A2 - Lesson 09

Part 1 : Video Lesson & Transcript

Part : Listening & Reading comprehension

Part 3 : Use of English

Part 4 : Grammar lesson

Part 5 : Writing an essay & corrections

Part 6 : Speaking, interaction, & explanations.


Please make sure you unfold each content for each part of the lesson.  Merci de déplier chaque contenu pour chaque partie de cette leçon.



See instructions beneath the video.


“The Secrets of Learning a New Language"


The Secrets of Learning a New Language by Lydia Machova

Lydia Machova talks about the different ways we can successfully learn a new language.




1) Listen to the video without reading the text / transcript

2) Then Listen to the video again reading the transcript as you listen.

3) Then listen to the video again without reading the transcript.



I love learning foreign languages. In fact, I love it so much that I like to learn a new language every two years, currently working on my eighth one. When people find that out about me, they always ask me, "How do you do that? What's your secret?" And to be honest, for many years, my answer would be, "I don't know. I simply love learning languages." But people were never happy with that answer. They wanted to know why they are spending years trying to learn even one language, never achieving fluency, and here I come, learning one language after another. They wanted to know the secret of polyglots, people who speak a lot of languages. And that made me wonder, too, how do actually other polyglots do it? What do we have in common? And what is it that enables us to learn languages so much faster than other people? I decided to meet other people like me and find that out. 

The best place to meet a lot of polyglots is an event where hundreds of language lovers meet in one place to practice their languages. There are several such polyglot events organized all around the world, and so I decided to go there and ask polyglots about the methods that they use. 

And so I met Benny from Ireland, who told me that his method is to start speaking from day one. He learns a few phrases from a travel phrasebook and goes to meet native speakers and starts having conversations with them right away. He doesn't mind making even 200 mistakes a day, because that's how he learns, based on the feedback. And the best thing is, he doesn't even need to travel a lot today, because you can easily have conversations with native speakers from the comfort of your living room, using websites. 

I also met Lucas from Brazil who had a really interesting method to learn Russian. He simply added a hundred random Russian speakers on Skype as friends, and then he opened a chat window with one of them and wrote "Hi" in Russian. And the person replied, "Hi, how are you?" Lucas copied this and put it into a text window with another person, and the person replied, "I'm fine, thank you, and how are you?" Lucas copied this back to the first person, and in this way, he had two strangers have a conversation with each other without knowing about it. 

And soon he would start typing himself, because he had so many of these conversations that he figured out how the Russian conversation usually starts. What an ingenious method, right? 

And then I met polyglots who always start by imitating sounds of the language, and others who always learn the 500 most frequent words of the language, and yet others who always start by reading about the grammar. If I asked a hundred different polyglots, I heard a hundred different approaches to learning languages. Everybody seems to have a unique way they learn a language, and yet we all come to the same result of speaking several languages fluently. 

And as I was listening to these polyglots telling me about their methods, it suddenly dawned on me: the one thing we all have in common is that we simply found ways to enjoy the language-learning process. All of these polyglots were talking about language learning as if it was great fun. You should have seen their faces when they were showing me their colorful grammar charts and their carefully handmade flash cards, and their statistics about learning vocabulary using apps, or even how they love to cook based on recipes in a foreign language. All of them use different methods, but they always make sure it's something that they personally enjoy. 

I realized that this is actually how I learn languages myself. When I was learning Spanish, I was bored with the text in the textbook. I mean, who wants to read about Jose asking about the directions to the train station. Right? I wanted to read "Harry Potter" instead, because that was my favorite book as a child, and I have read it many times. So I got the Spanish translation of "Harry Potter" and started reading, and sure enough, I didn't understand almost anything at the beginning, but I kept on reading because I loved the book, and by the end of the book, I was able to follow it almost without any problems. And the same thing happened when I was learning German. I decided to watch "Friends," my favorite sitcom, in German, and again, at the beginning it was all just gibberish. I didn't know where one word finished and another one started, but I kept on watching every day because it's "Friends." I can watch it in any language. I love it so much. And after the second or third season, seriously, the dialogue started to make sense. 

