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The Ultimate Guide To Learning English And Improving Your Speaking Skills

How many people do you know that currently study English as a Second Language? Probably quite a few. Right? 

But how many of those people actually speak English fluently, proficiently, and naturally? Probably not so many. Right? 

Over the past 20 years here in Brazil, I’ve worked with hundreds of ESL students and met thousands more who are trying to learn English as Second Language.

And just like you’ve probably noticed, a lot of people study, but not so many can speak English at the level they desire.

Most English students I see are running around, looking for a revolutionary, new method or magical secret to suddenly start speaking English fluently. 

They follow the latest trends and do what their friends are doing. The same friends who don’t speak English either. Or they buy whatever new course or book a marketing campaign draws their attention to (that may or may not work). 

But what if you didn’t have to sign up for a new English course or buy a new ESL book make massive improvements in your English speaking?

What if you could take advantage of the material you already own and have at your disposal? 

What if you could use free internet resources that exist and are readily available all around you? 

And if you wanted to buy new material, you could, but this time actually put it to good use instead of letting it sit on your shelf collecting dust…

So, let’s talk about how you can learn English and improve your speaking skills, or in other words, talk about…

“Learning Hacks For The Serious ESL Student To Master Fluency in The English Language”

Because unlike the claims touted by slick marketing techniques and smooth-talking salespeople, the ugly truth is that there are no magical methods or revolutionary, new secrets to learn a new language. 

Sure, there are a few hacks that language mavens use to learn second, third, or fourth languages and become polyglots. 

And these are people you should be watching and following to learn a new language and improve your English skills. 

Because honestly, let’s be real. You and I both know the truth. 

Just doing what the mass majority of your friends do isn’t going to cut it for you. Most ESL students just follow the crowd. 

Jumping from one school to another, hoping that somebody somewhere will wave a magic wand that makes you suddenly start speaking perfect English. 

But the reality is that you don’t need a special skill or talent to learn a new language. 

Because you already learned to speak your mother tongue fluently when you were just a child. And you didn’t know any language learning secrets or use a special method.


Because there are only…

3 things you truly need to learn a new language and improve your English speaking skills

The good news is that you already have everything you need to learn to speak English or any other language you want to. All it takes are 3 simple components. 

1) Talent – which we just established you already have. If you speak your mother tongue, you have all the talent you need to learn a new language like English.

2) Study Time – you need a systematic way to learn new words and expressions to increase your vocabulary, master grammar structure your thoughts, and reduce your accent so that you can improve your pronunciation enough that others can understand you. 

3) Contact with Real People to Practice – Yes, you have to practice what you are learning. Just studying isn’t enough. It’s like saying you read a book about karate and now consider yourself a fifth-degree black belt. 

And to practice what you are learning in English, you need real people to practice your speaking with. 

Contact with the language and consistent feedback from others so that you learn to communicate and express yourself clearly and effectively. 

But having worked with thousands of English students over the past 20 years, I understand your need to make it easy to apply these principles. 

So, let’s talk about the way real mavens learn to speak so many different languages, while most students struggle for years without ever feeling they are confident or fluent enough. 

And just for the fun of it, we’ll pretend that we are revealing a revolutionary new secret here, and we’ll call it the…

Maven English Learning Formula

And we’ll base it off the Universal Laws of Success that I learned many years ago from a genius polyglot acquaintance of mine that looks something like this. 

It’s easiest to show you as a mathematical formula and then break down each part to help explain what each section means. The ‘formula’ looks something like this… 

10% + 90% = 100% 

Which by simplifying the process, basically means that if you do 2 simple things, you’ll achieve whatever it is that you want. Like learning English or anything else you want in life.

Unless you give up of course (which is why most students don’t learn). But as long as you stay focused on your objective, you will reach your goal. 

So, how do we translate this formula for English students? 

10% = Your English Learning Planning Process
90% = Your Daily English Praxis
100% =  Your English Speaking Fluency and Proficiency

Which we can then simplify into this little expression:

Planning + Praixs = Fluency

Obviously, like learning anything as complex as speaking a new language, it’s not that simple. But still, it helps you as a student break down the learning process into easy, manageable, bite-sized chunks that you can handle. 

So, let’s start off talking about the first part of the English Learning Formula, which is…

How To Create A Powerful English Learning Plan

Learning to speak English fluently and proficiently the way most English students dream of is a huge goal that will take a long-term effort. 

Which is completely achievable because thousands of others before you have successfully learned to speak a new language. 

But the problem comes when advertisers and marketers promise that you can become fluent in as little as 8 weeks while studying as little as 15 minutes per day. (And yes, I’ve seen ads on Instagram making this very promise just this past week). 

Some promise you fluency in 12 months. Others promise that they will have you speaking fluently in 200 hours. 

And while most advertisers don’t actually define what they mean by fluency, it most assuredly isn’t what students have in mind when they imagine themselves speaking fluent English. 

How Fast Can You Learn English?

Sure, a student can learn a lot in that time frame, but you definitely are not going to start from zero and reach native fluency at Level 5 or C1 by international standards.

So, then what happens is that students study their 8 weeks, 12 months, or 200 hours, but still can’t speak or express themselves correctly. 

Which in the long run, only serves to frustrate students who think the problem lies with them.

The student begins to think that they are stupid and will never learn to speak English, when, in fact, it’s not your fault. 

While studying 200 hours may be enough time to reach a new level of fluency like A2 (High Beginner) to B1 (Low Intermediate) for example, you still won’t be speaking at level C2 (advanced native abilities). 

So, before you really dig in and create a realistic English learning plan, it’s essential to take the time to choose a method of measuring fluency and define how fluent you want to become.

What Is Your English Learning Goal?

There are various standards for defining what fluency means to you. This could be as simple as using your own simple scale where you label how good you want to be on a level of one to ten. 

Or you can choose one of the various international standards that exist on the market. My personal preference is the CEFR (Common European Framework Reference). 

But there are many other good ones out there that may be more readily accessible depending on where you live. 

