to feel comfortable using the app and handling any problems that may come up. Don't worry if you're not a tech expert. Learning the basics of Zoom will help you communicate better with your coworkers and clients. It's a good idea to practice using Zoom's simple features, like sharing your screen, using the chat, and muting your microphone. These features can make your Zoom meetings run more smoothly. To help you tackle these issues, I've prepared an example conversation on Zoom addressing common technical problems. Participants: John from the United States; Maria from Brazil, and Yuna from South Korea John: Hello, everyone. Can you hear me clearly? Maria: Yes, I can hear you, John. Yuna: Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you. I may have a problem with the connection. John: No problem, Yuna. Can you check your internet connection or try refreshing your browser? Yuna: Sorry to interrupt, but my screen is blank. Is anyone else having this issue? Maria: No, my screen is working fine. John: Yuna, can you try exiting and then rejoining the meeting? Yuna: Okay, let me try that. Maria: John, I think you're frozen. I mean, your screen is frozen. Can you hear me? John: Oh, sorry about that, Maria. I need to figure out what's going on. Let me turn off my camera and then turn it back on. Maria: I'm also having some issues. The image and sound are out of sync on my end. Yuna: I agree, Maria; I noticed the same thing. John: Hmm, that's strange. Let me check my internet connection to see if that's the issue. Maria: You're breaking up a little bit, Yuna. Can you repeat what you just said? Yuna: Sorry about that. I said we needed to discuss the marketing strategy for the new product launch. Maria: There's an echo on the line. Can someone please mute themselves if they're not speaking? John: That's a good point, Maria. I am having trouble hearing you, Yuna. I think you're on mute. Yuna: Oh, sorry about that. Can you hear me now? John: Yes, we can hear you now, Yuna. Let's continue with the meeting. Get the transcript on my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#250 Learn English by Watching Classic Movies: 'Gone with the Wind'

Today we will talk about one of my favorite movies: "Gone with the Wind." It's a romantic drama set during the American Civil War and its aftermath. The movie takes place in the southern United States, during the Civil War. The South is known for its elegance and charm, and the attention to detail in the movie is amazing. You'll see beautiful dresses, sprawling plantations, and stunning landscapes. But also the dark side of war and destruction, as the Civil War brings devastation and loss to the region. The main characters in the movie are Scarlett O'Hara and Rhett Butler. Scarlett is a young woman who is used to getting her way. That means she always got what she wanted in spite of opposition. She's in love with Ashley Wilkes, who is engaged to her cousin, Melanie Hamilton. Scarlett is determined to win Ashley's heart, but her world is turned upside down when the war breaks out. The other main character, named Rhett, is a charming man who acts carelessly and recklessly. But he becomes enamored with Scarlett's fiery personality and tries to win her over throughout the movie. The conflict in the movie is emotional and intense. We see the devastation of war and its impact on Scarlett and those around her. Scarlett struggles to adapt to the new reality, and she's forced to do whatever it takes to survive. Although Rhett tries to win her over, she's is still in love with Ashley, and can't let go of her obsession with him. Scarlett's journey throughout the movie is incredible. She goes from being a spoiled young woman to a strong and resourceful survivor, doing whatever it takes to protect herself and her family. And although she faces incredible challenges and tragedies, Scarlett never gives up hope. Rhett's journey is also fascinating. He starts off as a carefree and reckless man, but as he falls in love with Scarlett, he shows a more tender side. He's not perfect and makes mistakes, but he's a complex and interesting character. One of the movie's main themes is the resilience of the human spirit. We see the characters face incredible challenges and tragedies, but they find ways to adapt and survive, even when it seems impossible. Another theme is the impact of war on society and relationships. The Civil War serves as a backdrop for the story, highlighting how it changed the South forever. The movie can be a good starting point to learn more about the Civil War period. However, it's important to remember that the movie is a work of fiction, not a completely accurate depiction of history. Overall, "Gone with the Wind" is a fantastic movie I highly recommend. After you watch the movie, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback. Get the transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#249 Zoom Business Meetings in English

