Lesson Transcript


Becky: Welcome to a special Inner Circle Audio Lesson! I'm Becky and I'll be your host. My co-host today is the founder of Innovative Language... Peter Galante!
Peter: Hi everyone! Peter here.
Becky: Listeners, there is one month left in the year
Peter: And everyone knows about it....But nobody ever uses it. What is it?
Becky: In this Inner Circle, we’re talking about the Power of Deadlines....
Peter: ...And why deadlines actually work when it comes to language learning goals!
Becky: Welcome back to the Inner Circle, Listeners.
Peter: We’re now in October...
Becky ...and there are only 2 months left in the year!
Peter: Listeners, remember the yearly goal you set in January? Well, time’s running out!
Becky: Peter, didn’t you set a 30-minute Italian conversation goal for this year?
Peter: I did! Actually... I’m kind of pressed for time though!
Becky: Yeah, 2 months is not a lot of time. So the question is: can you reach your goal?
Peter: Tough question, Becky. I was about to reach 27 minutes this summer...
Becky: ...Then you dropped down to 20 last month. Remind us...what did you promise for this month?
Peter: I promised 27 minutes.
Becky: Don’t keep us in suspense! Did you reach your monthly goal?
Peter: Well...I’m only at 25 minutes of Italian conversation. We did a timed test two days ago.
Becky: Okay, so you’ve got 5 more minutes and 2 more months to hit your goal.
Peter: I’m definitely feeling the pressure right now, believe me! December 31st is the deadline.
Becky: The deadline. Listeners, this is the topic of today’s Inner Circle.
Peter: The Power of the Deadline.
Becky: We all know about deadlines, right?
Peter: A deadline is the latest time by which something must be completed.
Becky: For example, a teacher could tell you to have homework ready by Friday.
Peter: Or...that you must file your taxes by April 15th.
Becky: Both are deadlines. We all know them.
Peter: We all get them. And most of us also try to follow them.
Becky: But most learners don’t realize how powerful deadlines are as motivation...
Peter: And for getting things done. Especially your language learning goals.
Becky: So, in this Inner Circle, we’ll cover three points.
Peter: One: Why successful learners use deadlines to reach their language learning goals.
Becky: Two: How Peter is ramping up to meet his December 31st deadline.
Peter: and Three: How YOU can take advantage of deadlines to ACTUALLY make progress.
Becky: Okay, let’s get right into point number one.
Peter: Why successful learners use deadlines to reach their language learning goals.
Becky: Or in other words, why deadlines actually work.
Peter: So, Becky, when you think of deadlines... what comes to mind?
Becky: Hmm. I think of a teacher assigning an essay by a certain day. And then I do it the night before.
Peter: That’s a great example actually, because it shows how most people use deadlines.
Becky: They wait until the last minute?
Peter: And they realize they need to hurry up up to meet the deadline.
Becky: This is like my entire school life summarized in one line!
Peter: (laughs) That’s exactly what it’s like for most people. However, the magic of the deadline is that it clearly shows whether you’ve reached your goal or not.
Becky: Kind of like when you set your monthly goals, right?
Peter: Right. So, you either reach it. Or you fail.
Becky: I think that’s what makes a deadline so motivating.
Peter: You got it, Becky. And listeners, that’s why I set monthly goals that lead into my yearly goals...
Becky: ...and that’s why we urge you to set small, measurable, and actionable goals with a deadline.
Peter: ...Like, for example, learn 100 new words by November 30th.
Becky: You either reach it. Or you fail.
Peter: That really puts pressure on you. And that’s very motivating.
Becky: And unlike people that wait until the last day...
Peter: ...Successful learners use all of the time available, for example, 1 month.
Becky: ...Because learning 100 words the night before the deadline wouldn’t be very effective.
Peter: ... nor would you remember them all 2 days later.
Becky: I think most learners avoid deadlines and pressure because it seems hard and makes learning less fun.
