Home » Season 1 » Studying vs. Learning

Studying vs. Learning

Why are there so many English schools in Brazil, but only 1% of the population is considered fluent in English?

In this episode, Foster and Jackie talk about the difference between someone who only studies and someone who really learns. Are our teaching methods all wrong? Are you wasting your time by studying?

They confess to some of the challenges they’ve faced while learning Portuguese and share some of their more difficult experiences with languages. They also discuss the merits of learning rules and grammar, as well as the merits of taking a relaxed approach to learning and being involved in the language. And, finally, they give tips on how to become someone who truly learns a language by making a few simple adjustments. You won’t want to miss this!

1. Why after studying a language for so many years, are we still unable to speak and communicate effectively?
2. Let’s talk about the difference between a student and a learner. Which one do you most identify with at this moment?
3. When you study, are you studying to take a test and get a good grade? Or are you studying to apply the information to your life in some way?
4. Do you feel like learning a language has been a transformational process for you?
5. What do you struggle most with? Speaking, studying the grammar rules, listening comprehension, etc.?
6. What can you do to immerse yourself in the language more? How can you increase your input and your output?
7. Do grammar rules help you or stress you out?
8. How can you apply what you are learning to your everyday life?
9.  What are your current weaknesses?  What are you avoiding while speaking or writing? What are some possible solutions to help you with these weaknesses?
10.  Do you consider yourself a life-long learner? What are you currently learning about in your life other than the English language?

“When the language becomes a part of who you are, the transformation happens.”

Homework assignment: Reflect about how you are spending your time. Are you studying all the time or are you avoiding the grammar and the things that make you uncomfortable? What is one simple thing that you can do to just incorporate English in your life besides studying and filling out exercises?



So, Foster. We’re starting off a new year right now. Maybe by the time people listen to this, it won’t be the beginning of the year. But I’m actually a big believer that you can start fresh at any time. You don’t have to wait for a new calendar year or even a new day or a new month, anything like that. And a lot of people this time of year have these resolutions. They want to become fluent in English. So what do they do? They look for schools, teachers, courses, things like that, which are all wonderful ideas. But I’m not sure how you feel about this. But when I first came to Brazil, I was really shocked by the number of English schools that I saw. Like, every single street had an English school. And it seemed like everybody I met was studying English or had studied English at some point in their lives. Yet, there were very, very few people that could communicate in English at a higher level. And I actually did some research about this. I do believe that Brazil is, if not the leading country – or one of the leading countries of having the most English schools in the world.

every single street = algo como “toda santa rua”; acrescentamos o “single” para dar essa ênfase
– I have to get up early every single day! I’m so tired!

yet = quando usamos “yet” antes do verbo, é uma maneira um pouco mais formal de dizer “but” (“mas”), expressando um contraste
– I have to get up early every single day! I’m so tired!


Not necessarily the statistic you want to be known for.


Yes. However, only 5% of the population can communicate in English at a reasonably decent level, and only 1% of the population is considered fluent. So to me, there is a disconnect between what is happening in the classroom and what needs to happen for a person to actually become fluent in English.

reasonably = razoavelmente
– We can buy this, it is reasonably priced.


Mm hmm.


Do you mind telling me, like, what your opinion is of this? What your experiences…?


Yeah. You are speaking my language quite literally. So I had the same… I don’t know if you would call it an epiphany, but the same realization, when I arrived in Brazil, and especially when we started “Inglês Nu e Cru Rádio” a lot of Brazilians were telling me like, “are you seriously going to try to compete with, like” – we don’t need to name names – “but all of these huge corporations that have billions of dollars?” I believe that (the) English learning industry just in Brazil is like a billion-dollar industry.




And that’s crazy. But if you walk around the streets of Brazil, not that many people speak English really well.




So, yeah, the disconnect is very, very obvious. And it seems like a huge problem. Like it almost seems kind of like a scam or like a pyramid scheme.

a scam = um esquema desonesto, geralmente feito para tirar dinheiro das pessoas
– This advertisement is offering a smartphone for only two hundred reais! It must be a scam!

a pyramid scheme = lit. “um esquema pirâmide”, um tipo de esquema desonesto cuja forma principal de lucro para os representantes é através do recrutamento de mais representantes, e não pela venda de um produto
– “Did you watch that company’s presentation?” “Yeah, but it sounds like a pyramid scheme to me. I don’t trust it!”