Do you get nervous when you need to speak English over Zoom? Don't worry because in this episode you'll discover how to engage in a business meeting over Zoom. In the second part of this episode, you’ll learn grammar in context with a point-of-view story. Okay! Let’s start! I'm not sure if you're good with technology, but as you know, over the past few years, many companies have adopted Zoom for work purposes. Therefore, you're probably already familiar with this app. And you may have noticed that whenever we connect to Zoom, technical problems tend to arise. Sometimes it's you, and other times a team member. However, today, let's focus on some useful phrases that can make our work-related Zoom conversations more effective. To help you feel more confident and prepared, I have put together an example conversation on Zoom. Participants: John (the host), Mary, Sarah, and Mark. John: Good morning, everyone. Can you hear and see me okay? Mary: Yes, John, we can hear and see you clearly. John: Great! Then let's get started. So, the first point on our agenda is the new marketing campaign. Sarah, would you like to start? Sarah: Sure, John. I want to add something before we begin, though. We should also discuss our target audience and their preferences. John: That's a good point, Sarah. Let's add that to our discussion. Mary: Sorry, Sarah, I didn't catch that. Could you repeat what you just said? Sarah: Of course, Mary. I mentioned that we should also discuss our target audience and their preferences. Mary: Thanks, Sarah. John: Alright, let's move on to the next point. Mark, please update us on the sales figures. Mark: Sure, John. Our sales figures have been improving steadily, but we need to focus on our marketing strategies to reach our targets. John: That's clear, Mark. Thanks for the update. Let's discuss the next point on our agenda. Mary, please summarize the progress on the new project. Mary: Sure, John. To sum up, we have completed the initial design phase and are now moving onto the development stage. John: Great work, Mary. Thank you. Does anyone have any questions or comments before we wrap up? (Everyone remains silent.) John: Okay, I’ll see you next week then! Bye! Bye! Mary: Thank you, John. See you next week! Mark: See you soon! Sarah: Bye! Bye! (Zoom call ends) Get the full transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#248 Obtaining a Green Card: Becoming a U.S. Permanent Resident

Are you interested in becoming a permanent resident of the U.S.? Today I will discuss how to obtain a Permanent Resident Card, commonly called a green card. This document allows you to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. And with a mini-story, you will practice your speaking skills. Hi there! I'm Georgiana, your English teacher. Thanks for joining me for a new episode. My mission is to help you speak English fluently with no grammar and no textbooks. And, if you want to help me, it's very simple, just share the podcast with your friends. That would mean a lot. Thanks! Before we begin, I suggest you get the transcript from my website. SpeakEnglishPodcast.com Okay! Let’s start! A "green card" is a plastic card with the individual's biographic information, photo, fingerprint, and expiration date issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The card once called the "green card" has kept its nickname, even though it is now yellowish and has a barcode on the back. The Permanent Resident Card is valid for ten years and must be renewed. However, the cardholder's status as a "permanent resident" remains valid unless the status is abandoned or revoked by the U.S. government. Becoming a permanent resident gives you the right to live in the U.S. permanently, work in any legal job you are qualified for, be protected by all U.S., state, and local laws, and vote in local elections that don't require U.S. citizenship. There are several other ways of obtaining it, but the most common way to get the Permanent Resident Card is through family sponsorship. If you have a U.S. citizen relative, they can submit a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. The petition must be accepted before you can apply for the card. Another common way to get a green card is through a job offer. An American employer can file a petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in your favor if they can prove that no other qualified American workers can fulfill the role and that you are the best fit for the job. As you can see, obtaining a green card can be a long and complex process. That’s why it’s important to consult an immigration lawyer to understand the steps and see if you are eligible. With the proper guidance, you can make your dream of living and working in the U.S. a reality. Get the full text on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#247 How to Negotiate in English When Traveling?

Transcript: Today, we will talk about how to negotiate when buying something while traveling. With a mini-story, you can improve your fluency by engaging in a conversation. It's like talking to another person in English. Hi there! I'm Georgiana, your English teacher. Thanks for joining me for a new episode. My mission is to help you speak English fluently with no grammar and no textbooks. And, if you want to help me, it's very simple, just share the podcast with your friends. That would mean a lot. Thanks! Before we start, get the transcript on my website: https://SpeakEnglishPodcast.com To get the most out of the podcast and improve your fluency, I strongly suggest listening to each episode several times, if possible, on different days to better understand the material. Okay! Let's start! When you travel to a foreign country, knowing how to negotiate the price when shopping is essential. Here are some tips to help you get the best deal: 1. Do your research Before you start bargaining, do your research. If haggling is a custom in the country you're visiting, look up the item you want to buy to know what a good deal is. 2. Start low and work your way up - Make an offer lower than what you're willing to pay, then work your way up to a price you're both comfortable with. This strategy may help you to get the best possible deal, as the seller may be more likely to negotiate with you if you start low. 3. Make a counteroffer Making a counteroffer means making a different offer than the one you initially presented. 4. Know when to walk away - Don't feel pressured to buy something if it's more than you are willing to pay. 5. Pay cash - To get the greatest discount, it's best to pay cash. Get the full transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#246 Easter 2023 in the US and Australia

