All Ears English Podcast

Come have a conversation with Lindsay and Michelle in the comments section of our blog! Come back to: http://www.allearsenglish.com/295

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Today you’ll get six ways to check on someone’s progress in a non-pushy way in English!

Do you ever want to get the status of someone’s progress on a project or an assignment but do you get confused about how to ask without making the person feel pressured?

Today you’ll find out how to do it successfully in English.

 

Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online?

Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki.

Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam.

Get our special offer before it runs out! Go to italki and claim 10USD to go toward a FREE second English lesson at italki!

 

 

Ways to check on progress:

  • “How’s it going? I look forward to receiving the files.”
  • “Any updates?
  • ” How are things progressing?”
  • “How are things moving forward?”
  • “How are things going?”
  • “Do you need any feedback on anything?”
  • “Do you want me to check your work?”

Slightly more direct ways to check on progress:

  • “What’s your timeline?”
  • “How’s your timeline looking?”
  • “I just wanted to check in. When do you think you’ll be able to get that done?”

 

What other phrases do you use when you want to check on someone’s progress?

Let us know in the comments below.

Direct download: AEE_295_How_to_Be_Pushy_Without_Being_Pushy_in_English.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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April Fool’s Day is coming up later this week.

Are you ready for it?

How do you celebrate April Fool’s Day in your culture?

Today you’ll learn what many Americans do on April Fool’s Day and you’ll get a few new vocabulary words for this day.

It’s common to play jokes on friends and colleagues at work or at college in the United States.

It’s especially common in colleges because students live together with their friends in dormitories.

 

Vocabulary for April Fool’s Day:

  • Gullible: To trust people and believe things that people say, even if those things are not true.
  • Practical Joke: A joke that you play on someone (not a spoken joke). You act out this kind of joke.
  • A prank: A practical joke, a joke that is acted out
  • Gag gift: A silly gift that is not meant to be serious but is meant to be a joke

 

Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online?

english native teacherGet a native English teacher online in seconds at italki.

Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam.

Get our special offer before it runs out! Go to italki and claim 10USD to go toward a FREE second English lesson at italki!

 

 

What should you do if someone plays a joke on you?

Don’t take it too seriously.

Laugh at it.

Have a good time.

 

 

Leave a message in the comments.

How do you celebrate April Fool’s Day?

Let us know.


Come back to our site and let's have a conversation about this episode in the comments section: http://allearsenglish.com/aee-293-how-to-learn-english-the-way-a-child-learns-to-walk/

 

Today is a Deep Thoughts Thursday and we have an inspiring quote for you!

 

Let’s talk about success.

 

 

 

Here is the quote:

 

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

 

-Winston Churchill

 

 

We can apply this quote to a lot of different aspects of our lives like learning English, dating, and our career paths.

 

We have to keep going and take on new challenges with a positive attitude even if we have failed many times in the past.

 

Try to avoid feeling bitter when you take on a challenge and try again.

 

 

 

What do you think about this quote?

 

Do you keep your heart open and stay enthusiastic when you try again with something?

 

Leave us a comment below and let’s discuss it!

Direct download: AEE_293_How_to_Learn_English_the_Way_a_Child_Learns_to_Walk.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Come back to our site and talk about fashion with us! http://allearsenglish.com/how-to-talk-about-fashion-in-english

 

What is your fashion style?

 

Would you like to be able to talk about fashion in English in a more sophisticated way?

 

Today you’ll get to expand your English fashion vocabulary in this episode with Lindsay and Michelle.

 

Fashion Vocabulary:

 

 

 

1) Umbrella term= Bag

 

  • Purse
  • Backpack
  • Satchel
  • Handbag
  • Pocketbook
  • Evening bag
  • Clutch
  • Wristlet

2) Umbrella term= Shoes

 

  • Sneakers
    • Tennis shoes
    • Walking shoes
  • Boots
    • Hiking boots
  • Heels
  • Flats
  • Sandals
      • Birkenstocks

 

3) Umbrella term= Shirt

 

  • T-shirt
  • Blouse
  • Tank Top (Spaghetti straps, sleeveless)
  • Sweater
  • Sweatshirt
    • Hoodie (hooded sweatshirt)

4) Umbrella term= Jacket

 

  • Coat (heavier than a jacket)
  • Ski jacket
  • Leather jacket
  • Peacoat

 

 

What do you think?

How do you know when someone is fashionable?

What is your fashion style?

Share it with us in the comments.

Direct download: AEE_292_How_to_Talk_About_Fashion_in_English.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Do you use a lot of English slang in your everyday conversations with natives?

