Lesson Transcript


Kyejin: Welcome to the Inner circle.
Peter: This is the monthly, no-holds-barred newsletter giving you tried and tested learning methods to help you reach your language goals this year.
Kyejin: I'm Kyejin, and I'm joined by my co-host, the founder of innovative language, Peter Galante.
Peter: Hi, everyone, Peter. Here.
Kyejin: Last time you learned about the power of deadlines to increase your motivation…
Peter: …and how to learn a language faster through tests or assessments.
Kyejin: And now we are at the end of the year. This is the last lesson for this year.
Peter: Yes. It's amazing how fast a year goes. We think back, it seems like just yesterday we had our New Year's resolution, what we had promised to do, and here we are.
Kyejin: Yeah. So Peter, did you hit your goal for the month… and year?
Peter: So, to recap, my goal was originally... Kyejin, what was the original goal? We both wanted to take DELF B1, and you passed in June, and then I demoted myself to DELF A2, and I took a mock test. So, the results were I did not pass, Kyejin.
Kyejin: Oh, really?
Peter: Yeah.
Kyejin: Oh no. Do you have your scores?
Peter: Well, section by section that one section we did pass was or didn't do well on was the reading. But yeah, the production side, the speaking and writing, these are very, very tough.
Kyejin: indeed.
Peter: Yeah. So yeah, this is the second time I did not reach my goal in these language quests. It happens.
Kyejin: Yeah, it happens.
Peter: So today, let's talk about the positives and negatives of complete failure.
Kyejin: Interesting!
Peter: …and what it feels like for complete success. Kyejin, the success, and me being the failure. So Kyejin, where would you like to start in this lesson?
Kyejin: Well, would you like to start my part first?
Peter: Yes, let's start with the success.
Kyejin: Well, I don't know if I can say success, but yes, it's half success. So my goal was to have two different 20-minute presentations in French, and one presentation reached 15 minutes. Lower than 20 minutes. But the other one actually passed 20 minutes. So, in total, it was 22 minutes.
Peter: Wow. Yeah. Kyejin, you know, you set a goal, and you achieve it. What are the top three things that help you achieve these goals?
Kyejin: Well, first, I repeated the same topic many times, which is where I live. So I'm very familiar with my neighborhood, and I talk about that topic in November. And first time when I talk about it, I reached 10 minutes. Second time, I reached 18 minutes. And in December, I reached 22 minutes. So, I got used to this topic and the vocabulary and expression. And also, each time I give the presentation to my teacher, my sentences got longer and more sophisticated. So I think talking about something I'm very familiar with helps a lot.
Peter: Yeah. So, but this is, you start with a skeleton, and then you put the meat on the bones, right? You keep adding to it and adding to it. But let's take one step, let's go higher up like, like we call it the airplane view, right? Let's take a little bit of a higher look at how you set a goal and then reach your goal. So, in the beginning of the year, we both set goals, but I did not reach the goal, and you were able to reach two very ambitious goals. So, how do you think you were able to do that?
Kyejin: Well, the first was the motivation. Actually, the goal was, in my opinion, a little higher than my level. So I really wanted to pass that, so I spent quite a lot of time after work for a few months to achieve the B1 level. And yeah, I did it in June. So, honestly, my try in June wasn't my first goal. It was just a test, actually, but I was too motivated, and I studied very hard. And after that, I got a little burnt out. But yes, I think trying the goal for a few times helps too. So I tried it in June, and I wanted to try that again in December -- November, actually. But I failed to register. It was very competitive for B1 level.
Peter: So Kyejin, you said you spend time after work, and you put in many hours... there's a lot of discipline. Do you have any tricks to stay disciplined when it's very easy to put on a video, or meet your friends, or go home early, or say you'll do it at a later date? Give us some hints into this mindset.
Kyejin: On my side, If I schedule something with a teacher, then I cannot cancel. So sometimes, it's tired today. I want to go home early, but still the lesson is scheduled in as of my routine. Then it makes me keep doing that. That routine helps so much.
Peter: The teacher appointments are easy to keep because it's money and it's your time, and things like this their time. But in between, how do you once you finish the lesson, then how do you start studying the next day and the next day in preparation for the next lesson?
Kyejin: So basically, I put the teacher's lesson after 23 hours after my work hour, which means after work, I have a few hours I could choose doing nothing, but usually before the class, I intentionally make that time. And I'm like, hm, I have two hours. Ok. I'll study, so, yeah, I make the time intentionally. So, did that answer you?
Peter: Yeah, it's, it's, it's very interesting and, you know, you live in Japan? So, your, your passion for the French language comes from… where does that motivation come from?
Kyejin: Oh, actually, I have a few close French friends who push me a lot, and I could use my friends with them, and that's so much fun.
