Practice speaking English online for free

It’s simple: if you want to get better at speaking English, the best way to do it is to practice. But simple doesn’t necessarily mean easy. Maybe you live in a country where it is hard or even impossible to find people you can practice speaking English with. Maybe there are plenty of English speakers you can practice with, but only in real situations where you are afraid of making mistakes.

Don’t let any of this stop you. You can practice speaking English online for free! All you need to do is sign up for a conversation exchange. There is literally a world full of people out there waiting to practice English with you — all you have to do is find them. And that’s what I’m going to help you with today. Read on for my recommendations…
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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?
GET THE FULL TRANSCRIPT AND VOCABULARY NOTES HERE

Real English Conversations: Perfectionism and procrastination 3

Introduction
Hi! Lori here, welcoming you to another episode of Real English Conversations from BetterAtEnglish.com. In today’s conversation, my friend Yvette returns to help me finish our earlier conversation about perfectionism and procrastination. This time we focus on the strategies that we’ve found helpful in our own battles with this debilitating problem. As always, you can find the vocabulary notes and full transcript of this podcast on our website, www.BetterAtEnglish.com.

OK, here we go!

Conversation Transcript

Lori: Actually, there was one thing that I think in our last conversation about perfectionism and procrastination that we didn’t really cover
Yvette: OK
Lori: …and that’s what you do to get out of the procrastination habit once you’ve identified that you have a problem with it. Like if you have any methods that you’ve used to help you over the fear of starting or working on whatever it is you’re supposed to be working on.
Yvette: [Laughs] You’re asking me?
Lori: Yeah, yeah we didn’t talk about that.
Yvette: How you actually get out of it? Wow…
Lori: If there’s anything you do…
Yvette: If you find out, let me know. I mean, that’s kind of tricky. Wow, that’s something to think about. Well, usually I start with a plan. You break it down and smaller bits…so… the way that I can do it sometimes is to just say, “There is…I need to do a task and let me just first open the file folder.” That’s my first step. Once I’ve got that opened up and I’ve got the file maybe even opened in my browser — whatever I needed to be in — then I can start working on it. But it really is just kicking my butt…giving myself a good kick and going, “Come on, you can do it today.” But I tend to just find 15 other things to do first, which is clear my desk…oh yeah, I need lunch…oh, I need to do to the — let me do the groceries right now instead of later, so I don’t get interrupted by that. Um, so I tried to get rid of things, but I don’t know, I try to plan it better, but that usually doesn’t work — for me anyway.
Lori: Uh huh. Well, it sounds to me, when you mention that, for example, if it’s a writing project, that you start by just opening the file…. Continue reading…