Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes 0:02
The DIESOL podcast

Brent Warner 0:04
developing innovation in English as a Second or Other Language.

Ixchell Reyes 0:08
Episode 85 – Skipping the Summer Slide

Brent Warner 0:25
Welcome to DIESOL, this is episode 85. We are your hosts. I’m Brent Warner.

Ixchell Reyes 0:31
And I’m Ixchell Reyes. Ni Hao, Ni Hao.

Brent Warner 0:35
Oh, Zai Jien. You’re back. You’re back, right?

Ixchell Reyes 0:42
I’m back from Taiwan. Yeah, that’s right.

Brent Warner 0:44
Yeah. Lots of kind of. So both of us have had a wild, several weeks here. And we missed the last episode, which is we missed like one or two over the years, I think but, but not a lot. But this one we did miss. You were kind of in the process of wrapping up and moving back. I will, I told you, I posted this – my father passed away, which is, you know, of course, that’s going to take up a massive amount of time and everything. And so that’s been a little difficult, but also also my semester ended and I am doing the opposite of you, Ixchell, finally. Which is I am packing up to move. And while you were in Japan before, now, I will be in Japan. Sometime during the summer. I’m not sure between which episodes will actually end up landing there. But But

Ixchell Reyes 1:39
That is so cool. It’s finally here.

Brent Warner 1:41
Yeah, so my sabbatical project is starting or will be starting underway. And I’m moving to Japan to do all that for one year. So it should be pretty exciting. And if anyone – listeners out there in Japan and want to do a meet up or anything like that, please feel free to reach out. I’d be super stoked. I’ll be in the Kansai area. So how are you liking back in Texas?

Ixchell Reyes 2:08
Well, it’s actually cold compared to where San Antonio is actually usually pretty warm or humid. But we’ve been getting lots of rain which is needed. I do like that. I don’t have to drive very far to work. Yeah, but I do miss my colleagues, I met a lot of really cool people there.

Brent Warner 2:29
Yes, the the the 10 minute commute is significantly better than the two hour commute

Ixchell Reyes 2:35
Significantly better (laughter)

Brent Warner 2:38
Well, welcome back. So today Ixchell we’re talking about summer and, you know, the summer slide and all of that. So. So let’s just dive right

Ixchell Reyes 2:51
in, jump right in, slide right in your mouth. All right. So school is out for the summer, I think I saw put posts of people graduating, and their flight tickets back home, you know, a lot of the students are going to be returning to visit their families. And inevitably, um, they’re not going to be using as much English just because they’re going to be in a non English speaking country. And a lot of the time students will worry about how their skills will survive the summer, I guess, they worry that they’re going to decrease. So we thought that it would be a good idea to talk about how to come up with different ideas that where students can still practice independently for the summer.

Brent Warner 3:44
Yeah, so you might want to kind of as you’re listening, you might want to gather some of these and send them off to to your students, if you’re if you haven’t gotten out of classes yet, you can send them along. If you have, you could maybe do this as part of like a wrap up email for your students, you know, whatever is going on. But, but for sure students do worry about this. And, you know, we titled it under, you know, skipping the summer slide. And to be clear, Ixchell, I know, we have some academics that are that listen, and the summer slide is a contentious idea, right? So some people were like, well hold on a second, that’s not you know, there’s issues with the idea, do we have actual learning loss during the summer or not? It still needs to be studied more. And so but regardless, you know, on a personal level, I’ve certainly felt that like I haven’t claimed this for a couple of months and lose it. Yeah, use it or lose it. So I think we’re just going to kind of keep keep with the, you know, the academics can keep on coming, but the common sense and personal experiences, because we’re we’re talking about it for today so and Ixchell did you feel this? You know, in your language learning, do you feel like hey, a couple a couple months off or a couple whatever, like I lost a lot or what have you. Yeah,

