How I Learned English - Full Transcript

Hey everyone!

Recently, a lot of people have been asking me about how I learned English on this channel.

So, here's my video about it.

Ah, first of all, just a little bit about myself.

I was born and grew up in Japan, originally.

And I was there until I was 18 or so.

And then, I didn't go to any international school when I was in Japan.

So, pretty much, I didn't speak any English until I was 18.

And then, I came to North America to study at a university here, actually in Boston.

And then, when I came to North America, surprisingly, a lot of people were like:

Wow! Your English is so good!

You know, I can't believe this is your first time living in an English speaking country!

And I think I was able to, sort of, get that kind of reaction because of a simple reason.

I just practiced. A lot.

And I mostly practiced when I was in Japan, too.

And while I was in Japan, I mostly focused on two things to, you know, improve my English communication skills.

One was listening. And the other one was vocabulary.

So, why these two?

Well, I think vocabulary is a little bit more obvious.

You know, the more words you know, the more you can express your thoughts and the more you can understand other people, too.

But, why listening?

Well, that's because I realized that if you focus on listening, you can practice all the other skills at the same time.

So, for example, if you listen to something with a script, if you don't understand something if you listen, when you listen, you can just read the script to check.

So that way, you can practice reading at the same time.

And if you make sure that you understand every single word you hear, then you'll be able to improve your vocabulary at the same time.

And if you repeat, you know, what you listen to, then you'll be able to practice speaking at the same time, too.

Okay, so, would I recommend the same strategy for someone who's learning English right now?

My answer would be, yes, definitely! Ah, especially for the listening part.

And I think I'm going to show you how I would practice listening if I was learning English right now.

This method is pretty close to what I actually used back then, when I was learning English.

So, first of all, for this method, find something you'd enjoy listening to, whether it's news, audiobooks, TV shows, or movies.

And then, try to find a script that goes with it.

You can probably just find it by searching for keywords like, you know, let's say "the social network script" or "how I met your mother script."

And then, you know, sentence by sentence, first watch the clip without a script.

And then, try to understand everything.

If you want to make sure that you understood everything, you can just, you know, repeat everything after every sentence.

And if you can't repeat it, then you can check the script.

Okay, to show you what this might actually look like, I'm just going to show you an example here.

So, let's say you want to use the TV show Friends to practice.

You know, it's an old show but it's still one of my favorites.

Ah, first find the script for it by just searching for "friends script."

Ah, you might need to try like a few links.

But, you should be able to find one that's good.

I think this one's good.

And then, I'm just going to go to Netflix here.

And I'm going to open Friends Season1 Episode 1.

And, by the way, it's really up to you if you want to use subtitles or not.

I think you can do this with or without subtitles.

I would do it without subtitles, though.

So, let me just skip intro here.

And, like I said earlier, first listen without looking at the script.

And then, try to repeat everything that's been just said.

So, I'm just going to show you how I would do it.

There's nothing to tell. It's just some guy I work with.

There's nothing to tell. It's just some guy I work with.

Come on, you're going out with the guy. There's gotta be something wrong with him!

Okay, so let's say I just didn't understand what he just said.

Then, I would go back to the script.

And then, I would find that part.

You know, it's this one.

And then, I'm going to read it and try to understand it.

Ah, you know, c'mon, you're going out with the guy! There's gotta be something wrong with him!

So that's pretty easy. You know, I understood it.

So, I can just go back to Netflix.

And then, repeat the same part.

Come on, you're going out with the guy. There's gotta be something wrong with him!

Come on, you're going out with the guy. There's gotta be something wrong with him!

So, yeah, that's the idea.

You know, it might look super silly, but it actually works.

So, you know, you should give it a try if you're learning English right now.

And just a few more things here.

First of all, ah, once you think your listening skill is good enough, you should definitely find something to practice speaking with.

And I think, you know, there are a few different ways of going about this.

Ah, for example, you can just try to find friends who speak English.

But another good way is through something called language exchange.

Ah, the idea of language exchange is that, you know, you help someone else practice your own language.

And then, they'll help you with English.

And nowadays, there a lot of good apps for this.

So you can probably find a good app for it just by searching for it on Google on the App Store.

And the second thing is, if you want to improve your pronunciation, I think the best way by far for doing that is to, you know, record yourself and then listen to yourself.

It's not an easy thing to do, definitely.

You know, I don't like doing it, either. But it's definitely effective.

So, even on this channel, if you go back like two years and then watch my old videos, you'll probably see that my speech was much less clear back then than it is now, even though it's not perfect yet.

And that's just because I would make one video, notice my mistakes in my pronunciation, and then, I would try to fix them in my next video.

And, I just kept improving that way.

Okay, that's pretty much all I wanted to say in this video.

You know, if you're looking for more of these, I guess, non-technical how-to videos, you should check out my video about how to stop procrastinating on my other channel right here.

Anyway, as always, thank you so much for watching this video.

And I'll see you guys in the next one! :D