Speaking English is like Writing an Essay

Speaking English is kind of like writing an
essay. Why is speaking in English like writing an essay? That is what this lesson is all
about! When I was an undergraduate, I studied at
an art university. I studied Fine Art and I specialised in oil painting. Now, Fine Art
students don’t get many essays to write. And when they do, they complain about it! “I’m an art student, I only want to learn
to paint! Why do I have to write essays?”, They’ll say. And me? Yeah, me too! Every time we had an
essay to write, I would complain and I would say the same things. However, unlike my classmates,
when we were given an essay to write I would start writing straightaway. They? They would
leave it to the last minute. But no, I would start writing straightaway. Now, you may think, “Wow! What a good student.
You didn’t leave it to the last minute. You started writing immediately, straightaway.”
But, no, you’d be wrong. You see, the reason I started writing straightaway is simply that
I wanted to get the essay finished and done and out of the way really quickly. So, I would head straight to the library.
I would get to the library and I would sit down at the computer and I would start to
type. But it was painful! I didn’t know what to say. I would force myself to write. But
the words, they just wouldn’t flow. Eventually, I would finish the essay. It would take the
whole day and it will be really difficult but I would finish. Do you think I ever got good grades for those
essays? No, of course I didn’t because those essays were terrible! Then one day, something happened. We were
given an essay to write and the topic of the essay was something that I was really interested
in. This time, I didn’t start to write immediately. Instead, I went to the library and I started
to read books. I read many books and many things on this topic. And then I realized I still had to write the
essay. So I went to the computer and I sat down to write. But this time, it wasn’t painful,
it wasn’t difficult. The words just flowed through my fingers into the keyboard. I finished
the essay really quickly. I handed it in and you know what, I got a really good grade for
that essay. The problem with the first essays that I wrote
was that I had skipped the initial reading stage. I was trying to output something that
I knew nothing about! So of course, it was painful. I had nothing to say. However, with
the essay that I was interested in, I spent a lot of time reading first. I put a lot of
information about that topic in here. So when it came time to write the essay, I
had many things to talk about. So, it wasn’t painful. It flowed smoothly. So if you ever
have trouble speaking English and you’re finding it hard to find the words and things to talk
about, try doing the same. Just stop, stop worrying about speaking English and about
practicing your speaking and go and read some books. Read books about things that you are interested
in. Read magazines, read anything, watch t.v. Read and listen to British stories. Listen
to the radio, listen to podcasts. It doesn’t matter, anything that you’re interested in.
Do all those things in English. Put a lot of information and topics in your
head so when it comes time to speak English and have a conversation, you will have much
information to draw from, many topics to talk about and you will find the conversation will
flow much more smoothly. And also like writing, you will also find
that the topics you are really interested in are the topics you will use again and again
and again. The more you talk about those things, the smoother you will become and the easier
and more automatic that it will become. And that is why speaking English is just like
writing an essay. So that is it for today’s lesson. So my question for you is this, “have
you ever had a similar experience? Or time when you just didn’t know what to talk about?” If you have, tell us all about it in the comment
below this video and I will see you in the next lesson. By the way, I just want to tell you about
the Doing English daily newsletter, you can join the newsletter by clicking on the link
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43 Replies to “Speaking English is like Writing an Essay

  1. Very useful Julian, I was in the same situation like you, the situation is much improved since I read more online newspaper about certain topics, I was thinking that I need to read more and more. Thank for the video.

  2. I was always very good at essay writing but when it comes to say something in English my confidence, self-esteem and all the knowledge I've got flies away like a flock of scaried ravens in the park. 😉

  3. Julian, I have a habit of starting an Essay and never finish it. It been so all my life. Now I am learning English, would be no different. I start a lesson, star another and then another, and I can't end, never… I change from one subject to another, because I feel bored. But now, you've talked about it, I'll try to finish each lesson, however boring it may be. Thank you for everything! Hugs!

  4. I had a bunch of experiences like that .When i was in the university, writting an essay is just like torture, especially in the topic about linguestic >_<
    My teacher noticed about students dont like writting calss, so she just taught us about a formulation: first Paragraph is main idea , and second , third forth paragraphs is illustrate about the main idea and give some  examples, the final paragraph is the conclusion and coordinaton aout the thesis. But … i found out that with this formulation , every students wrote the same kind of essay , thats really not fun.
     It was also happened frequently in my conversation class, teacher always called on students randomly in the calss , most of time i just standing there without anything in my brain , quite embarrassing. finally , the teacher used another method to intrigue our motivation , that was played drama. I rememberd i had play Orpheus. He is the son of  Apollo and Calliope ..(((why me..><".he is boy (((…but anyway , it was reallllllly fun

