What is your motivation for learning English?
Do you sometimes become demotivated and less enthusiastic about your progress?
On this podcast, I talk with Christian from Canguro English about motivation and how it’s important for you to set realistic expectations when it comes to learning English.
I’ve been following Christian’s excellent YouTube channel for a long time and I was really happy when he agreed to join me on the podcast to talk about motivation.
I want to thank Katty from The Chat Box Facebook group for suggesting I contact Christian. So, thanks, Katty. Without you, this conversation wouldn’t have happened.
Christian is a highly experienced English teacher who is constantly questioning how we learn languages and what is the best approach for teaching and for learning English.
Links to everything we discuss in this episode, including Christian’s website and his wonderful YouTube channel can be found in the show notes at inglespodcast.com/christian.
So, don’t worry if you’re driving or exercising, walking the dog or out doing the shopping. You don’t need to write anything down. Just relax and enjoy my conversation with Christian Saunders from Canguru English.
Christian Saunders from canguroenglish.com
Where is Christian’s accent from?
Christian is originally from Australia, but our accents are a reflection of our experiences in the world.
His accent is a mix of all the places he’s lived in. It’s also probably been very influenced by his British wife. Her British accent has rubbed off on him.
Learning a language is a process of making mistakes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with English. You are not going to open your mouth and speak perfect English immediately. In the same way, you can’t play the guitar well until you have practiced for many hours and played the wrong notes occasionally.
Language is a creative art. There are many different ways to say the same thing. Right and wrong in language is a social judgement.
There are two basic types of motivation, intrinsic (your internal desire to do something because you are passionate about it) and extrinsic which comes from an external goal (like passing an exam, getting a promotion at work or gaining access to university).
Success in language learning is about having a need or creating a need.
Children learn languages quickly because they need to.
“We should look for someone to eat and drink with before looking for something to eat and drink.” – Epicurus
Is motivation innate (natural, inborn, in your genes) or can we learn it?
We are generally more motivated when we see progress. If we stay in the same place and don’t move forward, motivation tends to drop.
Many language learners experience the ‘intermediate plateau’ because they see a lot of progress in the beginning when they learn basic grammar and commonly used vocabulary.
However, as they progress, the curve flattens because they don’t have enough time and opportunity to use and absorb so much language.
You can pick up (learn) all the basic vocabulary you need by only reading for 20 minutes per day.
How much input do you need to learn the most frequent 9,000 words? – Paul Nation: https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/EJ1044345.pdf
Fluency is the work of a lifetime. You should set realistic expectations and language goals.
- Find a reason to use your English.
- Have realistic expectations.
Is there anything you’ve changed your mind about recently?
Christian now believes that it is possible to teach people how to listen.
Also, academic studies on teaching do not always reflect what happens in the classroom.
What one thing, if you were to tell someone about yourself, would they find difficult to believe?
Christian has worked in construction, working as a builder. He hated it!
Please visit Christian’s website at https://canguroenglish.com/
Check out the Canguru English Academy: https://canguroenglish.com/academy/
Christian also organises language retreats:
Gran Caneria May, 2023: https://canguroenglish.com/english-immersion-retreat-gran-canaria-2023/
Pencils of Promise charity work: https://canguroenglish.com/charity/
Christian on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@Canguroenglish
Thank you Christian for your time and thank you for listening. I hope this episode has increased your motivation and helped you understand your own motivation, or lack of it, in more detail.
But what do you think? Do you find it difficult to motivate yourself to improve your English. Have you experienced the intermediate-level plateau that we spoke about? What do you do when your motivation drops?
We would love to hear about your experience, so why not send us a voice message and you can practice our speaking. It’s very easy. Go to. https://www.speakpipe.com/inglespodcast
Send us an email with a comment or question to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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In next week’s episode: Reza will be back and we’ll be speaking about Cyber Security and answering Jose’s question about how you can protect yourself against cyber attacks. Join us next week and learn some technology vocabulary.
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The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’