November 29, 2017
Podcast: How To Improve Your Vocabulary And Speaking
Hey, friends! How are things?
Teacher Prix here with another podcast for you!
If you follow me on my social media you probably know I was on vacation. I went to Buenos Aires, in Argentina! It was wonderful! I had a great time there.
There are many things I would like to share with you, but today, I wanted to post this podcast to tell you about the importance of a language when you travel.
I speak Spanish and English and a little French. As I always say practice makes perfect, so I definitely should practice my Spanish more than I currently do. When I got there, I thought it would be pretty easy to just speak Spanish and if I needed, English. Well, that’s not how it worked. My structure in Spanish was good, but my vocabulary was not. Many people say that Spanish and Portuguese are similar, but well, they are not. So I often caught myself trying to remember specific words in Spanish. That’s when I thought to myself, what if I just speak in English, it is a tourist city, and people should be able to help me in English… oh-oh, that’s not what happened, at least most of the times. So I had to stick to Spanish.
I noticed that every time I tried to speak English things got worse, people wouldn’t really understand me, so I would go back to Spanish and have my vocabulary limitations. So, what did I do? I did exactly what I teach you guys. I used images to learn new words in Spanish, I explained what I wanted to say, I asked people to repeat and explain words.
At restaurants, most menus didn’t have the food description translated into English, so I had to ask the waiter to explain what the food was, I would also type the words on Google image and see what results I would get. I kept investigating until I really understood what I was reading.
When I really couldn’t communicate, I would use English, but only individual words.
On one evening, I was having dinner with my mom when a local started talking to us. Man, he was speaking so fast. What did I do?I told him to speak more slowly! I asked him about the words I didn’t know and he kindly repeated what I needed him to. We talked about many things. He actually told me about a very important Sunday fair which I had completely forgotten about among other things I could do there on the weekend. It was such a nice conversation. Am I fluent? No, not really! But one thing I had to manage was my emotion. I had to keep cool otherwise I wouldn’t be able to communicate clearly.
That’s when I thought of many of you guys. Sometimes we travel to a different country and we try to communicate in English. This is the moment when we realize the vocabulary problems we have or listening limitations. At this moment, many of us tend to get nervous and feel frustrated about it. My advice to you is: use this as an opportunity to explore your difficulties. I learned so much about what I had to improve and it was really fun to keep talking to people and asking them to repeat or explain again. Imagine if I just felt bad about it and decided not to interact with the locals or ask questions whenever I didn’t understand something? My vacation wouldn’t have been as fun as it was.
Speaking a second language is very important when you travel to a different country. But keeping a nice and positive attitude will most definitely determine how you interact with people around you, especially when you don’t have such a good vocabulary.
I hope you enjoyed this podcast. Now, I have some questions for you!
When was the last time you traveled? Did you need to speak English?
How did you feel when you couldn’t remember a word or phrase? What did you do when that happened?
What was your biggest challenge the last time you traveled?
How do you feel when you are talking to someone in English and you don’t know how to say a word or can’t understand what the person is saying?
I hope to see your answers here in the comment section!
Have a wonderful day!