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Owain [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the English Waffle podcast aimed at advanced English language learners who want to improve their listening skills by listening to real conversations. My name's Owain. And in each episode, Mike and I do a bit of waffling about a particular topic. In this episode. We're playing a game. The idea of the game is to help us do some catching up, which means to talk to someone you haven't seen for some time and find out what they've been doing. So we haven't really seen each other much over the summer. We had a break from the Waffle, so it's a good opportunity to to do some catching up. And we're also going to tell you, our listeners, about the latest developments in the English Waffle Project. So if you're interested in that. Keep listening. Let's get waffling.
Intro/music [00:00:49] Welcome to the English waffle where we talk about random stuff, we'll take you on a journey where you'll find out soon enough that listening to the waffle is an entertaining way of sharing with you foreigners the things that British people say. Whoo. So join us on the waffle and strap yourselves in for 10 whole earthling minutes of English listening.
Owain [00:01:20] Okay, let's start with a game Mike. My words or phrases. Miss Elliman
Mike [00:01:29] Miss Elliman, you say?
Mike [00:01:33] We had a Spanish teacher. Back at school called Miss Elliman.
Mike/Owain [00:01:40] That's why we're here. Because, yes, we both learnt Spanish from her. Yeah. Is that right? Yeah, yeah. She was great, wasn't she? She was lovely. And they inspired us to learn Spanish. Right. Yeah.
Owain/Mike [00:01:49] To keep keep learning Spanish. And yeah, that's that's essentially the connection. Okay, great. We were at school. Eighteen years old, more or less, 17, 18..
Mike/Owain [00:01:59] Yeah. So we went to school together and remain friends. And here we are running a podcast together about English language. There you go, there you go
Owain/Mike [00:02:06] Go on then, your turn. Active listening.
Owain [00:02:13] Is this something you try.. are you trying to tell me something? That you know, I don't really listen to you.
Mike [00:02:22] I'm not.
Owain [00:02:23] No, it's a, it's an important word, isn't it? An important phrase nowadays. But I think you were talking about our listeners and how what we would like to try to do is to get them involved, not just as passive listeners who have the English waffle in their ears as they're going to work and then kind of forget about it. But as listeners who really want to join our conversation and connect with us and talk to us and tell us what they think and what they're having problems with. Is that right?
Mike [00:02:58] That's it. That's it. We're listening. We're looking for a connexion with you guys at home to help us better understand what it is that's difficult about learning English and specifically listening to English. What what is going on out there? Because we kind of get it for French and Spanish, at least I do. I get it that it's that some of when you speak or when I hear spoken French really quickly, sometimes it just sounds like a.. like a stream of whole words or a cracked radio or something like that.
Owain [00:03:33] Yeah, it's quite difficult. Sure. Okay. Yeah. Okay. Next one, go back a little bit to my my story in Spain. Language through teaching.
Mike [00:03:46] Right. What do I think Language through teaching relates to? What we're talking about? Mm hmm. I guess to me, language to teaching is the like explicit teaching of grammar. And like teaching stuff and... You're looking at me funny! What is that?.
Owain [00:04:12] Well think about erm, Desta. Yeah. Yeah. Language through music. Well, for me, the way I learn language was well on the one hand being in the country, but also through teaching my own language, I learn a lot about my students language. Right. Yeah. Right. I've found it really useful to teach English to Spanish people and I learn a lot about Spanish.
Mike/Owain [00:04:37] Got it. Yeah. So you. Yeah. By teaching you kind of learn more. Yes. I was like that for sure. Okay. You.
Mike [00:04:46] I had Spanish written down. This is a very, vague Spanish time.
Owain/Mike [00:04:51] Am I supposed to know something about you through that words.. you like Spanish? You're a proficient Spanish speaker? You like the language one of your favourite languages. I do. I do. I love the Spanish language.
Mike [00:05:07] But I guess it's our shared connexion as well that we both speak Spanish, you know, and we know that there are a number of Spanish listeners to this podcast. True. Right? So that helps as well, because I guess because we kind of can identify with some of the struggles that you guys have in studying English because we've had those same struggles learning Spanish.
Owain [00:05:34] Yeah. Doesn't help us with Chinese necessarily. Or Arabic. Well, maybe maybe it does because we've we've both had a go. Are you, you speak Arabic dont you?
Mike/Owain [00:05:43] Yeah. I.. To say I speak Arabic is a stretch. Let's.. Let's be clear. You can understand some Arabic.
Mike [00:05:52] Right. I can, I can understand some Arabic and I can understand some Polish and and French and Spanish.
Mike [00:05:59] What, what languages Oast would you be most interested in learning yourself?
Owain [00:06:04] It's a tricky one. Because really, any language. I've, I've dabbled in Turkish, i've dabbled in German. I'd love to go back to learning French, which I learnt as a child. But really something very different. And so I started learning Chinese for a few years ago, actually. And just this last year, I had a teacher that was going really well and I was almost speaking Chinese. With a lot help and time. But I've stopped lessons for the moment because.
Owain/Mike [00:06:41] Because I lost motivation, life. OK. What's your next phrase?
Mike/Owain [00:06:49] Motivation actually!. You've just, er, you've just. Yeah. Purely by coincidence. I've got motivation written down something that we know is super important in language learning, you know. Where does your motivation come from? Right? Like, there's so many different different angles that... I'm learning Polish because I'm super motivated to have a shared language with my partner so that we can get out of social situations where we can just speak Polish together. If we're in like a place and we want to leave this, you know, it's like super interesting how the motivations can help you.
Owain [00:07:33] Yeah. I'm not sure if that's the best motivation. You know, normally you'd say, well, just I love the language I think is so interesting, but sure, it often doesn't work, does it. You really need practical reasons for doing something very often. Yeah. Yeah. OK. So I've got another one. Esol on Covid.
Mike [00:07:53] Esol on Covid? That sounds like a person on drugs who's Esol?.
Mike [00:08:03] Yeah. I mean, so like any of the world being as it is right now, that throws up lots of different challenges. And as I said at the beginning, did I say at the beginning? , that I've just gone back into a college in a face to face environment for the first time in months. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And so this is a superexciting platform for me because we're connecting with people, listening to it from all around the world.
Owain [00:08:35] Yeah, where do your.. Esol is English for speakers of other languages, where where do you learners come from? At the college.
Mike [00:08:45] Yeah, so they are. They're living in London. People living in London. And they could be from anywhere, you know, like. Yeah. There's you know, there's a lot of Urdu speakers from Pakistan, Bangladesh. There's European languages also.
Owain [00:09:03] Yeah. I work at a further education college as well, working in the Esol department. And yeah, that we we've got lots of such people living in Leicester who need to learn English. And they come from all sorts of places. Afghanistan. Iran. Romania, Egypt. Eritrea, all kinds of places and. Yeah. But it's, it's really interesting. And this podcast is really for them and for you, our listeners around the world.