In today’s episode you’ll find out how to use the words “crazy” and “insane” as slang words in conversations.

How to use the word “crazy” in a slang form:

 

  • “I know someone who’s totally crazy because he still hitchhikes.”
  • It was crazy for us to hitchhike. Those were my crazy days.”
  • “Are you crazy about your boyfriend?”
  • “What is the craziest thing you have ever done?”

 

The slang words “crazy” and “insane” mean wild and out of control.

They could also mean unexpected or out of control.

The words are also used a lot in song lyrics, especially love songs.

If you use these words in a literal way to describe someone who is mentally ill it is rude.

Instead you could say that they are “mentally disabled” or “mentally handicapped” or “mentally challenged.”

 

 

Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online?

Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki.

Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam.

Get our special offer before it runs out! Go to italki and claim 10USD to go toward a FREE second English lesson at italki!

 

 

Have you ever tried using these slang words in your English conversations?

Share your questions with us in the comments below.

Let’s talk!

Come back to allearsenglish.com/291


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Are you busy?

In your home culture, is it considered “cool” to be busy?

In American culture everyone is busy and it’s almost in style to be busy.

We think that’s crazy! Today we are going to give our opinion on this article from the Washington Post called Exhaustion Is Not a Status Symbol.

In American culture, especially in large cities like New York and Boston, things move fast and we often define ourselves based on the things that we do.

We also measure our worth based on what we achieve.

We end up valuing perfectionism and accomplishing things over just living.

Americans don’t take much time off for vacation while in other cultures people take much more vacation time.

 

Are you looking for a professional, native English teacher online?

Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki.

Lindsay and Michelle recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam.

Get our special offer before it runs out! Go to italki and claim 10USD to go toward a FREE second English lesson at italki!

 

 

How do we know that this is a problem? People in the US always say:

  • “I’ve been crazy busy.”
  • “I have so much going on.”

 

What can we do about this?

  • Avoid checking emails every three minutes
  • When you complete a task, sit back and reflect, get feedback (this was a suggestion from the article)
  • Take more vacation time

 

What do you think?

Is being busy considered cool in your culture?

Let us know in the comments.

Come back to http://www.allearsenglish.com/290 to have a conversation with Lindsay and Michelle


Come back to our blog to leave a comment and have a conversation with us!

http://allearsenglish.com/289

 

Today let’s talk about how to sound more natural in English when you use the phrase “by the way.”

Michelle and Lindsay will show you some great examples of how to use this phrase.

This phrase is useful to do two things:

  • Bring up a random, unexpected topic
  • To continue with the same topic, to add an idea linked to a previous idea

Listen to the episode for a few great examples of how to use “by the way” in English conversations with Lindsay and Michelle.

How have you used “by the way” in the past?

Let us know in the comments!


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Do you ever get confused about whether or not you should tip in an American restaurant?

 

Do you wonder how much to leave?

 

When to leave it?

 

Today you’ll get insider information from Michelle, who used to be a waitress at an American restaurant.

 

In the United States you MUST tip in a restaurant. Servers only make a few dollars per hour.

 

They rely on your tips.

 

How much should you tip?

 

You should tip 18-20%. However, you do have a choice when it comes to leaving a tip. If you have bad service then you can tip less.

 

If the waitress is slow or has a bad attitude then you don’t have to leave a lot of money as a tip.

 

It’s up to you.

 

When should you leave the tip?

 

If you pay with a credit card they take your card and come back with a receipt and the receipt has a place to write in the tip and the total and then you need to sign the receipt before you leave.

 

If you are paying in cash it’s ok to leave the cash on the table but put it under a cup or a plate.

 

 

 

What if you are with a large party? (A group of 6 or more people):

 

In this case gratuity (tip) is usually included.

 

It’s added into the bill before you get the bill.

 

Make sure you ask if you don’t know if it has already been included.

 

In other episodes we will talk about tipping in a bar, a cafe, the hair salon, a taxi, etc.

 

 

 

What is your opinion when it comes to leaving tips in the US?

 

Have you ever made a mistake with this?

Do you have any additional questions? Please ask us in the comments below.


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Come back to http://www.allearsenglish.com/287

Do you ever get into trouble during English phone conversations?

This is one of the biggest challenge for English students, especially at work.

Today we will show you how to get out of trouble if you aren’t understanding someone on the phone.

We’ll give you 8 things to do before or during the call to get the help you need.

