Episodes

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I'm going to do something different. I'm going to comment on my students' favorite words in English. It will be interesting.
    Later, you will improve your fluency with a fun mini-story, so don't miss out because it's worth it!

    I want to start by thanking you for your support. I also like your messages, where you describe your experience with the podcast and my premium courses.

    Well, some time ago, in the Speak English Now student group, I asked the following question: "What is your favorite word in English?" I was expecting a few comments, but in the end, there were more than a hundred.

    So, my idea for today is to comment on some of those words. I think it will be fun.

    Okay, so here’s the first one:

    Ewa Filipina says her favorite word in English is "mesmerize."

    I’d like to mention that the word mesmerize is considered by many one of the most beautiful words in English.

    It means to get someone's attention completely, so they can't think about anything else.

    Let's continue!

    Isaac Figueroa says he likes the word famous.
    Of course, many people want to be famous, or at least they admire a celebrity. I guess it's human nature. :)

    Juan Ambrosio said he loves the word love.

    I guess the word love is one of the most used in English. And we don't always use it to express our feeling of love for someone.

    The word love is so overused that I feel it has lost its true meaning.

    But still, it's a beautiful word. And if you say it to the right person, it can be very powerful.

    Pedro Ochoa likes the word apple.

    I'm not sure why you like this word in particular, but when people hear this word, they think of a fruit or an iPhone. :))
    I always admired Steve Jobs, and I believe he was a genius, primarily because of the name he chose for his company.

    Amanda Gues says her favorite word in English is "improve."
    Of course, if you are following my method, then your goal is to improve your English. So, Amanda, let us know how your English is improving.

    Let's continue!

    Jumita Rahmy likes the word Friday.

    And who doesn't?

    On Friday, you eat and even dress differently, it's the day when things end, and better things start, the day is shorter, and no bad things happen on Fridays.

    That's why everyone's looking forward to Friday.

    Lucilene Resende likes the word jeopardize.
    Jeopardize means to put something or someone in danger of being harmed or damaged.

    For example:
    "If I quit learning English, I will jeopardize my future."

    So, don't quit learning English. Follow my method. :)

    Kashif Hussain says his favorite word is gorgeous.

    Gorgeous is a great word, and I used it in my podcast episodes, mostly when I talked about the most beautiful English words.

    It's a word that can be used to compliment someone's appearance or their accessories, etc. I use it all the time!

    (END OF THE EXTRACT).

    Get the FULL TRANSCRIPT here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    – I’m going to talk briefly about how to activate your English vocabulary.

    – Next, I will comment on the appearance of mysterious islands. Sometimes, on a given day, certain people have seen some structures on the horizon that have caused an element of surprise. What could it be?

    – Finally, we will practice fluency with a short mini-story of questions and answers—the best exercise to speak without translating mentally.

    First of all, I want to thank all of you who are writing to me. I read all the emails personally, and I also answer them myself.

    One question I sometimes get is this:

    How can I activate my English vocabulary?

    I’ve covered this topic before, but I think it’s worth remembering. Most of the time, students understand much more than they can talk. That is, they have a lot of passive vocabulary, but no active vocabulary ready to be used in a conversation.

    An easy way to improve, but sometimes not too obvious, is to listen to the same audio several times. This is one of the techniques I use in my premium courses, although you can also use this podcast.

    Let’s say you have short audio with some vocabulary and expressions you want to activate. If you listen to it once, even if you understand it, you will forget most things, but if you listen, for example, once a day for a week, you will surely activate an essential part of the vocabulary.

    Another way to increase the number of repetitions of words is to listen to a specific topic. This way, you are much more likely to hear many times the vocabulary that is characteristic of the topic.

    Finally, you can listen to the same author, even if they speak about different subjects.

    A useful resource is this podcast.

    READ the TRANSCRIPT here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

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  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently

    In this episode:

    • I’d like to help you to understand how to use words like Gonna, Wanna, Gotta, and similar.

    • Later, a point of view story to practice your English grammar, and consolidate the information that I’ll be teaching in the first part.

    Let’s get started!

    Are you confused about how and when to use the words GONNA, WANNA, and GOTTA?

    We refer to these kinds of words as contractions.

    What’s a contraction?

    A contraction is created when two words in a row come together and become one.

    For example:

    I am= I’m

    It is = It’s

    Do not = Don’t

    Will not= Won’t

    These are some contractions which are accepted as grammatically correct and are taught in all English courses.

    However, in this lesson, I’ll focus on the informal contractions. These are not taught in grammar books because their use is mostly colloquial.

    For example:

    If you say going to really fast, you can shorten it to GONNA by dropping the final sound. If you say want to really fast, it shortens to WANNA. These are informal contractions.

    You probably noticed that the grammatically correct English we learn in school is not the same as the colloquial English in the street. However, informal contractions are very common in colloquial English.

