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Canguro English

Canguro English

By Canguro English
Canguro English presents a podcast about language for people learning languages. Just another part of my mission to change the way the world learns English. Education should be FREE and FUN.
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Construction grammar and language learning (with Remi van Trijp)
Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Remi van Trijp, head of the Language Research Unit and the Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Paris, and one of the main developers of Fluid Construction Grammar. His team is trying to answer some of the most profound questions in linguistics by combining techniques from computational linguistics, artificial intelligence and robotics. It’s complicated and very technical work, but as you’ll see in this interview Remi has an incredible ability to explain complex things in an easy-to-understand way.
50:22
September 1, 2020
How Language Began | The Story of Language | Episode 6
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. In this episode we talk about how language began, including language evolution vs language change, how animal and human communication are similar and different, and the evidence for why language is probably millions of years old, not thousands.
1:15:41
September 1, 2020
How language works (with Ted Gibson)
Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Ted Gibson from his eponymous TedLab at MIT which researches why human languages are the way they are, how people learn and process language, and the relationship between language and culture. In this interview we talk about his work with numbers, colours, word order, and information theory across various languages and his search for simplicity in explaining the complexity of language.
1:25:37
July 14, 2020
You are STUPID and LAZY (how to speak English PERFECTLY)
Are you stupid and lazy? Do you want to speak English perfectly? Then this podcast is for you! We are going to take a journey through the light and dark of the human mind to discover why you are so bad at English and the secret to speaking perfect English.
09:09
July 9, 2020
How to study english well (with Paul Nation)
There is no doubt that this is the best time in history to learn a language, especially English. We are surrounded by content in English, English language learning apps, English teachers, English courses, information. But one very important question remains: what do we do with all this information? HOW do we study? HOW do we learn a language. One man who knows the answer to this question is Paul Nation. He has been studying and writing about language acquisition and language teaching methodology for more than 50 years, and in this interview he talks about the four strands of language learning, and how by following this simple concept, based on a lifetime of research, both teachers and students can have success at language teaching, and language learning.
54:04
July 1, 2020
The theory and practice of field linguistics | The Story of Language | Episode 5
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. In this episode we talk about the theory and the practice of field linguistics, including how to survive in the field, what to take, and what to bring back.
1:20:35
June 18, 2020
Should I learn British or American English? | How are they different?
Students ask me all the time if they should learn British English or American English, and in this video you'll discover the real differences between UK and US English and how it's not about language rules, it's about culture. You will discover how they are different and if you should study British or American English.
20:39
June 15, 2020
How to write business English (with Ellen Jovin)
When you think about improving your writing in English, especially business writing, you probably think about studying lots of rules, and memorising specific phrases, and complicated vocabulary. But recently I spoke to Ellen Jovin who’s been writing professionally and teaching professionals how to write for more than 20 years, and in this interview you’ll discover that good business writing isn’t about language, it’s about people.
1:07:14
June 11, 2020
Do you want to speak English like a native? (with Heather Hansen)
It’s a sad fact that the English that millions of people learn in classrooms all over the world, often doesn’t match the reality of English outside the classroom. One person who knows the reality of English as a global language is Heather Hansen. She teaches professionals from the world’s biggest companies how to communicate in English all over the world. And the secret to successful global communication? It isn’t about being like a native speaker, or having an RP accent, or using ‘standard’ English. This is a powerful interview and I hope it makes teachers and students all over the world question their assumptions about what it means to learn and use English.
56:51
June 5, 2020
Linguistic Relativity | The Story of Language | Episode 4
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. In this episode we talk about linguistic relativity: the idea that the language we speak can change the way we think.
1:20:35
May 7, 2020
How languages are learned (with Patsy Lightbown)
In the world of language there are few people as experienced, or as respected, as Patsy Lightbown, Distinguished Professor Emerita at Concordia University in Canada. She has been working in the field of language teaching and language learning for more than 40 years as a researcher, writer, editor, and consultant and she literally wrote the book on how languages are learned. In this interview we talk about language acquisition, language learning, language teaching and what life has taught her about the way education works. I hope you enjoy it!
1:04:36
April 21, 2020
What is culture? | The Story of Language | Episode 3
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. In this episode we talk about culture: we discuss exactly what it is, how it exists on a macro and micro level, how it affects our language and our cognition, and how without it, we would die.
1:09:29
April 17, 2020
Get fluent English in 2020 | 9 tips to help you learn English
Do you want to really succeed at learning English in 2020? It doesn't matter if this is the first or the tenth time you have tried to get fluency in English, these 9 simple steps will help you to succeed at your English learning goals.