Ixchell Reyes 4:55
I just think in general with with Jeff pennies. For example, when I was studying Japanese, there were times when I would, I would be in Japan, but I’d be listening to people. And I never really spoke. So I was still surrounded by Japanese. But then I realized later on when I tried to communicate in Japanese, the words weren’t coming, I could understand, but the words were not coming. And we know that expressing yourself can be difficult to do if you’re, if you’re waiting for 10 seconds for the word to come, you know, to register from your brain. So yes, absolutely. And it happens to in Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish all the time. And I do hear my mom’s speak Spanish and my sister speak Spanish and French speak Spanish, but if I don’t use it, the word does not come out. Yeah, yeah. So it just it’s, it becomes frustrating when you’re trying. So then you revert to English or, you know, whatever language you can express yourself best in. So I think that’s, that’s been my experience. And I’m guessing you you use Japanese all the time?

Brent Warner 6:05
I do. But it’s limited, you know, like, it’s at home. Japanese, I guess, right with my family. But. But it’s, you know, there’s limitations on it. And I often catch myself going like, I know this word, but I can’t say it, or I can’t find it, or whatever it is. And that’s part of the normal learning process and everything. But it’s also very much a case where it’s like, Oh, I haven’t used this word in a year. And so

Ixchell Reyes 6:29
yeah, cuz the neural connection, the brain is trying to be efficient, so it’s not going to retrieve it as fast, right? So for the academics out there.

Brent Warner 6:39
So we’re looking for a few ways to maybe help people help the students keep going help teachers encourage the students to kind of keep themselves up with things. Hopefully, our ideas are not too I don’t know, high stress or demanding. I think part of you know, different students are going to respond to these in different ways. But I’ll say that we’re kind of aiming this at the student who is asking, you know, like, hey, what am I what can I do during the summer? Like, we’re not going to have classes? Or how do I keep up because I do get those kind of ambitious students, you know, not every student will want to do other things. And I get that too, but, but I think that at least giving people some options for like, Hey, here’s a few ways that you can, at least not let things slip too much. If you’re not maybe if you’re not totally actively building, although some of these ideas might also help students build as well. So I think we’re building we’re talking really about, like, a lot of these ideas are kind of social options, or you know, but some of them are also one on one or, you know, like study alone.

Ixchell Reyes 7:41
I think that it’s also important to remind students that the whole process of retaining language or practicing language should still have some element of fun and enjoyment, because I did have in Taiwan, I had, I talked to some of my students, my higher level students, and I asked them, Okay, so I introduced you to this Netflix series, how are you know, now you’re interested in it. And then they came back and said, I watched it in, in in Chinese first, and then I watched it in English, and I’m watching it again for a third time, and I have all these notes, and I thought, but the drill fun. It’s not meant to be a punishment. So there should be some kind of, I guess, you know, the ideas that we’re giving, allow the student to choose how invested or how in depth to go to go with them. But there it should, it should still allow for some fun.

Brent Warner 8:30
Yeah, yeah, I agree. And, and that’s the thing is, like, if you’re gonna watch a show three times, and this is what I tell my students to is, like, great if you like that show. And if you’re, if you’re wanting to watch it three times, or if it’s a you know, because there are shows that will absolutely go back and revisit, right, or movies that were like, hey, I can watch this thing 100 times because I like it so much. But if you’re going for something that’s brand new, you’re taking a risk on like, Hey, I’m going to be investing an hour and a half or two hours into watching this and I know I’m going to be doing that again and again. You know, again, it’s it’s everyone’s gonna have their own punishment or burden. Right? It’s your choice, you’re choosing the materials, you’re choosing what’s going on. So like it make it fun for yourself. I always try to tell my students there’s so much and so many times they have like the learning process in their head is like a it’s a grind, right? And so yeah, memories

Ixchell Reyes 9:20
gonna memorize gonna watch again, if you’re not in pain, it’s not learning.

Brent Warner 9:25
Yeah, so it’s like, so we do have to work on shifting their perspective on what doing all of that stuff means as well, but yeah. Okay, so. So we have a number of ideas, and again, total flexibility and how much you think students individually should be approaching these things. As teachers, you might want to go out there and explore these a little bit just before you say, Hey, this is something that I want to work with, but let’s get into the list a little bit. So I’m gonna I’m gonna jump us over all right, Ixchell, you came up with the first idea what is it?