  5. Hi there, you are absolutely right, Julian! Reading and attentive listening (e.g. "talking" radios like BBC 2 or 4) is the best way to "install new software into our brains". I've been practising this method for last few years, and it works perfectly well. Now, there is plenty of topics I can talk about because I acquired wider vocabulary. Additionally, taking part in discussions stimulate my brain to sort and organise what I already know into more and more smooth sentences. It's easier to put thoughts into words. And you know what guys, I feel much better in my own skin 🙂

  6. Hi julian. It's happened with me. When I was doing a intership in a university here in Brazil, a student ask me about where is some place and I locked and did't know what to talk. Nothing comes to my head kkkkkk. then I asked for another people talk to him and help. I will try your tip and learn more magazines and books for improve my vocabulary :). thanks.

  7. Hey, Julian! I just discovered your channel yesterday, I've subscribed. I've found your channel great in learning English. Please continue uploading lessons to teach people. I'm now currently checking out almost all yoir videos 🙂

  8. Julian,
    I have speaking exercises in my school, but subjects we talk about are usually boring and just stupid. So.. I must learn English myself. It's difficult and need a lot of motivation. Thanks for being, because youtubers like you make my path easier.

  9. Thanks for your time that you're giving . It's nice of you to find a way to help others.
    and your lessons are pretty useful!

  10. You've helped me a lot to develop my listening skills. I really enjoy your videos. Thanks a lot
    Antonio, Fortaleza, Brazil

  11. In my opinion, writing an essay on a particular topic in a foreign language is more easier than discussing it, unles you have a good grasp and a good background of this language. Once you have these assets, it becomes quite different.

  12. i am Chinese. In conversation, I think I don't have vocabulary items enough to explain my own opinion to others. What should i know in learning English vocabulary items ?

  13. Hi.. I would like to share my share my story with you I work in a hotel when I start my work I have to brief my staff everyday morning about task and job what they need to do in that particular day.so when I start briefing I get confused and I cant talk properly in front of them but its not stage fear but I feel it like im not prepared before I conduct my morning briefing. this is happened to me several times however I managed to overcome with this problem recently as you said that it was like I don't have enough information in my mind to share with them because I always talk with my language with my friend so that when I want to conduct a meeting in English I get confused because iam not confidence .



  14. Hello Julian
    Many thanks for you inspiring emails and video lessons. I've really found it interesting and useful. In regard with this video, I absolutely agree with your point. If I do not have enough vocabularies and knowledge about a particular topic, I won't be able to talk about it. I have been listening to radio programmes, in particular I am very interested in radio dramas like the Archers in the BBC radio 4, TV serious and films with a pen and a little paper handy. I mean I have been using those programmes to get new phrases, expressions and vocabularies and put it into my English storage in my mind ;). So I guess alongside enjoying films and radio programmes, we can gain new things as well.
    Thanks again for your great lessons. Keep it up mate.

  15. You really get the point of speaking and writing! I had almost the same experience with you. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

  16. Amazing technique to learn english, anything I'd say. Thanks Julian. When you write about something means you know about itself.

  17. Hi Julian, I think the different dialects and accents of English make learning English more interesting and fun, and I agree with you that "standard" and "non-standard" are more suitable descriptions (vs "correct" and "incorrect").
    Having said that, if a learner asked me whether he could pronounce "th" as /f/, I would still tell him to avoid that and to practise saying the /θ/ or /ð/ sound. This is just to avoid confusing the learner.

  18. Hi Julian, I really love your videos. They're useful and very interesting. Thanks for your hard working 🙂

  19. This video taught me about the other use of WOULD. It is something that I had tried to internalize since I started studying its uses. It was great for me to find this video that make me understad, in context, the use of WOULD. Thanks a lot.

  20. Some time ago I tried to take IELTS test , but I was worried the I might fail in writing, although I speak well  with some mistake , so I did not take it, till now. that was before 2 years.I like writing so much still looking for hints.but tonight i found you , hopefully I get benifit of this u tube , its very helpful its really great, thanks.

  21. I need to know your sexual orientation and your kids/marriage status… That's all I think when I was watching your videos!!!

  22. Julian you are so right. When I was in 1st year, I wrote so slowly and often got very low grade. However, after writing dozens of essay, I realised that it would be way much easier to write if I knew the topics. Most of the times, I couldn’t speak or write is because I still haven’t cleared my mind. I’ll try to use your techniques by adsorbing more information that I like and share it with my English speaking friends. Thanks for your video 😊

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