 

How to Rescue Your Phone Call:

  •  Practice to listening to natives as much as possible in your daily life (podcasts, sitcoms, the news on TV)
  • Ask the person to help you:
    • “I’m sorry. I’m having trouble understanding you. Would you (be able to ) say that again?”
    • “Could you repeat that (for me) please?”
    • “Would you mind slowing down a bit? It’s hard to hear you.”
  • Ask the person to follow up with a summary of the conversation by email
  • See if it’s ok to record the conversation
  • Breathe deeply before you get on the call with a native speaker

 

It’s important not to be ashamed if you can’t understand someone in English on the phone.

Don’t pretend to understand when you don’t.

Use one of our strategies above to save your English conversations on the phone.

 

What other tactics have you tried to rescue your English conversations?

Share them with us in the comments!


Come back to http://www.allearsenglish.com/286

Are you going abroad sometime soon?

Have you set an intention for your time abroad?

In today’s episode Lindsay talks with Norman Viss, an expat coach who helps his clients make the most of their time abroad by setting intentions.

How can setting intentions make your life abroad more fulfilling?

  • Think about what kind of expat you are and decide how that will shape your expat life:
    • Are you a foreign assignee? Has your company moved you abroad to work?
    • Are you an international student or former international student?
    • Are you a “love-pat”? (someone who has gone abroad because they have met a partner, are you a traveling spouse?
    • Are you a “greener pastures expat”? This is someone who has gone abroad to find a better place to live including retirees.
  • Set goals and don’t just “go with the flow”
    • Do you want to learn a language? Be realistic about what will be possible based on the amount of time that you will be abroad.
    • Be intentional about what kinds of friendships you want while you are abroad.
    • What are your areas of interest? Do you like desserts? Sports? Do you like history? What kind of focus will you have during your time abroad? Will you create a theme for your life abroad?
    • What about your work? What professional goals do you want to accomplish while you are abroad?
  • Consider how your life will look after your time abroad:
    • What do you want your life to look like after you return from abroad?
    • What about retirement? If you are going abroad in your 40’s or 50’s then it’s a good idea to think about the future after your time abroad.

 

The key to a happy life abroad is being intentional!

Let us know in the comments below if you have been intentional in your life abroad and how it has affected your experience abroad.

 

 

Norman Viss put down roots in Nigeria (10 years) and the Netherlands (22 years).

He has worked for mission organizations, churches and in the public sector for the City of Amsterdam.

He holds B.A. and Master’s degrees, with majors in cross-cultural and urban studies and theology; he is also an ICF- credentialed coach.

Currently he runs an online business coaching expats around the world (Expat Everyday Support Center) and serves part-time as a clergyman in the Philadelphia area in the USA. Norman is a thankful husband, father and grandfather.

Visit Norman’s coaching website at expateverydaysupportcenter.com


Today get some strategies for how to cultivate more gratitude in your life in English!

Today’s quote:

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”

- Willie Nelson

 

 

Vocabulary from the quote:

  • To count your blessings: To pay attention to the good things in your life
  • My whole life turned around: My whole life got better, changed direction

 

How can you cultivate more gratitude in your life?

  • Keep a gratitude journal every day, write down your “blessings” and what you are grateful for
  • Focus on the good things that you have in your life, not the bad things
  • Set an alarm on your phone. When the alarm goes off you can think about what you are grateful in that moment.
Direct download: AEE_285_Why_You_Should_Count_Your_Blessings_in_English.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Come back to allearsenglish.com/284 to tell us your knock-knock joke in English.

Knock-kock jokes are super common in American culture.

Today you’ll find out how to tell a joke like this and make people laugh to build great connections with English speakers in your life.

These kinds of jokes are often told by kids.

They are fun, innocent and clever. They are a play on words.

Joke #1:

“knock knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Canoe”

“Canoe who?”

Can-oe (can you) help me me with my homework?”

 

Joke #2:

“Knock knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Orange”

“Orange who?”

“Orange-ya (aren’t you) gonna let me in?”

 

Joke #3:

“Knock knock”

“Who’s there?”

“Harry”

“Harry who?”

“Harry up (hurry up) it’s cold out here”

 

What knock-knock jokes do you know in English?

Tell us your joke in the comment section below!

Direct download: AEE_284_How_to_Tell_a_Knock-_Knock_Joke_in_English.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Leave a comment and have a conversation with us! Come back to http://www.allearsenglish.com/283

How can you quickly change the subject in English and get out of trouble when someone seems uncomfortable?

It’s important to know how to do this if you want to be able to make great connections with people.

 

How do we know when someone’s uncomfortable in American culture?

