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…

REC001 – Lori burns her arm

Hello, it’s really good to be back again! It’s been a long time, hasn’t it? I think the last time I was here speaking to you was back in 2010. And I think it’s no coincidence that the topic of that episode was procrastination and perfectionism. I’m not going to bore you with a bunch of apologies and explanations; I think it’s better to just dive right in with a new conversation. But before you listen, you’re going to need some background context. So here’s what I think it will be helpful for you to know as you go in to listening to the conversation.

You’re going to hear me and my mom. And we are at my sister’s house in Santa Barbara, California. It’s early in the morning. In fact, I think we were meeting in the kitchen to get our first cup of coffee and we were still in our pajamas!

The night before, I had burned my arm really bad when I was trying to make a cup of tea. And it wasn’t a serious burn; I didn’t have to go to the doctor, but it was super painful. So in the conversation, you’re going to hear how my mom tried to help me and whether or not she was successful.

So if you’re ready, let’s get the ball rolling and get right into the conversation!

Conversation Transcript

Mom: How’s your arm?
Lori: Oh my gosh! That aloe vera stuff is freaking witch-doctor voodoo magic.
M: I’m so glad! Really!
L: Seriously. Seriously, look! [Lori displays her burn] You can see…you can barely see it.
M: Well, I told you what the lady had told me about her leg…
L: Yeah.

Lori's burn and aloe vera

Does aloe vera really help if you burn yourself?

M: …and I’ve never tried it because I’ve never had a burn like that, but I mean, any port in a storm, it’s all we had.
L: Yeah. Seriously, it hurt so…when I went in to you it hurt so bad. I was…really…
M: I know, I could tell you were almost losing it.
L: I was almost going to cry. If I didn’t know that crying just doesn’t help I would have been crying…and
M: Well, that never stops me! [laughs]

Want to read the rest of the conversation?