Just remember though, that once you choose one, it’s best to stick with that standard until you reach your goal. So, make sure that you’ll have plenty of opportunities to test yourself as frequently as needed.

Don’t worry, because I’ll talk more about this later in a longer more thorough post to explain this better. 

For now though, it’s just important to understand that you need to define what fluency means to you so that you can measure and track your progress toward it. And most importantly know when you have reached it.

  3 Important Steps To Create Your Perfect English Learning Plan

Once you’ve defined what fluency means to you, it’s time to figure out what you need to do to reach it and achieve your dream of finally learning to speak ‘fluent’ English. 

Let’s break them down into 3 manageable, bite-sized chunks that will help you eat the elephant: 

1) Take a level test to find out your current level of fluency
2) Establish your short, mid, and long-term English goals
3) Create a plan to reach those goals 

See, what once seemed really complicated now starts to feel achievable. And if you do it correctly, it means that you should hit your goals. Right? 

Well, theoretically, yes. But practically speaking, it’s much easier said than done. Because most English students give up on their goals long before achieving fluency. 

What It Really Takes To Become a Fluent English Speaker And Why ESL Students Give Up

There a variety of factors for why that is which we’ll cover later. But just to simplify things here, it happens for the same reason that almost everybody wants to wake up tomorrow with a…

* A million dollars in their bank account
* Ten pounds lighter than they weight today
* And feeling like a world-class champion

Now, the truth is that anybody can do these things. Anybody can work hard to make and invest money to become a millionaire. 

Anybody can eat less and exercise more to lose weight. They just have to diet and exercise. Maybe even to a gym. 

Anybody can learn and practice a skill to become world-class. They just need a little training and coaching. And they have to practice. 

Every. Single. Day. 

Learning a new language takes dedication and discipline. 

And just because you have a plan doesn’t mean you are going to achieve your goal. It’s easy to sit down and create a plan. 

But it takes a lot more effort to sit down and execute that plan consistently day-in and day-out. 

And let’s be honest, most of us lose focus pretty quickly on anything we set out to do, not just learning English.  

So, that’s why we refer to the Planning process as the 10% portion of the English Learning Formula. 

Because if you create a plan and don’t follow through on it, what good did it do? You have to execute the plan. 

That’s where the 90% Principle of the English Learning Formula is going to take place if you want to reach real fluency in your English speaking skills. 

You have to follow through on that plan and execute it every single day until you develop…

Postive Habits That Facilitate Your English Learning 

Which means that you simply start doing the things that you plan to do every day. Even when you don’t feel like doing them.

* Instead of wasting time watching a movie, you actually study English 
* Instead of sleeping in every morning, you get up to study English
* Instead of chilling when you get home, you buckle down and study English

Now that doesn’t mean that watching movies is bad unless it’s something that keeps you from reaching your goal. 
Because even watching movies can be a good thing if you are watching them in English as a way to learn and improve your English skills. Which you can easily do if you apply the Integrated Learning System the way I show you below. 

But the important thing is to stay focused on doing whatever it takes to reach your English learning goals.

These things that you do consistently every day are called a praxis. That’s just a fancy word that means that you do something on a frequent basis. 

Don’t be like ESL students who join a new school at the beginning of each semester and then drop out 3 months later, or buy great books they never study, or sign up for online courses they never complete. 

Which is where the real English mavens, the ESL students who never gave up and actually persisted till they reached their English speaking goals are different. 

After having worked and spoken with hundreds and thousands of English mavens over the years, I’ve had the privilege to watch how they learn and observe what they do. 

And it’s pretty simple actually. There are 5 simple things that they do on a regular basis as part of their praxis. They may not do them every single day because most do this unconsciously. 

Just like tying your shoelaces or learning to drive a car. In the beginning, they seem complicated, but over time, they get easier. Eventually, you can do them without even thinking much about them. 

So, what are these 5 simple things that you need to do every day if you want to follow in the footsteps of other English mavens to become an English maven yourself? 

They are positive habits that will help you move closer to your English goals each day, and I like to call them…

Your Daily English Praxis

I know. I know. We’ve established that there are no secret formulas. 

These are just silly names that I’ve given these tried and true principles to help you see how you can follow in the footsteps of other successful English students who have learned more than one language. 

So, please humor me and bear with me because I do know that if you actually apply this simple system and follow these 5 steps, you too can become a fluent and proficient English speaker given enough focus and dedication. 

Just like hundreds of my students have before you. 

Now, that we’ve established that I’m not making these 5-steps up here because I’m actually just showing you what other successful English students have done to learn the language, let’s give this a really cool sounding name to make it sound revolutionary and cool. 

The P.L.A.N.E. English Method

Yes! I know. It’s a pretty cheesy name. Right. And it’s even spelled wrong. But it is an easy way to remember each of the 5 steps of your Daily English Praxis. So, what does it stand for?

1) Planning
2) Learning
3) Activating
4) Networking
5) Evaluating

So, now that you know what each letter of the P.L.A.N.E Engish Praxis stands for let’s break them down and discuss each of these 5 points briefly. 

Planning & Preparing To Achieve Your ESL Goals

Each day, do a quick review of your English learning goals and objectives. This is important to help you renew your focus and dedication, so you don’t give up.

Review what you studied previously using an S.R.S. or whatever other method you prefer. Then make a note of what you want to learn next and create a study plan. 

I highly recommend that you use a Weekly English Agenda that I’ll tell you more about later that will help you stay focused and on track. Then gather any material that you need to study for that day or find it online. 

This should all be relatively quick and straight forward, and shouldn’t take you more than 5 – 10 minutes. But it is essential to keep yourself motivated and engaged with your learning. 

Learning English & Developing Your Skills

This is where you actually study new vocabulary and learn how to structure your sentences correctly so you can express yourself in English.

This is where you develop each of the primary and sub-skills necessary to become a fluent and proficient speaker.