  • Their shoulders tense up
  • They don’t make eye contact
  • Their tone of voice changes
  • They hesitate
  • They use “um,” “ya know” and other filler words

 

Today let’s find out how to save the interaction when you have brought up a topic that makes someone uncomfortable?

What questions can you ask to change the topic?

  • “So how’s work going?” (ask about the person’s job or work projects)
  • “How are your parents doing?” (ask about the person’s family)
  • “It’s freezing today, isn’t it?” (or another weather comment)
  •  “Do you have any vacations coming up?’
  • “Have you seen any good movies lately?”

 

What questions do you use in your culture to change the topic if someone is uncomfortable?

Share your ideas in the comments below!

Direct download: AEE_283_How_to_Get_Out_of_Trouble_in_an_English_Conversation.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

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Do you have difficulty jumping into conversations in English?

Today, learn 6 phrases to help you enter into conversations with confidence!

 

 

Entering into a conversation with native English speakers can be difficult.  They often speak fast and might not seem to offer you a chance to speak.  Instead, they will expect that you are going to jump in and speak if you have something to say.

This means that you need to show confidence if you want to get into a conversation.  You need to be able to assert yourself and use the phrases that signal to them that you have something to say.

 

Here are six phrases to help you do that:

“I see what you mean.”: This shows that you agree with the other speaker.  It also gives you the opportunity to follow it up with something extra that comes from you.  You could also say, “Yeah, I totally agree.”

“Actually, I think…”: If you want to disagree, this is a polite way to do it.  You don’t want to show too much disagreement if you’re trying to get into a conversation with a stranger, but polite disagreement might make for a deeper conversation.

“Hey, I have an idea.”: As it suggests, this phrase would help you express a new thought. You could also say: “What about this?”

“Me too!”: This can help show commonality and is a good way to start telling a story. It’s also a very relaxed phrase that sounds natural to Americans.

 

Do you find it intimidating to jump into conversations with English speakers?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below!

 


Will you be visiting Ottawa someday?

Today, meet Kathleen from Canada, and get 3 phrases to connect with locals in the capital city, Ottawa!

 

Canada is a multicultural and diverse country, and Ottawa is a micro version of that.  It’s a city of one million inhabitants and numerous languages.  It is also a city in touch with nature.  With four distinct seasons, Ottawa has something for everyone.

Though Canada and the United States have some similarities, they also have many differences.  Among these are some subtle differences in using the English language. This includes pronunciation and some commonly used phrases.

 

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Here are Kathleen’s top Canadian phrases to help you blend in when you’re in Ottawa!

  • I’m sorry: Canadians are known for being very polite.  In fact, the culture can be so polite it becomes apologetic.  Sometimes Canadians will begin a sentence, “I’m sorry,” even if they did nothing wrong and aren’t apologizing for anything.
  • Out and About: This means to go exploring or to check something out. A Canadian might say “Let’s go out and about,” or “I was out and about.”
  • Eh?: Often, this word is used the way an American might use the words “right?” or “huh?”  It shows agreement or clarification with other people.  You might hear someone say, “That was a great show, eh?”

 

Are you going to Ottawa, or Canada?

Have you ever been there?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

 

Kathleen is a native English speaker from Ottawa, Canada. She has been teaching and tutoring students in  English and beginner French for over three years in Asia, Latin America and Canada. She also speaks French and Spanish, and so understands the challenges and joys of learning a new language. In her experience, conversation is the best way to improve language skills.

Kathleen has worked and continues to work in the areas of community development, and is currently completing her Bachelor of Education.  This summer she will be teaching in Ulaanbataar, Mongolia. She loves meeting people from different cultures and learning new languages.


Go here to get the IELTS Energy Podcast

 

 

 

Direct download: AEE_Bonus_Try_Our_New_IELTS_Energy_Podcast.mp3
Category:All Ears English -- posted at: 1:00am EDT

Are you dating in English?

Today, we welcome back dating expert Jessica Coyle to give you four easy topics for conversation when dating!

 

Conversation can be tricky on a first date.  You might be nervous, and it can be hard to know what’s safe to talk about.  Jessica has a great acronym to help you with simple, safe discussion topics.  It’s FORD, and it stands for:

  • Friends: If you have mutual friends, ask how your date met them.  Or, if you don’t have mutual friends, ask if your date knows anybody in the area where you’re meeting.
  • Occupation: Asking about another person’s job is usually a good conversation starter.  You might say, “What do you do with your time?”  That way, if your date happens to be unemployed, they are still able to give an answer.
  • Recreation: Ask about what somebody likes to do for fun. You might follow up by asking, “How often do you get to do that?”
  • Dreams: This is good for asking hypothetical questions. You could ask things like “Where do you see yourself in ten years?” or “What would you do if you had a billion dollars?”

