Lesson Transcript


Chigusa: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Chigusa and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of InnovativeLanguage.com... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Chigusa: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about…
Peter: The Power of a Teacher
Chigusa: You’ll Learn…
Peter: One, How I Surpassed My Speaking Goal
Chigusa: And Two, How You Can Learn Faster with Outside Help
Peter: All so you can master your target language and reach your goals!
Chigusa: Listeners, welcome back to the Inner Circle.
Peter: Last time, you learned how to practice reading...
Chigusa: ...with our extensive reading books.
Peter: And reading is a great skill because it spills over into other areas. You learn more words..
Chigusa: ... more grammar, and you can even improve your speaking through reading.
Peter: And speaking of speaking, last time, I hit my 5-minute conversation goal, Chigusa.
Chigusa: Uh, correction, Peter. You had a 6 minute goal, which you did not reach.
Peter: Chigusa… progress is still progress.
Chigusa: Right.... you went from 3 to 5, so I guess… that’s okay.
Peter: Well, Chigusa, I have good news for you. I promised 8 minutes of Korean conversation and....
Chigusa: Oh, so you’re at 7 now?
Peter: Your positivity is just inspiring, Chigusa, actually...I am at 10. One Zero.
Chigusa: 10...10 minutes of conversation is a big jump. How did that work out?
Peter: So, something interesting happened this month that helped me to… not only reach my goal, Chigusa, but blow by it.
Chigusa: Oh, what was it?
Peter: Chigusa, let’s dive into this Inner Circle.
Chigusa: The Power of a Teacher
Peter: And let’s get into the first part.
Chigusa: Part One: How Peter Surpassed his Speaking Goal
Peter: So, reaching 10 minutes is tough.
Chigusa: Yeah, I’m wondering what you guys talk about… for 10 minutes.
Peter: Well, we have a conversation outline of things to cover, on paper. And we follow that.
Chigusa: As in - greetings, “how are you”, catching up?
Peter: Exactly. The topics are listed out. You start with the greetings and move onto the “how are yous. The, there’s catching up and we talk about what I did this past week. And what she did the past week. And that can be another 2-3 minutes.
Chigusa: By the way listeners...
Peter: ...you can easily master these basic conversations with our Absolute Beginner and Beginner level lessons…
Chigusa: ...because you learn basic conversations in every lesson.
Peter: But, after the 5 minute mark, it gets harder. Chigusa
Chigusa: Yeah, I think even native speakers struggle with conversations. Like, what do you say next?
Peter: Very true. In my case, we have the outline to guide us so we don’t run out of things to say. Here, the problem is more so “how do I say this in Korean” Because I’m just not at that level.
Chigusa: So, how do you go from 5 minutes to 10?
Peter: Well, it didn’t happen on the first or second try. You’ll find out how and why just in a bit. But, let me give you some background. So, when I practice conversations, I have a quirky learning style, and it kind of comes out.
Chigusa: You have a quirky learning style..
Peter: I walked into that one. I expected Chigusa that you would say something like that. I do. I like to joke around and I like to go off script.
Chigusa: I’m not sure if that’s quirky, but alright. So, you ignore the wonderful outline that your teacher carefully prepared.
Peter: Wow, Chigusa. Are we dating? Wow, I feel like I cannot say the right thing. But you got me there. I don’t like boring responses. I prefer to nudge conversations to what, Chigusa for the lack of a better word or phrase, to what I want to talk about.
Chigusa: Well, don’t we all? We all want to talk about things that interest us.
Peter: Yes!
Chigusa: Okay, but, how does your teacher react?
Peter: Well, I think it depends on the teacher. And this is the key ingredient, In the past, back when I was studying a different language, I won't name the language, but my teacher... would acknowledge my jokes and the fact that “ah, i see that’s a joke,” and then quickly move on back to the outline. And Chigusa, kind of she shut me down.
Chigusa: Ouch, that’s rough. Maybe she didn’t understand your quirky learning style.
Peter: Maybe. But she would go back to the outline, and stick to the script.