    That’s why you should familiarize yourself with them. You don’t need to start using them right away. The most important step is to make sure that you understand how to use these informal contractions.

    Many conventional teachers sustain that it’s wrong or inappropriate to use these colloquial contractions when speaking English in formal situations.

    But let me tell you that words like “gonna,” “wanna,” and “gotta” are perfectly OK to use in all spoken situations, both formal and informal.

    In the US, everyone seems to use “gonna” and “wanna”; even highly educated people use these words several times a day. People in business meetings, professors giving lectures, everyone.

    So, don’t worry. You can also use them, and you’ll sound just like an American.

    Read the transcript here: SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.


    In this episode:

    I'm going to give you seven ideas you can use when you perform repeated listening. After that, I'm going to read a Point Of View story. It' an excellent technique for improving your grammar.

    Ok, let's start!

    As you may know, I always encourage students to listen daily. Listening is the best way to deeply learn the different sounds, words, and expressions you find in English. It's how we learn our mother tongue.

    Also, it's vital to understand that listening to an audio several times helps you consolidate what you learn.

    However, some students complain that they get bored. It's normal. Our brain likes new and fresh content. In other words, we like the novelty.

    Here are some tricks, which will help you to keep your interest while you repeat the same audio material.

    Try to guess what the speaker will say next: At first, it may seem difficult, but since you repeat the audio many times, it's a stimulating game to play. Focus on the pronunciation of each word, especially the words you find more difficult to pronounce. Try to notice the subtleties of each sound. Concentrate on the intonation of each sentence. As opposed to the pronunciation of individual words, here, you need to pay attention to the "musicality" of the sentence: the rhythm and the "music" of the phrase. If you are listening to a mini-story (with questions and answers), try to answer faster. You can also try to give a longer answer. While you listen to the audio, imitate the narrator. Listen to the material and try your best to talk at the same time as the narrator.

    It may be hard, but it's fun! This technique is called "shadowing" and requires a lot of concentration. So, it's better if you pick an easy material.

    Try to move while listening. You can walk, run, wash the dishes, etc. Doing a different activity while listening to the same audio adds some variety. Listen to a friend. It's always more entertaining to share a task and to discuss the main topic with a friend. You will definitely lose track of time.

    As you can see, repeating the same audio material doesn't need to be a tedious task. Using some of these powerful methods will help you to learn English patterns thoroughly.

    Read the transcript here: SpeakEnglishpodcast.com

  • Hello, everybody! I am Georgiana founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently.

    In this episode:

    I'll be discussing some more about some of the most common phrasal verbs. After that, you'll be able to practice your grammar skills with an interesting Point of View lesson.

    Ok, let's continue with the phrasal verbs. A phrasal verb is just a verb and a particle. For example, "get in." If you haven't checked out the first episode about phrasal verbs, please do it.

    Remember, you only need to learn the most frequently used phrasal verbs. Also, instead of learning all the different meanings of each phrasal verb, simply learn one or two common meanings.

    Ok, let's get started! Today, we'll play a bit with "get."

    Get along / get on

    Do you have friends? Then, you'll probably use this phrasal verb. It means to like each other. For example:

    I'm surprised how well I get along with my mother-in-law.

    The older and younger members get along well.

    I get along very well with foreign people.

    You can also use "get on" instead of "get along." It's exactly the same meaning. For example:

    I'm surprised how well I get on with my mother-in-law.

    The older and younger members get on well.

    I get on very well with foreign people.

    Go back / Come back / Get back

    Sometimes these phrasal verbs are confusing for the English students. First, let's see the difference between 'go' and 'come.' An example:

    Please, Jim, come here. I need to talk to you.

    Please, Jim, go to the supermarket to buy some food.

    As you can see, when Jim approaches you, he "comes." When Jim doesn't approach you and goes somewhere else, he "goes."

    Now let's add the word 'back':

    Jim, come back from the supermarket. I've just ordered a pizza.

    In this first example, Jim is at the supermarket and returns to where he was before. Another example:

    Tomorrow, Jim will have to go back to the supermarket to buy more food.

    In the second example, Jim goes to the supermarket again. He went the day before.

    As you can see, adding the word 'back' emphasizes the idea that you go again to a place or you come again from a place.

    So, how about "get back"? It has virtually the same meaning. Here’s not so important if you go or if you come. It sounds a bit more informal.

    We didn't get back from the movies until midnight.

    Call me when you get back.

    I visited my uncle in France two years ago, and I can't wait to get back!

    (end of the extract)

    read the transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hello, everybody! I am Georgiana founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently.

    In this episode, I’m going to talk about the relationship between reading, writing, speaking, and listening. After that, I’m going to tell you a Point of View Story.

    Ok, let’s get started!

    As a language student, the main activities to learn a new language are: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. This is what we naturally do in our mother tongue.

    One key aspect to keep in mind is that we can categorize these activities as input and output. As you may guess, listening and reading are input activities, and writing and speaking are output activities.

