This is an unedited monologue in which I talk about some things which are on my mind at the moment, including how my hair is stopping me from learning French (and vice versa), virtuous and vicious circles, how English is like a shark (or a river – or maybe a shark in a river), some comments about recent episodes and a visit from a friendly bat at my podcastle.
Video Version (try activating the automatic subtitles)
Some vocabulary extracts
I have been deliberating about which microphone to choose
Geeky microphone chat
I have a plethora of microphones
People who have just stumbled across this and are wondering what this is all about
Perhaps you’re in transit somewhere, maybe you’re doing some housework, maybe you’re listening to this in a classroom while your teacher takes a well-earned break, or maybe you are lying in a floatation tank or in zero gravity in the international space station
Stick with me, and enjoy being a LEPster
Here’s a run-down of some of the things I’d like to talk about.
- How my hair is stopping me from learning French, and vice versa – how my French is stopping me from getting a hair cut (virtious and vicious circles)
- How my summer is looking, what my plans are and what that might mean for the podcast (busy – difficult to record podcasts in July and August – what’s new?)
- Thoughts on recent episodes like Sick in Japan and Spinal Tap
- Some metaphors and similes for language learning and teaching
- That’s probably plenty!
I’ve been just sweeping it (my hair) back over my head
Maybe I’m being a bit precious about this but I can’t help feeling self-conscious
Taking initiative is very important but it can be hard.
It can just be taking the initiative to speak, to make an effort to communicate with someone, to risk looking a bit stupid, going out of your comfort zone.
But if you take that tiny little risk, it can pay off in various ways.
You need to keep the English moving through you like a river or the water of your English will become stagnant. We all know this.
But without that little impetus to speak, you won’t do it.
If you don’t take initiative, you don’t put yourself into situations in which your confidence can develop.
Starting a virtuous circle is a matter of taking small steps in the right direction.
Micro-decisions or micro-steps.
Now I have to go out of my way to walk to the hairdresser.
Some people commented that the crowd were quiet. Well-behaved maybe.
I should have:
Hyped the crowd up more
Done more stand up at the start
Warmed them up by getting them to make noise.
“French people make some noise!” Etc
I should have done more crowd work.
Spinal Tap – maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but at the end of the day I am the one who decides what happens in these episodes.
I find that with my learners it’s not just listening skills or vocabulary, but just “being on the same wavelength” and that includes things like little references to culture, or just having a certain sense of humour.
It’s also important that I do stuff that I am personally invested in, or this whole thing just won’t happen. So there.
I love teaching but sometimes I get a bit frustrated because it can be a bit like banging your head against a wall.
You can bring a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.