* Listening
* Speaking
* Reading 
* Writing
* Vocabulary
* Expressions
* Grammar
* Pronunciation

And don’t worry, because I’m going to teach you a simple way to develop all 8 of these skills simultaneously using a powerful technique I like to call an Integrated Learning System. 

And all you need are 2 simple tools you probably already have at your disposal. 

But this step is your study time and where most of your actual English learning will take place. 

Set aside as much time as you can during your day because the more time you invest each day in your learning means you will reach your English Learning Goals faster. 

For example, if Joe can set aside 4 hours per day to study, and Mary only studies 15 minutes per day, who is going to learn faster? 

Joe, of course. 

Not because he is a smarter student than Mary, but only because he invests more time each day. 

Joe might be able to take his English to the next level in 3 months while it will most likely take Mary an entire year to jump to the next level. 

So, the more time you can study each day, the better for you. And it doesn’t all have to chunked into one period. You can break it up, so you study more frequently. 

Study a little in the morning when you wake up. Then a little at lunchtime. And when you get home in the evening before bed. And practice between your breaks during the day as well.

The more you study, the better you learn. So, study as much as you can every day.

Activating Your Skills Through Practice

Now, this is where you take everything you’ve been learning in English and actually put it into practice by using it in different contexts or situations.

This is an important step that most English students fail to take into account because they study a lot, but never take the time to practice. 

I’ve met people who studied English for years. They could read and write very well. 

But when it came time to speak with someone, they couldn’t understand what they heard, nor did they know how to express themselves. 

It’s like going to the gym and seeing a man with huge biceps, but skinny little legs because he didn’t take the time to develop all of the muscles in his body. 

How can you practice what you are learning in English? 

The first and most important way is by using all 8 parts of the Integrated Learning System. 

Because even though you use the Integrated Learning System to learn in the previous step, a large part of that process also involves practicing all 8 major skills.

But besides using the Integrated Learning System, here are 3 more ways to practice what you are learning in English.

  1. Thinking In English – because it shows you where the gaps are in your learning and reveals what you don’t yet know 
  2. Exercises & Drills – there are a series of essential exercises that you can use to practice important grammar structures or pronunciation drills to reduce your English accent 
  3. Dialogue practice with people or online robots – once you feel confident enough with what you learned, it’s time to start using it in real situations

Practice with real people provides vital feedback to you as a student. It allows you to see where your English skills are still weak and what areas you need to improve.

Have you ever heard the expression in English that says ‘Use it or lose it’? 

If you don’t practice your new skills and abilities, you won’t be able to use them in real, live situations when you need to speak. 

Remember, practice makes perfect…and permanent. 

It’s like learning to fight karate. You have to practice your punches and kicks, and blocks over and over again. 

Everything you want to learn to do takes practice. 

* Playing the guitar
* Riding a bicycle and  
* Learning Engish

Just because you read a book or watch a video doesn’t mean you really know how to do those things. You actually have to practice doing them until you master those skills.

It’s the same thing with your English. You have to practice what you are learning every single day. 

Developing Your Own Personal English Network

This is part of your English language practice from the previous step, but this takes it to the next level. 

This is where you go beyond just practicing the things you are learning in your new language and focus on building new relationships with the people who can help you. 

This is where you actively seek out and develop relationships with 5 different types of people who can help you speak and use the English you are learning each day.

1) English Students Who Speak Your Native Language
2) English Students From Other Countries 
3) English Mavens Who Already Speak The Language Fluently
4) Teachers and Tutors Who Can Explain Things Others Can
5) Native Speakers To Test Your Skills

Now, you don’t want to spend too much time in this area because even though it is fun, it’s not where you are going to be actually learning or practicing your English. 

But you do need the right amount of people in your network so that you have people to speak and practice English with every day, which is why it is vital to spend some time on this step. 

* You don’t want too few people in your network because if you try talking to them every day, they could get tired of you and find it bothersome, but…

* But you don’t want so, many people in your network that you don’t have enough time to keep in touch with them and deepen your relationships with them. 

So, I recommend you maintain about 12 people in your Personal English Network. That way you can talk to 3 or 4 every few days. That way, you have people to speak with every day without bothering anyone. 

You will find those you enjoy chatting with and have a natural affinity for as time goes on. And you may develop some deep friendships that you communicate on a daily basis. But at the same time, you won’t be dependent on any single person.

Evaluating Your Progress & Developing Skills In The Language

It’s important to evaluate your skills and abilities frequently to review your goals, track your English learning progress, and analyze your development. 

This is important because the #1 reason most English students give up is because they don’t feel they are progressing, which frustrates them to no end. 

By using a few of the hacks I’m going to show you, you’ll be able to evaluate where you currently are at this moment, how far you’ve come since your last fluency test, and how much farther you need to go to reach your goal. 

All you have to do is…

1) Evaluate your current level and developing skills – You can do this implicitly based on how you feel, keep track of how much time you have been studying, or by taking another level test. 

2) Analyze your study methods – Pay attention to study methods or materials you have been using that aren’t helping you progress. Eliminate what isn’t helping grow and develop so you can replace them with other methods or materials that you sense are helping you progress

3) Organize your study materials for systematic review and consistent practice – Just because you learn something once, doesn’t mean you’ll remember it forever. 

We often forget things that we’ve learned before. It’s essential to go back through previous lessons and material that you’ve studied. 

So, make sure to file everything you study in folders or files for easy reference. And schedule a time to go back and review. 

If you do this evaluation frequently, you’ll be able to adapt your study plan and weekly English agenda accordingly. 

This will give you full control of your English learning progress, which means that you won’t be dependent on a teacher, an English course, or even a specific method to learn the language. 

You can develop as fast or as slow as you choose to and learn English at your pace. If you get overwhelmed, you can slow it down, or if you have a deadline, you can pick up the pace to learn on your own terms. 

In Conclusion Of The Ultimate Guide To Learning English And Improving Your Speaking Skills

So, in summary, there are two major parts to learning English successfully and becoming a fluent English speaker. 