Ixchell Reyes 9:59
Yeah. A first idea is to have an English movie marathon. And that can be done with friends. Or if you’re actually, if you’re still working, you know, this, this happens. This particularly I’m thinking of the English teachers I met in Taiwan will still be working and teaching, but they should have like a fun summer thing that they can do with colleagues. So you could try the most recent films, or you could try some that you are, you’ve already seen in your own language. So you know, you’re gonna enjoy it, but now watch it in English. And it’s a really good way to talk about expose yourself to different genres, especially if you’re watching with with other people, because you’ll be exposed to something that they liked that you may not have particularly chosen.

Brent Warner 10:45
Yeah, I liked that idea. I liked the I like it, you know, the kind of the old concept of, I’m gonna bring something and you don’t know what I’m gonna bring? Yeah, man, we’re gonna, we’re gonna watch it. And then, and then we’ll talk about it over, you know, snacks and drinks or whatever else.

Ixchell Reyes 11:01
And you can have themes, you could say, all right, bring your favorite movie for Valentine’s Day, or whatever it is, you know, and then it could be something like, completely not related, but still, that person shows it and it’s still fun. It’s fun.

Brent Warner 11:15
Yeah. And again, you know, like just thinking through this as possibilities. And it really depends on your personality type, if you’re into this, but I’m also thinking like, some people, when they do these types of events, you know, they like to present a little bit. So like, you could do it, if you wanted to, you could say, hey, after, after the movie, I’m going to be the one to lead a little bit of a discussion on it, or, you know, I’m going to ask you some questions about it, or whatever else it is. So those might just be some lightwaves for, for the learner to kind of go through and say like, Hey, here’s some, here’s some, some things that I learned from this. And you can, again, I want to be very careful about how I present this, but you can go very deep into like, hey, let’s practice this and study with it. Or you can go very, very light and just say, hey, let’s just have some fun and hang out together and practice a little bit of English, right? Because I can imagine also some people going like, hey, let’s, you know, here’s some examples of some vocabulary words that we could use to talk about this movie. And let’s do some vocabulary talking through it, or, you know, or it could just be like, did you like it? What was your favorite part? You know, a few, a few really simple things. And so, so again, it’s that giving the control back to the student or giving you know, giving the learner the opportunity to choose how they want to move with it can be tons of fun for them. And again, Summer, summer, and movies are like a great combination, right? Just heat get a get a cold drink, hang out with your friends, right, all that stuff. So I love it. Okay, so I’ve got a next one here. I am going to we’re gonna jump around on this list a little bit here. Sure all if you’re okay with that. So let’s let’s keep talking about the movie part a little bit. I found this plugin I guess for for Google Chrome, which is called language reactor. Have you heard of this? No. Okay, I

Ixchell Reyes 13:06
have not that’s new to me.

Brent Warner 13:07
So this thing is wild. It’s it’s a pretty let me let me share screen with you. While while I talk about it, I know everybody listening will not be able to see what I’m talking about. But just to give a little bit of a sense of what we’re what we’re looking at here is this is it, basically you choose the language that you’re trying to learn inside of there. So that could be English, right, and you choose your native language and you choose whatever other language you’re interested in learning. And then you go in, and you can watch like Netflix or YouTube are actually a bunch of different other things. But basically, it’s got a lot of different parts to it, but it will pull up the transcript as the movies going. And so it’ll highlight the transcript or the text is as the movie is happening. And then it will also give you the direct translation. So the word for word translation, as well as kind of the natural language translation and how people would say it in the other language. So so if you’re, if the students are studying English, let’s say they’re watching a movie in a different language, they could be studying English, or you could be studying whatever language, but it’ll give you different versions of those. And then you can also click on individual words and get like the vocabulary dictionary, and you can save those words into it. And so it’s really actually a quite in depth tool here. And I think it’s totally free. I’m just kind of learning about it a little bit here. But it’s, it’s actually pretty. If you wanted to get into it, you can plug it in, you can watch YouTube, you can watch Netflix, you can take out all the data so you can actually strip out everything and put it into like a spreadsheet if you’re into like getting that kind of nerdy with things. And so, yeah, so it’s called language reactor. And it’s a really interesting tool that I want to explore a little bit more and see how it can work for students. But, but very, you have the opportunity to either Be kind of passive or pretty proactive in your learning as you’re watching things you’re interested in.

