Episode 22 Transcript

You're listening to the business in Morocco podcast the
podcast that discusses all things
business and all things Morocco my name
is Ryan Maimone I'm here with my co-host
Ryan Kirk and our goal is to share our
knowledge and experience with you in order to help you gain wisdom skills and
habits that can help you succeed in
business and in life you can learn more
about us by going to our website moroccopodcast.com alright let's get started
with today's episode it's gonna be a
lovely day.
welcome to episode 22 this week we're
going to be talking about English
learning methods and resources but first
let's get an update Ryan what's going on
I've spent the weekend here in Casa
which was nice
I'm in the midst of doing these
team-building getaways four out of five
weekends so this was the one that I had
at home which was fantastic spent time
with the family spent time reading
recharging kind of puttering around the
house which I enjoy and I was able to
catch the Moroccan
football match against Benin which was
tragic very very painful to watch kind
of mourning that a little bit but there's bright hope for the future what
about you Ryan what's new yeah I watched
that game too and I can't help but think
that the Morocco national team is going
to break out at some point when I was
watching the World Cup in Russia I felt
like they were so close to winning all
three of those games and now I've
seen them in this Africa Cup really
being tough having perseverance and
endurance winning games late
something that doesn't get commented on
is how well they're playing defense
I mean they did lose in penalty kicks and overtime and they had an
opportunity to win on a penalty kick
in regulation and it hit the post but
they played amazing defense the whole
game yeah during the penalties I felt
like who's this guy I haven't seen the
keeper all match right and so I think
the future is bright for the Moroccan
team but for me this week I continue to
service my normal clients doing some
more business development here in
Morocco and also online with clients
back in the States
then developing a marketing program
that's going to sell some information
products to help small business owners
acquire new customers and I'm working
towards launching that marketing program
in the next few weeks it'll be a
combination of online marketing and mail
actually junk mail is what it's called in
the United States when you get a
promotional letter in the mail or a
postcard and you throw it in the junk
however because of the recent
trends around the world of marketing
going online of course on television the
amount of mail that people get physical
mail letters postcards has gone down
dramatically and they're actually
seeing higher conversion rates for hard
mail Wow advertisements that makes sense
yeah it's gone out of favor and now you
can distinguish yourself by sending
someone a physical letter or postcard in
the mail because it's somewhat special
now as opposed to an email right which
costs fractions of a penny to send and
can be sent out to millions of people at
the same time whereas it takes a
little bit more effort and a little bit
more money to send a postcard so I'll
keep our listeners updated on the
progress of that so is that a
system or a plan that can be used
anywhere in the world or are you
creating it specifically for a certain
context I am creating it specifically
now for the United States because the
postal rates are relatively low and the
delivery rates the reliability is
relatively high so I can go online
I can upload a mailing list and I can
upload templates for these postcards and
they will print all the postcards and
mail them wow they print it as well yeah
they allow you to design the postcard
and then they mail them
to the recipients on your list all for
one price and there's a lot of companies
doing this so the prices are really
competitive I've looked at the metrics
and in order to break even I would need
four or five postcards to convert to a
sale out of every thousand Wow yeah
that's a low conversion rate so I'll
keep everybody updated on that
I also continue to look for office space
here in Casablanca I think that I have
found the space and I'll be doing a
second look this week for confirmation
and potentially sign a lease in the next
several weeks wow that's exciting there
will be more to come regarding the space
it won't be just for me working as an
office but I have plans to make it part
co-working space and part startup
incubator meaning for young talented
Moroccans who need a place to work in
and have an idea for a business whether
it's a physical business or an online
business a technology business the
business model will be in exchange for
workspace and resources I would get a
share of the company it's very well
known in in the United States they have
these startup accelerators or incubators
where you welcome these startups into
your space and you support them with
resources and then you get a portion of
the company in return so I'll be looking
at that in the next several months as
well that's cool
all right let's get into the topic of
the day which is English learning
methods and resources Ryan you've lived
here in Morocco for a few years you've been producing English content what have you
learned about English as a Second
Language and what can you share with our
audience yeah I've been in this
multilingual environment for the last
five years so I have been intentionally
trying to learn language myself starting
with French trying a variety of
different methods and resources and then
now starting to dabble in Darija and
working on learning Darija as well
but then also just interacting with a
lot of people who speak English as a
second or often third language almost
all the students in my class it's not
their native tongue and so I've seen
some of the different experiences they
have and the varying levels of success
there's a lot of different methods but
the most ideal is the idea of
immersion so the more that you can just
immerse yourself just completely
surround yourself with a language where
it's what you hear it's what you
need to use daily and the more aspects
of your life that are infiltrated by
this language the faster you acquire it
and the higher level you reach so
obviously the people that you meet who
speak the best second or third language
probably lived in an environment they
probably lived somewhere where that was
what they had to use because it just
rapidly accelerates your progress so if
I want to improve in French the best
thing I can do is put myself in a