Right. But what’s interesting is I would say it’s not just Brazil. Like, if you look here in the US, most people study a foreign language when they’re in high school, whether it be French or Spanish, Italian, whatever, German. And most of these people do not finish the four-year program speaking fluent Spanish or French.


Right. Right.


And I think this applies to not only languages, but just almost everything we learn. And if we go back and think about like how schools are set up, we learn for what? We learn to pass a test, right? We want to get a good grade on a test. So we… we study all this information so that we can fill out the correct information, get the right answers on a test, and then ideally get a good grade in the class. And I was exactly this student; I studied Spanish in high school and in college I was in these advanced-level classes, I was getting really good grades. And then I studied abroad. I went to Spain, and I got there, and I realized, oh my gosh, I don’t know anything. And it was terrifying.

set up = o phrasal verb “to set up” significa “montar”, ou “estruturar”
– Did you remember to set up the equipment?

terrifying = aterrorizante
– Speaking in public for the first time was terrifying for me!


Same! Same thing, for sure.

Same! = forma curta da expressão “I could say the same thing!” (lit. “eu poderia dizer a mesma coisa”). Podemos dizer também “same here” (lit. “o mesmo aqui!”)
– “I had so much fun today!” “Oh, same!”


It’s terrifying. So it’s – I don’t want people to think we’re picking on the poor Brazilians, because I do think it’s it’s not a problem with being Brazilian or being American or being anything. What I have found is that there’s a tremendous difference between being a student and actually being a speaker. And some people are amazing students. They are life students. And I’m a life student. I think we – it’s really, really important to study. But there’s, like, a process that we go through. To be – there’s like a transformation that we, we have to go through so that you’re not just a student, but you’re actually someone who applies that information to your life, incorporates that information, and uses that information in a very natural way. And once you get to that final step of someone who actually, like, integrates whatever content you’re learning and it becomes part of you… Like, for for both of us, speaking Portuguese is now part of who we are. It’s not something that we simply study.

to pick on someone = fazer bullying com alguém
– Mom! Jamie is picking on me!




We carry it around with us all day long, we use it for our lives, we use it with our significant others, with our work, with whatever. And because of that, it’s – it’s part of us. It’s who we are. We’re not students of Portuguese. We are speakers of Portuguese.

Significant other = maneira de dizer “parceiro (a) romântico”
– I bought a present for my significant other, I hope he likes it!


Yeah, honestly, I have not studied Portuguese in at least, like, eight years, I guess, and I never really studied it that intensely in the first place.




But I think, at least from my perspective, the differentiation that you’re making is… we have students that are studying something; (it) could be to pass a test for any reason, it could be because their school requires them or society is telling them to study. And the difference I make is the difference between a student and a learner or someone that is learning something.




Because you can sit down and study grammar all day and not learn anything.




Yeah. So for me, I think that’s where the disconnect really lies; is between the act of studying – like, to learn something, you need to study, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are learning something simply because you are studying. Does that make sense?

where something lies = “onde algo se encontra”, usamos para expressar algo como “é aí que está/se encontra x/y/z” quando estamos falando de ideias e questões.
– The secret to success lies in having discipline and determination.


Exactly. And I mean, you can study a million different things, but until you actually reflect on them and use them and actually maybe change in some ways, incorporating them in your life – and this applies to everything; when it becomes a part of you is when the actual transformation happens. And I think for people who want to learn English, there are some simple ways to do this. Simply whatever it is that you are studying – like, we have to study, there’s nothing wrong with studying. But let’s say you’re you just watched a video about the present continuous tense. I am talking, you are listening, things like that.

the actual transformation = a verdadeira transformação; “actual” expressa “verdadeiro” ou “(a coisa) de verdade”
– This is just an estimate. Do you know the actual numbers?




So a way to incorporate it is to when you leave the class, start describing what’s happening all around you, like, carry it with you. And I think a lot of us, we’re in this world – like, sometimes I feel like it’s like a firehose of information. It’s just like, so much information being thrown at us all the time.

a firehose = uma mangueira de incêndio (usado aqui como uma metáfora para “enxurrada de informações”)
– Hurry! Get the firehose and let’s put out this fire!

being thrown at us = lit. “sendo jogado na gente”, expressão com a forma passiva do verbo “to throw”, que significa “jogar, arremessar”
– Hey! Don’t throw rocks at the birds!


