Good morning.My name is Eli.
Can you please tell me your name?
Hello, my name is Chalita Mew.
You can just call me Mew.Okay.
in this first part, I'd like to askyou some questions about yourself.
Let's talk about where you live.
Have you always livedin the same town or city?
I'm from Thailand, but I also used to livein Japan during my university years.
And what do you like about the citythat you currently live in?
I really like the city area.
And actually, I'm living in the city area.
My house is in the middle of the city,
the capital city of Thailand,which is Bangkok.
And the reason I like my hometown isbecause I've been here since I was born.
So I really love this placeand also because it's very
close to the Department storesas well as train station.
Would you like to alwayslive in this city?
I'm kind of like a city person,so actually, I've also been to Japan...
Did I mention before?
But I've actually been to Japan too,and I lived in the countryside of Japan,
so I've been to both the countrysideand the cityside,
but I still prefer the citysidebecause I don't know how to drive.
So it's more convenient to be in the city,where there's a lot of transportation-
Let's move on...
Let's talk about jewellery.
Do you like to wear jewellery?
Yes, I do.
I'm actually wearing one right now as
well, and I preferboth necklace and the earrings.
What types of jewellerydo you think look nice?
I'd say necklace becausewhen we go out and it's the first thing
people will notice because with earrings,if you have long hair like me,
sometimes it's hidden underneath,so you wouldn't really see it.
And with the hand,you can kind of see it as well.
But from far away, the first thingpeople would see is the necklace.
Have you ever boughtjewellery for someone else?
Yes, I bought, like, rings for my sister
because she really likesjewellery as well.
So when I go out and I see, like,
pretty jewellery, sometimes I would buyit for her and just send her pictures.
Why do you think some people spenda lot of money on jewellery?
I think it's partlybecause of their hobby.
So some people like to collect jewellery.
And most people, when they get jewellery,they feel that it's like something
that when they wear,they have confidence with it.
And sometimes if they don't have thesejewellery with them,
they might feel that they're lackingsomething or something is, like, missing.
So it's kind of a wayto show their confidence.
Let's move on.Let's talk about singers.
Do you have a favourite singer?
Yes, I do.
I have a favourite singer,
but my favourite singer is not Thai orsomeone who speaks English.
He's a Korean singer.
Have you ever been to a liveconcert to see a singer?
I've been to live concertsbefore, and for a singer,
I haven't been to any singers concert,
but as like a groupof bands or like something like that.
I've been to those kindof bands concerts before.
Are singers from other countriespopular in your country?
like pop stars like Ed Sheeran or
all those very high- what's that word?
Like the people that are at the top ofthe singing industry.
The music industry.
So I'm running out of names right now, but
Taylor Swift is actually verypopular in my country as well.
Would you like to be a famous singer?
I would say no, because
I actually don't really like to bein the spotlight sometimes because when
I'm in front of a crowd and an audience,I get very nervous.
And sometimes I speak faster or I tendto like don't know what to speak anymore.
And I think if I become a singer, thenmaybe my voice wouldn't come out at all.
Okay.Now in this next time I'm going to give
you a topic and I'd like you to talkabout it for one to two minutes.
Before you talk,you'll have 1 minute to think about what
you're going to say, and you canmake some notes if you wish.
Do you understand?
Here's your topic.
Can you see that?
You'll have 1 minute to prepare.
Remember, you have one to two minutesfor this, so don't worry if I stop you.
I'll tell you when the time is up.
Can you start speaking now, please?
Recently, I haven't been reading booksthat much, but I remember a book that I
really love, and it'sactually a Japanese book.
And I read the translatedversion of this book.
The name I'm not sure of the Englishtitle, but from Thai's translation
to English, I would sayit's called Mamiya Store.
And Mamiya is a person's name.
And with the writer,
this is kind of challenging becauseI actually forgot the writer's name.
So I would skip that part.
And I've got recommendationsfrom my friends to read this book.
And also when I went to the bookstore, itwas at the top seller part of the store.
So I was like maybe this bookwould be interesting to read.
So I bought it and I read it.
It's quite thick.
It's around like 400 to 500pages,
but it'squite thick, actually.
And the book is about it's a fiction book,and it's a book about
the story of a Japanese store.
And the setting is
currently like now the setting is
in this present time.