Today we will learn how Easter is celebrated in the United States and Australia. We will hear Tom and Sarah's conversation about their plans for Easter this year. And with a point-of-view story, you will learn grammar in context without memorizing boring rules. Hi! Thanks for joining me for another episode of the podcast. I'm Georgiana, and my mission is to help you improve your fluency. If you want to support me, please share the podcast with your friends and family. It would mean a great deal to me. Thank you! Okay! Let’s start! Tom, from the United States, and Sarah, from Australia, were catching up on a video call before the Easter holiday. As they started chatting, they quickly realized they had different traditions and plans for celebrating the holiday. Let's listen to their conversation: Tom: Hey, Sarah! Happy Easter! Sarah: Happy Easter to you too, Tom! I hope you're doing well. Tom: Yes, I'm doing great. So, what are your plans for Easter this year? Sarah: I plan to attend church and celebrate Easter with my family. We usually have a big Easter dinner and spend time together. Tom: That sounds lovely. I'm also planning to celebrate Easter with my family. We usually have an Easter egg hunt and decorate Easter eggs. Sarah: Oh, that's a great tradition. We also decorate Easter eggs but don't have an egg hunt. Tom: That's interesting. Every family has their own traditions. Sarah: Definitely. What other traditions do you have for Easter? Tom: We usually go to church and have a big Easter brunch. We also exchange Easter baskets filled with candy and small gifts. Sarah: That sounds like so much fun. We don't exchange Easter baskets but give each other Easter cards. Tom: That's sweet. Do you have any special Easter foods that you eat? Sarah: Yes, we usually have ham, deviled eggs, and hot cross buns. Tom: That sounds delicious. My family has roasted lamb, mashed potatoes, and asparagus. Sarah: That sounds amazing. It's interesting to see how different cultures celebrate the same holiday. Get the full transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#245 The court of law in the USA -part 2

Today, let's keep talking about words related to trials. And to help you improve your English fluency, I have created a fun mini-story. As usual, I will ask you many simple questions you must answer quickly. It's just like having a conversation with someone in real life. Okay! Let's start! #1 Expert witness An expert witness is someone who, in a trial, gives their professional and impartial opinion on a specific topic related to the trial. Sometimes they may prepare a report or testify. Example: The expert witness gave his professional opinion on the box. It was indeed an empty box of chocolate chip cookies. #2 Witness A witness is someone who has direct knowledge of the facts on trial. Witnesses are essential because they can help determine a defendant's guilt. For example, a witness can provide key information about the crime's circumstances and help confirm whether the defendant was present at the crime scene. Example: The witness testified with horror that he saw the defendant eating and tasting the last chocolate chip cookie in the box. #3 Cross-examination In trials, an attorney asks the defendant and others questions to find out more about what happened. For example, imagine this cross-examination between the prosecutor and the defendant: - So, why did you lick your fingers? - Because they were covered in chocolate. - There are no further questions, Your Honor. #4 Judge The judge is the most influential person in the courtroom. They preside over the trial and pass sentences. 'Your Honor' is a respectful form to address a judge. Example: The judge ruled that the defendant was guilty of eating the last cookie without sharing it with his friends. Get the transcript on my website: https://SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#244 The court of Law in the USA —Part 1