    In other words, when you’re listening or reading, you are being exposed to the language, and when you’re writing and speaking, you are “producing” the language.

    The traditional approach tells you that the more you write and speak, the better. That’s why language schools insist on writing a lot and “practicing” your speaking with other students, sometimes in groups.

    This seems reasonable, but it’s not effective. There’s a lot of research that points out the contrary: Basically, to develop your English, you need to do input activities most of the time.

    Why is that? Because you can’t produce the language if you haven’t previously learned it, and the only way to learn it is through comprehensible input, as simple as that.

    But then...is speaking and writing a waste of time? No, I didn’t say that.

    When you speak in a conversation, you can see what areas of the language you need to improve. Then, when you listen again, you will naturally pay more attention to those areas. For example, if you’re in a conversation, and you have to describe something in the past tense. When you try to do it, you see that you make some mistakes. The next day, when you listen to your materials again, I bet you’ll pay more attention to the past.

    A good schedule may be listening for one hour a day (a course, a podcast, etc.) and practicing your speaking with a tutor or friend a couple of times a week. You will improve a lot.

    Last but not least, there’s an interesting consequence when you listen and when you read:

    Listening will naturally help you with your speaking.

    Reading will naturally help you with your writing.

    Read the transcript here: speakEnglishPodcast.com

  • Hello, everybody! I am Georgiana your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently. Speaking English is easier than it seems! You just have to use the right material and techniques.

    Today I will talk about one of the wealthiest people in the world. His name is Warren Buffett.

    Born in 1930 in Nebraska, Buffet is a fascinating character because of his inspiring story.

    As a child, Buffett showed interest in stocks. He was writing stock prices on the board in his father’s office. His father was a stockbroker and future congressman.

    And while nowadays most children play video games, Warren bought his first stock was at the age of 11 and filed his first taxes at age 13.

    Because like many children of the Great Depression, Buffett grew up to respect the value of money.

    He became so frugal that when he moved to New York to attend business school, he lived at the YMCA to save money.

    “YMCA” is short for the Young Men’s Christian Association.

    I also used the word “frugal,” which refers to someone careful when using money or food.

    For example:

    a frugal lifestyle. a frugal meal of bread and soup.

    However, you can replace the word “frugal” with the words “economical” or “sparing.”

    Let’s continue.

    Buffett started working at the age of 13 as a paperboy delivering newspapers in the morning and afternoon.

    After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree, he enrolled in Columbia School of Business, where he graduated with a Master of Science in Economics.

    Only five years after his graduation, Warren started Buffett Partnership Ltd.

    (END OF THE EXTRACT).

    Get the FULL TEXT in PDF here:

    www.speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary, and how to improve your English more effectively.

    Transcript:

    Hello, everybody! I am Georgiana your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently. Speaking English is easier than it seems! You just have to use the right material and techniques.

    In today’s episode, I’ll give you some tips on how to spend your summer vacation, and you’ll speak English with a mini-story.

    Before I go any further, I’d like to thank you for listening. I’m also a language learner, and I can identify with you and your goals, so I want to help you.

    Do you know how you can help me? It would be great if you could share my podcast with your friends or write a review on iTunes, Youtube, or my Facebook page.

    OK! Let’s start!

    Time passes so quickly. I can’t believe it’s already August! And speaking of time, this is the last episode of the season. I’m going to take a short vacation to rest. But don’t worry because I’m going to upload a selection of episodes from other seasons so you can continue practicing your English.

    So, I’ll be back in September with new, highly refreshing content.
    But in today’s episode, I thought it might help you think about what activities you can do during the summer vacation.

    So, let’s see what you could do during this vacation:

    Connecting with nature
    A very healthy activity that you can do is to go to a natural spot and enjoy nature. The idea is to relax and forget about exams or deadlines. Of course, you can take the opportunity to do a little exercise by going for a walk. Ideally, you should find a place without too many people, especially children. I am sure that in your country there are many places where you can quietly enjoy nature.

    Wandering around the city

    Okay, if you get bored with so much nature, you can do the opposite. You can wander around the city where we live. The word “wander” means to walk without a specific destination.

    The idea is to rediscover the city where you live. Just let yourself be carried away and contemplate where your steps take you. We don’t do this kind of activity daily because we are always in a hurry. But now you have a good excuse.

    Sleeping under the stars

    Okay, I know this sounds very romantic, but I believe that if the weather is pleasant, it is worth spending a night contemplating the night sky while we sleep. But remember that the sun comes up very soon and that you won’t be able to sleep much with so much light. The advantage is that you will be able to see the sunrise as well.

    Watch classic movies

    Today, we are very used to watching the latest series and movies, although we shouldn’t forget about classic films. So, it’s a good time to rediscover films that marked an entire era. The quality won’t be 4k, but you’ll find real gems if you watch films from the ’60s, ‘70s, and ’80s, for example.