So there's these three thieves, and they wereout trying to hide from the police,
and they ran into this empty housewith no one inside, I think.
And then they went in there.
And then suddenly while they wereexploring the house,
they heard a noise and they walkedtowards the noise and they found a letter
inside like a box of milk.
And they read the letter.
And somehow that letter is like from thepast and the letter is from the past.
But they asked a question from theperson's house, like the Mamiya's...
Very intriguing, but I'm going to haveto stop you because we've just ran out
of time. Would you recommendthis book to other people?
Yes, because I think the book itself isreally interesting from the beginning.
And as you read, you will find thatthere's a lot of hidden clues inside.
And it's kind of likea mystery kind of book.
And also once you finish the book,
you feel that you actually learn somekind of lesson through this book.
Okay, so we've been discussing a bookthat you read, and I'd like to discuss
with you some more generalquestions related to reading.
So this book was a fiction book.
Why do you think many peopleenjoy reading fiction books?
I think because
one, because people nowadays are very busywith their own life and they get a lot
of stress, maybe throughworking or learning.
So fiction is
a way to help them get away from theirown life, like their real life.
And so when they read fiction books,
they feel that they are part of anotherworld and they can fantasise anything.
So that creates a space for them to relax.
Some people choose to read books.
Other people prefer to watch television,
but there's a criticism that people
that watch television areconsidered slightly more lazy.
And people who read books in their spare
time are seen as moredynamic and productive.
What do you think about that?
I think I would agreeand disagree with this.
myself, comparing to my sister,
we are quite different.
And I'm more of like a television person
compared to my sister, who's more of likea book person and she reads a lot.
And it does look like really productive.
But in the end, I just feel like we're
using the time for our own kind ofhobby or it's kind of the same.
Whether you're reading a book or watching
television, you can still bothlearn something from these two.
For example, books, of course,you would get like vocabularies.
And when you practisereading a lot, you would get
some more confidence when you see words
that you don't know and you canactually learn a lot from that.
But from television, you can alsolearn through the listing part.
But don't you think that maybe books help
us to develop our imaginationmore than, say, television?
I think I would agree, becausefor television, the visuals are there,
so there's not much for you to imagine ortry to create another impression
of the same thing that like...Thevisual is right there.
But for the book, when you read,
you have to try to imagine your own thing,and it sometimes creates opportunity
for you to think ofwhat kind of things is possible.
There's not one answer ifyou're reading a sentence.
Nowadays, books have been changed a lotbecause of the invention or the
creation of ebook readers. Doyou think that's a good thing?
I would say
both have, like, their own advantages,
and I would not say one is better thanthe other because
for me, I actually like reading paperbackbooks more than ebooks,
because ebooks are like... Sometimes when Iread for a long time, my eyes get hurt.
And also sometimes it's so small,it's okay during the daytime,
but at night my eyes get really tired frommaybe like the whole work or study.
So when seeing ebook,it's kind of like tiring already.
So I ended up reading less than compared
to the book version,like the paperback version.
But one good thing about the ebook is
that of course it savesthe environment with less paper.
And also, one thing I reallylove about ebook is that it's
more...Very cheap compared to the book.
That's definitely true.Let's move on.
Let's talk about the power of books.
Why do you think some books throughout
history have been bannedby the government?
I would saythis is quite a tricky question.
And for me, I think it's partlybecause of propaganda as well as
how the government sees the situation.
And mostly I think it'sall about propaganda.
They don't want the people in the country
to know the truth, or maybe they wantto hide something from the people.
So that's why some books are banned.
Do you think it's right for a government
to be able to ban certain booksthat they don't like the message of?
I think they don't reallyhave the right to.
But at the same time,I also feel it's not wrong to ban
something because sometimesif they don't ban something
like political issuesor something like that,
people that have strong headsmight actually go violent,
use violence to try to get their way intosomething that they think is correct or right.
So sometimes I feel that sometimes
the government should really controlsomething like this kind of stuff.
Thank you very much.That is the end of the speaking test.
So how did you find it Mew?
It was quite challenging for the part twobecause I haven't been reading books
that much, and I ran out of,like, titles for the book name.
Oh, but I love that.
I love your part two.
I thought it was very clever that yousaid, well, I don't read very often,
but this is a book that Iread a long time ago.