11:33
January 6, 2020
The Piraha Language | The Story of Language | Episode 2
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. In this episode we talk about the Piraha language, and what it tells us about the intersection of language and culture. We also talk about the practice of the science of linguistics, animal vs human communication, universal translation, and what unites and what divides us as humans.
1:17:44
December 18, 2019
Meet Dan Everett | The Story of Language | Episode 1
Welcome to The Story of Language: an original podcast series about language, linguistics, cognition, and culture. My name is Christian Saunders and I am an English teacher, and throughout this series I will be in discussion with Dan Everett: linguist, anthropologist, philosopher, and author. In this episode you will meet Dan, and we will talk about the story of his life, including his upbringing near the Mexican border, his research stays with hunter-gatherers in the Amazon jungle, hunting giant anacondas, his famous disagreement with Noam Chomsky, and what his lifetime of work can tell us about language, thought, and being human.
1:10:42
December 3, 2019
Task-based English learning (with Geoff Jordan)
In the world of English language teaching there are few people as controversial and divisive as Geoff Jordan. He is not afraid of promoting what he calls a radical approach to the problems in the ELT industry, how to fix them, and how to improve student learning outcomes in the classroom. And that’s why I had to talk to him, and in this interview we talk about all that, and more. I hope you enjoy it.
1:05:32
November 27, 2019
Daily Digest 06/11/19 | The secret to fluency in English
Today's daily digest answers a question I get asked every day: How can I get fluent in English? To answer this question we have to travel back in time to 1931, learn about chimpanzees and Klingons, and what that tells us about the secret to fluency in English.
14:51
November 6, 2019
Plurilingualism and culture (with Angelica Galante)
Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Angelica Galante from McGill University in Canada. Originally from Brazil, Angelica’s work focuses on social justice, inclusive education, and critical sociolinguistics. In this interview we talk about plurilingualism, language and culture, and how teachers and students can take advantage of their existing language resources to learn new languages better. I hope you enjoy it.
52:38
November 1, 2019
Daily Digest 24/10/19 | Why can't I speak fluent English?
Today's daily digest is a rant about why you might be part of the problem, and not the solution to good language learning (and teaching).
10:03
October 24, 2019
Improve your English IMMEDIATELY (with Pete from Aussie English)
In this podcast I talk to Pete from Aussie English about how to improve your English IMMEDIATELY, without learning anything new. We also talk about our personal experiences learning languages, and the history and evolution of swearing. CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE.
1:04:55
October 19, 2019
Daily Digest 17/10/19 | Speak English without fear
Today's daily digest explains why you are afraid of speaking English, and having conversations, and how you can overcome your fear and use your English in public confidently. I use evidence from clinical psychology and computer science to show you what really works, and why clowns are great role models.
13:54
October 17, 2019
Language and the brain (with Ev Fedorenko)
Recently I had the pleasure of speaking to cognitive neuroscientist Ev Fedorenko. She is head of EvLab, her own language lab at MIT, and their mission is to discover how minds and brains create language. In this interview we speak about the language architecture of the brain, adult language learning, and the difference between thought and language. I hope you enjoy it!
51:25
October 10, 2019
9/10/19 | The advantages of speaking bad English
Today's daily digest shows why having a low level of English, and a foreign accent, and only knowing a few key concepts, are all advantages when you first start learning a language. I hope you feel super motivated to get out there are USE your English after this!
19:11
October 9, 2019
Daily Digest 07/10/19 | Language is universal
Today's daily digest shows what Hindustani music, cave drawings, and Japanese psychology can teach us about linguistic universals, learning a language from zero, and what it means to be human.
20:34
October 7, 2019
Daily Digest 19/9/19 | Language and sexism
Today's daily digest talks about gendered languages, sexism, culture, and some common myths and misconceptions about the effect that language has on the way we think.
18:40
September 19, 2019
Input vs output in language learning (with Adele Goldberg)
In the world of linguistics, there are very few people with a resume as impressive as Adele Goldberg. She has had a major influence on the way we understand and study language. In this very special interview we talk about vocabulary learning, input vs output, and her language acquisition research.
29:46
September 18, 2019
Daily Digest 17/9/19 | Does language affect the way you think?
Today's daily digest shows how your brain is only interested in content, not language, and why it's so important to have something to say. It also shows how your culture can affect the way you think, and why you need to learn culture to get fluent in English.
