How To Make 2019 Your Best Year For English

How To Make 2019 Your Best Year For English

So it’s that time again when we all decide to start over, make a fresh start and turn over a new leaf.  On your list of New Year’s Resolutions amongst the gym membership, giving up drinking and spending more quality time with your kids, is learning or improving your English. Photo by Vlad Bagacian from PexelsWe all know that you will probably succeed in some of these ventures for a short time but after three months (if you’re lucky) you’ll be back on the evening wine, working late and will have forgotten of which gym you are a member.

Jak se naučit anglicky v roce 2019?

Well, with my help, at least you have the opportunity to keep your eye on the ball when it comes to improving your English.  This is the time of year I get the most emails from people asking me for help, so let’s jump on that enthusiasm for self improvement and get down to it.

Click here for this week’s free cheat sheet – Your English Habit Blueprint

This Year Will Be Different

What usually happens, and I’m sure you are no exception, is that January 1st rolls around and you think “Right!, this is the year I finally crack English.” You start out with some loose plan to study for half an hour a day  but by the end of the first week you are exhausted, unmotivated, have already fallen off the wagon and missed the last three days. So, what’s the answer Richard? What is the solution? Read on …

Priorities, Time and Accountability

Your effort seems noble enough and it’s only half an hour so why couldn’t you stick to it? You have to be honest with yourself and decide where English sits in your priority list?  Is it the most important thing on your list or does it rank below regular exercise, nights out with friends or some other thing? Then you have to decide realistically how much time you can devote to your learning. Don’t think it all has to be sitting down, seriously studying books though. You are far more likely to maintain enthusiasm and commitment to English if you mix up your learning. For a list of ways to learn English get this free PDF sheet here. While half an hour a day might not seem much to some people, to others it’s a huge amount of time. So, how should you split up your time and how much can you guarantee for English?

Click here for this week’s free cheatsheet – Your English Habit Blueprint

Frequency

Remember that frequency is the key. Better 5 minutes per day than 35 minutes once a week. There is science behind how your English mobile phone applications work. New words and phrases are repeated at specific intervals to decrease how quickly you forget new information. eg. Day 1 – learn 10 new words, Day 2 – learn 10 more, Day 3 – Try to recall from memory your day 1 words. This is a simplified  example  but the process of trying to remember will help your brain to commit these words to your long term memory. Yes, it’s more difficult than simply re-reading your notes and repeating them allowed but it’s the way to make that new vocabulary stick. Then, as long as you continue to refresh those words by recalling them at increasingly longer intervals (and best of all using them in your writing and speech) they should become part of your embedded ‘go to’ vernacular. This method is called spaced repetition and it’s the idea on which I based my Better Your English Now video course. More about spaced repetition here.

Right, off you go, and remember, be honest about how much time you can spend and the frequency. I have made you a free cheat sheet to help you determine your strategy.  Click here to get this week’s freebie Your English Habit Blueprint.

Today’s idioms and their meanings:

start over – to start something again.

make a fresh start – to start something again

turn over a new leaf – start to act or behave in a better or more responsible way.

keep on the ball – To keep oneself very focused on something.

fall off the wagon – to return to any discontinued behavior, usually one that is detrimental in some way.

get round to it – to do something that you have intended to do for a long time

roll around – Occur / happen

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How to Improve Your English Speaking – Part 3 – What’s Your Motivation

How to Improve Your English Speaking – Part 3 – What’s Your Motivation

If you have just arrived here read this first – Almost Everything You Need to Learn English. It will give you the best overview to answer the question: ‘How to speak better English’. To find out more about how you can find your motivation, read on…

Motivation to Speak Better English
How to Speak Better English – Motivation

How to Speak Better English? – Motivation

From my point of view, motivation is so closely linked with number two on our list, goals. (If you haven’t seen my list of Almost Everything You Need to Learn English, click here.) However, to me, goals are concrete, specifc, measurable things wheras motivation is a more general concept. For example, your motivation might be; to be able to speak English well enough to use it on holiday, but, a goal would be; to hold a conversation with an English speaker for 10 minutes, talking about particular topics of interest, by a certain date. So to answer our question ‘How to speak better English’ we need to know…

What is motivation? What motivates you to do anything?

