This is the transcript for the English with Stephen podcast episode all about how you can use the app Clubhouse to practise and improve your speaking skills in English.
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Hello! My name’s Stephen and you are listening to Engish with Stephen, the podcast that gives you everything you need to learn English in under 10 minutes.
I see a lot of requests on Facebook and other social media from students who are desperate to practise their speaking. They want to find a partner they can talk to using their English. And I get it, find opportunities to read, listen or even write in English are relatively easy. But finding somebody who will talk and listen to you in English, without paying for the privilege, is much more difficult.
Well, today, I have a solution.
The solution is free, easy to use, and accessible to everyone.
The solution is called Clubhouse and I am going to tell you all about Clubhouse today. And make sure you listen until the end because I have a little competition to tell you about with some prizes that will help you practise your English.
More on Clubhouse, after the break.
Before we talk about how you can use Clubhouse to practise your speaking, I’d like to tell you about another podcast called English Out Loud. As you have probably realised, I speak English with a British accent. But if you only ever listen to me, then you are missing out on a variety of other accents. The podcast English Out Loud presents North American pronunciation. It goes into a lot of detail and focuses on how you train the muscles in your mouth to produce more accurate sounds. I particularly liked episodes 51-57 where they looked at how the /r/ sound is produced in North America, which is very different to standard British English. Look for English Out Loud on your podcast app or go to @en.outloud on Instagram. Alternatively, I will post a link on my site EnglishwithStephen.com.
And now, back to Clubhouse.
One of the solutions people use to practise their English is to join Whatsapp groups. I am sure these can work really well, but I have never started one for students because I was always worried about giving out my phone number to people, especially on the internet.
This is one of the reasons why Clubhouse is much better. You only give your phone number to one person, and that is the end.
But there are many other reasons why Clubhouse is a far superior solution for the problem of finding a way to practise your English.
Have you heard of Clubhouse before? It is a relatively new app that only works on your phone. It is an audio-based social media platform. If Instagram is for photos, and youtube is for video, then Clubhouse is for audio. You cannot see other people, you can only listen to them.
So, obviously, this is great news for practising your listening skills. But there is more to Clubhouse than just listening.
You see, the idea behind Clubhouse is to encourage conversations.
The way it works is that you select a room and enter it. At first, you are just listening to the speakers, but if you want to say something, you raise your hand. Depending on the room you have entered, it might be difficult to actually say something because there might be hundreds of people in the room.
However, if there are too many people, don’t worry. Just quietly leave the room and go look for another room where there are fewer people. The fewer the people, the better the opportunity to actually speak and interact with the other people in that room.
Now, you have a choice. There are hundreds of rooms open all the time. You are bound to find something that you find interesting. The choice you have is that you can also go into a room that practises English.
All of the English practice rooms that I have been in so far are all super-friendly and relaxed. Participants are invited to talk about something or repeat a phrase or contribute in some other way. The host, or leader, of the room, gives you feedback on what you have said. If you stay in the room you will be encouraged to participate again.
Once you have got used to how Clubhouse works, then the next step is to open your own room. You can talk about anything you want, in any language you want. It really is that simple!
If you do decide to use Clubhouse, I would like to recommend two people who you could follow. The first is me, of course. I have my own rooms and you can follow me by searching for @EnglishwStephen.
The other person I would like to recommend is Patrick Bateman. He is the person who runs the English Out Loud podcast I mentioned earlier. He gives a lot of sessions on Clubhouse on pronunciation and lots of other things. You can find him by searching for @English.outloud.
Until recently, Clubhouse was only available on Apple, but it is now also available on Android, so almost everyone, in theory, can access the app. However, there is a catch, or a slight problem.
At the moment, they are limiting the numbers of people who can have access to the app. There are two ways to get access. The first is to download the app and go on a waiting list. I don’t know how long the waiting list is.
The second way to get on the app is through an invite. And luckily for you, dear listener, I have 5 invitations I am going to give away. If you would like an invite just go to my Facebook page, EnglishwStephen, find the invitation giveaway post and add your name in the comments. At the end of the week, I will choose 5 people at random and send them an invite.
I truly hope to see you on Clubhouse. It is an excellent way to practise your spoken English that doesn’t involve giving away your phone number to lots of people on the internet.
Remember that you can find all of the links I have mentioned today on my site, EnglishwithStephen.com. I will also post a link to my Facebook page there where you can enter the competition for one of the 5 invites to Clubhouse.
Thanks for listening and take care!