Simple English Listening

Trip to Central Vietnam, My Fave ADJECTIVE, More PRONUNCIATION Tips, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, The Korean Holiday 'Chuseok' (Intermediate)

November 15, 2020 Tristan Palumbo
Simple English Listening
Trip to Central Vietnam, My Fave ADJECTIVE, More PRONUNCIATION Tips, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, The Korean Holiday 'Chuseok' (Intermediate)
Chapters
Simple English Listening
Trip to Central Vietnam, My Fave ADJECTIVE, More PRONUNCIATION Tips, Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, The Korean Holiday 'Chuseok' (Intermediate)
Nov 15, 2020
Tristan Palumbo

Join us every Sunday. EXCITING topics in simpler English. NEW vocabulary: enchanted, harvest, tailor, unique, vibrant, architecture, ancestors, volunteer, homeless.

Please subscribe.

👉 Youtube videos every THIRD Sunday. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1

👉 Follow + like the Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/simpleenglishlistening

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 


Show Notes Transcript

Join us every Sunday. EXCITING topics in simpler English. NEW vocabulary: enchanted, harvest, tailor, unique, vibrant, architecture, ancestors, volunteer, homeless.

Please subscribe.

👉 Youtube videos every THIRD Sunday. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkcrx6ESrFxlDC8EEXUbnlw?sub_confirmation=1

👉 Follow + like the Facebook page for updates: https://www.facebook.com/simpleenglishlistening

Here, I speak in SIMPLE English about interesting topics. The best way to learn is to listen to as much English as possible which is ONE level above your level. This way you pick up maximum amounts of new language and pronunciation naturally. 

My name is Tristan, from England. I'm a native speaker and I've been a qualified English teacher for nearly 10 years, and taught in five countries - UK, Italy, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam. I have post-graduate qualifications in education and English-teaching. 


0:00  
Hello friends, I hope you've had an awesome week, and an even more awesome weekend. Thank you for joining us once again for our weekly chat. I'm Tristen, and I'm here to give you enjoyable and interesting English language input for all intermediate learners. Today, you'll learn about my recent trip to Central Vietnam, to the lovely town of Hoi An. I'll give you some more tips to improve your pronunciation. You'll learn about the biggest national holiday in Korea called Chuseok. And I'll teach you My favourite adjective, which is the word enchanting and I'll tell you all about the wonderful Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, a successful charity that helps homeless children here in Vietnam, and a concert that my band is doing tonight for the Children's Foundation with some other bands here in Hanoi in Vietnam.

1:15  
By the way, there are now over 1000 regular listeners about 1200 to be exact. And our community here seems to be growing every day. And I'm very inspired and excited by that. About three or four weeks ago, I had a one week vacation. Why did I have a one week vacation? Because I work at a Korean school. I know I work in Vietnam. But in Vietnam, I work at a Korean school. All the students are Korean. Most of the other teachers are Korean, and the biggest Korean holiday of the year is in late September. And it's called Chuseok. Yeah. Interestingly enough, there is a very big South Korean community here in Hanoi. One part of the city which is named My Dinh. They call it Korea Town. And going there is like stepping into Seoul or Busan. Suddenly the streets are all wide and clean. And there's the Korean alphabet on all the sharp windows, Korean barbecue hair salons and food everywhere. Yeah, sometimes I go there with my Korean work colleagues. And you know, for a classic Korean style night on the town, we'll have a kind of kimchi and this spam, meat stew, or barbecue. Have some soju go to the karaoke, you know, do Korean things. It's great. It's good fun. Yeah, I had a new dish the other night which was a mix of kimchi, which is the Korean fermented cabbage and spam meat. Spam meat is a kind of overly-processed fake meat in a can. It was famously eaten by American soldiers, often in the 20th century. But it became very popular in Korea during the Korean War in the 1950s. And they started to mix it to mix it with their own dishes such as kimchi. I was impressed. Actually, it tasted much better than I thought it would taste. Yeah, so this part of town is so Korean, that I work with some Korean teachers that live there. And they don't speak Vietnamese. They don't speak English. But they have survived. Here in Hanoi in Vietnam for many years speaking, just Korean, because everything they need in Korea Town is in Korean, right? It's similar to my grandfather, actually. He lived in Montreal in Canada for the last 40 years of his life. But he only knew how to speak Italian as there's a big Italian community in Montreal. So you somehow survived for like 40 years, just speaking, you know, his own language like not French and English like everyone else in Montreal. Now, yeah. Interesting. Anyway, so I had a week off for the Chuseok holiday. This is the biggest holiday on the Korean calendar. Very much like other national holidays in the Far East, in China, Taiwan, Japan, etc. to the Far East. We call those countries. South Koreans go to pagodas and temples and they pay their respects and they pray to their