Chigusa: Is that so bad though?
Peter: I think this is the thing. It depends on the student. For me, if a teacher shuts down a student, it can hurt the student's motivation and enthusiasm, right?
Chigusa: Yeah, you’re right. I can imagine... if I was in class, if I raised my hand and answered a question, and the teacher just rolled their eyes? I’d never want to learn again!
Peter: Well said, Chigusa. Teachers can have a powerful impact on you. And it works the other way around too.
Chigusa: Yeah, the right teacher can motivate you to get better. And they don’t shut you down.
Peter: Chigusa, that’s what happened this time. My Korean teacher went along with it. She noticed what I was trying to do, and she let our conversation unfold in that way.
Chigusa: Oh, wow, so what exactly happened in the lesson?
Peter: In the textbook we were using, there was a picture of a waitress taking an order from a young man. And the conversation read that the person was ordering a tea. So, I changed the conversation - the conversation went something like “Can I please have tea?” So I changed the conversation slightly and when we did the roleplay, the teacher was the waitress and I was the student. So, Chigusa, instead of tea, what do you think i asked for? I wanted to practice my numbers - or phone numbers. So what do you think I asked for?
Chigusa: The waitresses phone number?
Peter: Yes. She was like “what did you ask me? If I was the waitress, let me tell you, I would give you a whack.” I was like “hey, hey, hey, Let’s not be so judgemental. I can understand you wanted to whack me or the character, but let’s replay this role, if I was Kim Seoul Hyuun. I mean, look at this guy, Chigusa. And after I said that well “What if I was this guy and asked your number, what do you think she said?”
Chigusa: Hmm, I’ll think about it?
Peter: She gave me the number right away in Korean. But again, we took a simple conversation that should’ve taken literally 10 seconds. What do you want? Coffee please? Thank you. Coffee's on the way. And we turned it into 5 minutes of conversation, going over the numbers, laughing about some of the cultural things, about this good looking Korean actor and it really livened up the classroom. And that was only made possible because she reciprocated kind of a quirky, but maybe not a funny joke on my part but it was definitely not an expected response. And by doing these type of things, we took this practice dialogue that would’ve taken about 15 seconds to go through and we extended it to several minutes. And we laughed and we had a good time and the atmosphere lightened up a lot.
Chigusa: So Peter, what did you take away from this?
Peter: That’s a great question, Chigusa. Because I had a great, positive experience, because the teacher was receptive to my learning style, I left the lesson motivated to get better. I went home and studied twice as much. I wanted to really impress the teacher. You know, it’s fun to joke sometimes, but if you can back it up and make the jokes clever, I don’t know if they’re clever, but if you can back up the teacher’s faith in you by letting the class go off script, by coming in and being better…. I think they’re really appreciative of that. And so one week later, at the next lesson, we hit 8 minutes. Because I went home motivated to show her, her investment going off script would be rewarded.
Chigusa: Because she encouraged your learning style...
Peter: Exactly. I was so motivated to improve and impress her. You know, and this is a fire that can be nurtured or extinguished like the previous example where I’m not going to name the language, but it was like cold water thrown on my motivation.
Chigusa: You know, I think good teachers are either they’re so passionate that rubs it off on you or, they spot what you’re good at...
Peter: ...they can spot your enthusiasm, what gets you motivated...
Chigusa: ...and they fan that flame.
Peter: Well said, Chigusa. So, what I realized was: the impact of a great teacher is undeniable. They can inspire you to work harder.
Chigusa: Yeah, they can push you to new limits.
Peter: And that’s not something most language learners have. Even if you have a teacher.
Chigusa: You can have a teacher, but it’s rare to find someone that’s passionate.
Peter: Exactly. And that’s how I surpassed, actually blew by my goal. Not because of the words or phrases she taught me, but because of HOW she taught.
Chigusa: Listeners, what about you?
Peter: Did you have a teacher that inspired you? Or maybe not even a teacher, but a person or a partner, or a partner - someone that motivates you to learn. You want to reward their investment in you.