Ixchell Reyes 15:06
Cool, that is cool. Yeah. Can’t wait to try it out too. Yes, it’s

Brent Warner 15:11
worth, it’s really I’m actually like, I’m gonna be putting plugging it in with Japanese as I go over the next year to refresh myself to

Ixchell Reyes 15:19
cool. So the next activity that I think would be fun to do is like the regular journal, but let’s summer journal, but doing it in English. And I have a couple of students who do this and just throughout the year, they do English photo journals, but they do it on Instagram. So every weekend, they post something like if they’re cooking, they’ll explain it in like two minutes or so. So it’d be kind of cool to have something that that students are publishing online, or it could be a physical journal, and about summer adventure. So it doesn’t have to be shared, it could be something that they’re doing just personally privately. And if they don’t know what to write about, they can always ask chat GPT for a daily prompt.

Brent Warner 16:09
Absolutely. Also want to add in there too, I think, just as a piece of advice. For some students, I think some students are hesitant to start doing too much English or whatever it is on their social media because they don’t maybe they’re a little embarrassed or, or they’re nervous that someone’s going to come and complain about their language or whatever else it is, right. And so one thing that I was thinking with any of these is, you can always just make a separate account, right? Like it’s, Hey, this is my my hidden Instagram account, or it doesn’t even have to be hidden, but you can actually just type Yeah, will entitle it in a way that shows Hey, I’m using this to study English, right? So it could be something like, you know, Brent studies English. You know what I mean? Like an anonymous? Yeah, I mean, you can keep it pretty pretty well, you can tell people what you’re doing with it too, right? So that they recognize it. When they see it. They’re like, okay, hold on a second, the reason that you’re posting this way is because, you know, maybe not all the English language is perfect. And then then it becomes more obvious to people what they’re looking at, I guess. And so I would encourage people, yeah, you can be anonymous, of course. But you can also straight up tell people the purpose of this is for me to study English and therefore, like that, that can put down some of the burden on you to be perfect to say like, Hey, imperfect, but but practicing, right? So. So I would encourage that too, because I know a lot of a lot of my students have multiple Instagram accounts, they have their like, what are these called the for Instagram? Stuff, Insta? Yeah, and et cetera. So. So all of those things are ways that you can just tie it right back into your language learning as well. Oh, yeah, you’re gonna go have a second part to this, right.

Ixchell Reyes 18:00
Yeah, I was going to say, for those for those students who want to take the risk, or practice and take the risk and actually commit to one minute English videos explaining or sharing something. I think that that, that really helps. And I watched a lot of short one minute, Instagram stories where someone is teaching something really simple in Chinese, for example, or Japanese. But they’re very, very short. And it could be something like, repeating how to say hello, three times and in both languages, and that’s something that’s pretty, it’s a small risk. And it’s pretty easy. And again, it it helps to lower this the affective filter, and it helps you to build confidence. And then those are actually really useful for people who are learning were emerging learners.