    Well, these were my modest suggestions for your summer vacation. Obviously, you can opt for the usual, and go to the beach and get tanned. You can also take the opportunity to travel to another country. I like both: I want to relax on the beach, but I also want to discover a new city as a tourist.

    And before I continue with a mini-story, I’d like to answer a common question. I’ll briefly explain the difference between my courses and the podcast.

    I offer the episodes of the podcasts for free so that students all over the world become familiar with my method.

    My English courses are separated from the podcast, and they are complete programs designed to improve fluency through stories, with the question & answers and point of view lessons.

    Initially, the lessons are easier and the difficulty increases little by little. The first lessons are shorter, and I speak a little more slowly. This way you will adapt better to the whole program.

    In addition to that, you have a step-by-step guide so that you can get the most out of my courses.

    For more information about my courses go to:

    courses.SpeakEnglishpodcast.com

    Read the Transcript here: speakEnglishPodcast.com

  • Transcript:

    Hi, dear listener! I’m Georgiana, founder of the Speak English Now podcast. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently. Speaking English is way easier when you use the right material and techniques.

    Do you know the difference between the words “bring,” “carry,” “fetch,” and “take?”

    If the answer is no, this is going to be a very useful episode for you.

    I’ll start by explaining the meaning of each of these terms with some examples.

    And in the second part of this lesson, you are going to practice your speech with a funny mini-story.

    If you are new here, visit my website to get the transcript of today’s episode. Go to: speakenglishpodcast.com

    If you’re already familiar with this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. That would make me very happy!

    Tell your friends that the show is available everywhere on the internet.

    It’s available on my website and many podcast apps like Spotify, iTunes, Youtube, Facebook, Soundcloud, etc.

    Just look for “Speak English Now with Georgiana,” and start learning English with me!”

    Ok! Let’s begin this new episode!

    When do we use the word “BRING”?


    1) “Bring” means to conduct something/someone to come with, to, or toward the speaker.

    Examples:

    “Jason, please bring me a beer.”

    “He brought his brother to the hospital.”

    When do we use the word TAKE?

    2) “Take” means taking something/someone away from where you are, or when the person making the request is NOT at the intended destination.”


    Examples:

    “Am I allowed to take library books home with me?”

    “Can I take you to the movies tonight?”

    “Could you take these files to Jame’s office?”

    The following examples will help you to remember the differences between “bring” and “take“:

    Examples:

    “You bring something/someone here, and you take something there. “

    “You bring something/someone toward a person, and you take something away from a person.”

    So far, so good?

    Ok. Let’s continue.

    When do we use the word CARRY?

    3) To “carry” means to move while holding something/someone, in a vehicle, in our hand or body. We use it when the person making the request is NOT at the intended destination.

    Examples:

    “Bill, would you please carry my suitcase?”

    “Tom is carrying me in his arms.”

    (END OF THE EXTRACT).

    Get the FULL TEXT in PDF here.

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, in this episode:

    We're going to continue to see some bad strategies that I don't recommend in conversations.

    Next, you will practice some grammar in an intuitive way with a point of view lesson.

    Okay, let's start!

    If you remember, last week, we saw some unwise ways to interact in a conversation.

    Today we are going to continue with more things that we should not say or do when you have a conversation in English.

    This is what we saw in the previous episode:

    - Talking about the weather.

    - Not listening to the other person.

    - Talking too fast, too softly, not articulating well, or not pausing.

    Talking about negative things. Talking about boring things. And my favorite: messing up. Remember, I told you how easy it is to mess up? That's why we always have to be careful.

    If you didn't listen to the previous episode, I suggest you do it along with this one.

    Cool! Let's look at some more bad strategies. This way, you can avoid having uncomfortable conversations in the future.

    Interrupt others.

    Interrupting someone always has its risks, especially in more formal settings or with people we don't know.

    I don't like being interrupted at all, especially since I can lose track of what I was saying. This means that sometimes I don't remember exactly what I was going to say.

    Of course, the worst thing is when they interrupt you to change the subject. Sometimes you just want to finish what you want to say, but they won't let you. Imagine you're telling a joke, and someone interrupts you. That completely ruins the moment.

    Okay, let's move on to the next one:

    Always wanting to be right.

    It's a classic. We always want to be right, even with strangers. We always know best. However, it's better to be diplomatic and not try to impose on others.

    Sometimes someone says something we know is not true. We have to evaluate whether it is worth correcting that person or simply expressing our disagreement. It all depends on the type of relationship we have with that person and whether different opinions are accepted.

    Of course, if it is a brainstorming session, different points of view must be expressed. After all, this is the goal of the exercise.

    READ the Transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today, in this episode

    Let's look at some bad strategies and attitudes that don't quite work in conversation. I mean, like having awkward conversations.

    Next, you'll practice your fluency with a mini-story lesson—the best way to learn to speak English without translating mentally.