I can't remember the name.
I can't remember the author-who the writer is.
But then you went on to explain.
Anyway, I thought that wasa brilliant part.
I'm actually quite bad when I talk aboutthe summary of books because I ended up
wanting to talk about the wholestory instead of the summary itself.
And I tend to need a longer timeto explain about summary.
And I wanted to listen.
I was kind of getting drawn into the story
of the sound coming fromthe milk carton- crazy.
If you do remember the name,just send it to me in an email.
I'll check out that book.
And so you've done the IELTSspeaking test before.
What score did you get?
I got an 8.0
Okay.In the speaking part.
I think it's an eight.
Was it quite a long time ago?
I think it's around last year,but maybe September or October.
I'm not sure.Okay.
Right.So, I mean,
very, very impressive English.
I would also be giving you a band eight,but you're really close to band nine.
And I think for pronunciation,you're band nine.
You've got a very clear Americankind of sounding accent.
I presume that's comefrom your upbringing.
Is that right?
I think it's kind of difficult because
my accent is kind of a mix,because I watch a lot of American movies
when I was young, like Disneymovies, Disney animations.
But in school, my teachers are mostly
British back then,but I didn't pick up their accent.
That probably means you felt more
of a connection with televisionthan you did with your teachers.
And maybe because I end up just like if Ispeak, it doesn't really show that much.
But when I type or write,the British part really comes out like I
use colour with a "U", not like an "O R"like metre with a "T R E", not the "E R".
So your accent is leaning towards more
United States and your writing style isleaning towards more United Kingdom.
So my score for you would be
So the first criteria that you're assessedon is fluency and coherence,
and you'd be getting eight and very closeto band nine for fluency and coherence.
Just some repetitionstopped you from getting band nine.
And this is really minor repetition.
And then also slight hesitation justin the last two questions in part three,
when I was really pushing youwith difficult questions.
So that would just stop youfrom getting band nine.
But you're so close.
And then after
fluency coherence, we havelexical resource, which is vocabulary.
And again, so close to band nine,just a couple of small mistakes
that stopped you from getting that bandnine, because again,
band nine is that kind of perfectscore that everybody is looking for.
And in fact, most native speakers end upwith a band 7.5. So you're doing better.
People who write down that English is
their first language, on average,score 7.5 in the speaking test.
So you are on a whole bandscore higher than that.
And it's the same with grammatical range
and accuracy, which is your grammar you'revery close to band nine but a few little
mistakes stop you from gettingband nine so in part one
I noticed you said the "countryside"and the "cityside" we don't really say "cityside"
- we just say the "city" and the "countryside"
so that small little difference.
You also talked about "one jewellery"but with jewellery we tend to say like "one
piece of jewellery" we don't reallyhave "one" and then "jewellery"
but I loved your ability to paraphrase as
well so I asked you about "have you everbeen to a concert" and immediately you
talked about a "live" concert so you're ableto take my idea and then paraphrase
the important parts of that questionand my guess is you're not even thinking
that you're doing this but it's the kindof thing that the examiner picks up on.
They go oh- this person's got a very highlevel of English so that was great.
And then I also really liked you gota little bit confused trying to work out
I think maybe the word youwanted was "top of the charts" or "top of the Billboards".
I'm trying to get that wordbut it just didn't come out.
But you paraphrased it very well.
I think you said "top of the singingindustry" which makes a lot of sense
and when you find yourself not findingthat word the examiner likes to listen
in to see how you cope withfinding that word and you did very well.
You said okay, I don't know the word
"charts" or "billboards" I'm going to use"singing industry" as well
which communicates the idea very well evenif it's not the perfect word so actually
that was a strong point for youand I also loved that you use so many
nice words like "in the spotlight" or even
you said "I'm running out of words"so "running out" is a phrasal verb.
In part one there was a slight confusion
when I was asking you "would you liketo always live in this city" and I think
you heard "the city"but that's just a small mistake
with listening and especiallybecause we're doing this over Zoom
so you won't lose any marks for that.
Part two was wonderful.
I really liked part two I thought you hada very nice relaxed intro where you said
I don't read so regularly and I haven't read
anything recently but there isthis book that I read a while ago.
I read it in Japanese
I forgot the writer's name,I forgot the title.
But let me tell you a bit about the story.
