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https://www.bluedragon.org - Blue Dragon Children's Foundation
https://www.5staressays.com/blog/speech-and-debate/debate-topics - Interesting debate topics for self-speaking
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.
Hello community. I'm so glad you can join us today. Welcome to another sweet Sunday on Simple English listening. Today, I'll share with you some ideas of different ways you can talk to yourself to improve your speaking skills, different ideas and activities. Also, we'll talk about me resigning from my full time teaching job at an international school here in Hanoi, in Vietnam. And we'll talk about the results of our fundraising rock concert last week here in Hanoi for the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. First, what do you hear? You are hearing the sweet sound of my new microphone. That's right. I figured it was time for an upgrade. The microphone that you are hearing now is a Shure SMB7. And well, it costs a big part of my salary. But it's my dream mic. My favourite podcasters use it. I still don't know how to use it correctly. But I'll learn more before next week. Many great singers use this microphone to record such as Michael Jackson, when he recorded Thriller. And I hope you'll have a smoother and more comfortable listening experience. Now, let me know in the comments if you prefer this mic, or the last mic, which I'll use sometimes, probably for the YouTube videos. But to be honest, they sound quite similar. So maybe you don't know the difference. But I do. Okay, so now with my new voice, let's dive into the first topic. As I've shared before, I've been thinking about not re-signing another contract at my International School for another year. I thought very hard for two months. You know, I love the job. I love the students and my colleagues. I've been there for four years, but it's too time-consuming, time-consuming, meaning it takes too much time. Instead, I'm going to find a part time job about 10 hours per week, just enough to live off of. And I'm going to concentrate fully on Simple English Listening. It's my dream. I've worked really hard for four years, the last four years. And now I'm going to have a break and make a website and an app and improve the production of this podcast and make time to teach you lovely students and community. So yeah, that's my plan. So you can expect these podcasts and YouTube videos for at least one more full year, maximum power. And hopefully, after a year, well, maybe I'll be able to make a living from my various online projects, and from Simple English Listening projects. That's the dream, the dream and helping the world learn English in an interesting and enjoyable fashion. Yeah, so during this time, I may stay in Hanoi for this year where I work part-time instead of full time. But I'll also be looking at jobs in Danang. I've told some of you about Danang It's a beautiful city on the beach, surrounded by mountains in the middle of Vietnam. Anyways, I'll keep you up to date. Next topic, improving your speaking and pronunciation skills by speaking to yourself.
I've noticed many YouTube videos recommend this technique. But none of them provide you with ideas and beneficial ways to do this. Speaking alone will give you more confidence when it comes to speaking with others to practice getting the words out getting them from your mind and out through your mouth. Some ideas are that you can interview yourself and ask and answer interesting, more open-ended questions that you need longer answers, answer answers of 20 seconds or more for, for example, what is the best place you've ever visited? And why? What's your favourite movie ever? And why? What's better Republicans or Democrats and why? Something useful is to ask why? At the end of these questions to yourself, your answers can be much longer this way. These kinds of questions will also make you a better conversationalist. And also you might learn about yourself more, about your own ideas that might open your mind a little bit more. Another idea is if you're walking down the street, you can talk about the things around you that you see, hear and feel. Think of the different senses. For example, 'here I am, I'm walking down the street on a sunny day, I see a postman, he's wearing a blue suit and a dark blue tie. He's walking quickly, probably to finish his job quicker. I hear car noises and a few birds singing', just narrating the things around you. Yes, speaking out loud, observing and talking about the things around you. Also, another one, you can create scenarios, situations in your mind. For example, you're helping a friend with their relationship, you're ordering an ice cream, you want three scoops instead of two. And you start a conversation with the person working there or you have to explain to your wife that you lost all of your money in the casino. And then you have to explain to your kids that daddy is going away for a while. It can be anything, any kind of scenario, we have to speak for a longer time. Ideally, speaking to yourself makes words change from being just a thought in your mind to then becoming a sound coming out of your mouth, the connection between the mind and mouth will become stronger and more fluent. So it becomes easier to speak and build your confidence. And also the more