Brent Warner 18:55
Absolutely. And remember, like, total beginner level all the way up, right? Like when you’re teaching you’re learning. And so, so if you’re just telling people, Hey, this is how I say hello, right. And this is the, you know, this is how I adjust my pronunciation or whatever else it is. It can be really, it can be really beneficial. And, again, I wanted to like the social media side of things. It doesn’t matter how many likes you get on any of these things, right? It doesn’t matter. You can turn that off. Yeah, you can turn it all off and just just focus on the work. Yeah. So. So I’m going to connect to a longer version of that. So that’s the kind of one minute getting started with things. But I know that some students are really interested in you know, more in depth work. And so as they’re becoming more advanced, then they might be interested in starting a podcast or a YouTube channel or something like that. Where they go into deeper explanations of things. And also I’m just going to encourage that it doesn’t have to be language stuff, right? It could be a Could just be whatever you’re interested in doing. So, you know, I have a student who, you know, plays the learning to play the, the ukulele, right. And so they made videos, and then they started saying, hey, you know, here’s how I’m playing this, this is the, these are the chords that I learned this week, and then they just show a little bit of that and, but being able to talk about those things in English was their goal. So like learning to say things like, I’m playing this chord, or, you know, I’m, I’m, you know, here I’m holding the neck. And the reason I like this song is because it, you know, it makes me feel happy, you know, whatever else it is, right? And so, so they can go into longer things. If it’s a YouTube video, it’s videos, like teaching how to do things, if it’s a podcast, it might be a stories about certain things. You know, I mean, we’ve talked so much about, like what people can do with podcasts in the past, but, but again, same type of thing is the I have students that I introduced podcasting to several years ago, and they still do it like, hey, once a week, once a month, I just kind of am recording and putting something up there. And my family can listen to it back home, or my you know, whatever, or I can share it out with people as I’m kind of going, but really, it’s more for me and not for anybody else. And that’s really the approach I’m talking about here.

Ixchell Reyes 21:19
Very, very cool. The other thing that students can do is to join or start in English challenge on social media or with friends. And we found a cool website called the 30 day English challenge, someone has already created a 30 day template for different activities. So of course, that can be customizable, if you think can’t do if you can’t do 30 days. But again, it started has some pretty cool ideas like finding a joke in English listening to a TED talk about language. Taking an online personality quiz, listening to favorite songs, reading horoscope in English, so a lot of those are fun, and they’re all varied activities. They’re all very doable, they don’t take very long. So I think that it would be kind of cool to have, you know, students in your class to see how many of those activities you could complete over the course of the summer if you wanted to, and then compare, like, who completed the most or which one was the hardest? You know, talk about that. That’s kind of cool.

Brent Warner 22:26
Yeah, well, I also like the idea of possibly if you turn that into his kids, or some people like doing it as like a little bet, or a challenge amongst each other, right? So hey, the person who gets the most done, gets a free meal treated by the other people who don’t, you know, who didn’t didn’t do as much or whatever. So you’re gonna take me out to sushi, or you know, whatever else it is, and so I could see for sure, there could be some options playing around with that, and a lot of fun. I’m also going to add in here. So board games. So we, if you remember way back in episode 33, we did an interview with Dustin, Dustin stats, and it was board gaming with education. And so I’m not totally sure it seems like he’s gone through a couple of little changes. But I think he has a store now in Los Angeles called BG E tabletop. And so we’ll have links to that in the show notes with the updates. But he’s still selling board games, and he still has a focus on education and people learning things and understanding all of those things. So. So BG E tabletop might be a good place to start looking or just, you know, again, it’s just playing games. So Ixchell I’m not sure if I told you this, this semester. Me and one of my colleagues, Keisha Galvin, we started doing a board games in on our campus with our students. So every other week, we would have some students come together, it was just an open activity. And we can play some board games, and it was great, like it was card games, board games, all of these, you know, tabletop games, right? And, you know, it was a slow start, and people started coming more and more, but we’re gonna keep on building it. And so we had, you know, up to 10 or 12, students just showing up and playing games for an hour. And, and then the students a lot of times, they’d be like, Oh, this is really great. I want to take this back to my family or back to my kids. And that was really the goal, right? It’s like, is that hey, then you can take it back. And you can play it with your friends, you can play with other people. And you can make adjustments to the game with how much English you need or have. But then, again, because you’re thinking about the game, and not so much about the English and you might have we put up a couple of structural guides, like hey, here are some sentence stems that you can use or whatever, but really, they’re not heavily like thinking that they’re studying English. They’re thinking, hey, I’m playing a game, using a little bit of English to get it going. But low stress, high impact opportunity for for use of whatever it is that you’re trying to say and so more more board games. And I mean, what a great thing to do during the summer anyway.

