Hey guys, how’s it going? You know Shayna here from EspressoEnglish.net and me, Gabby from GoNaturalEnglish.com and we’re here together for a really special series to share with you guys. Just kind of relaxed conversation. Hi, Shayna! Hey Gabby, I’m so happy to be here because we’re almost neighbors, right? We are almost neighbors now! Maybe you guys know we were traveling, living abroad, but now we’re both living in the US. I’m in New York City, we’re both in New York City right now, you’re nearby and yeah we wanted to take advantage of this to get together! For sure. We’re going to do a mini-series of four videos where we’re just going to talk with each other and you guys can listen and learn from our conversation. I think this is important because a lot of English learners have trouble following native speakers’ conversations. Yeah, and this is really the first time that we’ve done something like this, just conversationally, but we think it’s going to help you to just be like a fly on the wall as you said, listening to our conversations and we’ll help you out to understand and be able to improve your conversational skills, your listening skills. Right, because you can see how we interact with each other, maybe some of the phrases we use. Also how to keep a conversation going, right? Avoid those awkward pauses that sometimes happen if you don’t know what to say. Yeah. We’re going to do four videos each Friday from today, starting today, and then the next three Fridays, so it’s going to be really great! You guys will get to know us a little more. We’ll get to know each other a little more. We’ll get to know you a little more as you leave your comments and as you let us know what you think of this series, it’ll be really great to interact. Sweet, so Gabby, I’m curious, why do you think so many English learners struggle with conversations. They might listen to teachers and they, I get a lot of students who write to me and they say, “Teacher, I understand you, but when I watch a movie or when I listen to some native speakers I can’t follow the conversation.” Yeah I think it’s because if you think about where you learned English you maybe learned in a classroom and that’s different. Usually your teacher is alone right? Or usually we teach alone with Espresso English and Go Natural English. It’s really special to be able to listen to a conversation between native speakers and get more input. Teachers call it input. I’m not sure what else to call it, but listening to a lot of conversation. It’s difficult when you haven’t practiced. We need more practice. What do you think? I totally agree. I think that if you’re not living in a native-speaking country, or even if you are, but you just don’t have a lot of opportunities to interact with native speakers or socialize, it’s just, like anything, practice makes perfect, right. The more you listen and the more you practice it will be difficult but I think it’s really satisfying when you reach a point in your English when you can listen to two native speakers and say “I got everything! And I can participate.” Which is even more important. That’s really exciting. Yeah it’s a good confidence builder. So, Shayna, I know you’ve learned another language and we’ve both been language learners. How have you improved your conversational skills in your second language? Right. So my second language is Portuguese because I lived in Brazil for many years and I studied a lot on my own using websites, using textbooks but when I went to Brazil I had to put it into practice. I was just forced. I was put in a situation where I had no other choice, right. Right. I think English learners can do that if they join a conversation exchange or talk with a teacher on iTalki. But from the beginning from my first day in Brazil I had to be saying, “Hello, how are you?” in Portuguese and I couldn’t just be shy and not say anything and so that really helped me just start to use it in everyday life and I do remember struggling a little bit with feeling like my Portuguese was very simple for a while. I could say the basic stuff but I couldn’t really express my thoughts. It did take a while and just more, like you said, more input. More practice. Sometimes I would say things that maybe weren’t natural and whoever I was talking to would sometimes repeat it back to me in a way that a native speaker would say it. Oh that’s helpful. Or say, “Oh did you mean ‘this’?” And so that’s why that interaction is super valuable. Yeah. Just being able to listen to native speakers helps a lot. I also learned some Portuguese and yeah it helps so much when you can listen to natives whether you’re in the country or not, it makes such a huge difference. But I study on my own, you know you can look at different websites for learning language, but there’s nothing like listening to a native conversation. I feel like we could talk about this for a long time, but I think it’s time to wrap up this particular video but we’ll see you guys next Friday with another one, another conversation! Leave your comments, if you have any questions for us and we’ll see you guys next week! Oh and just before we go, you can find Shayna at EspressoEnglish.net and me at GoNaturalEnglish.com. Great! Bye! Bye!