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Using English Naturally No Matter Where You Are

November 20, 2017 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

I say this often, but I’ll say it again:

Just learning the language is NOT enough to speak well.

The words and phrases of English are important. Of course. But they’re not enough if you want to speak well. You also need to understand the culture.

Great example —

In the UK we tend to start conversations with a comment about the weather. “How’s the weather where you are?”, we’ll say. But we ask this because our weather is so changeable.

One minute it’s sunny and in the next instant it’s pouring down with rain. There’s even a lesson in British Stories about this (that you can do for free here).

Go to the Philippines.

Yes, you’ll most likely be speaking English, same as in the UK. But asking about the weather is pointless.

It’s hot.


So people in Manila don’t tend to comment on the weather much.

Instead, they ‘small talk’ about something else:


Instead, they comment on the traffic.

Because guess what?

It’s as changeable as the British weather.

Recently I was in Manilla. Going from the airport to my hotel took almost 3 hours. Going back took less than 45 minutes. Same route. Same driver. Same car. Different traffic conditions.

Now, the point is….

Everything you say is guided by cultural understanding, and how something is received also depends on the listener’s culture.

Which is where British Stories comes in.

Each lesson is designed to teach you real, natural sounding British English in context so you actually know how to use it. And if you click here, you can try the first lesson for free.




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