Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about The Two Dirty Little Secrets...
Peter: ...to Mastering a Language
Becky: You’ll learn why a calendar is the first thing you need when you start a goal.
Peter: Why knowing your own grammar will double your language learning progress...
Becky: ....How Peter has applied these methods, AND how you can apply them too.
Peter: All so you can master your target language and finally reach your goals!
Becky: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned why fun, non-intensive learning routines....
Becky: ...are crucial to your long-term progress.
Peter: They ensure you don’t burn out while still making progress in your language.
Becky: Admit it Peter, you just watched Spanish TV on Netflix last time.
Peter: It’s true, I mean, that’s what I basically did. But Becky, remember, I ended up with 23 pages of notes. Conversations. Phrases. Words. So, I wasn’t just watching. I was writing all of these down and using them with my teacher.
Becky: True. And you did reach 35 minutes of Spanish conversation. That's way ahead of your 30-minute goal for the year.
Peter: You can definitely say that I’ve had a good year with Spanish.
Becky: And you did reach your Italian goal last year too.
Peter: And don’t forget Chinese back in 2013.
Becky: Yeah, you know...it almost sounds like you just have a knack for languages!
Peter: Haha. Backy, far from it. Some people say... learning a language is easy when you’ve learned another one before but....
Becky: ...but whether that’s true or not, that’s a topic for another time.
Peter: Yeah, let’s leave it for next time. Actually, Becky, there are a few things that I did learn that came in very helpful when learning a language. When I start a language, there are 2 things I attack immediately. I call them the 2 dirty little secrets.
Becky: And listeners, this is the topic of this Inner Circle.
Peter: Today, we’re talking about The Two Dirty Little Secrets to Mastering a Language.
Becky: You’re going to learn ONBecky: Why a calendar is the first thing you need.
Peter: TWO: Why knowing your own grammar will double your progress in another language...
Becky: and THREBecky: How YOU can apply these methods as well.
Peter: So let’s get to the first part.
Becky: NUMBER ONBecky: Why a calendar is the first thing you need.
Peter: So why is this a dirty little secret? The answer is... to master a language, you’re going to need time. Becky, when you started a language...
Becky: Yes?
Peter: What was the first thing that you bought?
Becky: Hmmm. I’d like to say a Premium subscription. But, I actually bought a textbook. Why? What do you buy?
Peter: The first thing I buy or I get is a calendar. And you’re not wrong for getting a textbook.
Becky: Right, but why a calendar?
Peter: Imagine this Becky. You’re planning a trip with your friends. You’ve bought the tickets. You’re excited. It’s in 2 months. What’s the first thing you do?
Becky: Well I definitely write THAT down on a calendar. It's something I can look forward to.
Peter: Exactly. And you mentally take time for it. You know that in 2 months, you’ll be abroad and everything must be put on hold.
Becky: Definitely. That would sit in the back of my head. I’d say no to anything that comes up while I’m away.
Peter: Now, let’s apply that to language learning. Say you planned out your next week.
Becky: Okay.
Peter: So, on Monday you’ll do 2 audio lessons. On Wednesday, you’ll review them, maybe do 1 more. And on Saturday, you have a tutor session. And for each one, you know when and where. 7PM. At home.
Becky: Ah, I see. Yeah, once I plan that out, I’ll make sure to make time for it.
Peter: That’s what makes a calendar so powerful, Becky. When you plan out your schedule...
Becky: ...and you stick to it....
Peter: ...Listeners, you guarantee your success. The same goes for any goal you attempt.
Becky: That makes a lot of sense.
Peter: Practically every goal is a simple measurement of time. For argument’s sake, let’s say 100 hours. And if you take those 100 hours, and map it out in a year, using a..
Becky: Calendar!
Peter: ...you can see a roadmap to your goal.
Becky: That was genius, Peter.
Peter: Well you know. Every once in awhile. As my mom used to say.
Becky: I’m just saying. It’s a rarity of this moment! Uhm, okay.