Peter: So that added up. That seems I remember you speaking about this topic quite a bit. So that added a lot to it. But, you know, the discipline and diligence to continue to study in all the areas is something that I need to learn. Very interesting and inspiring stuff.
Kyejin: Yeah, I think yeah that's my study style. I know each person has a different study style, but in my case, if I have a goal, especially for the exam, that makes me cram for the exam and study a lot.
Peter: So, Kyejin, were you always like this?
Kyejin: Yes, since I was a kid, it's how I study.
Peter: It's a skill. I learned a bit from you, but I am not as diligent as you. I'm a little more… my curiosity wanders a bit. But spending time studying with you and learning from you this year, I definitely picked up some interesting techniques and some very interesting insights to your mindset and studying with you was one of the best things that happened because, again, I felt like I got a lot of support from you rather than I thought it'd be a little more competitive. But that's maybe because you were so far ahead. But it was very fun and interesting to study with you because seeing your progress was motivational, you sharing your resources and techniques was very interesting. And well, I did not complete my goal; I did not have the diligence to… once I finished my class, then the next day, I am not as focused as I need to be. And that in-between time was the biggest problem. So I'd finish a class on Tuesday night, and then Wednesday, I deserve a break, and Thursday, I deserve a break. And then before I know it, the class starts again. So that, in between, diligence is what I need to work on in the future. But this year, I really learned a lot, and I think studying with someone like yourself is super powerful.
Kyejin: I also felt very happy to study with you because sometimes I got burnt out. So I couldn't really study a lot as I expected. But you motivated me a lot. And also I think the way you study a language is very creative. So for example, like how you answer a very typical question, like “how are you?” And I tried to use that technique with my teachers or my French friends, and that was very fun. So, yeah, I also thought learning with another person is interesting and also inspiring.
Peter: Yeah, I would like to learn with me, too. This was like a total one-sided victory for you. You had, you passed the test, you did the presentations, you got all the friends. It's like in soccer is like a 10 nothing shutout for you.
Kyejin: It was a great year. Thank you, Peter. I might not be able to continue learning it if we didn't try this inner circle, and if there's, yeah, no chance. Like this was a great, great, fun year
Peter: Winner Circle for Kyejin.
Kyejin: Winner circle and learning circle, too. We learn from each other.
Peter: So, but I also learned that, you know, for me, the test added very little motivation. Like I was never motivated to pass the test. I saw it as something that I was dreading. Not like I was excited to pass this test. I was excited to take this test. Now with that said, I also think the test is a really interesting and good way… a better way than in the past, when we did this, I would measure by speaking time and that's what I like to do is… I like to chat, and I like to talk, and I'd like to learn about people. I have a very curious mind. However, I do think even though I did not pass that this comprehensive test was actually a better way to assess how much I was learning. It's a very good way to understand how you're progressing and what you've learned.
Kyejin: Yeah, I totally agree. It's not just about you pass or not, it shows what is your weaknesses, what is your strength? And interestingly, I also noticed myself concentrating and focusing on the test where the French language a lot right before the test. So there are certain things that my teacher repeatedly correct me, like “Kyejin, you have to use this, you have to use this” for the same expressions, and I don't know why, but I could never remember that. But when she corrected me before the exam, I observed all the corrections, and I don't make those mistakes anymore. So, the test is very powerful. It makes me focused on the goal very much.
Peter: Yeah. And you know, learning through mistakes is such a powerful way to do this. You, you often never forget mistakes you make in front of your class or in front of your peers. So it's super powerful. And the test really helps you, the practice tests, putting yourself under pressure, really does help, I guess getting this into your longer-term memory,
Kyejin: I think, especially when I make an embarrassing mistake, I never forget. So that moment is very embarrassing and I want to remove from my memory, but I don't make the same mistake when the situation was really bad.
Peter: Yeah, it's very well said. It's so impressive, the diligence and the way you stay motivated and keep studying, it's remarkable. For myself, while the test didn't do that, it was very motivating to study with you. So, I learned this year that I do enjoy studying with the right partner. This is something that for people who are often study, you know, to be honest, language learning journey can be a lonely one. So this was quite nice to do this together. So, finding the right person to study with is very, very powerful. I learned many techniques from you and a lot about mindset from you. So this was powerful. I learned that for me, the test isn't motivational, but I need to reprogram my brain to understand that… “Look, this test is comprehensive, and it's a powerful way to measure progress, find your weakness as you say, and help you improve.” So these are a few of the main things that I've taken away. And two, you know, even though I spent a lot of time on French, a lot of money on French, and my results are nowhere near where they want to be, I look back on the last year and, well, I'm happy with my French journey. I'm not happy with the point I've reached, but I'm very happy that I did take this year to focus on French. It's a wonderful language, and I learned a lot about how to study and how to adjust my mindset, but the results are not near where they need to be.
