Listening To Lots of Spoken English Is Brain Training For When You Talk English
Adept English provides English language listening materials designed to help you train your brain to store important English language information in your long-term memory ready for when you talk English.
The key to getting your brain to take notice of a new language like English, which it will happily ignore if you let it. Is to listen over and over to native English speakers, speaking in everyday English. This tells your brain that actually, those strange sounds that are unfamiliar are actually important and your brain should start storing this new sound and information about that new sound.
So today we get back to English listening basics. We're going to narrate a story about riding a white horse on sand at the beach. We want you to listen to this several times, without looking up words, just listen to the audio and then listen again.
Your understanding should get a little better with each time you listen to the lesson. Once you think you are not improving with listening, pick out any problem words or phrases from the transcript, or the closed captions if you're using our [YouTube Channel], and only then look them up.
Transcript: Listening To Lots of Spoken English Is Brain Training For When You Talk English
Hi and welcome to this latest podcast from Adept English. We are here to provide you with listening material and English speaking lessons. Do you realise that about three quarters of learning a language is listening and understanding, getting comfortable with a language? So we are here to provide you with material that’s easier to understand for people learning English. If you want to talk English, speak in English, you have to spend a long time working on your understanding first! Adept English helps you to learn English speaking and improve your spoken English through listening. But if you find our podcasts difficult, you can buy our [500 Most Common English Words] Course which is an English speaking course.
This course gives you English listening practice, just like the podcasts, but using only the most common words in English. On this course, you get to practice understanding the most common words in English, used in different stories and conversations. Once you can understand the 500 most common words, the podcasts will be so much easier and you’ll be able to start speaking, you’ll start to talk English! So how to learn spoken English at home? Adept English is the answer.
How to use little stories to help your English learning
So here we go today, with a little story. It’s of an experience that I had over the Christmas holiday. I’ve told other people about this experience, so it’s real-life, genuine, but as I tell it to you, I’ll explain any of the words, the vocabulary which may be more difficult. And then hopefully you’ll be able to understand my story, without having to look words up. Listen a few times, to see if you can work it out. And only look words up or translate them, after you’ve done four or five listens! You’ll get further each time you listen.
Novices in the saddle!
So if you listen to Adept English regularly, you might have heard me talk about my son and I going horse riding on a Sunday morning. We are novices. A ‘novice’, N-O-V-I-C-E is someone who has some knowledge, some learning, they’re not right at the beginning of learning – but they aren’t yet skilled, they’re not yet accomplished. And you can be a novice at anything that requires gradual learning – a novice at English, for example. ‘Horse riding’, in case you’re not sure? A horse, is a big animal, with four legs, clippety clop...clop, clop, clop, clop, clop and you sit on its back! That’s horse riding.
So we’re novices, we’ve been riding a little over a year. And to those of you who don’t do horse riding, this isn’t very long, because there’s a lot to learn about horse riding! There’s a lot to learn about how to catch horses, put saddles on. The saddle, S-A-D-D-L-E, it’s made out of leather, it goes over the back of the horse and you sit on it. So there’s a lot to learn too about riding. It’s one of those unconscious skills – you only learn it by keep doing it, again and again and again. I could go into all sorts of vocabulary associated with horse riding – but perhaps that’s for another time! Let us know if you want that. But we’ll do some today.
A horse riding stable by the beach
Anyway, my story. We have our regular riding stables, which we go to every week at home. A stable, S-T-A-B-L-E? That’s the building where you keep a horse. And therefore you might talk about ‘going to the stables’ to ride or to look after the horses. So when we were away this Christmas, visiting family in Wales, there is another stable which we’ve been to a few years ago, but not since we’ve been riding every week. Because we’ve been riding every week, we’ve improved, we’re a little bit better at it! And the riding stables in Wales is near the beach – so the idea of riding horses through the sand dunes and onto the beach really appealed. A dune or a sand dune, D-U-N-E is a hill made out of sand and you find them by the sea! So I booked for my son and me, a two hour ride through the dunes and onto the beach. So because it was January, we went with lots and lots of clothes on, because I was thinking it might be cold. And we had a really lovely time.