In scientific terms it is said that motivation has two parts; directional and activated. Directional motivation is that which moves you either towards a positive outcome or away from a negative one. If you want to be a fluent English speaker or at least speak better English, that is postive, going to English classes at work only because your boss will fire you if you don’t is negtive motivation.

Activated motivation is the seeking (looking for) and consequent liking of the process and is dependent on the amount of dopamine in your system. Anyway, I’m not a chemical scientist so I’ll stick to what I know best and concentrate on how motivation relates to learning how to speak better English.

What motivates you to learn English?

I don’t know! However, I can tell you what motivates me to learn Czech. Firstly, I live in the Czech Republic so being able to understand what is happening around me is immensly important. To be able to really understand your culture, I have to better understand your language. I love playing football and talking to people who are interested in football and this is a huge motivation for me to get better at Czech. I want to have deeper conversations about the culture of football as well as discussing the game itself. (The photo is of me with my friends from Berlin watching 1.F.C. Union Berlin.)

I also love films and would really like to be able to watch more Czech films without English subtitles. I am a big fan of Svěrak and Smoljak and, as well as watching their films, I would like to understand the Cimrman plays. I have been to the Žižkov theatre but to the English performaces, which are excellent, however, to fully understand a Czech performance and be part of a Czech audience would be magic! I’d like to help you find your motivation to speak better English but…

How can you find your motivation?

Think about reasons why bettering your English is a good idea, think about your interests in life, the things that really turn you on, and then try to connect the two together. If you really, really can’t think of something, maybe you have no reason or motivation, maybe you just don’t need to learn English after all. Make sure to read the action point at the end of this article so you can begin to learn how to speak better English. But before that, I thought this might be interesting for some of you…

Etymology of the word motivation.

Click here to go to the Etymonline site to read the etymology of the word ‘motivation’.

Dictionary definition of motivation

“that which inwardly moves a person to behave a certain way”

Czech translation

motivace;

Synonyms

Reason

Stimulus, motivator = stimul/podnět (stimulus in English)

What motivation does.

Motivation drives us forward, makes us get up in the morning, keeps us going when the going gets tough, prods us to take action, inspires us to be creative and gives us a positive, happy feeling (when it’s that positive motivation – striving towards something better). Learning a language is really a lifelong lesson, even in your native language, so having positive motivation is the base on which to build all the other aspects of striving to speak better English.

How to speak beter English? Take ActionAction to take to speak better English.

Right now, take out a pen and paper and start to ‘brain dump’ your ideas. Anything you can think of that might be a reason to learn English, write down all your interests and look for connections between the interests and the reasons. Think about and write down how your life could be improved by improving your English and how you could positively affect the world, or at least your small part of it, by being a better English communicator. I’d love to know how you get on, so let me know in the comments below.

OK, so that’s today’s article all wrapped up. I hope you have found some inspiration in it and will ‘get yourself motivated’. As we say in English, ‘there’s no time like the present’. Unless of course you are Homer Simpson then you’d say ‘Why do today what can be put off ’til tomorrow?’

Now read this article on goal setting to speak better English.

How to Improve Your English Speaking Part 2 – A Deeper Look

How to Improve Your English Speaking Part 2 – A Deeper Look

This is an updated version of my Almost Everything You Need to Learn English post from 2017.

Speak better English

Today I am going to tell you what have I learnt (or learned) about the best ways to learn English (or any foreign language). For the last five and a half years I have been living in the Czech Republic, helping Czechs and Slovaks to learn English. Mainly, I have focussed on spoken English because my clients want to improve their speaking and there is no better way to do that than to simply speak. Or is there?

