REC004: Language Mining with Carsten Peters

Hello and welcome to another episode of Real English Conversations from I’m posting this episode at the end of August, 2014, after a rainy and gray summer here in the Netherlands. If you had a vacation this summer, I hope that you had better weather than we did here!

Apart from doing a lot of reading, photography and playing with my dog, I’ve spent most of my vacation arranging and recording new conversations for you. I’ll tell you a secret: it’s scary for me to contact people I don’t know and ask them to record conversations. But knowing how much you like listening to conversations gives me the courage to do it. So thanks for helping me push myself to get out of my comfort zone and do something scary.

In today’s conversation, you’ll meet Carsten Peters, an all-round interesting guy: He is a polyglot, a language coach, a guitarist, as well as a published author, a podcaster and an entrepreneur. His first language is German, and he’s is a great example of a successful learner of English. Carsten is also one of the founders of The Language Mining Company, and excels at helping people reach their language learning goals efficiently, sustainably, and at their own pace. You can find out more about Carsten and Language Mining at
OK, let’s get started with the conversation!

Carsten: Here we go, hello Lori.
Lori: Hello Carsten.
Carsten: How are you?
Lori: I’m doing great, how are you?
Carsten: Yeah, fine, fine.
Lori: Oh good, I’m so glad you agreed to talk to me.
Carsten: Yeah, I’m, like, puzzled that you wanted to talk to me so it’s on both sides.
Lori: Oh, why would you think that?
Carsten: Because it’s just like, I was amazed that you contacted me and I’m very grateful for it and I’m happy to be on your show.
Lori: Oh, well it’s a real pleasure.
Carsten: Where are you now, you are in the Netherlands, right?
Continue reading…

REC003: There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep

In this Real English Conversations podcast, you’ll hear Lori and her mom talking about their bedtime routines and what they do to get good night’s sleep. The conversation includes lots of American English idioms and phrases related to going to bed, sleeping, waking up, and daily routines. Make sure to download the PDF for the vocabulary notes, which focus on multi-word verbs (phrasal verbs) and idioms. Challenge yourself to learn at least one new idiom or phrasal verb!

Before you start listening, it’s a good idea to warm up and prepare your brain for vocabulary related to the topic. You can do this by thinking about the following questions:

  1. How many verbs (action words) can you think of related to sleep?
  2. How would you describe your daily routines for going to bed and getting up?
  3. How well do you sleep?
  4. What helps you sleep well, or makes you sleep worse?
  5. Do you use electronic devices (phones, tablets, computers, TV’s) right before bed, or maybe even IN bed? How do you think this affects your sleep quality?
  6. What advice would you give a friend who wanted to sleep better?

Now you are ready to listen. As you listen, try to notice new or interesting language items. Noticing new language is super important for you learning progress. It makes sense — before you can learn and use new language, you have to notice it! As you read and/or listen, look for words, phrases or grammatical patterns that interest you. Make a note of them. Test yourself later to see how much you can remember. Making flashcards or using a spaced repetition program like Anki can help you learn new items faster.

The next step is to try to use the new language items. Good luck!

In this episode, a Real English Conversation on the topic of sleep and sleep habits. It features tons of vocabulary, especially idioms and phrasal verbs — as you all know and love them. So come on – let’s get going!

Hello, hello, how ya doin’? Wherever you are, I hope you’re having an awesome day. I am happy you’re here, and I can tell you that my day is extra awesome already because I have a new Real English conversation for you.

Yes, in the conversation you’ll hear me and my mom – who is a very good sport I must say — she had no idea I was recording because I didn’t tell her until after we were finished. But she didn’t mind at all, which is lucky for me. It’s a bit sneaky, I know, but it’s the best way to get you the most authentic conversational English possible for your listening and learning pleasure.
Continue reading…

LT002: Showing up for English learning success

If you’re feeling discouraged with your progress in English and need a dose of motivation to get back on track, this episode is for you. We look at one the top keys to success — not just for learning English, but for ANYTHING you aspire to do.
Hi, and thanks for stopping by. There’s no conversation today; instead I’m trying something new — an audio version of an article on my website, just to shake things up and experiment with something different. You’re going to hear me sharing some thoughts with you that I hope will help motivate you to keep going if you’re struggling with your English right now and feeling like giving up.

When you’re learning a new language, it’s pretty common to feel discouraged sometimes, especially if you’re more or less at the intermediate level and have run into the dreaded “intermediate plateau.” If that’s where you are right now, you have my sympathies. But there’s nothing wrong with you; it’s okay and you’re totally normal. Progress in language learning isn’t linear, and all learners find themselves stuck on a plateau from time to time. But even if plateaus are normal, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay there. Continue reading…