"Now that I’m all by myself, I’m going to indulge in this last cookie. I don’t think anyone will notice!” Today I’ll explain some words related to trials. While I’m hoping you’ll never have to use these words in real life, becoming familiar with this language will help you better grasp the subject and engage in conversation on the topic. Come on, let’s start! #1 The Accused or Defendant The person who is accused of breaking the law is called the accused or defendant. They have the right to tell their side of the story and present evidence to the judge. For example: The police arrested the defendant. He is accused of having eaten the last cookie in the box. #2 Courtroom A courtroom is a place where legal cases are heard and decided. People go there when they are accused of doing something illegal or have a disagreement that needs to be settled by a judge or jury. Example: The trial of the defendant will take place in the courtroom. Okay, next word: #3 Crime A crime is an act or omission against the law punishable by a fine, imprisonment, or both. For example, stealing is a crime. Example: – I just committed a crime! – What crime did you commit? – I ate the last cookie without sharing – that’s an unforgivable crime! In this case, legally, it would not be a crime, but it is unforgivable to eat the last cookie without sharing it! #4 Accomplice An accomplice is a person who helps another to commit a crime or offense. There could be more than one person helping with the crime. Example: – I can’t believe we did this. – Me neither. But no one saw how we ate the cookie. Now we are accomplices. #5 Lawyer or attorney What’s the difference between a lawyer and an attorney? What is a lawyer? A lawyer is someone who has been educated in the law and has completed law school. They can provide legal advice, but cannot represent clients in court because they still need to pass the bar exam. What is an attorney? An attorney has graduated from law school and passed the bar exam in their state of practice; therefore, they can represent clients in court. Let me tell you a joke about lawyers: – Good morning, How much do you charge for a quick consultation? – 500 dollars for three questions. -Wow, isn’t that a bit expensive? – Yes. And what is your third question? #6 Presumption of innocence This is important. The presumption of innocence means we should consider the defendant innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. One example: The judge reminded the audience that the presumption of innocence must always be maintained. It hasn’t been determined if the accused ate the last cookie in the box. Get the transcript on my website: http://speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#243 How to get a visa to enter the US?

Are you planning a trip to the U.S.? In that case, this episode is for you because I will talk about how to get a visa to enter the United States of America. And with a point-of-view story, you will learn grammar in context without memorizing any boring rules. Hi! I'm Georgiana, your English teacher. Thanks for joining me for a new episode of the Speak English Now podcast. If you want to help, please share the podcast on social media. That would mean a lot. Thanks! Before we start, visit my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com, and subscribe to my FREE mini-course. Over the next five days, you will discover the 5 secrets to speaking English fluently. Okay, let's start! If you’re planning to visit the U. S., you must first obtain a visa. And even if the process can be complicated and time-consuming, you still need a visa to enter the U.S. Therefore, it is essential to understand the different types of visas and the information you need to provide. For today's episode, I have put together some general tips about getting a visa to enter the U.S. First, you must determine which type of visa you require. Depending on your purpose for visiting, you may need a business or a tourist visa. Once you have determined the type of visa you need, you will gather the necessary documents. These may include proof of identity, evidence of financial stability, and a letter of invitation from a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. After all the necessary documents, you must fill out the visa application form and submit it to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your home country. This form requires personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, and additional information related to your trip. After applying, you'll schedule an in-person interview with a consular officer. You will likely need to provide additional information about your trip and answer questions about your eligibility for a visa. Once your visa application is approved, you will receive the document with an expiration date. It is vital to keep track of the expiration date of your visa, as staying within the timeline of your visa is essential. Otherwise, you may be required to apply for a new one. Read the TEXT on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#242 Private Healthcare in the U.S. and Others

Healthcare insurance in the U.S. has a long history. However, the earliest forms of healthcare insurance in the U.S. were largely private plans that covered hospital and medical care for individuals or employers. Today, most Americans obtain health insurance through their employers or government plans such as Medicare and Medicaid. In today's episode, I will start by talking about the private healthcare system. Private care in the U.S. allows individuals to purchase health insurance coverage from private companies instead of relying on public insurance sources like Medicaid or Medicare. Most private health insurance plans are offered through employers and are known as employer-sponsored health insurance. Private health insurance usually covers a wide range of healthcare services, such as doctor visits, prescriptions, mental health care, hospitalization, and emergency care. Depending on the plan, private health insurance might include coverage for vision and dental care, alternative medicine, and other services. These plans can vary significantly in cost and coverage, from basic plans that cover essential services like doctor visits and prescription drugs to more comprehensive plans that can cover costly treatments like surgery. Other options In addition to health insurance, there are several other options for accessing healthcare. You can access healthcare through community health centers or free or low-cost clinics if uninsured. Health Marketplace For instance, the Health Marketplace is a resource where people can shop for and purchase health insurance coverage. It provides access to various health insurance plans, including private and Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). It also provides information about subsidies and tax credits that can help reduce the cost of premiums. Get the transcript on my website:SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#241 The Public Healthcare System in The U.S.