Here is a vocabulary list of the words in bold and their English definitions

During these last six years I have learnt a huge amount about how to teach and how we learn. It is my intention, over the next few weeks, to tell you just what I have learnt and to go in depth into each of the ideas. Today I will give you an overview of what to look forward to in the coming weeks and it is my hope that you can use this information to create some kind of personal plan for learning. First things first, have you read my introduction to Speaking Better English? Great, so now let’s take a look at the main areas I want to focus on…

Motivation

Motivation to Learn English

Before you even start to learn English, you need to have motivation, a reason for learning. This could be as simple as wanting to take a holiday in a foreign country, where you know English will be indespensible, or it could be because you want a new job and English is a prerequisite for getting the position. If you have a solid reason for learning it can help motivate you to learn. If you are studying English because your boss told you to, I recommend you find some real motivation to spur you on and give you a reason to learn English. To continue reading more about how to motivate yourself, click here. (Will be posted Oct 25th)

Goals

Having difficult but attainable goals will also spur you on. Long term goals are good but you also need more short and medium term goals, which, when you achieve them, will give you a boost and show you that you are making progress. I suggest even making goals for each learning session and gamifying the tasks you have. Then there’s the Pomadoro technique. You can read more about that and other goal setting ideas here.

English habitsHabits

Decide to have good habits. That is a choice you must make; to practise regularly and frequently. You simply must make time and prioritize your English. It doesn’t have to be THE most important thing in your life but it must have a prominent place.

 

Repetition and Review

I know, this is one of the 150 year old schooling methods that I mentioned earlier but it does have it place within an ultimate learning method. There are two reasons why it has remained the mainstay of the mainstream school and that is primarily through laziness/conservativeness of the school system in general but secondly because it does work as a way of fixing information in your memory. A future blog post will go into more detail on the pros and cons of how you can utilize this technique.

 

Confidence

Build your confidence right from the start. There are numerous ways you can do this, even if you are a really shy person or someone who is ashamed of their level of English. One quick tip for you today is to make a list of all the words you can find that are the same or similar in Czech and English. You immediately then have a ‘go to’ vocabulary. Start using these words as often as possible to send your brain the message that these words are OK!  You can meet with a native speaker, read books and watch video/tv/films; label everything in your home or office; Take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Take a holiday in a native speaking country and use what you know.

Make Mistakes

I am always telling people to STOP APOLOGIZING when they make a mistake. This is a terrible learned habit from your childhood when you were chastised for you errors by your parents and teachers. You were only trying to answer a question or do some task and because you got it wrong they shouted, scolded, punished, restricted and withheld. It is difficult to overcome these feelings but it is possible. Visualization is the key, more on that later. Basically, be able to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Make mistakes your friend. RELAX, it’s OK, but DO LEARN FROM THEM. I also have a video course to help Czechs and Slovaks to correct some of the most common mistakes you make when speaking English.

Grammar (Oh no!)

Don’t learn English grammar in the traditional way (unless you’re a polyglot and find it easy), use my Faster Grammar For Speaking method . I will explain more about this is a later post but essentially  it is a mixed tense way of learning that focusses firstly on the grammar you need to speak about yourself. This is a system I have been developing for some time and I hope will be a massive help to anyone who considers themself a false beginner. For those of you who are struggling with the Present Perfect tense here is a little freebie for you. Just click on the book image and I’ll send you the Easy Guide to the Present Perfect ASAP.

Jak se nejlépe naučit anglicky?
Easy Guide to the Present Perfect FREE ebook

Visualization

Without doubt, the biggest elephant in the room that the education system, the world over, is ignoring. Visualization is the best way to remember vocabulary, full stop (or period if you want to speak American English)

Learning Styles

I have written and spoken many times on the subject of learning styles and thankfully it is something that is creeping into education systems. Use as many learning styles as possible and finding your most prominent learning style will increse you learning effectiveness. I will write more on this later but for now you can check out this older post of mine which will give you a basic understanding of what learning styles are for the uninitiated.