Inundated with…


I’m like, “aaah, I can’t handle all of this”. I want to – like, you want to like, drink it all in and remember it all, but our brains just can’t work that way. We have to pause and reflect. And I think with social media – and Foster, I know you’re not on social media, so you’re better than all of us. But it’s such a distraction that as soon as you finish one thing, it’s like you instantly open up your Instagram and then you almost forget what you just did because you just switch your focus and start scrolling and looking at other people’s pictures. So if we just spend, you know, a couple of minutes reflecting on and even writing, thinking about when we could use this information and then actually start using it. To me, that’s like the most impactful thing that any student can do. And it’s hard; it requires a little discipline and a little effort on your – on the student’s part. But once you do that, you, you actually… you don’t just learn it to take the test. You learn it for yourself, so that you can actually use it in the future if necessary. It’s a really simple step.

scrolling = forma ing do verbo “to scroll”, usado para expresser “rolar a barra de um site, pdf, etc.”
– I scrolled to the bottom of the site and found the information I needed.

to drink it all in = lit. “beber tudo pra dentro”; expressão idiomática que significa “absorver tudo (que se está ouvindo, vendo, etc.)”
– This museum is incredible! I just want to drink it all in!


Yeah. I think for me it really helps to take this out of the context of language learning and apply it to any skill in life. So for example, I can see a guitar in the back of my screen. So, I play guitar. I don’t say that I am studying guitar. I don’t say that I’m learning to play the guitar. I still am learning new things every day, but I started playing the guitar when I was, like, six years old. I studied, I went to classes and took lessons. I mean, I still am a student, but I’m to the point where I actively say “I’m a guitarist” or “I play guitar”.




And that’s like the paradigm shift for me is when you’re not, like, trying to climb up this hill and maybe one day you’re going to get there, you’re already on top, and you’re just, like, hanging out on top and yeah. Reaping the benefits.

paradigm shift = “mudança de paradigma”
– We need a big paradigm shift in our company if we want to increase profits.

hill = morro
– My house is over there, on top of that hill.

to reap = colher (o que se plantou, por exemplo)
– The farmer is reaping the grain.

reaping the benefits = forma ing da expressão idiomática “to reap the benefits”, que significa “colher os frutos (de algo)”
– It’s important to feel like you can reap the benefits of your work.


Yeah. It’s like you’ve, you’ve already been through that, that transformation basically, of someone who simply studied guitar and was learning – you were always learning, that’s part of it. But now it’s, it’s part of who you are. It’s part of your identity. Like, you are the guitarist. And, and I even think being able to say that for some people, ah, is really a powerful thing, because some people struggle maybe with the limiting belief that they will never be able to speak English. And I think… you don’t want to say something that sounds like a lie, but, um… I do think it is – it does help to tell yourself things that will be helpful. You know, like “I can speak English, I am speaking English”, even if it’s just a little bit. But it’s not a lie, it’s true. And then energetically, like, you begin to embody that and it does seem like the process gets a little bit easier. So, I think for anybody who’s listening, if you identify with this “eternal student” or if you feel like you study, study, study, study all the time, yet you have a hard time speaking. I think most people identify with this. I definitely went through this when I had studied Spanish for so long.

to struggle = “lutar”, mais especificamente “lutar com dificuldade”, comumente usado também com “with” para expressar que temos dificuldades com algo
– I think my listening is good, but I really struggle with speaking.

for so long = por tanto tempo, por uma grande quantidade de tempo
– I was waiting for so long! What happened to you?


I even had a degree in Spanish. I was a Spanish teacher and I felt embarrassed to tell people that I wanted to be a Spanish teacher because I felt like my Spanish was horrible. Like, “how can I tell people I want to teach when I when I’m making all these mistakes and I have to stop and think before I speak?” But I think that simple act of just realizing that there is a difference between studying and actually incorporating everything that you’re learning… Once you start incorporating it, reflecting on it, using it – and also increasing your comprehensible input, I have to mention that all the time, because the more you listen, the more you just, like, bathe – it may feel like you’re not remembering anything or you’re not learning anything, but you are! You definitely are. Maybe it’s on a subconscious level, but you are filling your… your database with information. And when it’s time for you to speak, you won’t have to go back and think about the rules. You’ll just know what sounds right in that moment because you would have heard enough English or whatever language you’re studying. So there is hope.

to bathe = banhar, ou banhar-se (aqui sendo usado de maneira figurativa, expressando algo como “imergir”)
– I was waiting for so long! What happened to you?

what sounds right = lit. “o que soa certo”
– Does this audio sound right? I think that there might be a mistake.