Transcript: Are you curious about how the healthcare system works in the U.S.? In this episode, I will explain the basics of the American healthcare system. There is not one universal system, but a range of public and private insurance options. I will lay out how these plans work so that you can gain a better understanding. And yes. Contrary to what some people assume, public health care exists in the USA. There are several public systems, both federal and state. All Americans must have health insurance or face a federal offense. Therefore, everyone should be properly insured. If someone is unemployed, they may be eligible for federal or state public insurance programs to help them access the necessary health care services. Let’s find out more about public health in the U.S. In 1965, the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid, which provided health coverage to the elders and the poorest segments of the population. What are Medicare and Medicaid? Medicare is a federal health insurance program primarily available to people 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, or people with End-Stage Renal Disease. Medicaid offers health insurance to countless Americans, such as eligible low-income adults, children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with disabilities. States must follow federal rules while running the program, which is funded by both state and federal money. Other programs, such as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), is a federal-state partnership program administered by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Children’s Health Insurance Program provides health insurance coverage to low-income children and pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid but cannot afford private health insurance. I hope you found this episode interesting. In the next one, I will continue talking about healthcare in the U.S. [END OF THE EXTRACT] Get the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#240 Paradox in English and Speaking Practice

Transcript Do you like paradoxes? Today I will talk about the paradox of the magic bill, which has gone viral on social media. Ok, let’s start! A paradox is a fact, expression, or story that seems contrary to logic. I invite you to listen to this paradox and then assume the solution. Pay attention! A tourist arrives at a hotel. He is very picky about the rooms, so he asks the receptionist if he can see them first. The receptionist agrees but asks the tourist to leave $100 at the front desk. The tourist leaves a $100 bill and goes upstairs to look at the vacant rooms to see if he likes any of them. The hotel manager then takes this bill and goes to the butcher shop to pay a $100 debt to the butcher. The butcher goes to the bakery to pay the $100 debt he owes the baker and does so with the same $100 bill. The baker, in turn, takes the bill and pays his debt to his doctor with the same bill. Finally, the doctor returns to the hotel and pays a $100 debt he owes to the hotel manager. At that point, the tourist returns and tells the desk clerk that he does not want to stay at the hotel. He takes his $100 bill and leaves. The apparent paradox is that before the tourist arrived, the manager, the butcher, the baker, and the doctor owed $100. When the tourist recovers the $100 bill, the tourist, the manager, the butcher, the baker, and the doctor no longer owe anything. No one owes anything to anyone. No one has worked or produced anything, and no one has lost a single dollar. Get the full transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#239 Fluency and Correction when Speaking English

Today, I'd like to take a closer look at a common issue faced by many learners of English: the proper usage of various verb tenses, as well as the potential mistakes they can make. First, you should bear in mind that native speakers tend to use fewer verb tenses when speaking compared to when they are writing. In other words, spoken language is more direct and simple. And that's good news! So, why does this happen? We can consider how to articulate our ideas best, select suitable grammar structures, and more when writing. However, when speaking, there is no time to think about how to construct a sentence. Secondly, when learning a language, there is often a conflict between two components. These two elements are fluency and self-correction. By fluency, I mean the ability to produce the language with few pauses, and by self-correction, I mean the perception that what you are saying may be wrong, and consequently, you self-correct. To illustrate this point, let's assume that Tom is an English learner with a low level of fluency. Tom has to make a significant effort to find the right words, finish sentences, and so on. He is probably mentally translating from his native language to English and the other way around. While Tom is in a conversation, struggling to finish sentences, the last thing Tom can think about is whether he is making any grammar errors. It's hard enough trying to keep the conversation going. If Tom wants to reduce the number of errors, he will need to pause frequently for several seconds to ponder the best way to express himself. Even so, he will make mistakes. This last scenario is quite common in traditional language schools. Teachers often require students to speak from the beginning without errors, even if they can barely articulate sentences. Consequently, this hinders fluency, preventing students from relaxing and enjoying basic conversations. So, what is the solution? The key is to follow the natural process of language acquisition. First, you need to listen many times to the same language patterns so that they become automatic in your mind. This way, you can gradually focus on making fewer mistakes. That’s why I often insist you should be listening to simple content repeatedly. Read the transcript here:SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#238 English Idioms for the New Year - part2