5:00  
ancestors. This is a common in in the Far East, this praying to the ancestors, ancestors or your relatives from a very long time ago. So your grandparents, great grandparents, great, great, great, great grandparents and further further back further back. So they visit the graves of their ancestors. They also eat traditional foods and it's around the time of the autumn equinox. Actually, the direct translation from Korean to English of Chuseok is autumn eve. It's also related to the harvest of crops. Koreans would ask for the ancestors blessing to the harvest, harvest meaning the gathering of food from crops

5:50  
on farms, and they'd wished for the harvest of next year to be better. So yeah, all of Korea is off work at this time, including my school. So I went to a beautiful city in the middle of Vietnam called Danang, and right on the beach, big wide open roads, surrounded by mountains. It's It's my paradise. Actually, my relationship with Da Nang is quite intimate and complicated. Yeah, I've tried. I've tried to move there and live there for about five years. But the timing is never right. either. I get like a work promotion. Or I mean, there's been a couple of times I fell in love at the wrong time. And because of that I couldn't make the move to Da Nang. Or something happens in Hanoi or Saigon which are the other cities have lived in Vietnam. As I'm about to move to Danang, and something stops me. Well, my attempts to move to Danang have not finished yet. I will move there one day. You'll see and I'll tell you about it on the podcast. So the Danang area is one of the most famous parts of the country for international tourism. I mean, it is a beautiful place. A beautiful area, especially a small town next to Danang called Hoi An, and Hoi An is a very unique and special place unique. unique is a beautiful adjective. It describes something very special, right? unique means like only one of something that unique unicorn unicycle. unicorn has one horn unicycle has one wheel. There's only one of Hoi An and it's very unique. Check it out on Google. Hoi An the spelling is H O I, AN. So it's the most perfectly preserved classic post-colonial French Vietnamese town. There you see Vietnamese architecture architecture, which is the art of making buildings. Classic Vietnamese architecture is a mix between ethnic Vietnamese and French styles, to have Vietnamese style tiled roofs with dragons on them. And then, like French windows with a European style balcony, it's really beautiful. Also, the French windows and doors are nearly all green, and the colour of the rest of the buildings are nearly all sand coloured, a yellowish brown, sand coloured, and all around the town or Chinese lanterns, the lights and the river is full of rowing boats and people lighting candles and they make a wish and the candles float down the river. It's very dreamy this town. Vietnam was a French colony for about 80 years, by the way. So there's a French influence there in the architecture and the food. If you're wondering why I keep on speaking about Vietnam, it's because I live here actually and have done for about six or seven years. So there's a beautiful beach there in Hoi An and it's called An Bang Beach, very long beach lined with palm trees. So those tropical trees with coconuts growing in them, so normally this town is full of tourists. It's probably for better or for worse, the most touristy town I've ever been to. The locals are completely reliant on tourism. On a normal day there is like, you know, like hundreds of Korean and Japanese families are wearing clothes with the matching patterns, like matching pineapple patterns or couples with matching teddy bear or Apple patterns.

10:06  
Yeah, yeah, it's great. Why all the matching patterns? Because Hoi An is actually the tailoring capital of Vietnam. Tailor. A tailor makes your clothes to measure. So tailoring is a big industry in Vietnam. And many people go to Hoi An and to get lovely clothes made, wedding dresses, suits, tuxedos, etc. At the tailors and for fun, so the tourists for fun, you know, they get the matching pineapple suits. So one thing

10:42  
Yeah, especially a Korean and Japanese tourists they seem to love like so the whole family will wear like a ridiculous pattern. So it's good bit of fun. Yeah, tailoring is popular in Vietnam when tourists come over because it's, well it's inexpensive compared to many other places, right? Like, if you went to Italy or France and got a tailor-made suit it would be much more expensive. So Chuseok, this town is normally busy, vibrant. vibrant, is a lovely adjective vibrant means full of energy and colour. So this normally, vibrant town is now like a ghost town, because of our old friend, Corona, Corona, Rona COVID-19, it's a ghost town, so all the vibrant streets and temples were closed up. And for the first time, you could see, you could see and experience Hoi An like it used to be before the mass tourism. So the real, the natural Hoi An it was enchanting. There was long, empty streets with the lanterns and a bit of mist and the temples and, and boats like slowly going down the river with that traditional Vietnamese hat. You know, the sun hats.