1) Create a solid English learning plan to reach your goals by knowing what your current English level is, having clear goals to reach, and a solid plan to make it happen

2) Apply yourself consistently to reaching them with your 5-step P.L.A.N.E. English Praxis so that you stay on track by readapting your plan, learning new things, activating your new skills through practice, developing a network of people you can speak with, and evaluate your progress, so you stay focused and don’t give up

If you can do those things and stay focused on your goal, you will reach them and achieve success in your English speaking goals. It might take longer than you think because life happens, but as long as you stay dedicated and discipline yourself to that end, you will continue moving toward towards fluency and success. 

And if you need help, you can always count on me. Feel free to hit me up in the comments below or contact me by email. Or on any of my social media accounts where you hang out like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Youtube.

Extra Resources

Next Level English Mentoring – If you want Dave to help you personally through this process of taking level tests, analyzing your goals and objectives, and creating a plan to reach your own fluency success like other English mavens before you, we have a few options to help you out

Learn English Short Stories – Read Dave Bailey’s short stories with audio that you can use with the Integrated Learning System to improve all 8 primary and sub-skills to become a better English speaker on Patreon or Kindle

Oliver Learns English

Oliver wanted to find a new job. He did not like his current job. His boss was very tough. So, he decided to look for a new job.

He filled out many applications, but he did not have much success. He filled out 138 applications and only received a request for one interview.

He went to the interview, but there were many other applicants. They were very good.

Most of them had more experience than Oliver. And some of them spoke very good English.

The interview was very tough. A woman asked him many difficult questions that he didn’t know how to answer. He did not get the job.

So, he decided to improve his English. He began to study every day. His mother had always told him to study when he was a boy.

He wished he had listened to her. But he knew it was no use crying over spilled milk.

Oliver dedicated himself to learn and practice the language every day for two hours.

At first, it was difficult. But it became easier. He practiced speaking with people on Facebook every single day.

He applied for more jobs. One day, he went to another interview. It was on a Monday afternoon.

This time he felt more confident. He had studied very hard all weekend.

However, Oliver did not get the job. They gave it to someone else.

Instead, they gave Oliver another job at their headquarters in New York because his English was so good.

Now, Oliver lives in the Big Apple. He is happy that he studied English. He helps many people learn English online.

Oliver loves living in New York.

What Goes Around [Audio Short Story]

I’ve had this story idea in my head for a very long time, but never really figured out how to write it because of its premise is a bit unique. But I finally decided to tackle it today for my Patreon students and readers till I found my way through it. I think it works, Read it and tell me what you think.

Just to give you some background here, this is one of the stories set in the Edge of the Universe Series about a programmer called Jenny who has been working on a top-secret army project to create clones. After a series of problems and losing the love of her life in the process, Jenny discovers a way to transfer people’s minds from one body to another. General Bart hijacks her project though and this story is where we end up.

What Goes Around – Watch This short story video on Youtube

What Goes Around

The smoke still wafted from the barrel of the gun in his hands. The sound of the shot hadn’t yet reached her ears. Maybe it was the shock of getting shot that blocked out the sound.

Jenny looked down at the small hole in her shirt. Quickly turning red as the life-giving fluid seeped from her body. She reached down and touched it lightly. Still not feeling anything. Surreal. Almost as if she were in a dream.

She looked back up into the eyes of General Bart, now using President Kent’s body. She cocked her head to the side. His lips were moving, but Jenny couldn’t hear the words coming out of his mouth.

It sounded like he was saying, “What goes around, comes around.”

Jenny had tried to shoot him earlier. Though she had missed. She looked back down at the wound in her side. Well, in General Bart’s side since she was using his body.

The pain exploded in her side as she pressed her finger into the bullet hole to staunch the bleeding. The shock was wearing off and her senses were returning.

Jenny screamed in anger and frustration at the sudden turn of events. This hadn’t gone down at all like she had expected after losing the element of surprise.

Her voice came out all wrong. Thick and deep. Then she remembered that it wasn’t her voice. Jenny was no longer in her own body. Her body lay back in the warehouse lab.

General Bart had used her project to hijack the president’s body and then locked her up till he needed her again. She had transferred herself into General Bart’s body to escape and hunt the man down.

And now, she had been shot. Jenny would die. General Bart would get to rule the country in the president’s body that he had hijacked. And no one would be the wiser. And it would all be her fault.

Jenny looked up into the barrel of the gun and knew she had to do something fast. She analyzed the railing over the balcony just behind the General. Three stories up.

It would be painful. But as long as she didn’t die in the fall she might be able to pull this off. It was her only choice. If she tried to transfer out now, he would simply call one of the soldiers back at the warehouse to locate her original body and put her down.

Jenny raised her hand in front of the gun as if trying to say something and slowly stood up. The general took a step back and relaxed his stance as he waited.

He grinned that same stupid, arrogant grin that she hated — gloating that he had had the upper hand the entire time.

But as soon as she had risen to her feet, Jenny threw herself at him. The General’s original body that she was now in was almost twice the size of the president’s body that Bart now possessed.

Jenny hit him hard, and it wasn’t even much of a struggle to push him over the railing.

They both fell through the air. A quick, short free fall three stories down.

Jenny relaxed her body and tried to land upright to take the fall on her legs with a roll to the side to protect her head like she had learned to do in her parkour training classes.

But it didn’t do much good. Jenny’s legs snapped under her before she could get the roll in. Her body basically just flopped to the side. But she was alive, and that was all that mattered.

General Bart lay there unconscious. Jenny just needed a way to contact Al for him to pull her out of the General’s broken body. She half-rolled and half-dragged herself over to paw through his pockets for his cell.

It wasn’t in his pants pockets. Her heart froze for an instant. But she continued searching and felt it in the inside pocket of his coat. She sighed in relief and tugged it out. But when she looked at it, the screen was blank.

Jenny groaned as she tried to turn it back on. It took a few seconds to respond, but the screen finally lit up. She sighed in relief.

