[Listening] Larger Odds of Social Isolation?


Hey, guys! Long time no see!

This week we are gonna go exploring the secret linkage between social media and mental health.

The answer first:

social isolation

And congrats to those three who got it right first: (Anonymous users aren’t counted)




You guys really did a great job!

Okay, let’s get started.

Study co-author Brian Primack and his team from the Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health at the University of Pittsburgh surveyed 1,787 U.S. adults aged 19 to 32 and asked them about their usage of 11 social media platforms (outside of work). They also asked ???(one word missing) questions related to social isolation, such as how often they felt left out. The participants who ???(one word missing) spending the most time on social media—over two hours a day—had twice the odds of perceived social isolation than those who said they spent a half-hour per day or less on the same sites. Additionally, people who visited social media platforms most frequently (58 visits per week or more) had more than three times the odds of perceived social isolation than those who visited them fewer than nine times per week.

I can’t believe it…

The time I spend on social media is even longer than two hours… Oh no…

What about you? How much time do you spend on social media a day? If you are not addicted to it, share your experience with us!

See you!

Should We Ditch The Language Textbooks?

Learning A Language: Unconsciously And Consciously

Unconscious language learning does not mean learning a language while you sleep. Rather, it’s the ability to learn without realizing. Learning a language unconsciously happens predominantly in children, and is also commonly referred to as language acquisition. More traditional language learning methods such as grammar rules and instruction are conscious learning processes.

The more effective language study is language acquisition. By being actively engaged in speaking and listening, your focus is on the message rather than how it’s being communicated. Grammar rules are used sparingly and are used as a last-minute process to ensure thoughts are coherent. People successful in speaking a second language don’t use rules to form sentences.

Tip: Learn how to use translated into concise sentences within the U-Dictionary App.

So, if language acquisition is more effective than traditional methods, how can we learn language acquisition more effectively? Can we start ditching language textbooks?

Learning Language Acquisition (Without A Speaking Partner)

Let’s assume you’re trying to learn English. Speaking and listening in a second language usually requires a conversation between you and a native English speaker.

You may be in an environment where English native speakers are sparse. In that case, what alternatives do you have?

Try strictly thinking in English. More often than not we think in our native language. After knowing what we want to say, we have to translate our thoughts into the language we want to speak. That’s double the effort. Why not try thinking all in English? Even bilinguals have trouble switching between languages.

Learn through TV or movies. Choose a short dialogue from your favourite English show or movie and try to mimic their tone and speed. It’ll not only give you a better idea of how conversational English usually sounds but you might also learn some new vocabulary from it too.

Tip: Choose between our American and British pronunciation settings to know exactly what your translated word sounds like in English.

Practice without stopping. When we say something wrong or think we say something wrong, we have a bad habit of immediately trying to correct ourselves. This has a subconscious effect on us in that we become less confident and comfortable. Without having a speaking partner, find some time to practice on your own. It would help to practice in front of a mirror. It’ll get some time getting used to, and you might feel extremely silly at first. But we guarantee that perseverance will take you far.

Learning Language Acquisition (With A Speaking Partner)

Having a speaking buddy can be the most effective way to learn a second language. But even having a speaking partner have its complications: we’re afraid of making too many mistakes, we’re afraid of not sounding “native” enough, how does he or she think about my English?

This is where your personal practice time will pay off. Practicing with a native speaker shouldn’t be considered as your “practice” time. Rather, it should be a test of your skills. Additionally, it will give you insight on where you should be focusing your efforts.

Maybe you’ll discover that the words you’ve been practicing aren’t used for oral English and are more common in writing instead. Or, you’ll discover that you still have difficulty with the pronunciation of some words. In this case, don’t be afraid of asking the speaker to correct you. We recommend telling the person beforehand that you want to practice your English. It’s best to catch your mistakes before they become habits.

Can We Ditch The Language Textbooks?

No. We do not recommend skipping learning grammar rules. Regardless of what skill you’re trying to improve, good grammar is an essential skill that you should work to build. Learning how to speak fluently will differ from learning how to write effectively. It’s a common misconception that by knowing how to speak a language, you will automatically acquire great writing skills in that language. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

Textbooks should be used as a resource and not as a primary language learning tool. It will always be helpful to have a tool that you can refer to as you embark on your language learning journey.

Did you find this useful? Give us a comment, like, or share to let us know!

[Listening] The Magic of Mistakes!


Hey guys, many of you did a pretty good job yesterday, and here’s the answer:

‘excellence’ and ‘fixed mindset’

And today we are gonna look at what they tried in the project. Let’s get started!