Transcript: Every January is the same. Everyone wants to improve their lifestyle. So, let’s continue learning some new year expressions in English. Let's start! #1 Today is the first day of the rest of your life. People often use this phrase to express that every day is an opportunity to start over and make the most of life. It encourages people to make the most of each day and appreciate the present moment. Examples: "Don’t look back; look forward! Today is the first day of the rest of your life. " "Regardless of what happened yesterday, you can always start anew today. Remember, Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" #2 To give it my best shot. Giving your best means doing the best you can in a given situation. It implies that you will try your best and strive your best to achieve success. Examples: "I’ll give my best shot to get through this job interview and show them why I'm the perfect candidate." "Next month, I will run my first marathon and give my best shot." #3 To tighten [one’s] belt. To forget previous debts or mistakes and be given a new chance to succeed. Examples: "You must tighten your belt this month if you want to stay on budget." "I’m trying to save money, so I will have to tighten my belt and cut back on unnecessary spending." #4 to bury the hatchet. To bury the hatchet means to forgive and forget past differences, usually between two people, and end a disagreement. Examples: "After weeks of disagreement, the team decided to bury the hatchet and work together as one." "After months of arguing, we finally decided to bury the hatchet and make amends." #5 To shake things up a bit. It means to do something different or unexpected to change the situation. It can be used when you want to try something new or exciting or to make a change. Examples: "We've been using the same methods for years; it’s time to shake things up a bit and try something new." "Let's shake things up a bit and take a different approach to this project." #6 To mend your ways. We use this expression to encourage people to change their behavior or habits to become better. It is a way of prompting someone to take responsibility for their actions and strive to make positive changes in their life. Examples: "If you want to turn your life around, you must mend your ways." "You must take steps to mend your ways if you want to improve." #7 To go cold turkey. To go cold turkey is to abruptly stop an addictive behavior or substance, such as smoking or drinking alcohol. Examples: "After years of smoking, Tom decided to go cold turkey and quit entirely." "The best way to give up sugar is to go cold turkey and cut it out of your diet completely." Get the transcript of this episode at: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/podcast


#237 Talking about Pets in English

Transcript: Today we will talk about pets in the United States. And with a fun mini-story, you will practice your English speaking. I’m sure you’re going to enjoy answering many questions in English. It’s like having a conversation with another person. Hi, I’m Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com, and I’m back again to help you speak English fluently. So, how can you help me? It’s really simple. Please share the podcast with your friends on social media. That would make me very happy! Before we start, subscribe to my free mini-course on my website: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com [With my free mini-course, you will learn: How to accumulate vocabulary, how to learn grammar, how to learn deeply and not forget, how to speak automatically, and how to stay motivated.] Okay! Let’s start! Nowadays, more and more people are adopting animals, and pet ownership in the States is on the rise. I had a dog some time ago, which was a beautiful experience. The connection between a dog and its owner is always special, especially when you take them for a walk. A dog needs to go for long walks to be able to connect with you. Some assume you must give them their favorite treat to win them over. But that link happens when you take them out for a walk. There are few things like the unconditional love of a dog. It’s a unique feeling when you come home after a stressful day and know that your dog is waiting for you, always happy to welcome you. In America, dogs are the favorite pet. Almost 40% of households have at least one dog as a pet. However, before adopting one, you should keep in mind that it requires training, daily walks, etc. In addition, owning a dog in the States is costly. Dog owners spend more than $1,000 yearly on vet check-ups, medications, and medical supplies. But as I was saying, the relationship with a dog is rewarding. And if you haven’t had a positive experience with your dog, it’s probably due to a lack of understanding. The first time you adopt a dog, you learn on the fly how to handle it. In any case, I encourage you to try again. But if you are not yet ready for this, I totally understand. Because although I have been fortunate with my dog because he was really sweet and obedient, I am not yet considering adopting another one. Now you may wonder which is better: buying or adopting a dog? Although there is nothing wrong with either option, adopted animals seem to be very grateful. And since I’ve never had a cat, I can’t speak much from personal experience, but I have some friends who adopted a cat a few months ago, and they are delighted with the furry animal. Besides, cats require much less maintenance because they are more independent. Even so, a cat is still a great companion. In the States, cats are the second most preferred pet, and unlike dogs, cats don’t need daily walks and are happy to entertain themselves. Okay, now we know a little more about pets. And you, do you have a pet at home? You can send me a picture of your pet if you want. [END OF THE EXTRACT] Get the transcript on my website: speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#236 English Idioms for the New Year (part1)

