What are the easiest and fastest ways to become a confident English speaker?
This is the question I have been trying to answer for the last 10 years.
My name is Kevin. I’m American and currently live in Denver, Colorado.
My background is in psychology, and I love music, culture, and technology.
I have given over 7,000 hours of English classes to hundreds of students from all over the world, and have spent the last 10 years figuring out how to help English learners become fully confident speakers.
And you know the ONE THING that makes becoming a confident English speaker easier?
No? Well, I’ll tell you right now.
Creating an emotional connection with what you’re learning, and realizing that learning a language can be a much more natural and enjoyable process. That’s the key to success.
And that is exactly why I created the Feel Good English Podcast.
What I do here at Feel Good English is create lessons for English learners based on the best personal development books and Ted Talks.
I cover topics such as personal growth, business leadership, entrepreneurship, emotional intelligence, dealing with relationships. communication, and other life-changing topics.
Fill your days with motivating audio lessons and practical advice based on skills you can use to live a more fulfilling life.
If you want to get a better idea of my style of teaching, start with the free audio lessons. They are from my podcast, and I’ll also include the transcripts. CLICK HERE to get the MP3 lessons and PDFs, direct to your email.
Feel Good English is here to inspire your English learning. Take the next step, and watch your English thrive!
The Long Story
When I was 23 years old, I decided that I wanted to live and study in a different country.
I was studying psychology here in the U.S, but I really wanted to travel and do something different. I decided to go to Prague, which is in the Czech Republic. I knew nothing about Prague at that time. Somebody recommended it and I was going to study for 3 months, which actually turned out to be 6 months, and I ended up staying in Prague for 10 months. So turned out to be a long, a very wonderful experience.
The school I went to in Prague didn’t have a psychology program. So I took a year off from psychology and started studying business.
And I also took a Czech language class. The Czech Republic has their own language, it’s called Czech. It’s one of those languages that sounds like “Woocschhh ooogshzzzz oggshhhh wuddush gggshhh”. Very rough! A lot of consonant letters in their words. It’s a very difficult language!
But of course, I was gonna try to learn the language while I was there. So I signed up for Czech class at the University and started trying to speak Czech.
And this is where it gets interesting.
It was your typical language class. There were probably around 20 students, and a teacher, and a textbook. And it followed the basic curriculum. Learn some basic verbs, pronouns, adjectives, etc., then start connecting them a little bit. Then you have a test or a quiz on what you’re learning.
And as usual, just like when I started learning Spanish as a child in a classroom, I didn’t do very well. It wasn’t working very well for me. If you’ve read about me in the past, or heard from me in an interview, I studied Spanish growing up, but I just never had a good result. And in Prague, being a lot older, studying Czech in the Czech Republic, at a school, I started feeling the same way. It was getting a little discouraging. I was trying but I wasn’t getting anywhere in the first month or so.
About a couple of months into my experience there, I started hanging out with this girl. She was Czech, and she spoke English. But her friends didn’t speak English.
At the time I was a DJ, and I started playing in clubs around Prague. So I would meet her and her friends, and we’d go out and talk and party, and have fun. Like I said, most of her friends didn’t speak English. So I had to try to communicate with them in Czech. Obviously, at that time, I couldn’t speak much. But I was ready to try.
After a few weeks of trying to communicate with her friends, I started to build a vocabulary of phrases. Some words and phrases that they were using a lot. Very basic communication phrases, ones that I needed to use in order to communicate with somebody. And after few weeks of learning phrases in the streets of Prague, I went back to the Czech class, and the teacher was asking questions to the class. She wanted to get an answer from students, and of course, in the classroom, usually they’re looking for one answer. It’s the “correct answer” to her question. But whatever she asked me, I don’t remember whatever it was, I gave a different answer. It was correct. It was just not from the book. It was just something that I learned in the streets. But it worked. It was communication and I answered her question. And she looked at me surprised like “Wow! Where did you learn that?”. And I was like “Oh, I learned it from some Czech friends.” And she was a little, I don’t know, disappointed or surprised or whatever.
A huge revelation
For me, I realized, “wait a minute. There’s more than one way to be learning Czech here.” I could be sitting in a classroom looking for that one right answer. And if I don’t have that one right answer, I feel stupid. Or I could go out and just start communicating with people, writing things down, and asking a lot of questions. These questions are very relevant to the moment, so they’re very real. And I could learn that way.
At that moment I thought, “well, this is what’s been going on. This is why I’ve never been able to learn a language in a classroom.” It doesn’t work for me. It wasn’t real, it wasn’t exciting. It wasn’t useful. It wasn’t current.
A lot of times when we’re learning English, or a foreign language, we are learning things that aren’t used that often. We spend time on a book that was made possible 10, 20 years ago. And it’s very generic language.
I came to a conclusion. Why don’t I just learn the “real” Czech, learning it with friends, and doing it over some beers at 4 AM in a dark club? You can learn a lot in that situation.
I continued with the class. I had to finish the semester. I did okay. You know I’m sure I learned some things. It’s nice to have a little mix of learning environments sometimes.
I continued seeing this girl, continued practicing outside of class, and you know what, I progressed faster than most of the other students in the classroom. They would use my language skills when we’d go out and walk around the streets, and go get a coffee or something. They’d usually tell me to go up and order something. Or at the train station, I would go buy the ticket.
And you know what, this confirmed to me that this “natural” approach is better. Easier. Faster. More fun. It’s much more entertaining and real, and authentic. I think it’s important to express yourself through language. And learning this way helps you do that. This totally transformed the way that I learn languages, and that teach
This totally transformed the way that I learn languages, and that I teach English. Implementing these ideas after many years of teaching English, I developed a way of using these techniques, of helping people naturally build their English skills.
I connect students to things that make them happy. Don’t study English, study things that make you happy, that are interesting.
Build your life around English. Let English learning come second, and living through English come first. You’re learning things in English, but the content you’re learning should be a priority.
Now I want you to decide for yourself. Which kind of English journey are you going to take?
If you like learning in a school, if you like learning from books, if you really like making sure your grammar is really good, then you can do that. It takes longer, but for some people, it works.
Or you can follow my path, and make learning valuable life skills in English your priority, and let your English skills improve naturally.
Why don’t you start to improve your life using English? Read and listen to lessons on subjects that can help you become happier. This is a method that works very well.
Sometimes people don’t have faith in this process. They’re taught from an early age that they need to learn very formally, in a very structured way. But I can promise you, the learners who get excited about English, who find topics that inspire them, have a much easier time becoming fluent.
They don’t stress about how many times they listen to the audio, or if they have memorized all of the words in the audio. They don’t worry about the details. They are only concerned with enjoying the process.
Just put time into it, have patience and you will come out a fluent speaker. I know that. That’s how I learned Portuguese (I’m fluent in Portuguese too).
This journey is much more inspiring. But it’s still your choice.
I have written some guides on the fundamentals of natural language learning. These strategies can transform the way you learn, and help you naturally become a confident, effective English speaker. CLICK HERE TO GET THE GUIDES.
Want to keep going?
Join my Facebook group, a Fluent Life! We talk about English, the podcast, and topics that inspire.–> CLICK HERE
Or listen to some podcast episodes now –> RIGHT HERE