Anatomy of a Glish Session

It’s easy, just like a natural conversation. There are three steps.

Step 1:  Choose a Topic & Prepare

You choose a video, like a TED talk, and listen. The topic might be professional, personal or academic. The important thing is that you choose something you find interesting. We learn the most when we are curious and engaged. TED.com is our favorite resource because there are as many accents as there are topics. Listening to different accents is a helpful practice. TED also provides subtitles and transcripts which are useful for your preparation. You can also choose a video from YouTube or your favorite podcast. It’s your choice.

So, say you choose a TED talk, what’s the recommended way to prepare so you get the most out of the experience?

1. Watch and listen to the talk while using English subtitles.

2. Save and read the transcript, highlighting new vocabulary and getting definitions. Prepare to summarize this topic for your coach.

Step 2. Book an appointment

Book a 30 minute appointment with a Glish coach.

Step 3. Converse

Call the coach on Skype when it is time for your appointment. They’ll be waiting for you. The conversation goes something like this:

1. Greetings: hellos and introductions are exchanged. Hi, how’s it going? How’s the weather? etc., then the coach will ask you, “What would you like to talk about today?” (3 mins)

2. Summary: share the topic title and a link to the media source, then explain the content (a summary) to the coach. You can use the transcript as an aid. (15 mins)

3. Active listening: the coach listens carefully to what you say and asks you clarifying questions. Coaches demonstrate understanding and model good language structure by rephrasing or summarizing some of your statements.

4. Discussion: now you and the coach will discuss the idea together. What did you think of this video, this idea? Coaches are trained to ask questions that keep the conversation flowing. (10 mins)

5. Wrap-up: both of you express your gratitude for the conversation and farewells are exchanged. “I enjoyed our conversation about this topic” or,” I learned something new today, thank you.” (2 mins)