Hi! I'm Georgiana, your English teacher. Thank you for joining me for another episode. If you want to help, please share the podcast on social media. That would mean a lot. Thanks! I hope you are doing great! The New Year is the perfect time for new beginnings and the perfect time to learn some idioms in English for the new year. You will also learn grammar with a point-of-view lesson without memorizing boring rules. Before we start, visit my website: Speakenglishpodcast.com and subscribe to my mini-course - it's completely free! Ok, let's start! #1 To kick off the new year To kick off the new year means to start a new year. Examples: "Let's kick off the new year with a positive attitude." "The best way to kick off the year is to be surrounded by friends and family. #2 To turn over a new leaf It means to start acting or behaving better or more responsibly. Examples: "Since I moved to New York, my life has completely changed. I can say that I have turned over a new leaf." "You always promise to turn over a new leaf if I give you another chance. But you've proven to me time and time again that you'll never change." #3 To start with a clean sheet When we start with a clean sheet, we forget previous debts or mistakes and are given a new chance to succeed at something. Examples: "I'm afraid we've started on the wrong foot. Why don't we start with a clean sheet?" "Although you have put a lot of effort into this new project, it is a disaster. Therefore, we will have to hire someone else and start with a clean sheet. #4 Out with the old and in with the new Out with the old, in with the new means it is good to replace old things with new ones, to leave old things or ideas behind and bring in new ones. Examples: "I need to get a new jacket because this one is out of fashion. Out with the old, in with the new!" "My cell phone is ancient. I can't even take pictures with it. I need to buy a new one, so out with the old, in with the new!" #5 Ring in the New Year To ring in the new year means celebrating the beginning of a new year, usually with a party or formal dinner. Examples: "My friends rang in the new year with a party at their parent's house." "I am very happy because we will ring in the new year in New York." #6 To kick the habit One of our New Year's resolutions is to quit a bad habit. Many want to quit smoking; others want to stop eating too many sweets, etc. Examples: "My husband tried to kick the habit last year, but he loves to eat." "This new year, I want to kick the habit of smoking." #7 Stick to something But if you want to kick the habit, you must stick to your New Year plan without deviating. Examples: "My friend started a diet for the new year, but I'm afraid she won't be able to stick to it." "Your suggestion didn't work out, so we must stick to the initial plan." Get the transcript at: https://speakenglishpodcast.com/podcast/


#235 New Year’s Resolutions 2023

Hi, everybody! I’m Georgiana, founder of speakenglishpodcast.com. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently. Speaking English is way easier when you use the right material and techniques. In this episode, let's take a look at the most common New Year's resolutions. Then you will practice your English fluency with a mini-story. Alright! Let’s start! By the way, if you are new here, visit my website to get the transcript of today's episode. Go to: speakenglishpodcast.com If you're already familiar with this show, please share it with your friends and family. That would make me very happy! Tell your friends that my podcast is available everywhere on the internet. You can find it on my website and many podcast apps like Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, Facebook, Soundcloud, etc. Just look for "Speak English Now with Georgiana," and start learning English with me!" Well, first of all... Happy New Year! How time flies! A new year has just begun. It’s curious how the passage of time is perceived according to age. Young people don't think much about it. Middle-aged people think about the things they still want to achieve and realize that they have less and less time. Older people, on the other hand, remember the old days. Don't worry; I won't get too philosophical in this lesson. :) I’ll go ahead and talk about New Year's resolutions. As you know, when a new year comes, we all feel like doing a lot of things. Also, we feel a bit guilty for having celebrated a little too much at Christmas. Therefore, in this episode, we will take a look at the most popular New Year's resolutions and practice new vocabulary. And what’s a resolution? A resolution is a firm decision to do something. My new’s year resolution is to use highly proven techniques, based on the natural learning of a second language, to help my students to speak English automatically. Losing weight or going on a diet. This resolution is a classic. After all the meals and alcoholic beverages, we decide to lose weight. Usually, this decision is made after a very generous meal. We are on a full stomach and solemnly decide that we are going to lose weight and that we are going on a diet. Going to the gym Another classic! It's funny how many people are paying their gym fee every month but never go. Sounds familiar? Then now it's the perfect excuse to start exercising. A friend of mine told me in October that he wasn't going to the gym, but that he would certainly start going in January. :) If you ever go to the gym at the beginning of the year, you'll see a lot of people working out — everyone with a lot of determination. The problem is that in February there are half as many people exercising. Sometimes the New Year's resolution for exercising includes an ambitious goal, such as running a marathon. The important thing is to finish the race so don’t obsess about timing. For some time, I was aiming to run a marathon. About four years ago, I ran a half-marathon and noticed that running a marathon was a reasonable goal. Then I changed my mind because the training I needed was too intense for my knees. Now I'm taking it slower and alternating between different sports. Quit Smoking Quitting smoking is a hard thing to do. Many people try to quit smoking and start a healthier life at the beginning of a new year. Luckily I’m not a smoker, but I always wish them all the best. So, we have the health trio: dieting, going to the gym and quitting smoking. Many try, very few succeed. Read more books It’s always a great idea to read. You can learn many things. I know people who haven't read an entire book since high school. I also know others who read a lot. A good New Year's resolution is to read more. I suppose, to be successful, you need to start with a book you like. Learn a new language I particularly like this resolution. As you already know, it’s extremely important to have the right materials and use the right techniques. Just going to a language...


