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Do native English speakers truly care about your English?

in The Doing English Blog

How do native English speakers truly feel when talking with non-native speakers?

Somebody asked on a question and answer site, Quora:

“How do native speakers truly feel when talking with non native speakers?”

This was an interesting question.

But more interesting were the responses.

You see, there were of them.

Interested in what these people had to say, and importantly what their attitude towards this particular question might be I went through every response, downloading them all, and loading them into my qualitative data analysis software.

I then spent an entire day doing some pretty thorough analysis of these responses.

Yes… a bit over the top, know.

What came out of it was quite interesting (enough so that I plan to write the results up as a research paper).

The Good News

The vast majority were quite positive.

People said that they really enjoy talking to people from other countries and other cultures. It allows them to talk about other ways of life, and experience that via those people and their stories. A whole different way of life. They are fascinated, many said, by your home country, your cultures, and the different way you see the world.

And the Bad News

However, at the same time, many of those same people also said that it was important to them that you were able to have a decent conversation with them. It’s not that they were bothered about your mistakes or grammar or using the wrong words or anything like that. Or even really the speed at which you speak. Your fluency. Or really any of the things that non-native speakers tend to worry about.

Rather, what most people were concerned with was the depth and the quality of the conversation.

They didn’t like being stuck in conversations that were too shallow.

Too surface level.

They wanted to really get deep into the topics and to be able to go further than just surface level stuff. If this is a problem for you, check: how to speak English very well.

But that’s not all

There was another very interesting finding that came out of this analysis.

Although I’ve already said that these native speakers weren’t really bothered about your mistakes, using the wrong word, or the wrong grammar, or anyway like that…. there was a slight caveat here.

You see, although they’re not bothered about your mistakes…

It was very important for them to be able to understand you easily.

First and foremost, people said they felt tired when they had to work hard to try to understand what you are saying. And that ruined the enjoyment of the conversation. But also, many people said that they felt too embarrassed to ask you to repeat things and they felt stupid themselves when they couldn’t understand you.

What this means

Many people worry about making mistakes because they think if they use the wrong word people would look at them as if they are stupid. But actually, it was the other way around.

The native speakers themselves felt inadequate like they were unable to understand you and unable to aid you in the conversation.

So what really comes out of this is that native speakers don’t care about your mistakes and things as much as you think they do (yet another reason why attitude is so important).

However, in order for a conversation to be a good one…

Iit is important to them that you are able to do it at a high level, to be able to go deep into a topic, and to able to explain your points clearly and in a way people can easily understand.

Or to put it another way, they don’t want to have to work hard to have the conversation with you. Because that just ruins the enjoyment and makes them feel inadequate.

If You Want My Help

If you are frustrated and struggling, click here and consume my free training.

In it, you’ll learn the five key changes that you need to make to your English learning routine to see massive progress with your English speaking.

Alternatively, if you want my help, right here, right now, to transform your English and use it to do amazing things in your life, click here and book your own free consultation call with me. We’ll talk about how I can help you with your English transformation.

Best,
Julian

P.S. Click here to watch my Free Training where I teach you my “Rocket Launch” Method.

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You Get What You Deserve

in The Doing English Blog

I’m a big fan of Earl Nightingale.

And of this quote:

“The world in which we live and work is a mirror of our attitude and expectations.”

What this quote essentially means is that we tend to attract people who are like us.

Like begets like.

Or to put it another way, you get back what you deserve.

A 30 Day Challenge

Earl Nightingale issued a challenge.

For the next 30 days, treat everyone you meet as if they were the most important person in the world. Whether it’s the checkout girl at the supermarket you go to, the guy working at the petrol station where you fill your car up, or a barista in Starbucks.

It doesn’t matter.

Treat each and every one of those people as if they were the most important person in the world, and watch how that transforms the way they treat you.

Treat someone with respect and he will treat you with respect back.

Fail to do so?

And don’t be surprised when he fails to do so too.

If You Want My Help

If you are frustrated and struggling, click here and consume my free training.

In it, you’ll learn the five key changes that you need to make to your English learning routine to see massive progress with your English speaking.

Alternatively, if you want my help, right here, right now, to transform your English and use it to do amazing things in your life, click here and book your own free consultation call with me. We’ll talk about how I can help you with your English transformation.

Best,
Julian

P.S. Click here to watch my Free Training where I teach you my “Rocket Launch” Method.

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Is This Why You Struggle in English?

in The Doing English Blog

This made my ex-student weep in frustration.

Perhaps it does you too?

Way back in the day, when I was first in Japan and I was working at a conversation school. Mainly taught adults who used English in business.

My Student’s Email trauma

One of my students there worked at an international school. And he had to send emails quite regularly to other teachers living in the U.S.

It would take him more than hour to draft an email, he said.

He would have to plan the email. Write it. Get it checked. And it would take a long time to produce his email… which he would eventually send.

And to his utter dismay and frustration….

10 seconds later…

*PING*

… a reply would come from his American counterparts.

And the whole process would start again.

It’s so frustrating!

“It’s so frustrating,” he said.

“It’s not fair! It takes me an hour to plan and send these emails and they just write and send it back in 30 seconds!

Why do I have to learn English as a second language? Why do I have to use English with them? They should learn and do it in Japanese!”

Life ain’t fair

Look – it’s not fair.

Life ain’t fair.

But it is balanced. We all have our own advantages and our own disadvantages. You’ve just got to make the best of them.

But more to the point

When I really looked into this person’s problem, it was very obvious the way he was writing emails actually wasn’t appropriate for what he was doing… and that was making him take FAR too long.

You see, the Japanese style of business email writing is quite involved and quite formal.

They start with a very formal greeting and then they flow into quite a large body of text. And to an extent, the longer the email, the more polite it is.

Not so in Western countries.

We want to get to the core of the important information, quick ‘n’ dirty.

We don’t care about all the fluff.

Just get to the bloody point, NOW, fast.

Culture First, English Second

You can’t just translate everything you do now into English and expect it to be appropriate. You need to really think about how people think. And how culturally appropriate what you do in English is.

If you’re not sure just how important this is, watch this video:

↑ this is a segment form a seminar I gave to a group in Tokyo.

Watch it.

You’ll learn something useful.

If You Want My Help

If you are frustrated and struggling, click here and consume my free training.

In it, you’ll learn the five key changes that you need to make to your English learning routine to see massive progress with your English speaking.

Alternatively, if you want my help, right here, right now, to transform your English and use it to do amazing things in your life, click here and book your own free consultation call with me. We’ll talk about how I can help you with your English transformation.

Best,
Julian

P.S. Click here to watch my Free Training where I teach you my “Rocket Launch” Method.

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