Vocabulary for horse riding – and a different experience
The stable in Wales is quite a big one – there were 15 horses on our ride, and the owner has over 30 horses altogether. I was surprised as we were called into the stable yard. ‘Yard’, Y-A-R-D, in UK English means a paved area, or a concrete area. In this case where the horses stand when they’re not in their field. So a ‘yard’ is outside, but has a hard surface to stand on. You can have a school yard, or a prison yard, for example. It means something slightly different in US English. If someone talks about their ‘yard’, it’s what we would call ‘a garden’. So it might have grass in it. Anyway, I was surprised when we were called into the yard at the start of the ride because there were fifteen horses all standing very quietly in the stable yard, just waiting for us to get on. Not of them were tethered. ‘To tether’, T-E-T-H-E-R, means to tie up an animal with a chord or rope, so it doesn’t walk away.
So the horses were all standing quietly, none of them tethered – quite big horses too. And they stood quietly while we mounted. ‘To mount’, M-O-U-N-T is the term, the word for getting onto a horse. Not so easy either, as they were big. And I of course had to use a ‘mounting block’ to get on, because I’m not very tall and my horse was very tall. Anyway, we set off and straightaway had to cross a river . A river, R-I-V-E-R is where water flows – like the Nile or the Thames. Fortunately, this was a small river though! Although, with all the winter rain, it was quite high – there was a risk of getting your feet wet! And then we then rode through the sand dunes and crossed the river several more times – and after about half an hour, we were on the beach, which was lovely. It’s quite an experience riding on the beach, with the wind in your hair. After that we came back over the sand dunes, so good practice for us going up and down steep slopes on horseback, and lots of trotting. ‘To trot’, T-R-O-T is a verb – and if you like it’s ‘second gear on a horse’. Faster than walking, but not as fast as a canter. ‘To canter’, C-A-N-T-E-R, is more like third gear on a horse. Again more riding vocabulary – let me know if you want a whole podcast on horse riding vocabulary!
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Beautiful scenery and good behaviour!
Anyway, we came back through dunes, grassland, forest and again estuary, walking through the river numerous times until we arrived back at the stable. The horses were wonderful – sure-footed – meaning you didn’t feel as if they were going to fall. And when you gave them directions, like stop, slow down, go right, go left – they responded beautifully. But what struck me very much is just how peaceful they were. My horse was a large male – and apparently a boss, a ‘boss horse’, so he did like to be at the front and a couple of times, he sped up so because certain horses weren’t allowed to come past him! If you know much about horses, then this sort of thing is normal. For many animals, hierarchy, is important. Who’s in charge – and who’s not. It’s the same with cats and dogs and cows – who’s the boss is important to them! But apart from this my horse was beautifully behaved.
And our stables…?
It made me think about the horses at the stables that we normally go to. They’re all different types, but they have problems of one sort or another! So you could never bring them all into the stable yard and not tie them up, not tether them. There would be mayhem! It would be a disaster! The horse I normally ride, is a large male, who doesn’t like other horses, so you have to keep him away from other horses, even when he’s eating his carrots and certainly on a ride. Another horse at our usual stables, that my son used to ride, is really small, but she kicks if you don’t watch out! And she’ll stand on your foot if she gets the chance! I had a sore foot for a week once because of this! Another horse there has been known to buck, B-U-C-K – which means to jump around quickly, with the effect of throwing off the rider.
Another horse which my son now rides, needs someone else to put the saddle on his back, because he’s been known to rear as the saddle is put on. ‘To rear’, R-E-A-R, is a verb meaning to stand up on your back legs. So if a horse rears in the stable yard, that’s quite a thing, quite dangerous. So I do really like the horses at the stables we normally go to – they’re a lovable bunch, even with all their problems – and some of them are quite old! But it was lovely to see how peaceful a group of horses can be together. It felt completely safe and an experience that I’ll remember for a very long time. What a nice start to 2020!
So talk English about horse riding and free English lessons with Adept English! Anyway, enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
P.S. More Efficient English Lessons
We design adept English lessons to be more efficient than traditional language lessons, let me explain.
Our lessons are always in English, we never do translation. That may sound difficult or harder than having a lesson that does translation, but actually it eliminates an unnecessary step in your learning. It also avoids one of the biggest bad habits of learning a new language, and that’s trying to translate words in your head.
Our lessons are story conversation based. Humans have for thousands of years passed information using conversational stories. Your brain is hard wired to better remember information in a story format. It is also more likely to store story information in your longer term memory which is where you need it for language recall.
We encourage you to listen to our lessons multiple times. This repeat listening, or spaced repetition learning is proven to be a powerful technique for long term memory storage.
I could go on. These are just some techniques we use to make our lessons much more efficient than a traditional lesson. Maybe another time I will talk about some psychological ideas we use as well.