    Okay, let's start with an important question:

    Do you think that you are too old to learn English?

    I have always thought that it is never too late to learn a language, and I have always had students of all ages using my method successfully.

    But a few days ago, I received an email from a student in Greece, saying something like this:

    Dear Georgiana, hello,

    I'm delighted to see your programs.

    I think you give your soul to every lesson.

    My mother tongue is Greek, and I am proud because our language has a positive contribution to the English vocabulary.

    I'm also proud that I try to improve my English even though I'm 94 years old.

    Georgiana, I encourage you to continue with your English lessons.

    I admire you!

    Erotokritos

    Thank you, dear Erotokritos, for your kind words. You are an inspiration for all of us.

    So, you see, I think I've made my point. It's never too late to learn English.

    All right, have you ever been with someone and not know what to talk about? It's happened to me sometimes. Every once in a while, we run into situations where it's difficult to continue the conversation.

    One example is what happens in an elevator. Imagine that you meet a neighbor you hardly know, and a typical dialogue ends up going like this:

    —Good morning.

    —Good morning.

    —Going down?

    —Yes.

    — ...

    — It's cold today, isn't it?

    — Yes, yes. It's going to be like this all week, they say...

    — ...

    As you can see, this conversation is not very intellectual. It's more about avoiding silence, which can be uncomfortable.

    This doesn't just happen in elevators but in all kinds of social interactions. I read recently that a silence of four seconds or more triggers anxiety.

    It doesn't get any better when you have to speak in a language you are learning. You have even fewer resources to express yourself.

    READ the TEXT here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Did you know that there are more than 1 million words in English? I know it's hard to believe, so keep counting, I mean keep listening. :)

    Hi, everyone! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I will share with you 9 of the most beautiful words in English. And with the point of view story, you will learn grammar only by listening.

    Ok. Let’s start!

    In 2010, during a project to search for words in digitized books, researchers estimated a total of 1,000,000 words.

    Yeah, I was a bit surprized by this, too, but there's an explanation for all this.

    First of all, you need to take into account that they have included different forms of the same word. Also, many words are archaic since they are not used in modern English.

    Speaking of archaic words, in the second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, there are approximately 600,000 defined word forms. But that's because it includes many old-fashioned words. And also, the dictionary expands every year to keep up with new words being invented.

    However, according to the BBC, the good news is that we only use about 170.000 words in English.

    Yeah. I know. It's still a considerable number of words, but you don't need to know all these words to be able to have a conversation in English.

    I actually believe it's a mistake to keep track of the number of words you know. If you want to learn English effectively, remember how you learned your mother tongue.

    And let's face it, you don't know all the words that are included in the dictionary of your mother tongue. But that doesn't stop you from speaking fluently and eloquently.

    Let's not forget that words are a powerful form of communication. I have selected the ones that I consider to be the most beautiful out of all the words in English.

    1. Cherish
    The word cherish means having a deep appreciation for something or someone.

    Example:
    "We all cherish our family, our home, our possessions, and I'm sure someone in your life cherishes you and the relationship they have with you."

    2. Demure

    We use the word demure when we refer to a person who is shy and polite. A demure outfit is a modest one.

    Examples:
    "The girl was dressed very demurely for the occasion."
    "Her clothes were too demure for the occasion."
    "The girl was demure."

    3. Ebullience
    Have you ever seen some puppies playing? The word that comes to mind is ebullience. Ebullience means excitement and enthusiasm.
    Just think of someone who is too noisy, almost euphoric.

    Example:
    "I remember that when you were a kid, you would always burst into the room with your usual ebullience, and talk to everyone."

    4. Elegance
    I'm sure you're smiling right now because this is a word you knew. However, it is still one of the most beautiful words in the English language.

    Examples:
    "When she entered the room, everyone was amazed at her elegance."
    "We'll deal with this matter with the utmost diplomacy and elegance."

    Read the text here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I'm gonna keep talking about William Shakespeare. Last week you learned some interesting facts about his life, so I will continue sharing some exciting facts about him.

    What else do we know about Shakespeare?

    Well, one thing is for sure. Shakespeare's life was anything but boring.

    Did you know that we're probably spelling Shakespeare's name wrong?

    We don't really know exactly how William Shakespeare wrote his name.

    There are almost 80 different versions of Shakespeare's name that appear in the records and other historical documents.

    You have to keep in mind that a lot of people were illiterate at that time.

    Let's learn some more about his life:

    His parents:

    His father's name was John Shakespeare, and he was a glove maker and leatherworker. His mother, Mary Arden, was an heiress from a rich family.

    His parents were probably illiterate, like many other people at the time. And, it's very likely they never learned to read or write, as was often the case with people in their position.

    Shakespeare had seven siblings: Joan who only lived two months; Margaret; Gilbert, another Joan, Anne; Richard and also Edmund.

    Did you know that William Shakespeare's Father Was Paid to Drink Beer?