19:51
September 17, 2019
Daily Digest 16/9/19 | An alien language with no verbs
Today's daily digest is a philosophical journey into the meaning of language, what it means to be human, how we could understand and speak alien languages, how we can talk to animals, and what all of that tells us about how to get fluent in English.
21:20
September 16, 2019
Practice and immersion (with Josh Hartshorne)
I always talk about how important patience is when you’re learning a language, because it’s really hard, and it takes a really long time, and recently I spoke to someone who knows that better than anyone: cognitive scientist Josh Hartshorne. In this interview we talk about the critical period, language acquisition, and the importance of immersion
34:19
September 11, 2019
The truth about non-native English teachers (with Marek Kiczkowiak)
In the world of English language learning and teaching there is an obsession with the native speaker. Recently I spoke to someone who explains exactly why that has to end: Marek Kiczkowiak from TEFL Equity Advocates. This class is essential viewing for anyone learning English, but especially non-native English teachers.
30:54
September 4, 2019
Daily Digest 30/8/19 | Learn with a flying penis
Today's daily digest shows how you can learn and especially teach language not with grammar and textbooks, but with ideas, concepts, discussion, and deep knowledge. And flying penises.
16:51
August 30, 2019
Daily Digest 29/8/19 | How to test your fluency
Today's daily digest is all about fluency. What is fluency? How can you test your fluency? How can you get fluency? You might be surprised at the answers to some of these questions.
15:41
August 29, 2019
The shape of language (with Peter Gärdenfors)
Unfortunately, most people view language as grammar, and rules, and concrete concepts. But we need to think about language differently. In this interview I speak to Peter Gärdenfors, professor of cognitive science at Lund University in Sweden. His interest in language spans human cognition, philosophy, evolution, and conceptual spaces. We talk about some of the more abstract elements of language and language learning and I hope it changes the way you see language.
22:58
August 27, 2019
Daily Digest 26/8/19 | Native language interference
Today's daily digest shows how things are hidden in language, and how your hidden native language structures interfere with your ability to be like a native speaker in English.
17:25
August 26, 2019
Daily Digest 23/8/19 | The TRUTH about language
Today's daily digest starts with a joke about politicians and then explains how they make us believe lies, what it tells us about the way our brains work, and the truth about language learning.
13:35
August 23, 2019
The myth of the native speaker (with David Crystal)
In this interview I talk to David Crystal: a legend in the world of the English language. He is a linguist, lecturer, and broadcaster, and he has written or edited over 100 books about language including the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English language. We talk about language change, the myth of the native speaker, and why learning languages is part of being human. I hope you enjoy it!
50:40
August 21, 2019
Daily Digest 20/8/19 | Understand native speakers easily
Today's daily digest shows the magic of eye contact and how a trick from the internet might help you to understand native speakers quickly and easily.
15:51
August 20, 2019
Daily Digest 16/8/19 | Why do native speakers talk so fast?
Today's daily digest explains why people from some languages appear to speak faster than others, and why syllables are not the same as information.
12:58
August 16, 2019
Daily Digest 15/8/19 | How to remember vocabulary
Today's daily digest talks about the science of vocabulary learning and why you are more likely to remember magicians and dogs, than newspapers and belts.
13:26
August 15, 2019
How to teach English (with Scott Thornbury)
Recently I had the pleasure of talking to Scott Thornbury, a giant in the world of English language teaching. He is a teacher, teacher trainer, award-winning author, and speaker, and he has been pushing for change in the way we teach languages for more than 20 years. We spoke about many different aspects of language teaching and learning, especially what teachers can do differently in the classroom and the importance of social learning. I hope you enjoy it.
48:13
August 14, 2019
Daily Digest 13/8/19 | Get patience to learn English
Today's daily digest talks about the real meaning of patience, where patience comes from, how to get patience, and why you need it if you want to get fluent in English.
19:37
August 13, 2019
Daily Digest 9/8/19 | How to get motivated to learn English
Today's daily digest talks about how motivation is a quality, not a quantity, and the important effect that can have on your language learning.
14:22
August 9, 2019
Daily Digest 8/8/19 | Language is a tool
Today's daily digest starts with a joke about an Englishman and then explains why language is as deeply human as food, water, and shelter.
13:33
August 8, 2019
How polyglots learn languages (with Steve Kaufmann)
In this interview I speak to Steve Kaufmann, a well-known polyglot who at the age of 73 has learnt 20 different languages. We talk about language learning, making mistakes, and why you should do the hard work to learn English.