Peter: Well, this takes us back to setting goals. If your goal is small and measurable, you won’t feel pressure...
Becky: ...but you will accomplish it and know how much progress you’ve made.
Peter: Successful learners know this, so they start with small goals. And to reach them by the deadline...
Becky: They don’t wait until the last day! Once they reach a new goal...
Peter: Then they start a new goal, and aim higher.
Becky: Kind of like what we’ve been doing this year, listeners. Okay, let’s move onto point number 2.
Peter: How I’m ramping up to meet my December 31st deadline.
Becky: Are you feeling the pressure yet, Peter?
Peter: Becky. 2 months left. I lost progress. I’m at 25 minutes. 2 kids to take care of. You have no idea.
Becky: Well, you did bounce back from 20 to 25 minutes!
Peter: That’s because of the deadline. I’m really ramping up to meet that 30-minute conversation goal.
Becky: Let’s get into your process. What are you doing exactly?
Peter: Well, after dropping to 20 minutes, which was awful by the way, I am using 3 new methods that I haven’t used much before.
Becky: Oh, what are they?
Peter: Listeners, the first method is super simple, but extremely effective. It’s writing every day.
Becky: Writing? Really? I thought you wanted to maximize your Italian speaking.
Peter: Oh, I do. But let me tell you why this is so effective.
Becky: Okay.
Peter: Writing allows me to actively engage with Italian. That’s something I can’t do by just listening.
Becky: What do you mean by that?
Peter: Let me explain. Every day, I’ll write a journal entry in Italian. Now, because I’m talking about my day... like “Today I went shopping. I played with the kids. And I didn’t get enough sleep last night” I’m essentially expressing what I talk about on a daily basis. Things that happen to me.
Becky: Except, you’re doing it in Italian.
Peter: Right! And if I don’t know how to express something, I’ll use Google Translate.
Becky: So, you’re also learning new words as you try to express more things.
Peter: And it fits into my schedule. I can write anytime. I just take 5 to 10 minutes and write my experiences throughout the day.
Becky: Alright. So, what do you do after? I imagine there are a lot of mistakes in that writing.
Peter: So after, I’ll send that day’s writing over to my tutor. She’ll correct it.
Becky: And you’ll have the corrected Italian?
Peter: AND I’ll have conversation topics for my Skype and in-person sessions. I can easily tell them what happened with my kids this past week.
Becky: And by that time, you’ll already have the corrected Italian to use.
Peter: Exactly!
Becky: Ahhh, I see how this works now.
Peter: Right. What I write is easily translatable into conversation. And because written and spoken Italian are pretty much the same....
Becky: ...You improve your speaking skills too. I see! Have you been doing this all month?
Peter: Well, for the first half of the month, I was only listening to lessons. Now, I’m listening to lessons and writing daily.
Becky: I see. That’s a great method.
Peter: And here’s another tip: I read what I write out loud. And then, I re-read at a faster and faster pace. This improves my speaking speed...
Becky: ...so when you talk to your tutor...
Peter: ...I can answer her questions and reply almost automatically. Like a real conversation.
Becky: Okay, great! So writing daily is the first method. It gives you topics to talk about, you get corrected, and it helps you with speaking in general.
Peter: That’s right! The second method is related to the first one.
Becky: How so?
Peter: Well, I use ItalianPod101’s Premium PLUS MyTeacher tool to send her my writing.
Becky: By the way listeners, if you don’t know, Premium PLUS My Teacher is a feature that puts you in direct contact with your language teacher....
Peter: You can send them your writing, and they can correct it and add their own feedback.
Becky: You can also record your voice so they can give you feedback on pronunciation.
Peter: ...And it comes with the Premium PLUS subscription.
Becky: So she gets your writing, corrects it, and sends it back, right?
Peter: That’s right. That takes about 24 hours or less. By that time, I’m writing more material...