    You might find this interesting, but John Shakespeare was appointed to one of the city's most important public offices: official beer taster. Another word for beer in English is ale.

    It may seem like a strange job today, but at the time, the ale tasting was an important and highly respected occupation.

    Read the transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I’m going to talk about William Shakespeare and with a funny mini-story, you will practice your English speaking.

    Before I get started, let me thank you for listening to the podcast and for all your amazing comments on iTunes, Facebook, YouTube, and on my website.

    I also want to say hi to the Speak English Now community.

    OK. Now let’s get started!

    So, who was William Shakespeare, and why is he famous?

    You know, I find it very hard to believe that you've never heard of William Shakespeare, but just in case I'll give you a brief introduction.

    Although most people believe that William Shakespeare is the most celebrated British writer of all time, only a few know that he was also an actor.

    And even though it's been over 400 years since he died, people still celebrate his work all over the world.

    His plays were the most popular at the time, and I'm sure you've already heard of Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and Hamlet.

    Well, I guess now you know who I'm talking about.

    That's great! Let's continue!

    So what else do we know about Shakespeare?

    William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, in 1564.

    We're not really sure the exact day he was born, but we do know he was baptized on April 26 that same year.

    Did he get married?

    In 1582, he married Anne Hathaway, and the couple went on to have three children.

    Wait a second. Anne Hathaway?

    Yes, Shakespeare's wife's name was Anne Hathaway. But obviously, I don't mean the beautiful contemporary American actress.

    So, what else do we know about Shakespeare?

    We know he was a writer and wrote 37 plays.

    Shakespeare wrote histories about the lives of kings and famous figures from history.

    He also wrote comedies that end with a marriage and tragedies which end with the death of the main character.

    Shakespeare also wrote plenty of poetry and, published a book of 154 sonnets.

    Read the transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hi, everybody! I am Georgiana, your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    In today's episode, I will talk about an issue that is of great concern to language students. It is the much-feared plateau.

    What is a plateau? A plateau happens when you stop your progress despite continuing to do "all the right things."

    An interesting expression for this situation is: to hit a plateau.

    For example:

    "It seems I hit a plateau because I can't see any progress with my English, and I'm still studying really hard!"

    More literally, a plateau is a large flat area of land. This definition makes total sense because if you are walking on a plateau, you are not going up or down. You stay at the same height.

    Plateaus are very common not only in learning a new language but in other areas—for example, a very common one is losing weight.

    Imagine that you've been on a diet and have lost some weight. But then, after two months, you stop losing weight. You're still on a diet, but you're not losing weight anymore.

    The main problem here is not the diet. It's just that the body needs some time before it starts losing weight again. It has to adapt to the new situation.

    This type of situation is very tough because when we experience it for a while, we can easily lose motivation, and may end up giving up. It is essential to understand better why this happens so that we do not lose motivation and will to continue.

    I'm sure many of you have experienced this.

    When you started learning English, you were very motivated. You have spent a lot of time listening and answering questions, but now apparently, you are not experiencing any improvement.

    Usually, when we start listening or reading in the language we are studying, we notice a constant improvement in our level.

    Every day we learn new words, expressions, and structures. We are happy and pleased and want to keep learning more and more. This is a wonderful stage.

    After some time, we no longer notice a considerable improvement, although we still see small improvements. So we don't worry too much and move on. But a bit later, our progress stagnates, and well, it's when we start worrying.

    This situation makes us lose our motivation, and possibly, we are tempted to give up or at least postpone it, promising ourselves that we will continue to study with enthusiasm and motivation, but this seldom happens.

    The main reason this happens to us is simple. Our brain needs time to consolidate, structure, order, polish, and finally automate all this new knowledge.

    Learning a new language is not only about learning new words but also thinking differently. That's why I always insist that you have to learn in context. This way, you can observe how words are used in a sentence, and that takes time.

    Think of it this way: when we learn math, we are using the conscious part of our brain to do calculations. To do this, we need to concentrate very hard. However, when we speak in our mother tongue, we can do this almost without attention and without effort. We can even do other kinds of activities while having a conversation.

    Read the text here: www.SpeakEnglishPodcast.com

  • Hi everyone! I am Georgiana, founder of speakenglishpodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today I’ll talk about the most famous band in the world. The Beatles! And you’ll practice your speaking with a funny mini-story.

    Have you ever listened to The Beatles? Actually, let me rephrase that. When was the first time you listened to a Beatles song?

    The Beatles are probably the most popular band in the history of music. They are considered by many to be the best band on Earth. The band was undoubtedly the most successful, with global sales exceeding 1.1 billion records.

    They were initially famous for their light pop music, although their later works achieved a combination of popular and critical acclaim perhaps unprecedented in the 20th century.

    Beatlemania began in the UK and exploded after The Beatles appeared on a popular TV show in the US in 1964. The band became a worldwide phenomenon with adoring fans and hysterical adulation.