And that was wonderfulbecause it was very real.
It wasn't something memorised-
and this is the book that I'm goingto talk about, and you rehearsed how
you're going to talk aboutHarry Potter 100 times.
It was a very real
rendition of a book that you rememberslightly, but not perfectly.
And I think it was very clever that youstarted telling the story of the book
and summarising it because often whenwe're telling a story,
we use a lot of different vocabularyand grammar tenses as well.
And it makes it more engagingfor the listener- so the examiner,
which I really like.
So in part two,good idea to tell a story.
And I think you said "box of milk".
We'd probably usually say "carton of milk".
It's difficult to explain because I'm kind
of trying to think of the rightword in English. It's like
before, like many years ago,
people would drop milk ina mailbox or something like that..
But I don't really know what it's called
in English, so I'm tryingto figure out the word for it.
Could it be a bottle of milk? Youmean that kind of when people...
I'm not sure about... If they have thisin like the Western countries or the other
country, but for Asian countries,we would have a place where in the morning
people...We pay like a subscription for the milk,
and they would just put these milkinside like the mailbox every morning.
Yeah.We call that "the milkman".
But what about like the box?Right.
Okay, I see.So it's not the milk itself.
It's kind of the container for the milk.Right.
I'd probably just say that the milkcontainer, but I see what you mean.
It's quite difficultto differentiate the actual
container or the cartonand then the box that it comes in.
Because I thought we don't havethat much time to explain this whole thing
so I just kind of like got that word.Yeah.
So actually,it was correct then in the context
that you used it, becauseI don't know the story.
So I presumed it was inside the milk.
Which is very strange.
it was in the box.
And then in part three, just moving on.
Again, I really liked part three.
I liked all this kind of Iwould agree and disagree.
And then you elaborated on why,
to an extent you agree, and alsoto another extent, you disagree.
So that was really good.
And it shows critical thinking and being
able to talk about both sidesof an argument, which is great.
I also liked all these little informalphrases like my sister is a book person.
So to be a book person,it's kind of quite cool language to use.
You said a small mistakewatching a television.
When we talk about television.
Television, we always saywatching the television
and then another one is you talked about
vocabularies,but vocabulary is uncountable.
So we just say lots of vocabulary.
We wouldn't pluralize it.
But that was one of the most impressivespeaking tests I've ever done.
That was absolutely brilliant.
And I was wondering if I could ask you
a bit more about yourexperience learning English.
So did you start learningwhen you were very young?
Yes, I studied in an international school
since Year 1, so I've been exposedto English when I was really young.
So I just kind of picked up thosegrammar or vocabulary from back then.
Right. And so how old areyou in Year 1 in Thailand?
Year 1, maybe aroundfive to six years old.
Right. And so from five or six years old,
you've been taught exclusivelyin English by your teachers?
All my lessons were in English,
like science, mathematics or art,all classes except Thai class.
So do you find that actually yourEnglish is almost as good as your Thai?
I think so.
Right.Do you find that there's certain topics
that you find easier to talkabout in English than in Thai?
something related to education or like
math or science or these kind ofeducational topics.
I would maybe prefer English more than
Thai because I actually don'tknow some words in Thai.
Right. And what about your peers? Did youguys talk in English or in Thai together?
We secretly talk in Thai together.
when we don't see any teachersaround us, we speak in Thai.
But as soon as we found like,
a teacher nearby, we wouldswitch to English right away.
And that's becauseof the rules in your school?
And also, I've been to two internationalschools in my life,
and both schools had the same rule of notbeing able to speak in other languages
aside from English,which is kind of a good thing because now
that I'm thinking about it,I get a lot from that rule.
But back then, I didn't really like it.
It's kind of troublesome at the time.
And then years later,
you think to yourself that was the bestdecision they could have made.
It kind of reminds me of like when you'regrowing up and your parents are always
asking you to play a musical instrument,and at the time, you never want to.
And then when you grow older,
you're so happy that you canplay the piano or the violin well.
And do you speak any other languages?I do.
I speak Japanese and Korean.Right.
And I'm trying to learn Chinese now.
Right. So can you tell usa bit about learning Japanese?
I've actually been in Japan for four years
before I came back to my countryand I went there for my university.
So I studied design
and all my classes wereconducted in Japanese.