Ixchell Reyes 25:07
I’m all about games anytime, anywhere,

Brent Warner 25:10
For sure. So lots of lots of fun opportunities with that. Oh, and by the way, if you’re listening out there, and you have recommendations for games that that, you know, that students would like, please send them to us, because I’m always keeping an eye out for more. And now that we have this little club, I have a little bit of funding to be able to buy these things and test them out, too. So jealous. Yeah, cool, kind of sweet.

Ixchell Reyes 25:31
All right, so another thing students can do is to start an English book club. And I think of this as an activity that students can do with like two or three people so that it’s still kind of, I mean, sure, you can do it and with large groups, or even strangers online. But if you’re going back home, and you have a friend who’s also from the same country in another town, and you both commit to reading the same book, now you have some way to keep in touch while you’re over, you know, back home. And of course, you can always discuss I know a lot of the students meet up when they go back to their countries, and they, they’ll have lunch or something together, because they’ve now become friends. But that’s another way to kind of a stress free way to continue with language. And I think it’s even better if there’s a film, because you can watch the film afterward. And, and it just sort of, you know, you can compare and contrast or just enjoy it. But you know, that’s another way to remote reading. And to have people engage in, in. And again, if they want to get really deep, there are other ways to make that way. To extend the activity to actually go online and talk to other people, maybe back home who are reading it.

Brent Warner 26:53
Yeah, yeah. Well, I love the idea of of ending it with the with the movie too, because that also ties back to your first one, which is doing the movie club, right? Because you could also say like, Hey, if you read the book, great, you can get some value out of it that way, if you didn’t read it, just come and join us for the movie. So you can actually, you know, like the people who are more hardcore, it’s like, hey, we can we can read this book. And then we know that at the end of a month, we’re gonna watch the movie, or the people who are just into watching the movie can only show up less often too, right? So there’s lots of cool ways to potentially play with that.

Ixchell Reyes 27:23
And what I like when that happens is when students have read, like a famous line, but they’ve read it in the book, and then they see it performed by an actor actress in a movie, and then it becomes it’s different or and then they start using that line or that quote, or something like that.

Brent Warner 27:40
So that’s when it finally locks in, like, oh, yeah, my students are running around saying “To be or not to be.” (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes 27:50
Well, no, you know, it’s interesting, because a little bit of a side note, I had the students analyze the words for we were talking about Americana music back in Taiwan, and so two songs. Were the Beach Boys. COCOMO and also, Harry Nilsson, Spaceman. Spaceman. So called Spaceman? Oh my gosh, I can’t remember right now. But both of those are on the soundtrack to Space Force the series on Netflix. And wait, we had read. We had read the, the lyrics and we had listened to the song but then they heard them playing in the background of an episode. I love that. Yes. And they all just were so into it. And and even though they just play that little tiny clip of the song. It’s like it was a whole different thing. And I told them, You know, sometimes it’s better to listen to the soundtrack of the movie first, see what the songs are. And then it just connects differently when you’re when you’re watching. And then you can talk about why they chose that song because it’s not by chance that they chose the Beach Boys, Coco and and Harry Nielsen, or is it man on the moon? Spaceman? I can’t remember. But

Brent Warner 29:09
But I love that. And I mean, and this is kind of moving off topic for the day. But that’s a great way also for teachers to plan for future lessons, right? It’s like, hey, if we’re gonna show this show, what is that background music? What are the songs being played? And then without even telling the students you could play that and do a little mini lesson on that beforehand. So then when it comes up in the show that you’re watching or whatever, then then it it

Ixchell Reyes 29:33
was yours broke up?