    The members of the group were John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, all from England.

    John Lennon was a singer-songwriter and peace activist who co-founded The Beatles.

    Paul McCartney is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He has gained worldwide fame as a bassist and singer.

    George Harrison was a musician, singer-songwriter, music and film producer who achieved international fame as The Beatles’ lead guitarist. He was often referred to as “The Quiet Beatle.”

    Ringo Starr is a musician, singer-songwriter, and actor who gained worldwide fame as a Beatles drummer.

    Read the transcript here: speakEnglishpodcast.com

  • Transcript:

    Hi, everyone! I’m Georgiana, founder of speakenglishpodcast.com. My mission is to help you to speak English fluently.

    In this episode, I’ll recommend some of my favorite TV shows that will help you with your English. I’ll give you some useful tips on how to use Netflix to improve your English. And later, you’ll practice your English speaking with an exciting mini-story.

    Alright! Let’s start!

    Netflix has changed the way we spend our free time. We spend a lot more time watching our favorite shows, so why not use all this time to speed up the way we learn English too? English-language TV shows can quickly introduce you to authentic English and can help keep you motivated and entertained as you learn. In today's episode, I'll let you know how watching TV can help you improve your language skills. You’ll stop feeling guilty about watching TV!

    The next time your friends ask you what you did all weekend, you can proudly say that you spent all weekend watching TV.

    Here’s what you can do while you’re watching a TV show in English:

    1)Always choose an English show which you are interested in watching. And always use subtitles in English.

    2) To make it easier for you to start watching TV series which you’ve already watched in your own language. Since you already know the plot, you’ll spend more time focusing on the language.

    3)Practice listening to different accents. The more you listen to different accents, the easier you’ll understand them. Remember to use subtitles in English.

    Here are some of my favorite TV shows in English:
    Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Discovery, Mad Men, Ozark, Suits, House of Cards, Outlander, The Good Place, Mozart in the Jungle, Silicon Valley, The Marvelous Miss Maisel.

    READ transcript here: https://speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hello, everybody! I am Georgiana your English teacher and founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Today we'll talk about something festive. Have you noticed that in springtime you go to your local supermarket and you see chocolate bunnies and colorful eggs everywhere?

    Well, today I'll talk about Easter and how Americans celebrate this holiday.

    And with a funny mini-story, you’ll practice your speaking while learning new things about the Easter holiday.

    What exactly are we celebrating at Easter? Each spring, people all over the world, celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year we celebrate Easter on Sunday, April 21.

    Whenever Easter comes, everywhere you go, you'll see from colorful eggs to Easter bunny cakes.

    Also, most people have a week off for Easter, so parties are organized to enjoy the occasion with family and friends. Certainly, Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in the United States.

    And how else do Americans celebrate Easter?

    Apart from spending this holiday with friends and family, some people attend special services which are held in churches on Easter.

    And what's with the eggs and the rabbits? Why are they a symbol of this holiday?

    Eggs and rabbits symbolize the rebirth and return to the fertility of nature in spring. The eggs are hard-boiled and decorated or made of plastic, candy, and of course, chocolate.

    Read the full transcript here: speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Hi everyone! I am Georgiana, founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Hi! How are you? Given the circumstances, I'm fine.

    I hope it's the same with you too.

    As you know, there is currently a pandemic affecting us globally. And in the previous episode, I talked about the recommendations of the authorities.

    Today I want to make some personal suggestions on how to spend time during confinement. And with a fun mini-story, you can practice your spoken English.

    You'll see. It's very effective. By answering many questions, you can practice and improve your speech, just like in a real conversation.

    If you haven't listened to the last week's episode yet, visit my website speakenglishpodcast.com and search for episode #121.

    Let's start!

    How to cope with this situation? What to do during the confinement?

    While staying informed is very important, it is better to take a break from time to time. It's not a good idea to always be watching the news, and especially on social media. In any case, hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be disturbing.

    Take care of your body.

    Although you can't go for a walk like you used to, I suggest you at least stretch a bit. If you're like me and you like pilates or yoga, this would be an excellent time to do some exercises. Also, if you have a stationary bike or a stepper, they will become your best friends.

    In general, make sure you take care of your body. Eating healthy and doing some exercise will help you think clearly and thus, cope much better with this situation.

    Communication is more important than ever

    Call your friends and family, and spend some time talking to them and not just about the pandemic. In the last few weeks, I'm spending more time than ever talking to my friends, even the ones I only talk to at Christmas.

    Everybody feels like talking lately. Yesterday I went to take the dog for a short walk, and all my neighbors said hello, and I'm sure some of them weren't even my neighbors, which doesn't usually happen. I'm used to seeing people checking their cell phones, but lately, everyone wants to walk and talk.

    Remain positive

    When faced with significant challenges, especially if they are unexpected, it's very easy to become discouraged.