I only realized this after meeting other polyglots. We are no geniuses and we have no shortcut to learning languages. We simply found ways how to enjoy the process, how to turn language learning from a boring school subject into a pleasant activity which you don't mind doing every day. If you don't like writing words down on paper, you can always type them in an app. If you don't like listening to boring textbook material, find interesting content on YouTube or in podcasts for any language. If you're a more introverted person and you can't imagine speaking to native speakers right away, you can apply the method of self-talk. You can talk to yourself in the comfort of your room, describing your plans for the weekend, how your day has been, or even take a random picture from your phone and describe the picture to your imaginary friend. This is how polyglots learn languages, and the best news is, it's available to anyone who is willing to take the learning into their own hands. 

So meeting other polyglots helped me realize that it is really crucial to find enjoyment in the process of learning languages, but also that joy in itself is not enough. If you want to achieve fluency in a foreign language, you'll also need to apply three more principles. 

First of all, you'll need effective methods. If you try to memorize a list of words for a test tomorrow, the words will be stored in your short-term memory and you'll forget them after a few days. If you, however, want to keep words long term, you need to revise them in the course of a few days repeatedly using the so-called space repetition. You can use apps which are based on this system such as Anki or Memrise, or you can write lists of word in a notebook using the Goldlist method, which is also very popular with many polyglots. If you're not sure which methods are effective and what is available out there, just check out polyglots' YouTube channels and websites and get inspiration from them. If it works for them, it will most probably work for you too. 

The third principle to follow is to create a system in your learning. We're all very busy and no one really has time to learn a language today. But we can create that time if we just plan a bit ahead. Can you wake up 15 minutes earlier than you normally do? That would be the perfect time to revise some vocabulary. Can you listen to a podcast on your way to work while driving? Well, that would be great to get some listening experience. There are so many things we can do without even planning that extra time, such as listening to podcasts on our way to work or doing our household chores. The important thing is to create a plan in the learning. "I will practice speaking every Tuesday and Thursday with a friend for 20 minutes. I will listen to a YouTube video while having breakfast." If you create a system in your learning, you don't need to find that extra time, because it will become a part of your everyday life. 

And finally, if you want to learn a language fluently, you need also a bit of patience. It's not possible to learn a language within two months, but it's definitely possible to make a visible improvement in two months, if you learn in small chunks every day in a way that you enjoy. And there is nothing that motivates us more than our own success. 

I vividly remember the moment when I understood the first joke in German when watching "Friends." I was so happy and motivated that I just kept on watching that day two more episodes, and as I kept watching, I had more and more of those moments of understanding, these little victories, and step by step, I got to a level where I could use the language freely and fluently to express anything. This is a wonderful feeling. I can't get enough of that feeling, and that's why I learn a language every two years. 

So this is the whole polyglot secret. Find effective methods which you can use systematically over the period of some time in a way which you enjoy, and this is how polyglots learn languages within months, not years. 

Now, some of you may be thinking, "That's all very nice to enjoy language learning, but isn't the real secret that you polyglots are just super talented and most of us aren't?" 

Well, there's one thing I haven't told you about Benny and Lucas. Benny had 11 years of Irish Gaelic and five years of German at school. He couldn't speak them at all when graduating. Up to the age of 21, he thought he didn't have the language gene and he could not speak another language. Then he started to look for his way of learning languages, which was speaking to native speakers and getting feedback from them, and today Benny can easily have a conversation in 10 languages. Lucas tried to learn English at school for 10 years. He was one of the worst students in class. His friends even made fun of him and gave him a Russian textbook as a joke because they thought he would never learn that language, or any language. And then Lucas started to experiment with methods, looking for his own way to learn, for example, by having Skype chat conversations with strangers. And after just 10 years, Lucas is able to speak 11 languages fluently. 

Does that sound like a miracle? Well, I see such miracles every single day. As a language mentor, I help people learn languages by themselves, and I see this every day. People struggle with language learning for five, 10, even 20 years, and then they suddenly take their learning into their own hands, start using materials which they enjoy, more effective methods, or they start tracking their learning so that they can appreciate their own progress, and that's when suddenly they magically find the language talent that they were missing all their lives. 

So if you've also tried to learn a language and you gave up, thinking it's too difficult or you don't have the language talent, give it another try. Maybe you're also just one enjoyable method away from learning that language fluently. Maybe you're just one method away from becoming a polyglot. 