So you must have already had a good level
of Japanese to get into theuniversity in the first place.
I actually really enjoylearning Japanese back in middle school.
So I took Japanese class outside school,
like cram school,every Saturday like 2 hours a week.
And after that I had an intense course
of like eight months course for Japanesebefore I entered university and around like
four months in Japan learningthe Japanese language.
Wow. And did you feel that in that timeyou got to high enough level of Japanese
that you could studywell in the university?
At first, not really because I actually
planned to be in Japan for a yearbefore I enter university.
But during the interview for different
classes, we had to take a testto see what class we were in.
And during that test wehad an interview as well.
And back then somehow the professors there
told me, do you want to bein University next term?
And I was like, I can or ismy level alright already?
And they told me yes.
So I just went for it.Wow.
So you actually went a year early,
you plan to give yourselfone more year of studying?
And then in the interview they said,hey, your Japanese is great.
I still didn't really believe my ears backthen because I was like,
I just came to Japan and I'mready for a year of learning.
And then suddenly they were like,you can just go and study right away.
It was quite challenging.
In fact, the classes like my first year
of university was quite challengingor more of like the first term.
First semester of the year was difficult
because I couldn't reallyadjust to the environment.
Like all my classmates are Japanese excepttwo people who are like foreigners.
So it was kind of challenging to bein a real Japanese environment with real
friends and classmates and the teacherteaching everything in Japanese.
The level is very differentfrom when I studied the language.
So I had quite a hard time back then.
Yeah. Do you think in hindsight you would
have preferred to havean extra year to prepare?
Actually, I would say no because
I feel that I got a lotfrom university itself.
So even if I didn't study the languagethat well or didn't have another year,
but in class we'd still haveto use it frequently.
So we still have to learn everything again
because especially with the vocabularythey use in the major like design or art
vocabularies are quite differentfrom when you study the language.
We don't really learn thosespecific words.
So I feel like it's okay even if you just
enter the university right away,if you're ready.
Because that's almost the situationthat a lot of my viewers have and a lot
of the members of English Pro Tips have:they're doing their IELTS test in order
to go to university or work abroadand they need to get a certain score,
usually 6.5 or 7,in order to make that happen.
So would you recommend that they just getthe kind of minimum score that they need
and then jump straight into an Englishspeaking situation and just deal with it?
I think it depends on thepersonality of that person.
If that person is
a person who's hardworking and wantsto like they're okay with adapting
to the new environment, then I'd say just go forthe University with the minimum level.
But if you're still nervous abouteverything and you think that you still
need more time to adapt to suchenvironment, then maybe it'll be better
to practise English more or take anothercourse for like speaking or listening or
reading so that you canimprove your language.
And you also said that youspeak Korean, is that right?
Yes.Is that also for university?
I've studied from my university, but thereason I took Korean classes was because
I really enjoy watching Korean dramas,
and so I really want to be able tosee the dramas without the subtitles.
And so that was kindof like my goal back then.
So I took the class in university,
but actually I found that it wasthe right choice that I did that.
Because Korean and Japanese have
very similar things.
Like the grammar is really similar.
Like nearly the same.Exactly.
Just like some few differences.
But overall it's like the same grammarand some vocabulary are the same as well.
So I think I decided...
The decision I made back then was likethe right choice of my life, really.
Excellent. So you studied Korean whenyou were in a Japanese University?
Wasn't that confusing? You're still kindof perfecting your Japanese,
and then you're also addinga new language at the same time.
I actually think that it's a verychallenging thing to do,
but I also feel it's like pushingmyself out of my comfort zone.
And so I feel like because I'min the middle of all Japanese people,
I have to work harder so that Ican accomplish what I want.
So it's kind of like motivating to be
in an environment with the native speakersand trying to learn a third language
from my second language, I feel like Iget to learn both Japanese and Korean.
So it was kind of like a great decision I
think I've chosen in my life.
Becauseoften when we're learning a new language.
Our immediate way of dealing with thosenew words is to translate them.
So when you were learning Japanese,did you translate to English or Thai?
And also when you were learning Korean,
did you go back to Japaneseor English or Thai?
How did that work?
For me,I think I'm quite different from most
people because when I'm trying to learna language, I don't try to translate them
back to my own language because Ifeel that it takes a lot of time.
