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Advanced English Conversation about Language Learning — Learn English with Camille

Calvin and I have a casual English conversation about language learning in Advanced English.

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Welcome to C-level English with Camille and this is Calvin. Hi. So we’re gonna be talking today about language learning. We’re going to be trying to use our normal speed that we use when we talk to each other. You can be on the lookout for phrasal verbs, advanced expressions, and things like that, so let’s get started with today’s video. Let’s go.

If you want a transcript, you can just go ahead and click the link in the description and get a free transcript to this video, because we might be speaking a little quickly. Yeah sorry about that, if we get excited it just means that we’re very passionate about language learning.

Yeah so to start off, what languages do you speak? I would say I speak uh Spanish and Portuguese, and I know a little bit of Turkish and Italian and obviously English is my native language. What about you Camille? I know you speak like 10 languages now.

No not quite 10, so of course English is my mother tongue and then I learned Spanish with you and then I learned Italian, Portuguese, and French on my own and then I’ve been studying Turkish for a year and it’s the hardest one.

She is definitely a lot more dedicated and disciplined in her studying of languages than me.

I like to try on languages where I study them for one to six months, and then if I’m like, “nah, I want to move on, I move on.” Yeah and when I commit to learning a language, I like to get to at least a solid B2 level before I start learning another language. I think it’s really interesting how we both like languages but we have different methods of learning although there are some overlaps, you know, we use a lot of the same tools like Duolingo or Memrise or you know some of these language apps, but uh I guess the the mentality and our personalities are different, and I think that’s why yeah, we can’t exactly say this is how you should learn a language, ABCD because you kind of have to figure it out on your own, try things that work for you.

Yeah how do you start learning a language? I think it starts with an interest right, or maybe it’s actually like I got a job in a country and I have to learn this language in six months, so then it’s more like a necessity and those are two good drivers I think for learning learning a language, and I think uh the first step is having one of those. Yeah so that would be your like the reason for learning a language, but how do you start from knowing zero?

Yeah that’s a good question and I always start with Duolingo just because it’s free for one, and it uh helps you get uh some quick wins, so you’re accomplishing these lessons you know, it’s gamified so you feel like you’re doing something, you’re going somewhere with the language. So that’s kind of my step one is all right I’m going into Duolingo right away just see how this language is. Yeah I always use Duolingo as well. I’m very proud of my couple thousand day streak on there, and and I do feel like it can’t be the only resource, but it is a good one to start with because like you said there’s a lot of repetition, and you can kind of get a feel for how the language works, which I like.

Then I go to YouTube and I search beginner Turkish or whatever language I’m learning and I look for all the beginner videos. I did realize though beginner content is hard to create and there’s not that many beginner videos for Turkish. They all feel intermediate or advanced, even if they say beginner so. Yeah it’s true we just tried to create a beginner video, and we realized we need to do a little better. Yes, advanced, intermediate content is a lot easier to create.

Yes so your step one is duolingo, your step two is searching YouTube for videos and people teaching that language. Yeah a lot of input, a lot of listening, even if I don’t understand. I really like Steve Kaufman’s lingq program, because you can read books or find interesting content on there and then get the translation for the premium if you pay. But it’s helpful, especially in the beginning when you don’t know anything.

Yeah yeah I like to go on to Netflix and watch movies in those languages even if my subtitles are in English. For one language is not some disconnected thing you know, it’s connected to a culture and a people. That’s true. Yeah and so watching movies and things like that helps me envision this language in its context, or at least its fictional context in a movie and that helps me kind of stay motivated and get some input.

So what would you say your biggest struggle is when it comes to language learning? There’s a lot to learn. My biggest struggle is when I look, too much, yeah when I look at the all the things I have to learn, uh I can you know feel like oh overwhelmed, I think and then you know lose my drive. When I stay focused on step by step okay I’m going to do this lesson, I’m going to do that, and uh not look at the big picture that’s I think a better mentality so.

We’re raising young elephants, yes a herd of elephants running through the house. (Our kids were running around during filming lol)

So I think for me my biggest struggle is listening. People say speaking, but I can get to this point where I feel like I can speak and be understood, but I’m trying to understand people accents are different depending on where people live and it’s a struggle so that’s one of the hardest things.

Yes even knowing a language but then going to another country that speaks it is a challenge. Like right now we’re in Portugal, we learned more of a Brazilian variety of Portuguese and so here it’s a lot of sh, sh, sh and it’s hard to understand right now so, um but yeah, so listening is always going to be kind of one of those last things I feel like that uh you get in language learning and one of the hardest to to get without tons and tons of input.

Yeah and immersion. And immersion, it’s very helpful. I think you need immersion in the culture really just to get to that super advanced level. Yeah on a digital side, you can always use like Hellotalk or Tandem, and find a good language partner or go into the language parties, um both can be pretty addictive and time consuming, so be careful.

Yeah but they do expose you to a lot of locals talking to each other, especially you know if you’re learning you know one of the more popular languages, you’ll find a lot more rooms on those apps.

Yeah and as a bonus I’ve met over 15 of my language partners in real life so that’s a pretty cool just side thing that ends up happening because of my passion for language learning.

Yeah one of my best friends Gabriel from Brazil, shout out “Hey Gabriel!” We met on Hellotalk and then we met in person and I lived with his family for a bit, he lived with our family for a bit, and it’s been amazing, so there’s a lot of fruit in language learning, and I hope you guys get to experience that as well.

Totally I think this is a topic we probably could extend for about an hour but I’m trying to keep my videos a little shorter so I’m going to go ahead and wrap this up, but why don’t you guys tell us how you learn a language, what are some of the things that you do in the beginning? And how many languages do you know? We would love to hear from you.

Thanks so much for joining this conversation with us about language learning. Yeah until next time.

Bye Bye

What languages do you speak? Comment on the Youtube video 🙂




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Camille Hanson

Camille Hanson

Hi friends! I'm Camille. I create engaging American English content for ESL people around the world. When I am not creating videos, books or blogs, you will probably find me in a cafe somewhere around the world, studying my next target language or at home cooking up food for my family of five. Stick around, read some posts and learn some English with me :) Tchau, ciao! ~Camille
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