43:22
August 7, 2019
Daily Digest 6/8/19 | Why you should learn English
Today's daily digest tells the story of a prison debate team and what it shows us about the power of education to change lives, and why it should motivate you to learn English.
16:11
August 6, 2019
Daily Digest 5/8/19 | More pronunciation practice
Today's daily digest continues with a joke about janitors and some pronunciation practice activities for Russian and Greek speakers.
17:19
August 5, 2019
Free education (with Mihalis from Language Transfer)
In the world of language teaching there are people who teach, and then there are others who go beyond simply teaching, and into real learning, and today I am talking to one of those people: Mihalis Eleftheriou, the creator of Language Transfer. Since 2011 he has been creating language courses in an incredible array of languages, including English, Greek, Arabic, and Swahili, and they are all completely FREE. In this video we talk about various topics including free education, teaching philosophy, activism, and saving the planet. I hope you enjoy this interview.
39:26
August 3, 2019
Daily Digest 2/8/19 | Pronunciation practice activities
Today's daily digest moves from pronunciation theory to practice. I am going to show you how Arabic, German, and Spanish speakers can improve their English pronunciation with some simple physical changes.
23:03
August 2, 2019
Daily Digest 1/8/19 | Babies and accents
Today's daily digest show the amazing accent abilities of 11-month-old babies, and what that tells us about the difference between accent and pronunciation.
15:00
August 1, 2019
Daily Digest 31/7/19 | Meatballs and pronunciation
Today's daily digest explains why most people practice pronunciation in the wrong way, how our human instruments are not perfect, and how Spanish meatballs and Polish faces tell us why we need to practice sounds together, not in isolation.
20:30
July 31, 2019
Daily Digest 30/7/19 | How to pronounce English
Today's daily digest shows what Thai and Arabic can teach us about the English alphabet, and why consonants are the only things that matter in pronunciation.
13:54
July 30, 2019
Daily Digest 29/7/19 | How do you feel lettuce?
Today's daily digest shows how some strange science involving gasoline, hydrogen, and lettuce might explain why we learn some words better than others.
15:45
July 29, 2019
Language and computing (with Steven Piantadosi)
In this interview I speak to Steven Piantadosi, assistant professor of the computation and language lab at UC Berkeley. We talk about language acquisition, how children learn vocabulary, and the future of translation tools. See you in class!
29:24
July 27, 2019
Daily Digest 25/7/19 | Subtitles or no subtitles?
Today's daily digest answers the question of whether you should watch English films and series with subtitles or no subtitles. And the answer might surprise you.
14:28
July 25, 2019
Daily Digest 24/7/19 | How do I learn English?
Today's daily digest answers a question that I get asked every day: "How do I learn English?". The answer involves elephants, bees, and children playing with toys.
14:54
July 24, 2019
Daily Digest 23/7/19 | Illusions and language learning
Today's daily digest explains what audio and video illusions can tell us about how our brains work, and the best way to prepare ourselves for fluent English. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
13:21
July 23, 2019
Daily Digest 22/7/19 | A photographic memory for English
Today's daily digest talks about why I seem to contradict myself, how children remember everything they hear, and what it tells about how adults might learn a language better.
15:55
July 22, 2019
Daily Digest 19/7/19 | Learn English by doing nothing
Today's daily digest talks about what sign language can tell us about spoken language: why children are more successful at learning than adults, and how we can learn by doing nothing. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
13:29
July 19, 2019
Daily Digest 18/7/19 | Your name controls your life
Today's daily digest talks about how sound symbolism can work in two directions, why you should change your name to pass that English exam, and how to describe a room full of tropical birds.ç You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
13:50
July 18, 2019
Daily Digest 17/7/19 | How to write better in English
Today's daily digest talks about how to learn how to write in English, and why you really have no excuses in 2019. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
12:43
July 17, 2019
Daily Digest 16/7/19 | Adults learn languages better than children
Today's daily digest is about a group of rich and irritating Greek philosophers, and why children DO NOT learn languages better than adults.
14:12
July 16, 2019
Daily Digest 15/7/19 - In defense of non-native English
Today's daily digest talks about the myth of beautiful and ugly language, and why the critics are wrong about non-native English.
17:26
July 15, 2019
Language and communication (with Daniel Everett)
In this interview I talk to one of the most important and influential people working in the field of language today about the origins of language, language learning, and communication. He shares tips and techniques he has learnt from over 30 years working as a linguist, author, and philosopher. See you in class!