    But I don't recommend it because it will only make you feel overwhelmed.

    Whenever there is an obstacle, try to see it as an opportunity to grow. It's a chance to become a stronger human being, to be resilient.

    Yes. Resilient. It's when you need to recover quickly from difficult conditions.

    Avoid any stimulants.

    In these situations, avoid taking any stimulants. And coffee is one of them. You'll have to drink infusions or water for a while. Keeping yourself hydrated will always help you feel better.

    Make jokes and laugh.

    Something happens to me when I get nervous. I start giggling, but unintentionally. I know it seems weird, but it's not just because I have a great sense of humor. It turns out that laughter releases hormones that calm you down and allow you to be in control.

    Get some rest

    Take all the time you need to relax and stop thinking about the problems.

    I try to get some extra sleep in these circumstances. After I rest, I get my strength back, and I can see things from another perspective. I see things more clearly.

    Not getting enough sleep will not only damage your health, but you won't be able to think clearly. And it's tough to stay calm when you can't think clearly.

    If you can't sit still, you can stretch a bit, read a book or watch a movie. Whatever you choose.

    I hope this lesson will be useful for learning English, above all. I also wanted to help you get through the confinement.

    Read the transcript here: www.speakenglishpodcast.com

  • Listen to a new episode of Speak English Now Podcast, your favorite material for practicing your spoken and heard English. You will also learn about lifestyle and culture, language, vocabulary and how to improve your English more effectively.

    Transcript:

    Hi everyone! I am Georgiana, founder of SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. My mission is to help you speak English fluently.

    Hello, dear students, I hope you're well. I am alright, and I have prepared a special episode for you.

    - We will practice expressions and vocabulary related to the recommendations of health authorities on how to limit the spread of this global pandemic.

    We will also practice fluency with a new mini-story by using the term "should," among other structures.

    As I'm sure you know, a global pandemic is affecting the health of many people and also our daily lives. I had planned to do another topic this week, but I think it's worth talking about this instead so that we can learn and practice relevant vocabulary.

    I thought it would be a good idea to review the indications and recommendations that health authorities give us to prevent the spread of the virus. So in today's episode, we're going to learn some useful and relevant stuff.

    Before continuing, and as a disclaimer, the only purpose of the episode is to learn English, not give medical advice. Today's episode is not intended as medical instruction or guidance. For any questions or concerns, please contact a doctor or the health authorities in your country.

    Okay, now we continue :)

    Wash your hands

    I'm sure you've heard many times how important it is to wash your hands patiently. Apparently, you have to spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands. Yeah, I know 20 seconds seems like a lot, but you should do it just in case.

    We have to wash every single finger and not forget the fingertips. It is especially important to wash regularly and particularly after coughing and sneezing.

    Soap and water are the most effective. Alcohol-based disinfectant gels can also be used, but it is preferable to use soap instead.

    Avoid touching your face.

    I often touch my face without realizing it, and this is not good. We can become infected if we touch our face, especially when we have previously touched a contaminated surface. In particular, try not to touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. Some people have a habit of biting their nails. Please try not to do that. In any case, wash your hands.

    Cover your mouth.

    An important aspect when we sneeze or cough is to cover our mouth. A tissue is enough, but if we don't have one, we can cough or sneeze into our sleeve. If we do this in the air, we will be releasing the virus into the same space the others are breathing. Therefore, we have to be cautious.

    Keep your distance from other people.

    Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet (0.91 m) from other people. If you or someone else is sneezing or coughing, you should keep even more distance.

    As a matter of common sense, the less contact we have with other people, the better. Every country is taking similar measures, so we have to respect what the authorities say.

    Wearing a mask

    I think wearing a mask is important, but I've seen people walking down the street practically alone and wearing masks. You only need to wear a mask if you are caring for an infected person and if you have a cough or sneeze often. Remember that we have to combine this with the above measures. Ah! And remember to wash your hands before touching the mask.

    When traveling

    With everything that is happening, I recommend not to travel. Besides, there are so many controls, and some countries are even closing their borders. If you really need to travel, take some masks and gloves with you in case you need them. And try to cooperate with the police and all the airport staff.

    These people are probably more tired than you are, so it is best to try to help by following their instructions.

    When you cook

    When we handle food, for example, when we prepare it before cooking, it is important to disinfect the surfaces where we put it. Also, clean all utensils, such as knives. And although it is obvious to remember... wash your hands before doing anything.

    When should you seek medical attention?

    Finally, if you have a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, it is best to seek medical attention. Call as soon as possible.

    Also, if you are over 60 years old and have cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or a respiratory condition, you should take the precautions described above and try to avoid spaces with other people.

    I hope this lesson has been useful, especially for learning English. Hopefully, all this will pass soon, and we can get back to normality.

    Let’s continue with a mini-story.

    [END of EXTRACT] Get the Transcript here: https://SpeakEnglishPodcast.com