  1. Listen to the video and answer all questions below  without reading the transcript /text of the video.
  2. Then read the transcript of the video and check your answers, before looking at the corrections.




  • How many languages has Lydia learnt?
  • True or false? People understand when Lydia explains that she can learn a lot of languages just because she loves that.
  • How can polyglots meet other language lovers?
  • True or false? Benny’s method is to speak a new language for one day.
  • Which 2 tools does Benny use for language learning?
  • True or false? Lucas from Brazil had a successful experience learning Russian on Skype.
  • List 3 additional methods for language learning.
  • True or false? According to Lydia, people learn languages in a similar way.
  • What do the language learners all have in common? Choose a,b or c.
  • a)They have travelled a lot
  • b)their mother/father speaks the target language
  • c)they enjoy learning languages
  • According to Lydia, what three additional principles do you have to apply if want to achieve fluency?
  • In what period of time can polyglots learn a new language?
  • True or false? Benny’s education in German and Irish Gaelic at school was ineffective.
  • What were the solutions for Benny and Lucas for learning languages well after finishing school?
  • What is Lydia’s final advice to the audience for learning a new language?




  • 1-8
  • 2-False, they’re not satisfied with her answer.
  • 3-Meeting at organised events
  • 4-False, to start speaking from day one.
  • 5-A travel phrasebook and websites
  • 6-True
  • 7-Any 3 of the following are accepted: using apps, cooking with English recipes, reading grammar, learning 500 most frequent words or imitating sounds.
  • 8-False, everyone has a unique way.
  • 9-C
  • 10-Use effective methods, create a system for yourself and be patient!
  • 11-In months
  • 12-True, he couldn’t speak at all when he graduated from school.
  • 13-Speaking to native speakers and getting feedback from them + having conversations with strangers on Skype.
  • 14-Try again using an enjoyable method.






Exercice 1 : chose the right answer.

1. George _______ the bus to go to school

  1. Uses
  2. Takes
  3. Goes in

2. My sister and I _______ completely different.

  1. Look
  2. Is
  3. Go

3. I ________ love this song.

  1. Very
  2. Listen
  3. Really

4. I made an appointment ________ the doctor.

  1. With
  2. For
  3. To

5. I am French. I come _______ France.

  1. At
  2. From
  3. In



Exercice 2 : find the right answer to the questions.

Questions :

1. How much does it cost ?

2. Is everything ok at school?

3. How many students are there in you class?

4. Do you want a chewingum?

5. What do you like? Meat or fish?

6. Can you pass me the salt, please?

7. Do you want to come to the market?

8. I love this song! Who is it?


Answers :

A. Here you are.

B. 16 in total.

C. Oh, I can’t remember!

D. No, thanks. I am tired.

E. Yes, I got an A in math!

F. I like them both.

G. 54,20 £

H. Yes, please.





Exercice 1 :

1-B;   2-A;   3-C,   4-A,   5-B.


Exercice 2 :

1 – G,   2 – E,   3 – B,   4 – H,   5 – F,   6 – A,   7 – D,   8 – C



Traduire les phrases suivantes en anglais, issues du texte de comprehension orale, puis retrouver ces phrases dans les premiers septs paragraphs du texte en anglais:

1. Il apprend quelques phrases d'un dictionnaire d'expressions figées et il rencontre des natifs et il initie toute de suite de la conversation avec eux. Ca ne le derrange pas de faire meme 200 erreurs par jour puisque c'est comme ca qu'il apprend, en ecoutant aux corrections de ses interlocuteurs. 

2. Et puis, j'ai rencontré des polyglots qui commencent toujours par imiter les sons de la langue et d'autres qui apprennent toujours les 500 mots les plus frequents de la langue. Il y a encore d'autres qui commencent par apprendre des lecons de grammaire.  

3.Et soudain, je me suis rendu compte que nous avons tous un point en commun; nous avons toute simplement trouvé des facons a prendre plaisir d'apprendre.






The future perfect – with “will”

Here's the positive form (it's just 'will' + infinitive):

  • I will meet him later (I'll ..)
  • You will come (you'll..)
  • It will rain tomorrow (It’ll …)

The short form: 'll is very, very common, and is almost always used when speaking. It's really much more natural to say 'I'll' instead of 'I will'. 