37:56
July 13, 2019
Daily Digest 12/7/19 - Left and right
Today's daily digest talks about how superstition and bad science has led to hundreds of years of social and linguistic consequences for left-handed people.
13:36
July 12, 2019
Daily Digest 11/7/19 - Winking and blinking
Today's daily digest talks about having one eye closed, what it means in various cultures, and what it tells us about non-verbal communication.
13:49
July 11, 2019
English is a global language (with Jennifer Jenkins)
In this interview I talk with professor Jennifer Jenkins, the Chair of Global Englishes at the University of Southampton and the creator of ELF (English as a Lingua Franca). She has a unique perspective and insight into what it means to be a teacher, learner, and user of English in today's modern world. You will learn the truth about English native speakers, and English exams. See you in class!
58:20
July 11, 2019
Daily Digest 10/7/19 - Banks and bunks
Today's daily digest talks about my upcoming interview with Scott Thornbury, and also the relationship between benches, money, and myths. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish https://youtu.be/agy5l4u9QsY
13:17
July 10, 2019
Daily Digest 9/7/19 - Mondegreens and eggcorns
Today’s daily digest shows how words are formed by accidents, and the relationship between being full, and vegetables. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
18:47
July 9, 2019
Daily Digest 8/7/19 - Old vs new
Today’s daily digest is about how far we've advanced in 80 years, except with language learning and teaching. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
15:39
July 8, 2019
Daily Digest 5/7/19 - Hunting and hearing
Today’s daily digest starts with a mother-in-law joke, moves to an old English word which has become a fossil, and then explains why we need to stop studying and start communicating. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
18:02
July 5, 2019
Daily Digest 4/7/19 - Crushed rocks and gestures
Today’s daily digest goes back to the future, to incorporate various things that we have learned over the past few episodes. You will discover how adjectives, reduplication, and motor pathways in the brain are all key to language learning. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
16:58
July 4, 2019
Daily Digest 3/7/19 - Soldiers and teeth
Today’s daily digest story starts with a joke about a soldier, then moves to teeth, and finally to why we can’t change our accents.
17:45
July 3, 2019
Daily Digest 2/7/19 - Peaches and sour grapes
Today’s daily digest is about fruits, what they tell us about how we see the world, how we form adjectives, and where words come from. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
10:53
July 2, 2019
Daily Digest 1/7/19 - Pigs and Babies
Today’s daily digest is about pigs, chaos, repetition, and the importance of talking to children, especially if you’re poor. You can become my patron here: https://www.patreon.com/canguroenglish
11:27
July 1, 2019
Episode 9: The Pregnant Fireman
In this episode I am going to be talking about euphemisms, bears, and the magical power of language. See you in class!
16:06
March 18, 2019
Episode 8: It's ALIVE!!!
In this episode I'm going to be talking about language change, why we should learn to love it instead of hate it, and why language is exactly like Frankenstein’s monster. See you in class!
14:30
August 15, 2018
Episode 7: Thirty Million Words
In this episode I’m going to reveal the secret to fluency that is too good to be true, and show you how you can control the future, only by talking. See you in class!
12:49
June 12, 2018
Episode 6: Chinese Restaurants and Frank Sinatra
In this episode I talk about a fascinating language paradox, how it predicts the future of the English language, and how it explains why the music of Frank Sinatra is so damn good. See you in class!
12:06
April 29, 2018
Episode 5: Birds and Babies
In this episode I talk about HOW we learn to speak a language, and the incredible importance of the similarities between birds and babies. See you in class!
12:41
April 16, 2018
Episode 4: Fifty Words For Snow
In this episode I talk about words. What exactly are they? How do they represent ideas? Can they change the way we think? And you will finally discover the truth about how many words the Eskimos have for snow. See you in class!
17:53
March 19, 2018
Episode 3: The Magical Number 7 and A Clockwork Orange
In this episode I talk about how human memory works, and the best way to REALLY remember things when you're learning a language. See you in class!
14:16
February 23, 2018
Episode 2: Evry lidl ting is gona be aright
In this episode I talk about what English might sound like in 100 years. We will journey all the way from the time of Shakespeare to the year 2118 and find out why it might be time to start listening to Bob Marley. See you in class!
15:35
January 22, 2018
Episode 1: A Rose By Any Other Name
Welcome to the inaugural episode of the Canguro English podcast. In this episode I discuss the phenomenon of ‘misnaming’. I explain what it is, what it tells us about learning vocabulary, and why dogs are far superior to cats. See you in class!
14:11
January 8, 2018