#234 Christmas Markets in New York 2022

Transcript: Merry Christmas, everyone! I’m Georgiana, your English teacher, and my mission is to help you speak English fluently. And if you want to help me, share the podcast with your friends and family. Ah! It’s almost Christmas!!! And today, I will talk about Christmas Markets in New York. And with a fun mini-story, you will improve your speaking. If you need to give something special for Christmas, consider buying my Premium courses. Visit: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com/courses and get my English programs at an exceptional price. Ok! Let’s talk about Christmas markets in New York. What are you planning to do at Christmas? I recommend you fly to NYC because the best Christmas markets are here. New York’s holiday markets often include ice skating, twinkling lights, great food vendors, and fun holiday activities. Plus, you can make your Christmas shopping a positive and relaxing experience. Bryant Park’s Winter Village You could start by visiting Bryant Park’s Winter Village. One of the highlights of this market is the 17,000-square-foot ice skating rink, which is free to use if you bring your skates. FAD Market And after ice skating, you could visit the FAD Market. Each season, the FAD market – which stands for Fashion, Art, and Design – takes over a different Brooklyn venue with a bunch of independent vendors and creators. Here you’ll find New York City’s emerging brands, designers, and small businesses offering a curated selection of handmade jewelry, clothing, skincare, tableware, and much more. Columbus Circle Holiday Market And after all this activity, you should go to the Columbus Circle Holiday Market, which is one of the most iconic holiday markets. The uptown counterpart to the Union Square Holiday Market offers shoppers a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Are you having fun? Let’s practice speaking with a fun mini-story. Mini-Story 📖 (Practice your speaking) Mini stories are excellent for improving fluency. The goal is to answer without mentally translating it into your native language. That’s why I recommend short and quick answers. You can pause if necessary. Come on, let’s get started! After listening to Georgiana’s podcast, Tom traveled to New York to explore the Christmas markets. What did Tom do for Christmas? Stay at home? No. No. Tom didn’t stay at home. He traveled for Christmas. Where did Tom go? To Hawaii? No. Tom went to New York. He didn’t travel to Hawaii. Why did he travel to New York? For business purposes? No. Not for business purposes. He traveled to New York to explore the Christmas markets. Christmas shops or markets? Christmas markets. Tom traveled to New York to explore the Christmas markets. Did Tom travel to New York with his mom? No. No. Not with his mom. Tom traveled to New York alone. Tom went ice skating at Bryant Park’s Winter Village and ate some delicious local treats at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. Tom went roller skating. Right? No. No. Tom went ice skating. Where did he go ice skating? Finland? No. No. He didn’t go ice skating in Finland. He went ice skating in New York at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. Did Tom eat anything? Yes. He ate something. What exactly did he eat? Can you remember? Yes. He ate some delicious local treats at the Columbus Circle Holiday Market. After a few hours, he rested on a park bench. Next to him, there was a girl named Elsa, and they began to have a lively conversation. What did Tom do after some hours? Rest or play tennis? Tom didn’t play tennis. After a few hours, Tom rested on a park bench. Was there someone next to him? Yes. Next to Tom, there was a girl. What was her name? Elsa. Her name was Elsa. Elsa? As in Elsa from Frozen? Exactly. Her name was Elsa. Just like the princess from Frozen. Was Elsa an actual princess? Well, we don’t know that. We know she was sitting next to Tom in New York. It turned out that Elsa also traveled to New York after listening to Georgiana’s podcast. What a...