Becky: ...and the cycle keeps going.
Peter: And best of all, I can record my voice with Premium PLUS MyTeacher’s voice recorder so she can judge my pronunciation.
Becky: Does she use the recorder too?
Peter: She does. I actually try to do that with every piece of writing I send. She’ll make a recording, comment on my accent and provide me with correct pronunciations.
Becky: Wow, that is a really useful feature to have for our Premium PLUS users!
Peter: Now, the third method is something you all have access to, listeners.
Becky: What is it?
Peter: It’s the Progress Tracking Dashboard. Since I’m using ItalianPod101 lessons, I want to be sure that I’m making progress.
Becky: The Dashboard is a great tool for checking off lessons, seeing how much you’ve completed...
Peter: ….And most importantly, knowing which lesson to study next.
Becky: I think since you’re under a lot of pressure, this is very useful.
Peter: Exactly! I don’t have to worry or think about what lesson to go to next.
Becky: Because the Dashboard guides you to the next lesson.
Peter: Becky, it definitely makes my life easier!
Becky: Okay, so the three methods we covered were: 1) writing on a daily basis
Peter: 2) Using Premium PLUS My Teacher and getting corrections
Becky: and 3) using the Dashboard to track progress and knowing what lesson to do next.
Peter: And these tools, combined with my weekly tutor sessions, have helped get me back to 25 minutes of conversation.
Becky: To be honest, I’m surprised writing worked that well!
Peter: It’s that cycle of writing and learning new words, getting corrected, and using it in conversation on an ongoing basis.
Becky: Alright. So this deadline really has you going. And our listeners now know how you’re improving.
Peter: But listeners, you’re probably wondering... how can deadlines work for YOU?
Becky: This is the part that separates successful learners from unsuccessful ones.
Peter: Successful learners set deadlines and try to reach them.
Becky: Remember, It’s OK to miss your goal by a bit. It might mean that the goal was a bit heavy and you need to go lighter.
Peter: Unsuccessful learners don’t set goals because they feel it’s too much pressure...
Becky: Or they set them and forget them.
Peter: Or...even worse, they wait until the last minute.
Beck: And again, this is why we suggest your monthly goals are...
Peter: ....Small, measurable, actionable...
Becky: ...And have a deadline.
Peter: Since they’re small... like learning 100 words by November 30th... they’re doable.
Becky: That’s right. If you do 5 words per week day, for 4 weeks, you’ll easily master 100 words in 1 month.
Becky: Plus you won’t get overwhelmed, and you won’t feel much pressure.
Peter: Because they’re measurable, you’ll know if you reached 100 words or not.
Becky: And since they’re actionable, you’ll know how and when to study. For example...
Peter: ... “I’ll learn 100 words using the Top 100 Core Word List and Flashcards...”
Becky: “...I’ll study 5 words per weekday, for 4 weeks, at 9PM until November 30th for 10 minutes on my laptop.”
Peter: Finally, the deadline is the final indicator of whether you reached your goal or not.
Becky: It gives you the motivation to reach your goal, because as soon as that day comes...
Peter: ...either you know all 100 words, or you don’t!
Becky: Well listeners, there are only two months left in the year!
Peter: So be sure to set your monthly goals!
Becky: How close are you to the yearly goal that you set in January?
Peter: Let us know in the comments section!
Becky: And let us know if you use deadlines in your own learning process. Do they work?
Peter: And as far as my monthly goal goes...
Becky: What will you be aiming for?
Peter: Well, I have 5 minutes and 2 months left...
Becky: And you’re at 25 minutes now...
Peter: So Becky, I’ll shoot for 28 minutes.
Becky: Good luck! Time is running out, listeners! We’ll see if Peter hits his goal this time!
Peter: Oh, have a little faith, Becky!


Becky: (laughs) Well that’s going to do it for this special Inner Circle lesson!
Peter: Bye everyone!
Becky: Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next time.