Brent Warner 29:35
Yeah. Cool. I love all of that. So that’s great. I have a tiny tag on to that. So you said English book club or whatever. I think we’ve I think we will continue mentioning this for years and for however long it exists, which is just finding a meetup. Because if you go to meetup.com I, I always assume that everybody knows this but is a website where you find people with similar interests who kind of live around you. And then you get together and you do that thing. And so if you’re into book clubs or tons of those, they’re game clubs, they’re movie clubs. They’re photography clubs that are hiking clubs, there’s whatever, right? And so yeah, yeah. So if you find people who have that same interest, meetup.com m-e-e-t-u-p.com. And you can just find things that you’re interested in doing, and different groups of people who are passionate about that same topic. And so it’s a great way to, to connect with other people who want to talk about the same things you do.

Ixchell Reyes 30:36
And Brent, I wanted to mention that. Meetup is also available overseas. So if students want to hang out with other English speakers who are living overseas during the summer, I ran into a lot of my students in Taiwan wanting to they didn’t know about meetup. And sure enough, we use the app because there’s an app and you could find language exchange groups, especially with university students. So that’s another way to Yeah, to get to continue that overseas, if they’re overseas for the summer, and to continue here. In the in the state of they’re staying here for the for the summer.

Brent Warner 31:16
Great. I love that. Yeah. So so for sure, meet up the the oldie but goodie, but not still, not everybody knows.

Ixchell Reyes 31:25
Exactly, yeah. All right.

Brent Warner 31:28
And the last one for me here is I just think the more and more of these things. So the AI conversation, of course, is you know, there’s so much more to continue talking about. And we’re not trying to turn the show into an AI show, but that it will come up more for their site for that. Yeah, there’s a sister site, AI and esl.com. So if you’re interested, you can go over and take a look at it, because I’ve been posting a little bit there, trying to get some ideas. But I’ve also been slowing down just like the show slowed down a little bit. That’s okay. So, but I did find this one app. And they reached out to me and I talked to them about it. And I introduced it a tiny bit into my class, which is this app called flow. And the website is flow speak of lows PE A k dot I O. And basically what it does is it lets students log into it, and they do a tiny bit of speaking practice into the AI app. And so what it does is it recognizes Hey, how smoothly Are you speaking? How accurate are your words, it’ll give you like a little phrase, and it’ll ask you to repeat after it and then tell you how your pronunciation is. And then now they’re tying in more AI stuff so that you can kind of go in your own direction with the conversation and have it maybe respond to you there. They’re still building that out a little bit, I think but, but I think that more and more of these apps end, I mean, these things are just all coming out so fast. So this is just an example of a way Hey, maybe I don’t have a specific person that I can talk to today, right? I can’t, you know, I can’t do my meet up every single day with all sorts of people. I don’t have that kind of time. But you could still practice speaking with an app like this like flow in order to just kind of get your little bit of daily practice and getting words out and not just doing the listening like you were talking about but also producing. And so, so this will link to this one in the show notes. I’m sure there are other ones out there that are starting to come up and show up. But speaking apps I think are going to be a big thing for people coming up.

Ixchell Reyes 33:36
Very cool.

Ixchell Reyes 33:43
All right, it is time for our fun finds. Today I have our us tea, which is tea from Taiwan, and I hope I’m pronouncing it right but it’s a w a s u you can find it in the States. But it’s really really good. I think one of the things I acquired while I was there was a taste for tea and particularly cold teas, iced teas. And of course you know you have a lot of milk teas with boba but I actually found myself craving the cold milk teas. And they’re pretty expensive here. I mean, it’s about $7 A cup if you go to a boba tea shop, but you could just brew your own and make it like the Taiwanese do it at home. And this is a brand that I tried and had a lot of really cool flavors. So ours T from Taiwan.

Brent Warner 34:41
Nice. Okay. So mine is the new Arnold Schwarzenegger TV show on Netflix called a foo bar. Have you heard about this one? No. So it’s very much in the spirit of True Lies.