Listen

Unfortunately, I find this to be the one area most neglected  by Czech and Slovak English learners. You should try to listen to native speakers as much as possible. Radio, tv, films, podcasts, music, documentaries and real people. If you are lucky enough to live in Prague you have an unending supply of native speakers. Teachers of course, but also on the streets, in the pubs, restaurants, shops and cafes. Get out there and listen.

Immediate Action

When a word randomly comes into your mind, immediately (or as quickly as possible) find out its meaning, write it down and visualize it. Start using your new words in your writing and in conversation frequently to fix them in your vocabulary.

Ask for Help

When you don’t understand something, write it down and ask your English teacher/helper to explain it. If you have no-one, find someone or at least try to find some advice on You Tube.

Learn English language online with a personal native teacher! Register to italki now.

 

Get Creative with Your Notes

Write down anything interesting you find in English, new nouns, verbs, phrases, grammar rules, idioms, expressions or just interesting facts in English. But don’t stop at just writing in the usual boring (school taught) note-taking way. Get creative with your notes. Fill the page with your own drawings, cartooning the vocabulary and using different font styles, shapes and sizes.

Copy What You Hear

Imitate what you hear. Copy the speaker instead of just pronouncing words as you read them. If you really want to have something like a native speaker’s accent you need to copy what you hear. Don’t just say things the way it’s written or the way you learned it, listen to how a native speaker says it. Be consistent with your pronunciation though and choose a particular accent rather than mixing and matching because this will lead to misunderstandings for sure. There exists an idea of a generic or sterotypical British and American accent when there really is no such thing. Both countries have a multitude of different accents. If you are interested, I posted about British accents on my facebook page here.

Next week I will expand upon motivation to learn English and try to help you find yours and give you actionable steps to find it.

Do you have a plan for learning? A method? A system? Tell me how you learn English in the comments below.

Jak se nejlépe naučit anglicky?

Jak se nejlépe naučit anglicky?

Today I am going to tell you what have I learnt (or learned) about the best ways to learn English (Jak se nejlépe naučit anglicky). For the last five and a half years I have been living in the Czech Republic, helping Czechs and Slovaks to learn English. Mainly, I have focussed on spoken English because my clients want to improve their speaking and there is no better way to do that than to simply speak. Or is there?

Here is a vocabulary list of the words in bold and their English definitions

During these last five years I have learnt a huge amount about how to teach and how we learn. It is my intention, over the next few weeks, to tell you just what I have learnt and to go in depth into each of the ideas. Today I will give you an overview of what to look forward to in the coming weeks and it is my hope that you can use this information to create some kind of personal plan for learning. First things first…

Motivation

Before you even start to learn English, you need to have motivation, a reason for learning. This could be as simple as wanting to take a holiday in a foreign country, where you know English will be indespensible, or it could be because you want a new job and English is a prerequisite for getting the position. If you have a solid reason for learning it can help motivate you to learn. If you are studying English because your boss told you to, I recommend you find some real motivation to spur you on and give you a reason to learn English. Click here for more on motivation.

Goals

Having difficult but attainable goals will also spur you on. Long term goals are good but you also need more short and medium term goals, which, when you achieve them, will give you a boost and show you that you are making progress. I suggest even making goals for each learning session and gamifying the tasks you have. To read about my favourite method for setting goals click here.

good_bad_habits_largeHabits

Decide to have good habits. That is a choice you must make; to practise regularly and frequently. You simply must make time and prioritize your English. It doesn’t have to be THE most important thing in your life but it must have a prominent place. Read more here about how to create great habits and replace bad ones.

Repetition and Review

I know, this is one of the 150 year old schooling methods that I mentioned earlier but it does have it place within an ultimate learning method. There are two reasons why it has remained the mainstay of the mainstream school and that is primarily through laziness/conservativeness of the school system in general but secondly because it does work as a way of fixing information in your memory. A future blog post will go into more detail on the pros and cons of how you can utilize this technique.