situation where I have to use it like
take a job where I need to speak it or
people are speaking to me in it it's
going to be really challenging at first
but my acceleration will be
the best I completely agree to the extent that you practice you will
improve and immersion is the best way to
practice it forces you to listen to read
to write and to speak in the language
that you are trying to learn one of the
downsides of immersion is it's very
uncomfortable all the time
and it can be exhausting because
your brain is literally changing
initially when we learn language there's
a chemical change in the brain your
ability to speak the language is a
chemical change in the brain and that's
short-term memory but in order for
language to take root in your brain
and become second nature so that you
don't have to think about it before you
speak that chemical memory has to turn into
physical memory and that takes time and
it takes effort and it takes repetition
and practice so some of the best methods
for learning a language whether it's
English or French or any other language
is to do it every day read every day
write every day watch videos with
subtitles every day listen to the
language from native speakers every day
put it on your calendar we've talked
about this in the past you do what is on
your calendar people get done what is
scheduled for example this podcast that
we're doing right now it's scheduled
it's on our calendars we have set aside
the time to do it and if you're serious
about learning English or any other
language you need to set the time aside
each week or each day to practice yeah it's very true right now I have
about 6 hours a week that I'm devoting
to learning Darija and the only reason
why I've improved
is because it's a set appointment I have
a private tutor which not only is it
scheduled but there's some
accountability there because it's an
appointment with somebody so if I
scheduled you know to study by myself
well that's one point in the right
direction scheduling it but without an
appointment I lose some of the
accountability and when I have a really
busy day or something comes up that I
wasn't planning there's a real
temptation to push it off to let that
appointment since it's only with myself
get rescheduled for something that seems
to be more urgent at the moment because
learning language is one of those tasks
that's important but not urgent
there's no dramatic consequence if I
don't do it today
however those things add up over time
and if I continue with it little by
little I'll reach my goal of being able
to speak and and understand
formal training formal language learning
is a good option for people if you can
afford it and you have the time it may
not be a viable option for everyone to
be able to pay a tutor or to be able to
pay a school to learn and one of the
alternatives is to find a mutually
beneficial relationship let's say your
Moroccan and you're fluent in Darija or
French find someone who speaks English
or any other language you want to learn
who also wants to learn French or Arabic
and then put it on the calendar to meet
with that person every week I'd spend
half the time speaking the language you
want to learn and half the time speaking
the language they want to learn this is
something that I did when I was in
France I met a young actor who wanted to
audition for roles in movies and TV
shows as a fluent English speaker and we
spent hours and hours every month
speaking English and French so that he
could develop the
accent of a native English speaker and
it was mutually beneficial because I
wanted to practice my French as well in
a safe environment in which I could ask
questions and make mistakes
without being embarrassed which is
another obstacle to learning language
the fear of making mistakes and
embarrassing yourself every time you
make a mistake that puts a bookmark in
your mind of oh that's wrong and now I
know what the right answer is to that
question or the right way to pronounce
that word I have many words and
phrases like this in my brain in French
where I know what not to say because I
made an embarrassing mistake in the past
but you have to you have to go
through that process
in order to become fluent are
you looking for books in English in
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and start shopping and reading now back
to the show yeah both my wife and I have
already some embarrassing stories of
mistakes we've made both in French and
Darija and it's true it helps you at
least pause before getting to those
words if not make sure you've got it
right this time so you don't repeat that
mistake it's very true
you can find people who are looking to
learn French or Darija you can find them
on Facebook there are many different
types of people there are Americans or
Canadians or Brits or Australians who
are working in Morocco for foreign
companies and either they or their
family members want to learn French or
Arabic there are expats who are working
at universities or at places like the
American school or George Washington
Academy or SIST other english-speaking
universities those workers or their
family members want to learn the local
language because to be quite honest if
you can only speak English in Morocco
you're gonna have a hard time living
here because so many people don't
speak any English at all and you're not
going to make a lot of friends and
you're not going to be able to go about
your daily life without being able to
speak Darija or French and so there are
people out there who are willing and
eager they are motivated to spend time
learning French or Arabic and I'm sure
they would be happy to help you learn
English as well yeah I mean that's the
reason why we have our kids in a French
school because we want them to be able
to play at a local football club or go
to Scouts or go to birthday parties make
friends and they study Arabic as well so
that they can interact at the the Marche
or with someone else they meet on the
street so they don't feel isolated by
just being limited to English
and you're right I was at a party last
weekend met a family from Paris and the
husband's working for a bank here but
the wife is taking Darija classes you
know she speaks fluent French she speaks
fluent English but they live in Morocco
now and she recognizes I need to learn
some Darija so at least I can hold
conversations I can do business in the
Marche whatever I need and so there's an
opportunity there if somebody could
tutor her and teach her the local
language she'd be happy to pass on her
French or her English Ryan what are some
pitfalls to avoid when learning English