Ixchell Reyes 34:56
So for those of you who watch our he must have been trending right sent me know,

Brent Warner 35:00
it’s for sure it’s about this. So people love it. I’ll say like, I’ve really been enjoying it. It’s definitely a lot of forced scenes. Like, it’s like, Oh, that’s very convenient for this thing to happen to be the CIA, you know, for for the next thing to happen so, so it’s all just like very setup, you know, I mean, it’s a written movie, but But it’s like, sometimes it just feels like okay, there’s too much serendipity for these events to happen. But it’s in that silliness realm that True Lies kind of lies in where it’s like half real, half silly and totally unbelievable. And not to the point where people can fly themselves but it’s like that kind of semi surreal state of like, this is comedy. This is drama. This is action. This is all sorts of things. It’s also got some really violent so it’s a weird combination.

Ixchell Reyes 35:46
As an Arnold film will be.

Brent Warner 35:49
Of course. Yeah, exactly. So it’s like you’re watching an Arnold Schwarzenegger show, right? And, but it’s fun. And, you know, there’s, there’s just a lot of good throwbacks if you if you’d like the old Arnold, like, there’s all these little Easter eggs hidden in there, you know, from lots of different movies inside of there, including, I haven’t watched it, we didn’t do a binge watch, we’re kind of watching it one night at a time or every other night, or whatever it is, and and I found that there was a great Twins reference in there too, so they’ve got all these super fun things. But anyways, FUBAR is, you know, if you want to just kind of have a, turn your brain off, have a little bit of fun, watch some action wants some adventure. It has been a great show, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who just wants to enjoy their summer a bit.

Ixchell Reyes 36:45
Alright, if you are giving us a shout up anyway, be sure to tag us on social media. We’re mostly on everything. Mainly on Twitter.

Brent Warner 36:56
Yeah, we’re still complaining about the state of social media and these days, so we’re around but it’s what are we gonna do about this? Just a quick second here. Like,

Ixchell Reyes 37:06
I don’t know about it. Like, what if Twitter goes down the drain in the next few months? And it doesn’t recover? I don’t know. I really don’t know. Yeah, but we’re I mean, we’re on the other platforms. It’s not gonna be TikTok, because that’s a risky platform. Instagram?

Brent Warner 37:21
I think the problem is that people aren’t unified and where they’re trying to move to, right? And so it’s like, so like, that’s fine. Maybe it’s fine. Like, hey, we’re scattered across other things. But also, I don’t have the capacity to check all the different sites all the time, you know, so. So I guess we’ll keep seeing what happens. I am still on Twitter, but it’s definitely a much less enjoyable experience than it used to be so. So anyways, yeah, there we go. You can still shout out to us we would still love to hear from you. Oh, and by the way, you can come straight to the website at diesel Dotto and you can find you can find us there and leave notes and messages for us there as well. In fact, this episode is at diesel.org/eight Five and you can listen to us at voiceEd Canada that’s v-o-i-c-e-d.ca For Twitter, you can find the show at @DIESOLpod and you can find me at @BrentGWarner

Ixchell Reyes 38:19
you can still sort of find me at @Ixy_Pixy that’s @I x y underscore pi x y

Brent Warner 38:25
That’s right. And in honor of Arnie, in Austrian German thank you is “Vielen Dank” so Vielen Dank for tuning into the DIESOL podcast,

Ixchell Reyes 38:39
Vielen Dank

Brent Warner 38:41
Yeah that’s a terrible pronunciation…

Ixchell Reyes 38:44

Brent Warner 38:45
No, me- me!

Brent Warner 39:02
…Vielen Dank

School’s out for the summer! Many students will return to their home country and take a break from the books. Inevitably, there will be less language interaction in English, and students worry about their skills decreasing over the summer. How can students ensure they still practice independently until the return of fall term? In this episode Brent and Ixchell share some fun ideas for students to continue using English through the summer.


  1. Have an English movie marathon with friends
  2. Keep an English Photo journal (online or physical) about your summer adventures.
  3. Commit to 1-min english videos explaining or sharing something on any social platform (IG or Snapchat)
  4. Self-Study on Netflix/YouTube
  5. Join or start an English challenge on social media (
  6. Start an English Book Club with friends
  7. Game Club with board games
  8. Find a MeetUp
  9. Start a Podcast / YouTube Channel
  10. Private Practice with Speaking Apps

Fun Finds 

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