Kyejin: And also, it's my very personal opinion but the fun part of learning French is to find French words from random places. Especially in Japan, a lot of cafes or restaurants use French words where you can find like, like t-shirts or a bag or some design stuff include some French words… It’s my small joy of learning French. It's very fun. I feel like the person wearing the - shirts, the person wearing probably doesn't understand what it means. But I know, I know it, and it's very fun. French is used a lot. Have you noticed that?
Peter: Yeah. Once you're studying, you notice that it's used.
Kyejin: Yeah, I feel like I see the new word, like hidden words that I didn't know before.
Peter: So, Kyejin, what will you do next year for your French journey?
Kyejin: I will continue learning French and take the group classes and private classes. I really love having this routine. So I don't feel so much pressure because it's already my routine for over a year. So, I'll continue doing that, and I'll share different goals with you next time. How about you?
Peter: So, I still need to take a proper A2 exam. So I will continue to study French next year, but it will not be my main focus, but I will continue to study because I have to have the official document that I took the test. So March next year, I think, is the first DELF…
Kyejin: Yeah, I think it's March.
Peter: But yeah, next year, either March or June, I need to take this test result. I have to have the results to put next to us, Kyejin.
Kyejin: OK. And you said it's not a main focus. Does it mean you want to learn another language?
Peter: I like French. I think it's a very interesting language. I do feel very happy with my French teacher, and now I have a great French teacher. So, the infrastructure is there, but it was a little trickier to study French. And I'm not so motivated to study French. But I wanted to shift back because I'm a creative person to something that I'm very passionate or motivated about. And that would be so I have a favor to ask of you, Kyejin.
Kyejin: OK. What is it?
Peter: So I'm very, very motivated to study Korean.
Kyejin: Oh, can I ask why? What makes you motivated to learn Korean?
Peter: So I often enjoy going to one of my favorite cities. Busan. Have you been to Busan Kyejin?
Kyejin: Nope. I heard it's a beautiful city.
Peter: In the summer, it is one of the best places to visit. So, and many of the shows that I watch and lots of Korean and so it's just a very interesting language and culture. So, next year, I want to focus on Korean. So I was thinking since you are the top teacher for Korean that I know, maybe it would be interesting if you were to teach me Korean, and we can talk together in this podcast, but then we can even maybe have a section where you talk without me to give the….
Kyejin: Sure, sure, of course,
Peter: …the honest, direct feedback about how I'm doing as a student.
Kyejin: I see. So I review all your weaknesses plus strengths too. "Peter is doing very well on this side; Peter is doing very bad on this side." No, no, no, I think, yeah, it will be very fun. But I'm a scary teacher. I'm a very motivated teacher.
Peter: Wow. So we have a motivated teacher meeting a motivated student, but
Kyejin: sounds great.
Peter: So, yeah, I think so we could have a fun format for this next year, and then we can then also continue to check in on your journey for French. What do you think?
Kyejin: Sounds great. I'm really excited to teach Peter. Be prepared.
Peter: I thought it was a great idea in December last year when we decided to learn French together. And right now, I think this is a great idea, but looking back on that last year.
Kyejin: Well, it was a fun year. Thank you.
Peter: And congratulations, Kyejin. You really were quite remarkable. So, for everyone listening or if you're just new to this, you can look back at the last year, and I think, you know, Kyojin really has some very valuable insight on how to reach your goals when it comes to taking a standardized test and progressing to reach a goal that you set and never wavering. No excuses.
Kyejin: Thank you so much. And also for you too. Congratulations. You actually improved a lot. You continue learning French, and you also share the loss of insight on language learning. So that's great. Even if you don't pass the test, I think the progress itself or the journey itself was very valuable.
Peter: Yeah, the journey was valuable, but unfortunately, results do matter. So, but again, it's interesting too, you know, when you leave school, some people take tests in their professions, but I haven't been in a test environment in a long, long time. So it's an interesting feeling. I didn't particularly like it, but motivating in its own way. You know, I could easily say, I don't test well, this and that. But I think the better approach is like you get your results, you look at it, it shows your weaknesses, and these aren't weaknesses to look at and say, “This is why I can't do it.” It's a point in time that says, look, “Here you are, and if you want to get to where you hope to be, you have to work on this area and this area, this area.“ So, I looked at it as motivational.
Peter: Sounds great. And thank you so much, Peter, this year.
Kyejin: Ok. So, let's think about the format a bit. But yeah, next year should be more fun. And thank you very much, Kyejin.
Kyejin: Thank you. And thank you, listeners, too. So, thank you so much for being part of the inner circle.
Peter: And we hope you've taken action on the tips you've picked up in these lessons
Kyejin: Because when you take action, you start seeing results, and you start reaching your language goals.
Peter: So thank you again for coming along with us, and we'll see you next year. If you have an update on your language learning journey, please send it to us.


Kyejin: Bye everyone.
Peter: Bye everyone.