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Aleksandra Kasztalska on Read With You Presents

January 11, 2018

Listen to the podcast here. 


Originally from Poland, first language is Polish, living in the US for about 15 years. Graduated from Purdue with PhD in Linguistics

Professor at Magnolia State 

Started learning English at a young age. English is widely taught in Poland, her father worked as a translator and worked with Americans.

Loved English and had an interest in it for a young age


Variety of English teachers; some Polish, some English. Went to an American school in Warsaw, with all courses in English, both British and American English

World Englishes- looks at Englishes used around the world

People use different Englishes around the world.

Loved watching American TV, didn’t have to unlearn a lot of things

Struggled with some sounds that they don’t have in the Polish language

Over time picked up American phrases


Mainly teaches English writing, also taught oral communication skills

Worked with English language learners in the community

One goal- raise students confidence

Lots of research talks about effective filter hypothesis: emotional attitude on learning a language has a lot of impact on how we learn it

A lot of pressure with English especially because of the status of English

People are afraid of making mistakes

Big goal- make students comfortable and confident, clear in expressing ideas, rather than sounding like a native speakers

Get to know your student: why do they want to know the language




Have to practice your language or you will lose it

Which kind of English are you teaching? Textbook English? Slang?


Exposure to the language-earlier you start learning a language, the easier it will be

Practice consistently: whatever you are learning it for, if you don’t use it, you can do perfectly on the test, you can get a good grade in the class, but if you’re just memorizing


When I speak English I think in English

When I speak Polish, I sometimes still think in English-most of the time I speak in English

For learners, sometimes it comes where you don’t have to translate everything, but some people do that for a long time, language becomes automatic, not something you have to think about so much

“It comes from exposure, from being consistent and not afraid to use the language. Just say something, just talk, just get it out there.”


Lots of emphasis on communicative language, rather than translating or isolated context, grammar practice

Communicative language teaching focuses on task based learning- teaching them skills that they would need to use: ex. Learn bank words, call the bank and practice in a real life situation

Emphasis on exposure to authentic materials, language that’s valued



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