 

Confidence

Build your confidence right from the start. There are numerous ways you can do this, even if you are a really shy person or someone who is ashamed of their level of English. One quick tip for you today is to make a list of all the words you can find that are the same or similar in Czech and English. You immediately then have a ‘go to’ vocabulary. Start using these words as often as possible to send your brain the message that these words are OK!  You can meet with a native speaker, read books and watch video/tv/films; label everything in your home or office; Take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Take a holiday in a native speaking country and use what you know. More about gaining confidence here.

Make Mistakes

I am always telling people to STOP APOLOGIZING when they make a mistake. This is a terrible learned habit from your childhood when you were chastised for you errors by your parents and teachers. You were only trying to answer a question or do some task and because you got it wrong they shouted, scolded, punished, restricted and withheld. It is difficult to overcome these feelings but it is possible. Visualization is the key, more on that later. Basically, be able to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Make mistakes your friend. RELAX, it’s OK, but DO LEARN FROM THEM. I also have a video course to help Czechs and Slovaks to correct some of the most common mistakes you make when speaking English. This article is a good place to go to read abou mistakes mine included!)

Grammar (Oh no!)image-.jpg

Don’t learn English grammar in the traditional way (unless you’re a polyglot and find it easy), use my Faster Grammar For Speaking method . I will explain more about this is a later post but essentially  it is a mixed tense way of learning that focusses firstly on the grammar you need to speak about yourself. This is a system I have been developing for some time and I hope will be a massive help to anyone who considers themself a false beginner. If you are struggling with the dreaded present perfect tense, click on the picture to get my Easy Guide to the Present Perfect free ebook.

Visualization

Without doubt, the biggest elephant in the room that the education system, the world over, is ignoring. Visualization is the best way to remember vocabulary, full stop (or period if you want to speak American English)

Learning Styles

I have written and spoken many times on the subject of learning styles and thankfully it is something that is creeping into education systems. Use as many learning styles as possible and finding your most prominent learning style will increse you learning effectiveness. I will write more on this later but for now you can check out this older post of mine which will give you a basic understanding of what learning styles are for the uninitiated.

Listen

Unfortunately, I find this to be the one area most neglected  by Czech and Slovak English learners. You should try to listen to native speakers as much as possible. Radio, tv, films, podcasts, music, documentaries and real people. If you are lucky enough to live in Prague you have an unending supply of native speakers. Teachers of course, but also on the streets, in the pubs, restaurants, shops and cafes. Get out there and listen.

Immediate Action

When a word randomly comes into your mind, immediately (or as quickly as possible) find out its meaning, write it down and visualize it. Start using your new words in your writing and in conversation frequently to fix them in your vocabulary.

Ask for Help

When you don’t understand something, write it down and ask your English teacher/helper to explain it. If you have no-one, find someone or at least try to find some advice on You Tube.

Learn English language online with a personal native teacher! Register to italki now.

 

Get Creative with Your Notes

Write down anything interesting you find in English, new nouns, verbs, phrases, grammar rules, idioms, expressions or just interesting facts in English. But don’t stop at just writing in the usual boring (school taught) note-taking way. Get creative with your notes. Fill the page with your own drawings, cartooning the vocabulary and using different font styles, shapes and sizes. Look at Mike Rohde’s Sketchnotes site for a beautiful way to take notes.

Copy What You Hear

Imitate what you hear. Copy the speaker instead of just pronouncing words as you read them. If you really want to have something like a native speaker’s accent you need to copy what you hear. Don’t just say things the way it’s written or the way you learned it, listen to how a native speaker says it. Be consistent with your pronunciation though and choose a particular accent rather than mixing and matching because this will lead to misunderstandings for sure. There exists an idea of a generic or sterotypical British and American accent when there really is no such thing. Both countries have a multitude of different accents. If you are interested, I posted about British accents on my facebook page here.

Now go to this article to learn about motivation to learn English.

Do you have a plan for learning? A method? A system? Tell me how you learn English in the comments below.

The Most Common Mistakes You Make.