what are some bad habits or some things
that you've learned that people do
when they're learning English that are
not that effective or maybe a waste of
time or money I think there needs to be
a balance between legalistic structure
of a language and the way people
actually speak it in real life I know
I'm part of a few Facebook groups that
contain students English students and so
they really need to go deep in studying
the rules of English and grammar and
sometimes I'll debate them and tell them
that's not how we say it
and they might they need to choose do I
learn English to get marks on an exam or
do I learn English to use it in the real
world because as a native speaker I
can't always tell them what the teachers
gonna ask them on an exam there's
probably grammar rules and names of
things that I don't even know but I can
tell you if you speak like that people
will know instantly that it's not your
first language so I think we need to
know rules of grammar and different
languages have stricter rules or less
strict rules but there needs to be a
balance of how is the language actually
used on the street yes last year as a
method of discovering the market here in
Morocco testing methods of marketing
advertising customer acquisition I
developed a business English class
I don't feel especially motivated to be
an English teacher but I wanted to teach
business and I was going to do it in
English and for me it was an exercise in
understanding how do you reach people
here in Morocco through Facebook through
Google through LinkedIn are there other
methods and will this work and so I did
my research into the available English
schools here and tutors I found out what
the going rate was for English tutors
whether it was private or in a classroom
and I talked to students about what they
liked about various schools and what
they didn't like so I designed my class
to meet the needs of the students and
avoid the things that they didn't like
for example I think it's a bad idea to
pay a school to attend a class that has
a lot of students 20 or 30 students I
think that's mostly a waste of time
because most often those schools it's
cheap they don't charge a lot but the
way they make money is by having a lot
of students in the class which
means you're not going to get a lot of
individual attention and you're probably
not actually going to practice speaking
very much those classes also tend
to not start on time so they may be
advertising a three-hour English class
but it starts a half an hour late and
then an hour into it they take a half an
hour break so of the three hour class
you spend an hour not actually speaking
and then since there's so many students
in the class you don't actually get to
practice that much so I would
caution our listeners about paying for
these classes that have a lot of
students and are at these bigger
established schools because it can be a
waste of time and a waste of money and
often they just follow a book that may
not be relevant to the type of English
you're trying to learn there's a cost
involved but obviously the more specific
individualized attention you can get the
more benefit which is why your idea of
exchanging language is a great way
because it can be 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 but
since you're both offering each other
something there's no money exchanged so
it's a way around that cost
inhibitor let's talk a little bit about
resources for learning English of course
we'll start with the best one which is
this podcast hello you can go to morocco
podcast.com and watch all of our
episodes on video with the subtitles
this is an excellent method for
improving your comprehension is to read
the subtitles of an audio file or read
the subtitles of a movie to help you
associate the sounds with the words
right so our episodes are about 30
minutes long but it takes probably close
to 45 minutes plus to go through the
transcript and just make sure that
google has corrected the right words or
has transcribed the right words
now we don't worry about the grammar
we're not capitalizing words or putting
punctuation or periods and commas but
all the words that we're saying are
going to be there and the reason why we
take the time to do this is partially
for SEO on our website we want search
engine optimization but the second
reason is to provide that as a service
that we recognize there be listeners
that don't have the same level of
English we may use an expression that
you're not familiar with or we might get
excited about the topic and start
speaking too quickly and so the ability
to go on youtube and to pause it, or to download the
transcript from our website and just
scroll along as you're listening will
really help you pick up each and every
single word which is a huge help when
learning a language we'll put all these
resources on our website on the
resources page one that I can recommend
is called espressoEnglish.net there are
trainings on the website that involve
audio and video and reading the creator
of this website has really taken the
time to create lessons that can improve
your English quickly and your ability to
interact in certain ways in certain
aspects of life in English and you have
the ability to go through the
trainings and select different paths
based on your needs I'd also love to
put in a plug for Dar America so for
those of our audience that are in
Casablanca this is an incredible
resource where you can go and attend
events that are delivered by both
foreigners and Moroccans
but all the events all the topics are
presented in English they are doing
events all the time almost daily on a
variety of different topics so you can
find things that interest you but then
as well everyone in the crowd is
motivated to speak English to learn
English to use English and so even as
you meet other students or other
professionals in the audience you can
make friendships with those that are
wanting to learn wanting to practice and
there's a real mix of foreigners and
locals and those who are studying and
learning and those who are already
fluent and so that's a great resource to
further your level you've been listening
to the business in Morocco podcast my
name is Ryan Kirk here with my co-host
Ryan Maimone if you enjoyed this episode
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and we'll give you a shout-out on the
show our theme music is lovely day by
Bill Withers
used under creative commons and we hope
you'll have a lovely day
doing business in morocco we'll see you
next time

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