Peter: The second reason a calendar is so powerful is... you get to see your own progress.
Becky: Right, right. If you plan it all out and write it in, when you look back...
Peter: You can see a ton of small accomplishments over a long period of time.
Becky: And they all add up.
Peter: In my case, I can look back and see...week by week and month by month. Becky, I had 0 minutes of Spanish conversation for January. Failed again in February. 3 minutes by March. 10 minutes by May.
Becky: ...and 30 minutes in September.
Peter: This is incredibly motivating. Listeners, the other amazing thing as you can see is... when I started, I’d have 1 or 2 study sessions a week.
Becky: Yeah?
Peter: ...and by May, my study frequency went up. I’d have 4 to 5 sessions in a week.
Becky: Ah, that reminds of when we talked about tipping points.
Peter: Exactly. When you slowly devote more and more time towards language, you find yourself choosing to practice more and more.
Becky: That’s exactly what happened to you.
Peter: So listeners, two powerful reasons why you need to get a calendar.
Becky: One: If you plan out your study sessions for the week, you’ll know what to do, when to do it...
Peter: ...and you’ll guarantee your progress.
Becky: And two: You get to see your progress grow...
Peter: ...this is incredibly motivating and only makes you want to get better.
Becky: You hit a tipping point and start putting in more time.
Peter: And the reason we call this a dirty little secret is that... it takes time to reach your goals! So, with the calendar, you’re going to see that time laid out in front of you.
Peter: Now, listeners, the second dirty secret is definitely a tricky one.
Becky: Let’s get into part 2.
Peter: Why knowing your own grammar will double your progress in another language.
Becky: Which means that if you’re a native English speaker....
Peter: Knowing your own grammar – English grammar – is absolutely critical.
Becky: You know, we could say that even native speakers don’t know their own grammar well enough.
Peter: Exactly, Becky. If you ask someone what an infinitive or a conjunction is... Becky, probably they won’t know.
Becky: I know, Peter. That’s very true. I don’t think I could ever explain an English grammar rule without looking it up.
Peter: That sounds more like the Becky I know, not the other person who actually knew what was going on with the English grammar. But anyway, listeners, you’re probably wondering why knowing your own grammar is important.
Becky: Well, when you don’t know the grammar rules of your own language...
Peter: ...and you start studying another language... learning the foreign grammar will be extra challenging. You’re learning it for the first time.
Becky: Right. And foreign languages can come with their own set of new rules.
Peter: But by knowing your grammar first....
Becky: You can quickly find what which rules exist – both in your language and a foreign one.
Peter: ...and which ones are unique to the foreign language.
Becky: So... for example, if you know what a conditional sentence is in English....
Peter: ...conditional, for example, meaning a sentence starting with “If”
Becky: You can learn it quickly in the foreign language because you already know the rule.
Peter: If you know how verbs are conjugated in English....
Becky: You now know what to learn in terms of verbs. AND you can express yourself in more ways... like “I’m eating, I ate, I will eat, I was eating.”
Peter: Becky, when I first started learning Italian in High School, I was failing left and right. I didn’t know why. But... when I gave Japanese a serious try, I was learning all these grammar rules. And I realized some of them exist in English...
Becky: So what did you do?
Peter: I understood they existed in English but I didn’t understand the fundamentals so I took 1 week to re-learn the basics of English grammar and my Japanese progress, after that week, skyrocketed.
Becky: Really? How so?
Peter: Well, think about it. I naturally use conditional statements “If ..., and” just speaking English as a native speaker. But I didn’t understand the exact grammar rules behind them. But once I studied, many things made sense. For example, you probably don’t think about the statement, “If I were you, I would,” what do we do with the verb in that sentence?
Becky: You put it in the past.
Peter: So when you actually look at the fundamentals of how the language works, I’m talking about English now, I understood, “Oh wow, there are rules associated with this.” So then, when I re-looked at Japanese, I would look for “what patterns I had to use to create certain grammar points.”
Becky: So without having a fundamental understanding of the way English works, it was hard to translate that into another language. Or understand why it it was happening.