For example, when I speak in English,if I think of it in Thai first, before
saying it in English, it will take solong that it's too long for conversation.
So I feel like it's better toremember it as, like a language itself,
not as Thai, and thentranslate back and forth.
It's like really time consuming.
So for Japanese,
when I studied, of course,I have to translate things,
but when I try to speak,I try to think of it in Japanese or think
in Korean instead of thinking itin my first or second language.
Interesting.Are you doing that now with Chinese?
You said, is it Mandarin?Yes.
Mandarin. But I
haven't taken any classes yet, but just,like, interested in it.
But I actually havea background of the Chinese
grammar and words since I was young.
Actually, my second language is English,
but my third language shouldhave been Chinese, not Japanese.
But because back then I didn'thave motivation in learning.
I feel that a language if you learna language, motivation is something
that is really crucial in orderto become better in that language.
Because for Chinese,
I didn't like anything about China oranything about Chinese in particular.
I was really neutral.
So learning the language was difficult
itself, and trying to memoriseeven makes it worse.
I just don't remember anything at all.
So I didn't have motivation back then,
but now I also enjoywatching Chinese drama now.
So that's why now I have a new motivation.That's so funny.
I've never met anyone that
undergoes learning a new languagejust to understand television.
It's actually something that I feel likeit helps with my listening skills.
Like when I was studying Japanese,
before I know the words or beforeI even learned the grammar part.
I actually know a lot of words throughwatching something in Japanese.
Like, I just automaticallylearn few words or sentences.
And then when I started learning Japanese,I was like, oh, I know this one.
I know this one.
So it just makes me feel, like,really comfortable in learning.
And I don't feel like there's a lotof pressure or I have to remember this.
I'm just, like going with the flow
and trying to have funlearning the languages.
Yeah. And do you think that, for example,Netflix or television shows,
do you think they're a reallygood way to learn languages?
Yes, actually, I'm learningEnglish every day through Netflix.
I'm a fan of bakingshows or cooking shows.
And Netflix really has, like,a whole world of that.
Like, they have lots of episodes and lots
of, like, dramas or the cookingand baking shows in there.
And when I watch these kind of shows,I usually put on English subtitles so that I know
how to spell some words, becausewhen cooking or baking,
they have specific words that theyuse in that kind of industry.
So I get to learn a lot from them.
Like words like whisk, for example.
Yeah, whisk or like the saucepan
I'm trying to think of...Gastronomy.
Gastronomy, right? Yeah.
You hear it and you think, Whoa,what enough does that mean?
Do you keep a vocabulary book to kind
of remember these words or is itjust going straight into the head?
I don't keep like, a book. Because actually, I'm like...It's kind of like different from,
like people would assume that I rememberwords fast or that I learn things quite
fast, but I'm actuallylike a slow learner.
It takes a very long time for me to takesomething in, but because I watch a lot
of movies or dramas orsomething like shows.
when I see these kind of things,
they repeat the wordsfrequently most of the time.
So that's why it just got into my head.
But aside from that,if you're trying to let me learn something
right now, I'll be like,"what did you just say just now?"
I already forgot, like five minutes ago,
I just studied that and now I'mcompletely blank something like that.
So I'm actually a slow learner,but just that I feel like if you want
to be able to remember something,repetition is really important.
Some people say that we should see a word
seven times in different contextsin order to be able to learn that word.
I think that's true.
For example, it's great that you stickto a theme, so you go baking shows
and then you get to see words likegastronomy and whisk and saucepan seven
times because they're crucial wordsfor that particular theme, like baking.
It's really fun.
You get to know new words evenif it's not a vocabulary.
But I learned, like,"fondant" through the baking shows.
They use fondant to do cakesor with the chocolate
they use another thing and it's kind
of like new words every day from watchingsomething.
And it's great at the end of it
you probably become a lotbetter at baking as well.
A lot of my viewers are particularly
interested in learningor preparing for IELTS,
but I think what your experience hasreally shown is that just get a really
good level of language and then the hightest scores come afterwards, right?
I think my tips would be like to beexposed in that language,
use it every day and just try to getyourself into that environment.
Even if it's something normal,
like reading books or watching a movie,it's still something that you can learn.
Okay.Thank you very much, Mew.
It's been a real pleasure to talk to you.
I really had a great time.Me too.