I have two questions for you, Jackie.




Okay. I don’t know in what sequence I want to ask these questions. I think the first question I have for you is… it almost sounds like you’re advocating to “don’t worry about the rules too much, just speak and have fun and the rules can come later”. I am definitely a proponent of that school of thought. But I know you spend a lot of time teaching people grammar and the rules of English. So how do you kind of align those two things?

a proponent = alguém que argumenta a favor de algo, um defensor
– Michael is a proponent of a relaxed approach to studying.


I personally, as a student, I loved the rules. Like, it helped me tremendously. Like, I wanted to understand “when do I use ‘eu estive’ ou ‘eu estava’”, for example, or “when do I use ‘trazer’ ou ‘levar’”, all the – or “por – para”, whatever, all these things – .


Three things I still struggle with!


I know! And when someone said to me, “Oh, there’s no rule, you’ll just figure it out”. It was, like, the most frustrating response I could get because I know there are rules and the rules are there to help you, ok? If you’re the type of person that you feel like the rules are, are preventing you from moving forward, then, then take a break. But I think for a lot of people, the rules simplify things. Like, a lot of Brazilians struggle between make and do. When do I use make? When do I use do? Or the prepositions “in, at and on”. With situations like that, there are clear rules – with some exceptions, of course – but it really helps you, like, organize that information, make sense of that information, and then it is easier, in my opinion, to learn. But we need balance. So it’s not enough to just memorize a list of rules because you will have difficulty speaking, because every time you want to speak, you’re going to have to stop and think, “Wait, do I use in, at, or on here? Is it make or do?” Your brain is, is going so fast that you have to stop and think before you speak and that’s okay. That’s also part of the process. But I think if you’re at that stage where you’re stopping and thinking too much, increase your input, definitely increase your input and and take a break from the rules. Just listen a whole lot more.

take a break = tirar um tempo de alguma coisa, geralmente para descansar
– We’ve been working for hours! Let’s take a break and get some coffee.

increase = aumentar
– What can we do to increase the number of clients?

input = lit. “pôr dentro”, usado para falar de algo que “colocamos para dentro” de uma conversa, de nosso conhecimento, etc.
– Please give me your opinion, I would appreciate your input.


And then as you’re listening, you might hear something, “ah, he said, ‘I’m at the beach’”. Or “she said, ‘I’m in the pool”, or…You know, you’ll hear situations in a – in a natural way that will help you kind of review what you’ve learned. But I always talk about, like, we have to think of, like, a scale, you know, with the two sides. Some people study all the time. So they got one side that’s like really, really heavy and they’re not immersed in the language. And what they need to do is kind of balance things out and immerse themselves. Other people are completely immersed in the language and they can actually communicate pretty well, but they may make some basic mistakes. And if that’s the situation that they’re in and they feel embarrassed that they’re making really simple mistakes, even though they can speak pretty well, then they just need to study a little bit to brush up those basic structures and mistakes and then they can do it. But we need to kind of… Like, we need to be aware of what our weaknesses are, how we’re studying, and what we can do differently. And every single person is different, too. But I’m, I’m a proponent of both. I think rules are very helpful. I like them, they helped me a lot. But you can’t only study. You have to also immerse yourself as much as possible.

as you’re listening = “enquanto você está ouvindo”; o “as” aqui expressa o “enquanto”
– He was moving his hands excitedly as he talked.

a scale = uma balança
– Let’s weigh these ingredients on the scale.

to brush up = expressão idiomática que significa “melhorar um conhecimento que você tinha antes, mas que está um pouco defasado”, “fazer uma reciclagem”
– We haven’t worked in sales for a long time. We need to brush up our skills if we want to have good results.

to be aware (of something) = estar ciente (de algo)
– “Are you aware that the neighbors have moved? “Yes, it’s very quiet now, isn’t it?”




But now I’m going to turn the question back on you. Foster, what is your – what is your – what are your thoughts on this?