The General came to and lay there stunned for a brief second before he let out a spew of curses between the screams of pain and anger. Jenny dialed the number and hit the call button as she rolled away from him.

“Yeah, it’s me. Get me out of here. And put the General back where he belongs.”

General Bart froze for an instant as he realized what she was doing.

“No, leave the president where he is. His body is too far gone. We’ll have to make him a clone.”

“You can’t do that too me,” the General screamed at her. “You can’t put me back in that body. My legs are broken. I’ve been shot.”

Jenny grinned painfully, “You should have thought of that before shooting me. Well, I mean yourself. Or whoever this body belongs to. This is so confusing.”

She closed her eyes and waited for Al to complete the transfer. Jenny grinned at the thought of General Bart waking back up in his own body. The one she had been using.

Jenny started to laugh, but it hurt too much.

“What’s so funny,” he growled.

“Karma, baby. You reap what you sow. Literally, because you shot yourself. How’s that for a taste of your own medicine.”

She felt a strange numbness wash over her. Jenny wasn’t sure if this was from the transfer back to her original self or the sensation of death sweeping over the body she was now in.

“What goes, comes around,” she murmured as she drifted off into the darkness that washed over her.

What Goes Around – Listen To The Short Story on Soundcloud

Thank you for reading this short story. I really appreciate it because they mean a lot to me. They are part of a series of books that I’ve been working on called Edge of the Universe. The main story revolves around a naive Brazilian scientist.

Art develops technology that can splice DNA among living organisms. He hopes to solve major problems like world hunger and curing all diseases. But evil corporations want to get their hands on his project. The first book in the series is called ‘Rise’. You can download and read book 1 on Amazon for FREE >>

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P.S. I write these stories for my English students, so if you are learning English as a Second language and have questions about any vocabulary words or their pronunciations, feel free to ask in the comments below.


Bryan’s Interview – Learn English Short Story

Hello! Here is a new Learn English Short Story for you to improve your English speaking skills. Watch the video and listen to it several times. Make sure to use each of the 7 steps from the Integrated Learning System to develop each of your core skills. Then practice your English speaking by retelling the story to your friends.

There was a man from India who went to live in the USA. He was a researcher and university teacher. His name was Bryan Gupta.

One day, he woke up in hotel bed at 7:40 a.m. He didn’t know why he was there and his head was pounding. After a bit, he did remember that he had an important interview that day. So, he got up to take a shower.

Then he got dressed and had continental breakfast down in the hotel cafeteria. He noticed that the hotel employees were looking at him strangely. But he ignored them.

After breakfast, Bryan caught a taxi to the interview. When he arrived at the building, he told the secretary who he was and why he was there. 

She looked surprised and asked him several questions. She wanted to know how to spell his name and then wanted him to confirm his address. 

Finally, the secretary asked him to have a seat while she made some calls. A man arrived and broke some terribly shocking news. 

Bryan had come to his interview a week after it had been scheduled. But what was even stranger was the fact that the man told Bryan that he had already come in for the interview one week earlier.

He felt very embarrassed over his behavior. Why had he forgotten about the previous interview? And why had he forgotten about everything that had happened the previous week.

Bryan asked how the interview had gone. The man told him that it had gone very well and had even been hired. But then Bryan had never showed up again. Someone had told the company that Bryan had died.

Bryan felt like he was in an episode from the Twilight Zone. He had the strangest feeling of Deja Vu. 

The man told Bryan that he was very sorry, but someone else had been hired for the position. Bryan was very sad. Now he would have to find another job.

Bryan’s Interview – Q&A Mini Story

Listen carefully each question and then pause the video to answer it in your own words before hearing me tell you the answer.

Here are the questions from the video below. I did not add the answers because that would make things to easy for you. Right? But you can see them in the video above or see the answers in the PDF.

#1) Where did Bryan wake up?

#2) Did he go back to sleep?

#3) What time did Bryan wake up in the hotel?

#4) Where did he have to go that morning?

#5) What did he do after waking up?

#6) Who was looking at him strangely?

#7) How did he get to the building where his job interview was scheduled?

#8) When was Bryan’s interview scheduled for?

#9) Was Bryan able to talk with Mr. Grant?

#10) Why wasn’t Bryan able to talk with Mr. Grant?

Learn English Mini-Story Dialogue from Bryan’s Interview

Here is a short dialogue between Bryan and Mr. Grant’s secretary. Listen and repeat along with me to practice your English speaking skills.

Bryan: Well, I’m here to see Mr. Grant. 

Secretary: Who are you exactly?

Bryan: Bryan. Bryan Gupta. 

Secretary: And how do you spell that? 

Bryan: G-U-P-T-A 

Secretary: No, I mean your first name. Do you spell it with an I or with a Y?

Bryan: Oh, yes. B-R-Y-A-N. Like the singer, Bryan Adams. 

Secretary: Did you say your name was Bryan Gupta? 

Bryan: Well, my first name is actually Mandeep. That maybe the name you have in the system. But Bryan is actually my middle name, and it’s the name I go by here in America.

Secretary: Could you just confirm your address for me? 

Bryan: Sure. It’s 4409 Rosemont Avenue. Could you please hurry. My interview with Mr. Grant is at 9:00 a.m. It’s 9:05 already. I’m sure he’s expecting me by now.  

Secretary: Right. Sure, I’m…well, actually, the truth is that Mr. Grant won’t be able to see you today. I don’t have anything on his agenda with your name on it. 

Bryan: Please, check again. I’m sure there’s been a mix-up. I called to confirm this appointment a few days ago. 

Secretary: Well, I do apologize, sir. But Mr. Grant really won’t be able to see you today. 

Bryan: Oh, c’mon. For crying out loud. You have got to be kidding me. What a total disrespect of my time. Why didn’t he just let me know in advance?

Secretary: If I may ask, Mr. Gupta, what day do you think this is? 

Bryan: Monday, July first. 

Secretary: It is Monday, sir, but it’s not the first of July. Would you like me to try to reschedule a meeting for you?

Bryan: Well, what day is it exactly.