 

People love talking about themselves, so being interested in others is what might make you more interesting to them.  When starting a conversation, don’t just ask a list disconnected questions.  Follow-up with the other person’s answers to show that you are listening to what they are saying.

 

Are you dating in English?

What are your experiences?

Tell us how it’s going in the comments section below!

 

Jessica Coyle has been teaching English since 2007. She received her Master’s in TESOL in 2013, finishing with a professional project researching the use of improvisational comedy teaching techniques to teach English as a second language. She has studied and performed improv comedy all over Korea, China, Canada and the United States.

 

How to find Jessica Online:

Her dating blog: https://hopefuldisasters.wordpress.com/

Her comedy podcast: NY Pacific


Are you looking for an authentic English conversation?

In Part 3 of today’s episode, Mo will show you three ways to develop authentic, bulletproof confidence when you speak English with his unique method!

 

In Part 1 and 2 of this episode, Lindsay and Mo had an authentic English conversation and analyzed what worked, and what didn’t.  Now, in Part 3, Mo discusses Be in English, his method for learning how to have the best conversations possible in English.

 

Here are the main principles of the Be in English system:

1. If you know enough English to listen to this podcast, you can discuss anything in English!  By using creativity, you are capable of joining a conversation and having a voice.

2. Be aware of your self-consciousness and shame about not speaking perfect English.  Accept it, realize that your English will never be “perfect,” but don’t get too close to the idea.

3. Work with “naked listening.”  That is, listen closely to a recording of English.  Listen several times if necessary until you can distinguish every sound.  Practicing this will change your orientation to listening.

 

You can find and work with Mo Riddiford and his Be in English system on italki.

 

What do you think about the Be in English system?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Are you looking for an authentic English conversation?

In Part 2 of today’s episode, Lindsay and Mo break down their unrehearsed, first time meeting from Part 1, and talk about what it means to you learning English!

 

In Part 1 of this episode, Lindsay met Mo.  They hadn’t met before and didn’t know what was going to come up in their spontaneous conversation.  Now, in Part 2, the two of them discuss what worked, and what didn’t.

 

Some of the discussion points in Part 2:

  • How can you feel confident in English conversations?
  • How can you be respectful about gender and other differences when meeting someone new?
  • How can you allow your true curiosity about the other person come out even though your English isn’t perfect?

 

What did you get out of this conversation?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Are you looking for an authentic English conversation?

Today, listen to Part 1 of a real, authentic example of two people using English to get to know each other! 

 

In Part 1 of this episode, Lindsay meets Mo.  Mo is from New Zealand but has lived all over the world.  He currently lives in Germany and teaches English.  The two of them talk about this, and about learning a language and living in a different culture.

 

PrintAre you looking for a professional, native English teacher online?

Get a native English teacher online in seconds at italki.

Lindsay and Gabby recommend italki as our #1 English-learning solution online. Choose from more than 400 teachers to work on your business English or to pass your next big exam.

Get our special offer before it runs out! Go to italki and claim 10USD to go toward a FREE English lesson!

 

Some of the discussion points in Part 1:

  • Why do people want to learn English?
  • How can they be relaxed enough to learn it?
  • Is it okay to accept that you’ll never be a native speaker?

 

What did you get out of this conversation?

Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Are you avoiding taboos in the American workplace?

Today, Lindsay and Michelle discuss the top taboos to look out for in American workplace culture!

 

A taboo is something that is improper or unacceptable based on culture or region.  Different companies might have their own taboos, but most American workplaces probably have many of the same ones.

An article by Barbara Mason outlines the biggest of these taboos.  Here are a few of them, and how to avoid them:

  • Spreading rumors: To spread a rumor is to make up an untrue story about somebody, and tell it to others.  Americans tend to look down on people who do this.  If you want to be trusted and have positive relationships, avoid gossip!
  • Taking credit for another’s work: This means telling others that you did the work or achieved a success when, in fact, somebody else did.  Again, Americans won’t trust anybody suspected of doing this, so don’t do it.
  • Falling asleep at work: It may not be natural to be completely energized for 8 straight hours, but at minimum your boss will expect you to be awake.  Try taking a break from your desk, going for a short walk or stepping outside to refresh yourself.
  • Lying about an academic background: Honesty is very important to American bosses.  If you lie about your academic background, you’re likely to be fired when you get caught. The best thing to do is to present the academic background that you do have in the best possible way.

 

What are the top workplace taboos where you live?

Tell us all about them in the comments section below!


1