Hmm. I think the most important thing for me is that speaking predates rules. So grammar is simply a collection of rules that are attempting to explain why we speak the way that we do. So if you imagine when some, like, Indo-European language was being spoken 8000 years ago, they did not start with like, “okay, these are the rules of the language”. No, they were just speaking to each other and then someone’s like, “Yeah, this is kind of confusing. Maybe we should make some rules just so it’s clear”. So using rules as tools: good – Oh, there are a lot of final L sounds – but rules as tools, I’m a huge proponent of that. Like, if you’re using rules and grammar as an organizing principle, then that’s fantastic. But what you said about a scale – like, some people will be probably a little bit too lazy or not pay attention to the rules. I definitely fall into that category. And some people love structure and rules and love explanations and understanding why something works the way it does.

to predate = anteceder, aconteceu antes de outra coisa
– The television predates the personal computer by a few decades.




And I imagine you fall a little bit more on that part of the spectrum. And that’s totally cool. Um, it’s just kind of finding where you are on that pendulum and then striking the right balance.

striking the right balance = forma ing da expressão idiomática “to strike the right balance”, que significa “acertar o equilíbrio entre uma coisa e outra”
– You can’t just work all the time, and you can’t do nothing; you have to strike the right balance.


Exactly. Exactly. And at least when you – when you know what type of student you are and if you can… if there’s something that bothers you, like, “oh, I make simple mistakes” or “I, I’ve been studying forever, but I can’t speak”. There are some solutions to that. You know, we first have to just become aware of what our weaknesses are and then look for solutions rather than get frustrated and give up or blame our teacher or blame whoever, our husband for not teaching us correctly or whatever.

to blame = culpar algo ou alguém por algo ruim que aconteceu
– My older brother broke the vase, and then blamed me for it!


Yes. Yeah. And if you know what you want to learn or what you want to do or what you want to be, it becomes a lot easier to implement this. For example, when I was learning Brazilian Portuguese, what I really wanted to focus on was sounding like a Brazilian. Like, I want to have a good accent, I want people to think I’m Brazilian so I can make Brazilian friends.




And within that context, a lot of it was just kind of me listening to Brazilian music and Brazilian speaking and trying to pick it up naturally.

within = outra maneira de dizer “dentro” ou “por dentro”
– There are many mistakes within this text. Please fix them!


Mm hmm.


But there’s also a finite number of sounds that exist in Brazilian Portuguese. And I could say… ah, like this one sound, like, the “lh”, the “lh” sound.


That’s so hard for me, yes.


Yeah. I was like, “this one is difficult for me, so I need to focus on it”. So then I spent like two months walking around Rio de Janeiro saying like “milho, mulher, mulher”. And at first it was impossible. But with time I got it. So knowing what you’re going for really helps kind of organize what you need to study.




I think most people kind of take the opposite approach and it’s, like, “I study and kind of… the goal is not super clear. But hopefully one day I’ll speak fluent English”.




I think kind of flipping that script is helpful.

– to flip the script = expressão idiomática que significa “mudar algo de maneira inesperada” ou “fazer algo diferente do que era feito de costume”
– The Shrek movies really flip the script on the fairy tale formula.


Yeah. And just encouraging people to, to look within themselves to figure out where they’re at, what they want to improve on, rather than waiting for somebody to tell them. Because a lot of people don’t assume that responsibility. You know, they’ll say, “oh, well, my teacher never told me that I need to improve my pronunciation, so I never did”. But if it’s something that you feel is a weakness, then, then you need to be proactive and, and go after that. And it’s just these little tiny things that make a big difference. Like you were talking about the “lh” sound, which for me is awful. Like every time I say “melhor”, people are like, “Ah, how cute. You say ‘melior’!” I’m like, “I didn’t say it! There’s no “e” in there!” – “There’s no “i””, I mean; “melhor”, “trabalho, orelha. Guilherme” – oh my gosh, every time I got a “Guilherme” I was, like “oh, this is gonna….”

a weakness = uma fraqueza, um ponto fraco
– It’s important to know your weaknesses if you want to succeed.

to go after something = ir atrás de algo, buscar algo
– The dog went after the ball that the boy threw.


I just call them “Gui”.