Secretary: Monday, July eighth. I’m afraid there has been some sort of mistake. I do see you name here for an appointment last week. 

Bryan: What am I going to do now? 

Secretary: Well, have a seat and let me make some phone calls to see when I can reschedule you.

10 ESL Vocabulary Words from Bryan’s Interview

Here are 10 vocabulary phrases that I selected from the mini-story to explain the definitions. You’ll notice that most of them are in the past tense. Listen and repeat along with me to improve your English vocabulary skills.

Woke Up – To Stop Sleeping And Become Aware And Active Again

Got Dressed – Put Clothes On Your Body

Had Breakfast – Eat In The Morning For Your First Meal Of The Day

Caught A Taxi – Raise Your Hand To Signal To A Taxi Driver That You Need A Ride

Told Her – Communicate Information, Facts, Or News To Someone

Looked Surprised – To Appear Astonished Or In Shock At What Has Been Seen Or Heard

Have A Seat – A Polite Directive For Someone To Sit Down And Wait

Made Some Calls – To Use The Telephone To Talk To People

Arrived – To Reach Your Desired Destination Or Place You Need To Be

Broke The News – To Share Some Important Information With Someone

35 English Phrases To Ask Someone’s Name From Bryan’s Interview

Listen to these 35 question and answer phrases about how to ask someone’s name in English. These are not in order. They are just different ways of ask the same question so you can understand native speakers who talk with you.

Repeat and practice your pronunciation with me as many times as you need.

Hello! And welcome to Z4 Technologies Inc.
How can I help you?
What can I do for you?
I have an appointment this morning.
I have a meeting with Mr. Grant
I have an interview scheduled for 9:00 a.m.
Okay. What’s your name?
And you are?
Could you please tell me your full name?
What’s your first name?
Tell me your last name please?
My name is Bryan Gupta
I’m Bryan. That’s Bryan Gupta.
It’s Gupta. Bryan Gupta.
Do you spell that with an I or a Y, Bryan?
How do you spell that, Mr. Gupta?
Is that spelled with a TH or just a T, Mr. Gupta?
I’m sorry. I didn’t quite catch your last name.
Could you please repeat that for me?
Hm. I don’t see any interviews on his schedule.
Sorry, I don’t see your name on his agenda.
That’s strange. Mr. Grant doesn’t have any interviews scheduled for today.
Are you sure your interview was scheduled for today?
Yes, I’m absolutely positive.
I even called to confirm it yesterday before 6 p.m.
Could you please double-check his schedule?
Sure. Oh here it is. I must have missed it.
Yes. I do see that you have an interview scheduled with Mr. Grant this morning.
Unfortunately, Mr. Grant is running late though.
His pilot is running about 30 minutes behind.
There was a 25 minute delay at the airport because of the rain.
He asked us to push your meeting back 30 minutes.
Mr. Grant apologized and asked to reschedule your meeting for this afternoon
Would it be possible for you to return at 4:30 p.m.
I also have an opening for 5:45 p.m. if you prefer.
Or would you rather reschedule for tomorrow at 9:45 a.m.?

Bryan’s Interview PDF >>>

More English Lessons & Resources

Learn English Phrasal Verbs with the Verb Get

Did you know that there are 69 different definitions for the verb ‘To Get’ in the English dictionary? Over half of these definitions are because of phrasal verbs composed of the verb GET plus a preposition.

Phrasal verbs can often be very confusing for English learners, because the use of the preposition can often change the meaning of the verb get in the sentence. So, you just have to learn these phrasal verbs as if they are a new vocabulary word.  

  • The form of the verb “get” is regular for the present simple.
  • The continuous form is “getting”.
  • The past of the verb is “got”
  • And don’t forget the participle ‘gotten’.

Here are 32 different uses of the Phrasal Verb Get with sample sentences. And remember that often, each of these different phrasal verbs with Get can have various meanings.  

30 Phrasal Verbs With The Verb Get

Here are 30 different phrasal verbs with the verb to get that I came up with. Make sure to add more if you think of other get phrasal verbs.

  1. Get about – the way you walk or go from one place to another
  2. Get across – make someone understand what you are want to say
  3. Get after – criticize someone for things you don’t like
  4. Get along – a harmonious relationship
  5. Get around – deal with a problem successfully
  6. Get at – suggest or imply something indirectly
  7. Get away – escape or leave to relax
  8. Get away with – escape undesirable consequences
  9. Get back – return to a place or seek revenge
  10. Get behind – fail to do something and later try to accomplish it
  11. Get by – accomplish something with great difficulty
  12. Get down – remove yourself  from a higher place or relax in an unhibited way
  13. Get down to – give serious attention to an important matter
  14. Get in – enter a place or be elected to a position
  15. Get into – affect other people’s behavior and influence them
  16. Get off – escape punishment
  17. Get on – step or climb aboard; make progress in a specific way
  18. Get on with – harmonious relationship
  19. Get onto – begin a task or project; begin talking about a topic
  20. Get out – leave a location; secret information becoming public knowledge; express disbelief
  21. Get out of – find a way to escape responsibility
  22. Get over – recover from a sickness; overcome a difficulty
  23. Get rid of  – throw something away or seek to be free of it
  24. Get taken – To be fooled
  25. Get through – experience a difficult situation; make contact with someone
  26. Get to – annoy someone through persistant action; deal with a problem at a later time
  27. Get together – gather a group of people
  28. Get up – arise
  29. Get used to – become familiar with something
  30. Get wound up become tense or anxious over a situation

Create your own sentences in the comments below to practice each of the Get Phrasal Verbs above. Especially any of them that you didn’t yet know.

