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Study Abroad Advice for English Students | Q&A with Larissa | Practice Your Listening Skills

“I answer your questions. You practice your listening skills.”


Listen to what I say while reading the text. Notice how I change the language:

  • What do I stress?
  • What do I de-stress?
  • Where does my voice (pitch) go up? down?
  • What words and sounds am I connecting?
  • What words and sounds am I creating from those connections?
  • What sounds and words am I deleting?

Do this several times, then watch the video WITHOUT reading the text. Do you understand more? Do this repeatedly. Remember to be an active listener!


Today’s question is from Ayoki, who is twenty years old, and lives in Kobe, Japan. Ayoki writes:

“Hi Larissa! I love Elemental English (thanks!). umm.. I wanna study in America. Do you think I can do it? I’m a little scared.”

Ayoki, of course you can come study in America. It’s such a great experience to study abroad. I always encourage younger people to study abroad — or even older if you have the time, if you can take off from work. umm… It’s an experience that completely opens your eyes.

So, some advice I’d give you before you come study in the U.S…  is first, work on your English skills as much as you can before you get here. That means working on your speaking, listening, reading and writing.

ummm… My second bit of advice is to try to learn the culture of American Academia. The expectations your professors will have on you is very different than the expectations of the professors from a Japanese university. So try to learn what those expectations are (I can help you there, too).

Number three, ummm… if you’re really nervous about studying in America or studying abroad in any country, and you’re not sure you should do it — my advice to you — and this applies to everything in life — is just do it afraid. Just, if you’re nervous, that’s ok. Just go ahead and do it with the little butterflies in your stomach, and it’s gonna be great. The best things in life are always a little difficult. Okay, I hope that was helpful to you. Now, let’s go back and analyze the language that I used to answer Ayoki’s question.

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