There you go! But it’s okay. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to try to sound like you’re from another country that you’re not from. But I do think having good pronunciation is, is incredibly important because the first impression that you give when you speak another language has way more to do with your pronunciation than anything else.

way more = em inglês, é comum usarmos o “way” de maneira informal para dar mais ênfase, algo como dizer “muuuuito mais” ao invés de só “mais”
– This is way easier than I expected!

has to do with (someone/something) = “tem a ver com (algo/alguém)”
– This problem has nothing to do with you, don’t worry.




And it’s something that a lot of people don’t necessarily focus on.


Yeah, it’s hard to teach. So I think it is kind of ignored and undervalued in traditional schools. But you bring up a really interesting point of, like, “you need to assume the responsibility”. That sounds kind of scary to me.

undervalued = desvalorizado, que recebe valor abaixo do que merece
– School teachers are so undervalued!


Yeah. Sorry.


No, no, it’s totally true. But I’m imagining, like, how could someone understand what they need to take responsibility for? Does that make sense? Like, if I’m a Brazilian learning English and I know my English isn’t the way I would want it to be, how do I find those, like, places where I really need to focus?


Well, I think a lot of times people know probably more than they, they think they do. Like, if I were to – if someone were to ask me right now, “what areas do I need to improve on?” I may need a minute to think about it, but I could come up with some areas, you know, specifically the pronunciation and the subjunctive imperative. You know, I know exactly what areas I probably make some common mistakes. And when you’re starting out, you’re, like, at zero. So there’s so much for you to learn and you don’t want to overwhelm yourself by feeling like you need to be perfect. If anything, you should celebrate every little new word, new phrase, everything you do along the way. But I think a good indicator is the things that you avoid. So for example, if you’re talking to someone and you realize like, “Oh, I don’t know the word” or “I don’t know how to say tha”t, a lot of times we like take a detour. We, we go around it. I still catch myself doing that all the time. If I don’t know, like, the past verb conjugation of a certain verb, I’ll use a different verb to, to describe it.

to overwhelm = sobrecarregar
– Please don’t overwhelm me with information. Just tell me a little bit at a time.

a detour = um desvio de trajetória (por exemplo, quando o caminho normal está bloqueado, precisa-se fazer um “detour”)
– We were driving home when we decided to take a detour and get some ice cream. 


That’s my, my default. Yeah.


Yeah. And we do it a lot and it’s very normal. We get really good at it. We begin to think like, “Yeah, I totally killed it right there”. But it is good to maybe take notes of that word or that phrase or that specific point that you wanted to make and really kind of force yourself to figure out how to say this or rather than just avoiding our, our weaknesses. And I do this even with, with words with “lh” or words that I have a hard time pronouncing. I’ll think of a different word to use rather than that one. So I think if we just, you know, pay attention, “what am I avoiding?” That’s probably a good sign that that’s a little area that you can, you can improve on and work on.

to have a hard time = outra maneira de dizer “ter dificuldades (com algo)”
– My little cousin is learning to read, but he’s having a hard time.


I think that’s excellent advice. “What am I avoiding?” Yeah. And I also think that you kind of said this, that students probably know more than they think they do, probably more than they want to admit to themselves. But I think if you listen to the way you speak about your progress… so for example, let’s say 85% of students say some version of like “I understand much better than I speak”. Then you’re saying it right there; like, you need to focus on your speaking.


Yes. Yes, exactly. Exactly. So we know, we know – sometimes we like to pretend that we don’t know what our weak areas are. And it’s always good; people can bring things to our attention, too. When I started recording YouTube videos, I mean, and to this day, I get millions of comments from people correcting me and they’re polite and I appreciate it. You know, it’s, it’s very, very helpful. Like, “oh, you said “dize” instead of “disse”, you know, little tiny things. But I, I’m happy. Like, “thank you! Thank you for taking the time to correct me. Otherwise, I wouldn’t know that I was making that mistake”. So there’s, there’s always a lot to learn. And the more we learn, the more we realize that there’s a whole lot more to learn ahead of us.

to bring something to our attention = lit. “trazer algo à nossa atenção”, expressão usada para dizer “trazer algo que talvez você não tinha percebido antes”
– It has been brought to my attention that you are struggling with the new project. Is there anything I can do to assist you?

to this day = até hoje
– To this day, I haven’t been able to figure out why he broke up with me.

taking the time = forma ing da expressão “to take the time”; significa “tomar um tempo para algo”, ou “dedicar um tempo para fazer algo específico sem correr”
– I’m so happy that he took the time to see me today.

a whole lot more = “a lot more” significa “muito mais”, e “a whole lot more” é uma maneira informal de dar ênfase, como “MUITO mais”
– I thought this video would be a whole lot more difficult to understand.