Peter: And why certain patterns repeated themselves. And how to create these grammatical patterns. So, the reason this is a dirty little secret is... that it takes work!
Becky: Yeah! It does.
Peter: So to get that understanding of English, you’re going to have to brush off a book or get to a website and do some hard, heavy lifting.
Becky: So, understanding the way your own language works and fundamentals behind it and the patterns that repeat themselves, you can more easily see how it translates to another language. And look for those same patterns.
Peter: And as a result... your progress skyrockets.
Becky: Definitely. And at the same time, you can notice the unique rules of that language
Peter: Exactly. No two languages are exactly the same but there are certain patterns that appear in multiple languages. Just knowing that the patterns exist will help you search for them when you start your new language. And that’s a tremendous advantage.
Becky: Definitely. It’s like starting halfway there.
Peter: Not quite halfway Becky, but yes.
Becky: It depends on the language, Peter. Japanese, I don’t know! So Peter, why do you call this a dirty secret?
Peter: Well, Becky, the thing is, people are intimidated by grammar. They’d rather listen to audio lessons or watch videos. But grammar...
Becky: ...it’s mental work!
Peter: Exactly. That heavy lifting we spoke out. You have to read.
Becky: Read? I don’t want to read.
Peter: You have to analyze and process. And the reason we call it a dirty little secret is it takes time. You have to put in the work.
Becky: So what would you tell our listeners? Because most learners avoid grammar.
Peter: Yeah, well, they’re told or advised to avoid grammar. And that’s where we’re going to talk about the third point.
Becky: How Peter has applied these methods and how YOU can too.
Peter: Again most learners make the mistake of avoiding grammar. Not only in the language they study but in their own language. And I understand. It’s intimidating. And grammar is, at least for when i was a student, it was not taught in a very friendly way. But you’re going to need grammar. So when I start a language, what I do is ... I attack the patterns and grammar rules head on.
Becky: There’s one incredible resource that will help you progress fast, and you’ll find it in our PDF lesson notes for every lesson.
Peter: And this is the real secret to skyrocketing your grammar progress. It’s in the Grammar Section.
Becky: Make a point to read it for every lesson you take on....
Peter: It breaks down the grammar rules presented in that lesson.
Becky: And I think the best part is that you’re not just learning grammar alone either.
Peter: You’re learning it in the context of a conversation. What makes this challenging is that you have to open up the lesson notes and read the toughest part. The first time you do it...
Becky: ...it’s going to be tough.
Peter: ...but this is that old adage. You get out of something what....
Becky: ...you put into it.
Peter: And if I could give you any advice in really trying to make your progress and really make things stick is - after you listen audio or video component, open up the lesson notes, cut right to the hard part and....
Becky: ...the second thing you can do is... use our new Advanced Lesson Search.
Peter: If you’re on the site, you’ll see the search bar in the upper right corner.
Becky: It will help you find any grammar point or grammar rule...
Peter: ...and any word our teachers have said in any audio or video lessons...
Becky: Just search for a grammar rule and find the lessons where our teachers explain it.
Peter: The best part about this is, you can find multiple lessons on certain grammar points.
Becky: That is so helpful with all that context.
Peter: This is a great new feature, so please be sure to put it to use.
Becky: And if you’re confused, you can always leave us a comment...
Peter: ...and our teachers will respond to you.
Becky: Ah Peter, we never talked about your goals.
Peter: Becky, 40 minutes. 40 minutes of Spanish conversation, timed and tested by my tutor.
Becky: So, can we say... 45 minutes by December?
Peter: That’s the plan!
Becky: Alright. Listeners, let us know if you’ve ever planned out your study sessions with a calendar.
Peter: And have you ever looked back at your progress?
Becky: And how do you approach learning grammar? Be sure to let us know.
Peter: Email us at inner dot circle at innovativelanguage dot com.
Becky: And be sure to set your monthly goals. Let us know what they are.


Becky: Well, that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.