12:07  
Enchanting is my favourite adjective of all time. Enchanting it means something that is very interesting that you can't keep your eyes off of and beautiful, attractive, and a bit magical. For example, the Taj Mahal at sunrise is in chanting, the misty forest is in chanting her smile was in chanting, something in chanting controls you a little bit. Music and the arts can be in chanting. The Mona Lisa is definitely in chanting, right? It pulls you closer. You can't keep your eyes off of it. And yes, it's a little bit magical. One other thing about my favourite, adjective enchanting, or enchanted, its enchanting, or enchanted. depending on who's saying it, is that the French for the French often say when they meet someone, How delightful is that? They say, enchante, which is enchanted in French. So you can imagine like a Casanova-type character bowing in front of a woman saying ' bon coir Mademoiselle' and kissing her hand and saying, enchante as a greeting. How cool! Enchante said so, so darling. Okay, next topic, more pronunciation tips. In the previous two podcasts, we looked at shadowing as a pronunciation, practice technique, and also recording yourself and some little activities you can do when recording yourself to improve your pronunciation. I've got three more little tips for you today. Tip one, okay. When you're practising the pronunciation, slow down when speaking, read something out loud, slowly. Something I've noticed is that so many people try to speak quicker than they should to look clever, maybe. But if you slow down, you can really notice what you are doing wrong. If you don't make time to slow down and notice your mistakes. You will reinforce meaning you will reinforce you'll make stronger bad habits and bad pronunciation technique. Also, you have to be very honest with yourself. Ask yourself continuously. How can your pronunciation be better? Slow down and notice ways it can be better. Okay tip two, picture it. Close your eyes and think and imagine how you'll make the sound before saying it. Imagine the feeling in your muscles of your mouth and face. Imagine the the physical sensation of saying it perfectly before you say it.

15:00  
This technique also helps me a lot with singing. I've always found it difficult to sing with healthy technique, and not hurt my throat and my voice by visualising and imagining myself doing it correctly. By remembering the physical sensation of the correct technique in my body, it is easier for me to then adjust my body to the correct feeling. And to know when I'm using my body and muscles incorrectly,

15:29  
to achieve the singing sound, so singing should be I used to sing from my throat like dada dada, dada, I kind of dead scratches my throat, from the diaphragm.

15:46  
It's a bit long, it's much smoother. And that's a, that's a muscular thing using my muscles as a physical sensation. So how does the correct pronunciation physically feel? Finally, tip three. practice speaking alone, right? This will give you more confidence, and gives you more opportunity to notice your mistakes. And when it comes to mistakes, you have to be honest with yourself. Maybe your pronunciation is good. But it can always be better. Everything can always be better. You must be open minded about your mistakes and be able to be self-critical. And also put in the time to improve your pronunciation. Even 10 minutes per day is fine. I see it as a regular part of your day, like going to the gym. You can speak to yourself a little bit, record yourself a little bit, and then maybe shadow a podcast on your way to work every day, five days a week, something something like that.

16:53  
So speaking alone is actually a whole art in itself. There are so many activities you can do when it comes to speaking to yourself as practice. And this is something I've thought about quite a lot. But we will explore this next week. Okay, so next week, I'll give you many new ideas for ways you can improve by speaking alone. Okay, now for the final part of today's episode, I'm going to tell you about a well known charity here in Hanoi in Vietnam, called the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. This charity helps children here in Vietnam who are homeless, homeless meaning they are street kids who have no parents and no home. A bit like the kids in Slumdog Millionaire if you've seen that movie, homeless, Blue Dragon looks after them, finds them homes and work and helps inspire them to make a new and better life.

17:55  
They support their education and help them build skills and find careers for street kids and also for victims of slavery and sex trafficking. Up to now they've rescued hundreds of people from sex trafficking and also from forced marriages in places in China - one place that often happens for Vietnamese people, unfortunately. So the charity started in 2001 by an Australian English teacher called Michael broski when he started teaching street boys, shoe shining boys in Hanoi, he started teaching them English, math, yoga and art and started a football team with them and the charity grew and expanded from there. Now, many co-teachers and some colleagues of mine have volunteered there when they can.

18:52  
Two of these people, two good friends of mine are Gareth and Jack. They are the guitarist and drummer of my band. They've organised a charity music concert to raise money for blue dragon. Also, they both volunteer and do music lessons with the children there. There's a new word for you - volunteer, it's a verb, which means to work for free to work without pay to work, you could say from the kindness of your heart, volunteer, volunteered volunteering, my band have organised a charity concert tonight to raise money for Blue Dragon Children's Foundation to raise money for their music and arts department. I think hundreds of people will be there. There'll be many other bands, games, activities, etc. So Wish us luck. I'll let you know how it goes. Next practice I'll let you know if we raised much money and if it was a success, the website for Blue Dragon is actually a really good

20:00  
read for English learners. There are many articles about blue dragons projects, their successes, recent news and developments. And they are written in simpler English. So I guess it's about pre-intermediate and intermediate level because it's written in English but for an international audience, so yeah, check out the website, read some of the articles. It's www.bluedragon.org. Once more, that's www.blue, like the colour blue dragon, like the mythical fire-breathing reptile.org O R G www.bluedragon.org. And have a read. Learn about these wonderful charity projects in Vietnam and get inspired. I've also included the link in the podcast description. So listen to this podcast as many times as you can. There's great power in repetition, listening to the same audio again and again and again. This way you'll understand much more of the podcast and you will pick up much more new language, also shadow it. Okay, that's enough for today. Thank you so much for watching. As always, feel free to get in touch or leave some feedback or a comment. I love hearing from you guys. Okay, lots of love.