Yes, I think that was my second. And perhaps final, final question for today. You identify as a lifelong learner, a student of life. And I think you absolutely are. Could you give, like a concrete example of perhaps something more recent, something unrelated to language learning or language teaching, where you’re going through this process of learning and therefore you have to study again? I just think it’s really helpful, at least for me to try to apply this same logic to different aspects of our life. Um, yeah. So do you have any examples of things that you’re learning?

therefore = maneira formal de dizer “portanto”
– We don’t have enough money, therefore, we can’t buy this equipment.


Yeah, absolutely. So I’ve recently and I think like you, too Foster, I’ve been on this, like, emotional intelligence journey for quite a long time and it’s never-ending. But I was I have been in this, like, study stage, like read all the books, listen to all the podcasts. I work with a coach, I meet with other people – you know, really trying to to learn how to…

never-ending = adjetivo que expressa “sem fim”
– The work here is never-ending! We seriously need a break!


Just why we do what we do and how to be better people in general. I’ve realized that I’m at the point now I have a lot of understanding, like I, I learned a lot, but I need to apply it in order to go through this transformation. And I do feel like I – there has been – I’ve changed a lot. Just simple things have completely changed my perspective. But for example, like noticing our triggers. So in the, in the self-help world, we talk a lot about our triggers. And I think what that could be comparable to when you’re learning a language, those things that kind of bother you or you avoid. But for me, in the past, like, if I was kind of triggered by somebody or a comment or some situation, I maybe reacted to it or I completely avoided it or I just like pushed it away. And now I’m at the point where I’m like, “Huh. Interesting that that created that feeling – like, that feeling came up from that person’s comment”. Or I’m listening to a podcast, a person tells a story and it either inspires me or rubs me the wrong way. I begin to just kind of disassociate the emotion from it and I just observe. So I’m not emotionally charged by it, but I’m observing it. I’m like, “Okay, why? Why does this comment make me feel like this? What else does it remind me of?” And, and then I end up going a little bit deeper into it. And I realize, like, “oh, this reminds me of ‘fulano’ from ten years ago that I had a bad experience with. How funny that it kind of brought up this reaction now!” So but it – it just helps me just not be so anxious or just understand my feelings a lot better in certain situations. And then yeah, I just think it just helps me be a lot more like at peace.

triggers = “gatilhos”; no contexto, algo que instiga uma reação específica, geralmente negativa
– I’m sorry I got so mad. This situation is a big trigger for me.

self-help = auto-ajuda
– Sally is always reading self-help books.

to rub me the wrong way = (lit. “me esfrega da maneira errada”) expressão idiomática que é uma maneira um pouco mais educada de dizer que algo “me irrita”
– I don’t like it when people use incorrect grammar with me. It just rubs me the wrong way.

emotionally charged = carregado emocionalmente, com carga emocional
– The keynote speech was really emotionally charged. Many people cried!


Yeah, it sounds like curiosity to me.


Yes. Yeah. Rather than judgement. So rather than like the judgement of the other person or myself for reacting a certain way, it’s exactly like you said; kind of “That’s interesting. I’m curious about this. Let’s let’s dig a little deeper and see what this is, what message this is telling me”. Yeah, it’s been really, really helpful. But that’s, I think, a perfect example of… I’ve studied a lot, but now I’m at the stage where I want to transform. I want to incorporate what I’m studying. So I have to apply it to my everyday life and I have to pay attention to these things that happen, the reactions that I have and, and reflect on them and just, you know, a lot of trial and error like anything. But every day, you know, we just keep learning and growing and evolving.

everyday life = vida do dia-a-dia
– Everyday life is very different when you travel to a different country!

trial and error = tentativa e erro
– We found the solution after a lot of trial and error.




What about you, Foster? Can you think of anything specific where you feel like – I mean, you gave the example of the guitar, which was a perfect example.


Um…yeah. That was that was a great example. Very happy with that one. Maybe something more recent… I might have mentioned this in another episode. I’m also on an emotional journey of sorts. One of my big things now is meditation. So I listened to every podcast about meditation for like five years before I actually meditated.

…of sorts = outra maneira de dizer “um tipo de algo”, mas é usado depois do sujeito
– We have a company of sorts here.