you speak, the more opportunity you have of noticing your mistakes and noticing how your pronunciation can be better. Speaking to yourself can become a part of your daily routine. For example, on the way back from work every day, ask and answer three long answer questions. Try it I'll give you some long answer question ideas to help you first speaking to yourself, What is your favourite movie? And why? What is your favourite football team? And why? What is your favourite album artist / country / culture / language insert whatever you like and why? Also what is better questions. This way you can practice comparing things. Language such as this one is better than that one because this is braver, fastest stronger than the other comparatives, superlatives? This one is the best, the worst. Okay? What is better Italian food or Indian food? And why? What is better laptops or desktop computers? Why? For those who are more into philosophy, maybe? What's more useful? Buddhism? Or I don't know, stoicism, or Judaism or Christianity or whatever. For those into theatre. What is the most tragic the saddest of William Shakespeare's plays? And why? Also, 'would you rather' questions. Would you rather live in Italy or Spain? Why? Would you rather be blind or deaf? Why? Or debate questions are also good. You can talk about two sides of an argument. For example, should animal testing be banned? Talk about reasons why it should be and talk about reasons why it shouldn't be. Also, for example, should students have to wear school uniforms? Should children be allowed to play with smartphones? Should the death penalty be abolished? Should plastic bags should they be banned? Why? Why not? And when you answer speak slowly, okay? Speak properly, there's no need to rush. Also try to extend try to lengthen your answers and make them longer to get more practice. You can find many debate questions on the internet. Do some research on Google in English. Type in debate questions in English debate spelling is D E B A T E
Good luck. Also, I've put a link to a good website for debate topics in the podcast description for this episode. See, speaking to yourself in English doesn't have to be boring. It can be fun, it can be interesting and you can learn a lot about yourself and about your own ideas and beliefs by speaking to yourself in English, so you may become more wise and more enlightened. For debates, you can even get a friend to practice with once you've practised alone a bit. Okay, next topic. You may remember last week, my band organised a concert to help a local charity, the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. I recommended their website bluedragon.org. I've written it again in the podcast description. Because this website has many articles, many readings about the good work that is happening in Vietnam, in pre intermediate and intermediate level English on this website. So we did the concert, and it was packed,
packed, meaning it was very crowded. So many people were there. And I was actually very nervous before going on stage. Many people came to the show, they came to show their support, and many local businesses gave prizes and vouchers for the raffle. You know, the raffle. It's a kind of game where you buy a ticket with a number on it and if they call your tickets number, then you win a prize. Interestingly, a local tattoo and body-piercing company set up a studio downstairs. They were doing tattoos and piercings for half price and giving all of their profit to Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. So people were getting their ears and noses pierced. A piercing - so, a hole is cut into your body and jewellery is put inside. People are getting their ears pierced. piercings in their noses and eyebrows. Yeah, it was pretty wild. Also, quite a few people got tattoos done, because all of the tattoos were half-priced. Yeah, I saw a few drunk random tattoos and designs, and designs as well, I think people, they've wanted something done for a long time, and then took advantage of the special half price discount. Now. I've got a mixed feeling about that, I guess. But Oh, well! The four bands that played did really well. And we raised nearly 2000 American dollars in total for the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation. I'm kind of glad it's over, to be honest, because it was quite stressful to organise to plan, lots of running around, driving around Hanoi, doing this job doing that job. Okay, next week, we have a topic lesson, a YouTube video Christmas special. It'll be released as both a podcast and a YouTube video on the Simple English Listening channel. We will learn all about Santa Claus. Who is he? Where did he come from? And was he a real person? And the truth is yes, Santa is based on a real man, St. Nicholas, a Greek man who lived in the Roman Empire in the third and fourth century. How did he become Santa Claus, the Santa Claus that we know and love today? By learning this we'll also naturally learn a bit about Christmas celebrations throughout history to Okay, thank you so much for listening. Hope you've enjoyed the new mic. It will now be easier for you to listen to this podcast multiple times more than once and remember, there's great power in listening to the same audio again and again to pick up and memorise new language. Okay, lots of love everyone. Okay,