The Most Common Mistakes You Make.

So, you’ve got a lecture or class to take in English next week. Maybe you’ve got an interview coming up for a job that requires English. You want to improve your basics fast and cut out those silly mistakes so you don’t sound like an idiot. What about those English emails at work? They aren’t going to correct themselves and you told your boss you can speak and understand English, right?

You need to know two things. One, what are the mistakes you’re making. Do you know? I bet you know some of them, but others you are not even aware of. Two, how do you correct those mistakes and bad habits (like forgetting to put an S on the end of verbs for he/she/it etc.) and how do you remember them?

Now, you know me. I like mistakes, it shows that you’re trying and not afraid. That’s great  of course, but, if you really want to improve quickly, one thing you can do is correct a few of those nejběžnější chyby v angličtině. I’m sure I made plenty of mistakes in my last post, which I wrote in Czech.

Luckily for you, over the last five years I have made notes on the most common mistakes that my students make and I’ve made a great, online, video course to help you correct many of those English mistakes. You can sign up for the mini course for FREE here and find out about your most common mistakes and how to fix them. Enter your email and I’ll send you the link. Entry is via email link only so sign up now or you might miss out.

Today, I’m going to focus on one of your most common mistakes. Confusing when to use come and go, and came, got and went.  An example of a typical mistake would be when we are sitting in a cafe and you say to me, “I came home from work at 6pm yesterday.” This is wrong because we are not in your home, we are in a cafe and where you are dictates which verb to use. You could remember to ‘come here’ and ‘go there’ but it’s not as simple as that.

In order to ‘come’ you usually need to be in the place you are referring to. I came home at ten yesterday.’ This means you are at home now.

If you are not at home we would naturally say ‘I got home at ten yesterday. (not ‘I came home’) but you can also use got if you are at home.

Of course, this being English, there are exceptional cases. If I have planned to meet some friends in a restaurant and I also want to invite you, I would say ‘Why don’t you come and join us? Or, ‘Come to the restaurant tomorrow.’ In this instance I am not in the restaurant now but I am planning to be there before you arrive and you will therefore come to meet me.

However, if you are talking about the time that you left somewhere (not the time you arrived home) then we would use went. ‘I was at the party but I went home (left the party) at midnight.’

go-sign-16620If you want to send somebody somewhere (away) and you will not be with them then use go. ‘Go to the cinema on your own, I don’t like Star Wars.’ (not come to the cinema). If you are inviting me to go with you to the cinema then you can use either come or go. ‘Will you come/go to the cinema with me tomorrow?’

Compare these similar situations:

‘Will you come to my house for the party next week?’ (I will be there)

‘Will you go to my house to pick up my keys please?’ (I have forgotten my keys. I left them at home. I am not there now and I will not be there when you get there to pick up the keys.

‘I went home at 11.’ (You are not at home now and you are talking about the time you left somewhere else)

‘I came home at 11.’ (You are at home now)

‘I got home at 11.’ (You could be either at home or not at home)

If you want it explained in Czech, HelpforEnglish.cz has a good explanation here.

Next week, ‘What are the best ways to correct your most common mistakes and other ways to learn?’ video-player-richard-hill-english

I’ll talk again about learning styles and if you liked today’s content but prefer video to reading then take my FREE Most Common Mistakes Mini Course. Remember, admission to this free course is available to everyone on my email list but you need to sign up for it by sending me an email from this box below. I will send you the link when the course opens in the next few days.

I know that you will get massive value from this course and it will benefit you in many ways, not least, making your English sound a little more native, smoother and more intelligible.

That’s all from me for today. Remember, ‘every day’s a school day’ so let me learn from you by telling me what you think are the most common mistakes Czechs and Slovaks make when speaking English. Leave a comment below and sign up for the course above.

Richard.

Muj Špatný Češtinu

Muj Špatný Češtinu

Pamatujete že ja jsem Anglický rodilý mluvčím?  Tak že, tadz mám problěm protože dneska musím napsát vaše blog v Čestině. Asi, ne, určitě, poynáte že muj řada slovu je jako Anglickz.