Youtube Videos With About The Phrasal Verb Get

10 GET Phrasal Verbs: get down, get off, get through, get up, get away… English Lessons with Adam – Learn English [engVid]Phrasal Verb Get Playlist

How do you use GET in English as a phrasal verb? Go Natural English

The verb GET | Phrasal verbs with GET | English lesson Crown Academy of English

Phrasal verbs with “Get” Learn English with Papa Teach Me

5 Phrasal Verbs with GET – get up, get along, get ahead, get by… Learn English with Alex [engVid]

20 PHRASAL VERBS WITH GET. PHRASAL VERB GET WITH EXERCISES AND EXAMPLES. PHRASAL VERBS IN ENGLISH – English Professionally – phrasal verbs in English, English grammar lessons and English words

14 GET Phrasal Verbs: get across, get along, get around, get at, get away, get by, get down, get in, Top Ten English Expressions and Idioms

27 Phrasal Verbs with GET: Get along, Get over, Get off, Get through, Get down, Get on, Get up…

Phrasal verb GET part 2, get away, get by, get on, get over, get through final by Antonia Romaker – English and Russian online

Phrasal Verb | Get | English Speaking Practice | ESL | EFL Mark Kulek

Learn GET PHRASAL VERBS : Top 10 Phrasal Verbs with Get – Love English with Leila & Sabrah

Brazilian Youtube Videos With About The Phrasal Verb Get In Portuguese

Os 20 verbos frasais com GET mais úteis do inglês (phrasal verbs) | Dica #24 SmallAdvantages

Phrasal Verbs com GET | English in Brazil  English in Brazil by Carina Fragozo

More Sites & Resources With The Phrasal Verb To Get

147 Phrasal Verbs with GET: Get along, Get off, Get down, Get up… https://7esl.com/phrasal-verbs-with-get/

19 phrasal verbs with ‘get’ https://onlineteachersuk.com/phrasal-verbs-get/

Phrasal Verbs with Get  https://www.ecenglish.com/learnenglish/lessons/phrasal-verbs-with-get-0

Thank you for taking the time to learn about the phrasal verb Get. If you have questions or feedback, let us know in the comments below. And of course, let us know what other things you would like to learn in future English lessons.

English Conversation About Jobs And Companies for Intermediate Business ESL Students

Learn new Engish vocabulary about jobs and companies in this business English lesson for ESL students at the intermediate level. Some common words that confuse English students like…

  • the difference between vocabulary words like ‘found‘ and ‘founded
  • the difference between ‘division‘ in math and a business
  • how to pronounce similar words like employ, employee, and employer

And you will also discuss your position, job description, and responsibilities as in intermediate ESL student in this Business English lesson

12 Tips On How To Improve Your English With Kindle Books

Hey there, English students! Do you like reading and want to know how to improve your English with Kindle books?

If so, here are 12 tips to help you make use of the Kindle app that is probably already installed on your cell phone. If not, go install the Kindle app now.

Learning English with Audiobooks – Live Chat

  1. Improve Your English Vocabulary – Reading Kindle books is a great way to increasing your vocabulary which means you understand more of what you hear and you can express yourself better
  2. Quick Tip for Kindle Dictionary: If you see a word you don’t know, just press on it until Kindle’s built in dictionary pops up so you can learn what the word means
  3. Quick Tip For Kindle Flashcards: You can also add new vocabulary words and phrases to your flashcards which is built right into the Kindle app as well to review them later
  4. Master English Grammar: Reading also allows you to assimilate the grammar structures implicitly which means don’t have to remember grammar rules to form better sentences and speak better English
  5. Improve Your English Pronunciation: Listening along with the audiobook version of your story allows you to learn how to pronounce the words correctly as well as reduce your English accent
  6. Learn English Expressions For Language Fluency – You can also learn many new idiomatic expressions by reading the dialogues in your Kindle book, which means you, will know what they mean when you hear them as well as be able to use them yourself in the proper context as you model what you have been reading
  7. Read Your Books Anywhere on your Kindle – The nice thing about Kindle books is that you can read them on your phone anywhere you go. i.e. a line at the supermarket, waiting for a friend in a park, or anywhere you happen to be
  8. Millions of Free Books – You can read millions of books like Hunger Games, Harry Potter, and Beneath A Scarlet Sky through Kindle Unlimited for less then ten dollars per month https://amzn.to/2EIpoWt
  9. No Credit Card? Search for completely free books in Bookbub weekly deals https://www.bookbub.com/ebook-deals/free-ebooks and choose the genres that you enjoy reading
  10. Most Kindle Books Offer Audio Versions – You can find the audiobook versions right on the same page as the book or just join Audible for new books to listen to each month https://amzn.to/2NEEf7s
  11. Get Free Audiobooks – And many books in Kindle Unlimited include the audiobook version for free. To find free audiobooks, just search for ‘Books With Narration In Kindle Unlimited’ on Google https://amzn.to/2u8ZYv2
  12. Read Kindle Reviews First – Just make sure to read the reviews on Amazon or Goodreads to see other people’s reviews and recommendations to make sure the book will be something you enjoy before you invest time or money

indle Updates Your Reading List Automatically – That way you can share you current reading list as well as the books you want to read next in a vibrant community of other readers just like you

Time Machine Man [ESL Audio Short Story]

Joe is a man who dreams of traveling back into the past, and then later of traveling into the future. But what will he do when the opportunity arises? And why do we desire things that we end up hating when we finally get them?

This is a short story, I wrote for my ESL students to help them improve their English listening and speaking skills with the audio for Time Machine Man here >>>

There was a man. His name was Joe. Joe lived in the future. Society was messed up. People were messed up. Joe felt like he didn’t belong there. He wanted to build a time machine. He wanted to travel back in time. He wanted to go back into the past. He wanted to return to the good, old days.

Joe talked about it all the time, but his friends just laughed at him. “Forget it, Joe. If you build a time machine, travel to the future. The future is where it’s at.”

Joe didn’t agree with them. He thought that the future would be worse than the present. Besides, he didn’t know what was in the future. But he did know what was in the past. He loved the past. He lived his entire life thinking about the past. He studied the past.

He ended up quitting his job at a research facility. He became a history teacher. He read about the past. He read about different cultures. He traveled to many different places.

