The Blog

Thoughts about learning foreign languages. News about PhraseMix.com

Another interview: ALsensei from the English 2.0 podcast

ALsensei from alsensei.com interviewed me recently for his English 2.0 podcast. We talked about the most common questions English learners ask, my ideas for how to learn English faster, and tips for being productive. Check out the interview here:

English 2.0 Teacher Interview 5 - Aaron from PhraseMix


A cool trick for memorizing sentences

Someone recently told me about a cool trick for memorizing things. 

I wish I could remember who told me about the trick, and where they got it from. But I looked the trick up online and found an article about it from QuickAndDirtyTips.com.

Imagine that you're trying to memorize a PhraseMix sentence (which I strongly recommend that you do). The normal way to memorize the sentence would be to repeat the full thing, again and again, from the beginning. So try that now. Read this sentence out loud to yourself five times:

“I'd just like to say, on behalf of everyone here, good luck in your new home.”

Now close your eyes, wait a few seconds, and try to say the whole sentence without reading it.

Did it work? If so, great!

If not, then you probably got the first part of the...


An interview with the "Let's Master English" podcast

This week, I was interviewed for a podcast called "Let's Master English". The host, Coach Shane, is a really smart guy and easy to talk to.

We talked about how I got started with PhraseMix, some of my recommendations for language learners, describe my idea of "bottlenecks" in language learning, and the upcoming live PhraseMix Academy class.

Listen here:

http://directory.libsyn.com/episode/index/show/letsmasterenglish/id/2525448

And you can also subscribe to the podcast with iTunes.

 


Bottlenecks

Bottle

In English, the word "bottleneck" describes something that slows down a process.

Think about the shape of a wine bottle. The bottom part is wider, but in order for the wine to pour out, it has to pass through the narrow "neck" of the bottle. This limits how quickly you can pour it.

We use the term "bottleneck" to talk about things like business processes. Whenever one specific part of a system is slowing down the entire system, it's a bottleneck.

Where are your bottlenecks?

It can be really useful to consider where the bottlenecks in your English learning are.

For example, imagine someone who never learns the English alphabet. Even if this person lives in an English-speaking country, surrounded by English signs, books, magazines, and so on, they will never learn to read. All of those...


What's funny to you in English?

Laughing

When I was in college, I studied the plays of William Shakespeare. Shakespeare is probably the greatest writer in the English language, but he wrote several hundred years ago. So some of his plays can be hard to understand for modern English speakers.

The comedies were especially hard to understand. I remember the professor explaining some of the jokes in class. Eventually I understood Shakespeare's jokes. But even after understanding them, I still didn't laugh much. Shakespeare's jokes just aren't funny any more.

It can be the same thing across languages and cultures. Some of the things that are really funny to people in one country can seem boring, dumb, or odd to people in another country. If I say something using a funny choice of words, some native speakers might laugh. But if...





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