So now I’m, like, forbidden to listen to more things about meditation and I just need to sit down and meditate, literally sit down and do nothing.

forbidden = proibido
– Smoking is forbidden here!


It’s hard, though.


But I do feel the change. It’s like, “okay, now I’m meditating. Like, I’m not listening to a podcast about meditating. I’m a meditator”.




Which I think is the first time I’ve said that out loud. But I am. And it feels good.

out loud = em voz alta (não literalmente COM a voz alta, somente que não ficou só em pensamento)
– Reading out loud to your children is a great way to spend time with them.


Yeah. And once it becomes something that you do regularly and it doesn’t feel so foreign to you, it really is a part of you. And we have the ability to incorporate anything that we want into our lives.


Yeah. So I think that’s kind of the big theme that we’re trying to hit here between studying and learning. So bringing this full circle to back where we began with the quantity of English schools in Brazil and just the percentages, I believe you said 1% of Brazilians speak English fluently. Like perhaps at a professional level.

bringing this full circle = lit. “trazendo isto (ao) círculo cheio”, forma ing da expressão “to bring something full circle”, que significa algo como “voltar ao ponto inicial depois de ter desenvolvimento e passar por mudanças” 
– We started a discussion about finances, which evolved into philosophy, and then was brought full circle when we talked about the philosophy of finances.




That 1% is not more talented than the 99%. There’s nothing intrinsically better about them. But I do think two traits, two common characteristics that you almost need to have to be a lifelong learner: one is definitely in curiosity, you need to be curious. That is what motivates learning and prompts you to continue. And the other is just kind of the discipline to actually show up, create habits and routines, because anything that is worth learning probably takes a long time. So it really needs to be a part of yourself.

– traits = outra palavra para “characteristics” (características), traços
– Your personality traits are very important.

– show up = aqui significa “aparecer” (em um evento, por exemplo)
– When do you think Peter is going to show up at work? He’s already late.


Yeah. And when it’s part of your, your routine, there’s no effort needed. You don’t have to, “Oh, I have to do this today”, it’s just – it’s like brushing your teeth. It’s part of what you do automatically. So it’s – you’re on autopilot and you just carry it around with you. It becomes who you are. And it’s kind of like the butterfly; all the caterpillars, and then the 1% that become the butterflies and can go – go through that whole transformation. So I know a lot of you listening want to become that 1% and you definitely can. It’s available to everyone – it could be 100% of the people. We just have to think about not just studying, not becoming that, you know, not remaining in that eternal student profile and actually incorporating and, and transforming and integrating everything into our… into our life.

– on autopilot = lit. “no autopiloto”, ou “no automático”; no contexto, significa “funcionar no automático, sem pensar muito”
– I was so tired that I was functioning on autopilot last night.

– remaining = forma ing do verbo mais formal “to remain”, que significa “permanecer”
– Please, remain in your seats. We will land soon.


Absolutely. Okay. Jackie, I think we have covered pretty much all of this topic that we can cover.


 I agree!


Do you have any homework for our listeners?


Yeah. I guess I’ll keep it pretty simple because I know there was a lot of stuff that we talked about here, but I think the first thing would just be to self-reflect and how you are spending your time. Are you studying all the time or are you avoiding the grammar and the things that make you uncomfortable? And just think of one simple thing that you can do to just incorporate English in your life besides studying and filling out exercises, like, what can you do to carry it with you throughout the day? To start, it could be something as simple as “every day, when I wake up, I’m just going to describe the things I see in my room”, or “I’m going to think of all the words I know in English”, or “as I’m driving, I’m going to listen to something and really pay attention to it and reflect on it”. Or maybe listen to this podcast episode! Listen to it a hundred times if you want to!


If you’ve made it this far, you’re – you’re already doing great!


You’re doing fantastic! But reflect on it. Take a couple of minutes just to reflect, think and, and incorporate this information in your life. And it really makes a huge difference just taking that time and doing that.


Okay. I love that.


You have anything to add or…


No, I think that’s great. Self-reflection is super important not only in learning, but just as a general life skill. It is paramount.

paramount = absolutamente essencial, mais importante que todo o resto
– Having a basic understanding of personal finances is paramount if you want to have financial success.


Yes, 100%.


Okay. Awesome.


Great. Thanks, Foster.

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