Ahhh… musím vzpnout 4esk7 kl8visnice kvůli muj y a z je správný.

Pokračuju… Zkouším napsát bez používajici slovník i překládač tak uvidíme jestli umíte mi rozumět. A, proč udělám Český blog kdzž vždycky psám v Angličtině?  Odpovězda je ukázat že nemusíte být perfektní být rozumění.

Jestli vaše gol je být rozumění je to duležitý jenom že máte důvěra zkoušit ynova a znova (Sakra!)  Mnohu Český lidi vubec říct ani nic protože “to není perfekt”, “to není dobrý”. Slište mě! ear-clip-art-McLLy6RXiNe bude lepšit bez zkoušení. Nevadí jak špatně vás Angličký jazýk, většinu rodilý mluvčí vy pomoc s trpělivostem.

Dneska ten blog bude krátký protože pro mě napsát na počitač trvalo mi hodně dlouhá. Měl jsem nějáký knihy se učit Česky ale pro mě nefungovat. Ja vím že dělám hodně chyby. Máte nějaký jiný nápady pro mě? Doufám že ano. Dolu mužete mi pomoc v commentsu. Dík. 🙂

Přes přístí dva týdnu budu napsát o vaše nejběžnější chyby a jak je opravit. Těšte se na videa mini kurz Zdarma.

Dolu řeknete mi co myslíte co je nejběžnější chyby.

Čau for now.

P.S. Mužete mi  sledovat kliknutím na FOLLOW.

 

Where’s My Television?

Where’s My Television?

Me and my big ideas!  I have long been extolling the virtues (saying how good something is) of a TV-free home (not having a TV) and often suggested to my family the idea of removing the television from our house.

Click here for a vocabulary list of the words and phrases in bold.

I’m sure the benefits are obvious to most of you; more quality time spent with your family, more meaningful conversations, less distractions and increased ability to concentrate etc. It was with all this in mind that last week I again made the suggestion that we could try a week without television as an experiment.  No Minimax corrupting my children’s brains with adverts for plastic crap they really don’t need, no Ordinace v Ružové Zahradě killing my wife’s brain cells with its mindnumbingly boring stories and personally less time wasted pretending I’m learning something by watching repeated episodes of TimeTeam on the History channel and bike races from Azerbaijan I have no real interest in on Eurosport.

Subscribe to this blog using the ‘Follow’ button on the left.

kid in front of tv

In English we use the word programme to mean a show ie. The Simpsons, Československo Má Talent. When you program in Czech we say channel eg. Nova Cinema, CT1, Prima Cool. Česká Televize is a TV station.  In short:

  • A TV Station broadcasts the shows and it may have more than one channel.
  • A TV Channel is the frequency being used.
  • A serial is a programme with one story split into many episodes.
  • An episode is díl in Czech.
  • A TV series has the same characters every week but different plots (stories).
  • A season is a collection of episodes.

BBC-Logo

So, as an example; the BBC is a station, BBC1 is a channel, Lost is a serial and Lost has six seasons. The Big Bang Theory is a series and in season 9 there were 24 episodes. Got that? (Do you understand?)

Anyway, back to the case in point and two days ago Radka said to me “OK!, Yes, let’s do it.” So, we decided to remove the TV from the living room the following day (yesterday).  It was then that I realised my mistake…

tv football

I love football, it’s one of my main interests; I play it, I go to stadiums and most importantly for this blog post, I watch it on TV. Those of you who are football fans will already see my error.  Starting today is the European Championships in France. Usually, for these big tournaments (the Euros and World Cup) I watch every game, not just the England and Czech Republic games.  So what am I to do now?  Our gogglebox is hidden away at my request and with it the chance to watch the best footballers in Europe fight it out for the title of Champions of Europe. I can’t believe I didn’t think this through properly.

Does anyone want to invite me to their house to watch a game?

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