In the task, children played a game, helping a zookeeper capture escaped animals by pressing the space bar when an animal ???(two words) on their screen—unless it was a group of three orangutan friends. During the recording, researchers noted that brain activity spiked within a half-second after making a mistake, as children became aware of their error and paid closer attention to what ???(two words). The larger the brain response, the more the child focused on the error.

Based on the data they collected, the researchers concluded that children with a “growth mindset” were much more likely to have a larger brain response after making a mistake, and in turn were more likely to improve their performance by paying closer attention to the task after making an error. (If you teach your child these three languages, you’ll basically be raising a future CEO!)

Wow, I didn’t know that mistakes can work magic!

What do you think? Do you believe the conclusion of this project?

Write a comment and share your thoughts with me. BTW, don’t forget to write down the answer to our listening practice!

[Listening] Pull On A Pair Of Skates And Twirl Around


Did you get the answer from yesterday’s audio?

Here’s the answer:

Saturday afternoons, funny coincidence

Today’s listening is a little challenging, but I believe that you guys can nail it! Shall we?

The following week, after yoga, it made sense to walk together to the subway to get into the city for the mentoring. She sighed a tiny bit as we waited for the F train, and I sensed the sigh was not directed solely at the tiresome weekend subway schedule. The train arrived, and we found seats side by side. I confessed to her that my heels have never touched the ground in a downward dog. Harmless little opener, I felt. She took her phone out as a defense as fast as you could say, “So what?” She reflexively asked where I was from. I told her. She seemed despondent, but soldiered on. “When did you move here?” “A couple of years ago.” ???(one word missing) exhausted, she said, “Remind me to ask you about your story when I’m less, like, crazy busy.”

That is how it came to pass that, instead of some small talk leading to an easy quietness, Warrior One sat beside Warrior Two in tense silence as they both scrolled through their phones. My ???(one word missing) companion believed that conversation had to be all or nothing. She didn’t know she just had to pull on a pair of skates and twirl around for a while.

Got it? They didn’t become best friends, and the author believes this is because of lack of small talk.

Are you good at small talk? Share with me in the comment!

C U next week!

Culture Shock Avoided [Listening]


Hi there! Finally back!

Answer for our last audio:

doesn’t sound ideal

putting it off

Many of you didn’t get “ideal” right and confused it with “idea”. Can anyone check in our dictionary and tell me in the comment what does “ideal” mean? 

Today we are gonna listen to a man giving suggestions on avoiding culture shock. Let’s get started.

Here are a few tips I read which are useful to avoid culture shock, these might be helpful:

Rule #1: Travel as much as you can.

People who have traveled a lot have naturally  experienced a lot of different cultures. They have often experienced culture shock in various ways. This means they often have a mindset that is more agile and relaxed when it comes to experiencing other cultures.

Rule #2: Remember you’re a foreigner.
If you’re from the US and you go to some parts of Eastern Europe, you might be surprised to learn that smiling is not welcomed and is actually seen as distrustful, or gestures such as nodding your head up and down means no. When you’re travelling, put all the assumptions you ??? (three words missing) to one side and above all, remember you’re a foreigner.

Rule #3: Meet the locals.

The best way to understand the local culture, and help prevent culture shock, is to go out and meet the locals. Visit the local market or go have a drink in the local pub. It’s the best way to see local people interacting with each other in a very ??? (three words missing).

How about this one? Did you enjoy it?

Leave a review!

Start the Day with Exercise [Listening]


Answer first:

even and specialized.

Today we are gonna listen to a piece about doing exercise in the morning(which is a huge challenge).

We have been doing this listening exercise for about two weeks, and some of you did a really great job. So I was thinking, it’s time for some kind of challenge! This time, instead of giving me single words, you need to fill in several words to complete the sentence.


Yeah, there are super humans among us who crave that pre-sunrise workout (that, or they’re just really good liars). Still, for everyone else, waking up at the crack of dawn to sweat and get sore probably ???(three words missing).

But the morning is probably the ideal time to exercise . By starting your day with exercise, you’ll prevent yourself from ???(three words missing).

Think about it this way: If some of the busiest people in the world can find time to workout, so can you. For example, ” What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast ” author Laura Vanderkam notes that former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns schedules an hourlong personal-training session at 6 a.m. twice a week.

“These are incredibly busy people,” Vanderkam said . “If they make time to exercise, it must be important.”

Share your answer with me! See you!