Next, here's the negative form (just add 'not' - remember will not = won't):

  • I will not go (I won't ..)
  • You will not be late (you won't ..)
  • It will not snow tomorrow (it won't..)

Finally, here's the question:

'yes / no' questions:

  • Will I go?
  • Will you come early?

'wh' questions:

  • Where will I go?
  • Why will you come early?

The difference between “will” and “going to + infinitive”:


“going to + infinitive”

A decision at the moment of speaking:

Julie: There's no milk.
John: Really? In that case, I'll go and get some.

A decision before the moment of speaking:

Julie: There's no milk.
John: I know. I'm going to go and get some when this TV programme finishes.

A prediction based on opinion:

I think the Conservatives will win the next election.

A future plan:

Julie: I’m going to Greece next week.

John: really? I’m not going away. I’m going to stay at home and rest!

A future fact:

The sun will rise tomorrow.


For promises / requests / refusals / offers:

I'll help you tomorrow, if you like.




Practice 1: choose the correct form of 'will' 

1. ____________________ (they / come) tomorrow?

2. When ____________________ (you / get) back?

3. If you lose your job, what ____________________ (you / do)?

 4. In your opinion, ____________________ (she / be) a good teacher?

 5. What time ____________________ (the sun / set) today?

 6. ____________________ (she / get) the job, do you think?

7. ____________________ (David / be) at home this evening?

8. What ____________________ (the weather / be) like tomorrow?

9. There’s someone at the door, ____________________ (you / get) it?

10. How ____________________ (he / get) here?


Practice 2:Choose “will” or “be going to” for each space.

1. A: We don’t have any bread.

B: I know. I __________________ get some from the shop.

2. A: We don’t have any bread.

B: Really? I __________________ get some from the shop then.

3. A: Why do you need to borrow my suitcase?

B: I __________________ visit my mother in Scotland next month.

4. A: I’m really cold. #

B: I __________________ turn the heating on.

5. A: Are you going to John’s party tonight?

B: Yes. Are you going too? I __________________ give you a lift

6. A: What are your plans after you leave university?

B: I __________________ work in a hospital in Africa. I leave on the 28th.

7. (The phone rings) A: I __________________ get it!

8. A: Are you ready to order?

    B: I can’t decide … Okay, I __________________ have the steak, please.

9. A: Are you busy tonight? Would you like to have coffee?

     B: Sorry. I __________________ go to the library. I’ve been planning to study all day.

10. A: Why are you carrying a hammer?

      B: I __________________ put up some pictures.



Practice 1 answers:

1. Will they come tomorrow?

2. When will you get back?

3. If you lose your job, what will you do?

4. In your opinion, will she be a good teacher?

5. What time will the sun set today?

6. Will she get the job, do you think?

7. Will David be at home this evening?

8. What will the weather be like tomorrow?

9. There’s someone at the door, will you get it?

10. How will he get here?


Practice 2 answers:

  • I’m going to
  • I’ll
  • I’m going to
  • I’ll
  • I’ll
  • I’m going to
  • I’ll
  • I’ll
  • I’m going to
  • I’m going to





To outline : souligner, mettre en évidence

Supplies : approvisionnements

Injury : une blessure

Sting : une piqûre

Spell : un sort

To be pregnant : tomber enceinte

Politely : gentiment

Record : un registre

To oversee : surveiller

Thin : maigre

To beg : supplier

Advice : conseil



Peseshet is a doctor and a teacher. The video describes a typical day of her life.

Now it is you turn. Write a text :

- Present yourself.

- Describe your profession.

- Tell what you did to get this job.

- Describe a typical day of your life : what usually happens when you are at work?




You can book a one to one class with a teacher who will correct your writing exercise.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.




You can book a one to one class with a teacher for the speaking.  One to one classes can be online, with a video call, anytime of the day. 

This gives you full flexibility for your timetable.

Please send us an email at afterschool at afterschoollyon.com.

Our online classes range from A1 to C2 levels, including specific class contents and online video classes.  They are designed to improve communication of spoken and written English with learner-centred lessons which help build students’ confidence, accuracy and fluency.

Our online learning classes offer an extensive level of flexibility for individual students, with comprehensive syllabus and content.