Chigusa: If you have, you probably remember their name…
Peter: ...what they made you do… these kind of stories are always fun to hear...
Chigusa: ...and how you changed afterwards.
Peter: If you have some stories about great teachers….
Chigusa: ...Let us know. Email us at inner dot circle at innovativelanguage dot com.
Peter: So, Chigusa, all of this made me reflect on the activities we do and the ones we stick with.
Chigusa: And the ones we stick with, are usually the ones where we have support…
Peter: ...either from a teacher or someone that’s fanning our flame. In my case, having that encouragement from my Korean teacher made a big difference.
Chigusa: Now, what about our listeners?
Peter: Let’s get into the 2nd part.
Chigusa: Part 2: How You Can Learn Faster with Outside Help
Peter: Listeners, now that you’re in your 5th month of learning…
Chigusa: Having outside support can be a gamechanger for your long term motivation.
Peter: It can push you to reach new limits and work harder than ever.
Chigusa: It can be a teacher, a tutor, family, a friend or someone you look up to.
Peter: But it has to be someone that inspires and energizes you...
Chigusa: ...and finding people like that is easier said than done.
Peter: So, if you’re looking for outside support..
Chigusa: Then, here are a few things you can do.
Peter: First, find yourself a Skype teacher.
Chigusa: But again, as with Peter’s case, really good teachers - the kind that motivate and push you - are hard to find.
Peter: So, you might want to take a few trial lessons with a few teachers to find the one you’re the best fit with. Second, if you’re a Premium PLUS user, take advantage of your Premium PLUS teacher.
Chigusa: They will hold you accountable, send you assignments...
Peter: ..and give you feedback, to help you perfect your language skills.
Chigusa: Third, find a lesson host you like in our lessons.
Peter: Listeners, believe it or not, occasionally, we get emails saying “so-so” is hilarious and “I love their lessons.”
Chigusa: Yeah, people stick with lessons just because they like the hosts…
Peter: ...and believe it or not, sometimes we get emails on the other side of the spectrum, usually pointed at me. So, there are many types of teachers. Find the hosts and teachers you gravitate towards and as a result, you will want to learn more.
Chigusa: So, check our lesson library.
Peter: And check the Absolute Beginner, Beginner and Intermediate Level series.
Chigusa: If you hear someone you like, you WILL stick with their lessons...
Peter: And you will learn better.
Chigusa: Peter, who’s your favorite host for JapanesePod101.com?
Peter: You Chigusa!
Chigusa: Me!
Peter: You!
Chigusa: Me!
Peter: Yeah, you’ve done a lot of lessons.
Chigusa: Did I?
Peter: Don’t you remember?
Chigusa. 10 years ago!
Peter: Yeah.
Chigusa: I did. It was fun. Yeah, thank you!
Peter: They can find those. Well Chigusa, to be honest, actually my favorite teacher is me but I felt a little guilty saying me.
Chigusa: You, yourself?
Peter: I thought I might sound a little arrogant so I said you, but actually if we’re being honest.
Chigusa: It’s me, you
Peter: Me.
Chigusa: Aw, that’s so Peter. Moving on, And fourth, find other language learners that match… OR exceed your motivation level.
Peter: Seeing someone else succeed and improve will push you to do the same. Again, in my case, my teacher inspired to improve...
Chigusa: But if you don’t have immediate access to one…
Peter: ...any of our other suggestions will work as well.
Chigusa: Alright Peter, you’re at 10 minutes. And, it’s the end of May. You know, 30 minutes by December is now looking more realistic.
Peter: It’s possible, definitely possible, Chigusa. So, I’m aiming for 13.
Chigusa: Alright! Deadline?
Peter: June 30th.
Chigusa: Sounds good, Peter. And listeners, let us know what your small, measurable monthly goal is.
Peter: And, if you have a story of a teacher that inspired you...
Chigusa: Email us at inner dot circle at innovative language dot com. And stay tuned for the next Inner Circle.


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