Joe wrote many articles. He gave many speeches about past history and cultures. He became very famous. He consulted for famous movie directors who made movies about the past. He made a lot of money and became very rich.

Joe told everyone that they should build a time machine and return to the past. The past was where it was at. If they could return to the past, they could do whatever they wanted.

One day, a friend of his from the research facility paid him a visit. He told Joe that they had built a time machine. He asked Joe to join them on their first trip. But Joe didn’t want to go. He liked his life here and now. He thanked his friend for the invitation.

“But I thought you wanted to go back into the past. I thought you didn’t like it here. You said that people were messed up. You said that society is messed up. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. You should go,” his friend said.

“Nah,” said Joe. “I like the status quo. My life is good here, and I don’t want to mess it up. If I travel back into the future, it might mess things up even worse. You shouldn’t travel into the past. You should travel into the future.”

Joe contacted his famous friends. The celebrities and politicians. They passed a law to ban time travel into the past. They didn’t want to mess things up. They were afraid someone might change things and cause them to lose out on the good life.

There was a huge public outcry. Most of society wanted to travel back into the past. They wanted to change things. They wanted to try and change their lives just like Joe had when he first began. But now that things had changed and life was good, he didn’t want to shake things up. It would be too risky.

There was a huge debate. People screamed. People cried. But celebrities and politicians were firm. The law was the law. If you broke the law, you suffered the consequences.

“You do the crime, you do the time,” they said.

The scientists in the lab didn’t worry about it. Joe’s friends from the research facility traveled back in time. They found Joe while he still worked at the lab before he became famous.

“Hey, Joe. It’s us from the future. The future is messed up. People are messed up. You’re messed up. We came back to pick you up and take you back in time.”

Joe just shook his head and refused to go.

“No, I don’t really want to travel back in time,” he said. “I like it here. I like my life. I don’t want to mess that up. We need to look to the future. The future is where it’s at.”

His friends just sighed and shook their head. They didn’t understand what was wrong with Joe. How did this happen? They didn’t know.

“Sorry, Joe. Our machine can only go back into the past. We don’t know how to make it go forward into the future.”

They couldn’t figure it out. How someone could complain about something all their life, and yet when faced with the opportunity to change, refuse to take it.

“Okay, Joe. Stay here and enjoy your life,” they said. “We’re going to travel back in time to see the past firsthand. We’re going to make history together with those who live in the past.”

And off they went. Joe just smiled. Talking about the past was nice. He loved reminiscing about the good, old days. Joe liked to complain. He liked to think about how things could have been. And yet, he didn’t want to relive the same things over again. He wanted to look forward to discovering what would happen in the future.

Joe began researching everything he could about traveling to the future. He talked with everyone about the future. They just laughed at him and called him crazy.

Joe ended up quitting his job at the research facility. He wrote many articles. He gave many speeches. He consulted for many famous movie directors making movies about time travel. Joe became very famous. He became very rich.

Until one day, he received a visit from his friends from the research facility.

“Hey, Joe,” they said. “It’s us from the past. We discovered a way to travel to the future. Let’s go see what the future holds for us.”

But once again, old Joe refused.

“Nah,” he said and shook his head. “I don’t really want to travel into the future. I like it here. I like my life. I don’t want to lose what I have. I love my friends. I love people. I love society. We need to stay in the present. The present is where it’s at.”

His friends all sighed and shook their heads. They didn’t understand what was wrong with Joe. How did this happen? They didn’t know. How a man who complained all the time refused to change and follow through on what he said.

Joe just smiled as he sat in his old brown chair. He picked up his pen and wrote his first fiction novel about a man with a time machine who could visit the past and visit the future whenever he wanted. But Joe himself never worked up the courage to go with them. He only wrote out the stories that they told him.

Thank you for reading my latest ESL short story, Time Machine Man. I hope you enjoyed it.

If you have questions about any of the vocabulary or expressions, leave a comment below. Let me know what you thought of the story and how you interpret it as well, if you want some extra writing practice.

If you would like the audio file that I narrated to go along with it to listen to, it’s available on Gumroad. Just click the green button below that says ‘I Want This’. You’ll also get the PDF, ePub, and Mobi versions for download as well.

Let me know if you have any questions or need any help

More Short Stories & ESL Resources

Read the latest ESL audio short story here

See all of Dave’s books here

Improve your English skills here


The Engineer & The Child

English students can listen to the audio https://www.patreon.com/posts/engineer-child-15723357

There is an Engineer. He watches people. Mostly in Brazil. His attention lately has been on a young child. A girl. She is a pretty young thing. Not more than 5 years old, but she has a gift. A special gift. A gift that he gave her. She doesn’t know she has it yet. No one does in fact. Except for him. He smiles. There may come a time when the world may need her gift. Hopefully not. But at least she will be ready.

He drops in from time to time to watch her up close. She goes to a normal school. She lives in a normal family. He keeps close tabs on her. He even has a watcher observing her 24/7 who is standing invisibly off to the side.

He nods curtly at the watcher. The watcher makes no gesture in reply other than brief eye contact. His eyes were everywhere. Watching everything. Observing the slightest flutter. Completely and utterly absorbed in his watching. Hopkins admired their focus. It was intense. Never wavering. Once assigned a mission they never wavered or backed down until the mission was complete.

They were all good, but this was one of the best which was why Hopkins had chosen him for the assignment. Not that there was a lot to see. And not that she was in any real danger. No one knew what she had. Yet. Not even she was aware of it. No one except the Engineer himself. Not even the watcher knew why he was watching over her. He must have known something was up, but he would never be able to guess why. Even if he tried. But his focus was so intense, the Engineer doubted that he even paused to entertain these thoughts.

He had been given a task, and he fulfilled his duty to the utmost of his ability. Every ounce of energy and attention absorbed in fulfilling the singular assignment he had been given. Watch over the child. Keep her safe. Come what may. Her life worth more than all of theirs combined. Their hopes. Their dreams. Their lives. All tied up in hers. If anything happened to her, their lives wouldn’t be worth the dirt they trod.