Hello, everybody! Here we are with the much awaited second part of the interview with Tim Barrett…
Para quem acabou de chegar aqui, esta é a entrevista que eu fiz com Tim Barrett. Tim é americano, cresceu no Brasil e entre várias outras coisas dá dicas de phrasal verbs aqui no Inglês Online, além de manter o Tim and Tammy Teach – se você ainda não conhece, passe por lá e dê uma olhada no que eles oferecem.
Nesta segunda parte, Tim fala sobre como inglês e português se misturam em sua vida, como é participar de duas culturas diferentes ao mesmo tempo e sobre o método da família Barrett para ensinar phrasal verbs a brasileiros.
A transcrição da entrevista vem logo abaixo, e você pode também baixar os arquivos MP3 (clique com o botão direito do mouse para salvar) e PDF, que contém a transcrição do áudio.
Ouça a segunda parte da entrevista aqui mesmo:
Tim talks some more about picking up Portuguese and mixing the languages
(Tim) So… I remember the second time, they put us in a… in a school, so we could learn Portuguese and, you know, of course get to know the Brazilian culture better. And… I remember sitting there the first days not understanding a word the teacher said. So, I just… I, it was, I was in second grade and… So I just copied what the teacher was writing on the board and… not understanding anything she was saying… So I remember that, I remember getting home and my father saying, What did… What did you learn today?
(Ana) What did you learn today…
(Tim) And I, and I… I drew a W. No, not a W, it was some letter… I forget what it was, H, H. And he said, Oh you made the Brazilian H.
(Ana) The Brazilian H…
(Tim) What I learned the first day in school… how to draw. ‘Cause in the States children learn how to write cursive in third grade. So it was second grade…
(Ana) Yeah… you learn about the phonetics first, isn’t it? The sounds…
(Tim) Yeah, until third grade you just write in block form. You don’t, yeah, you don’t use, you don’t write… You don’t know how to write cursive until third grade. So here in Brazil I think in first grade you’re already writing cursive, you know, “letra de mão.” And then… I remember, like, the first day… I remember one time trying to the teacher about… I was trying to explain, I wanted to say something about cigarette and I couldn’t remember the word for cigarette in Portuguese. And I pointed, I said ‘Parece giz”, you know, chalk. And she… she, “Oh, cigarro’. I remember that. But then I don’t remember anything else. I remember not speaking, and then I remember speaking. But I don’t remember what the process of learning… Oh, you asked if we mix English and Portuguese, but what I was saying is since we grew up speaking both languages, we actually, uh… if someone learns, like, two languages from the time that they’re a child it’s actually as if they have only one language. Uh, so people that learn a language as an adult, they actually have to, let’s say, create another space in their brain for this new language. They have been testing that about… with people that have grown up speaking both languages, like in my case. And it’s like… like, you tell a story, they measure where, what part of the brain you’re using in that moment. And, so people like, they grew up speaking two languages… It’s as if, uh… It’s all coming from the same place, as if you only have one language. And people that learned a language as an adult, it’s as if they created another space on the side of their brain, some other place for this new language they learn. Yeah, so what happens, we basically… It’s almost like we do speak “Portingles”, we mix things… Sometimes we even mix the grammar. We’ll say, like uh… someone’s bothering me, I would say “Hey dad, Lisa is atrapalhandoing me”, you know, “She is atrapalhando-ing…” We’ll make the Portuguese gerund… When we started teaching English we, we said, “Hey we’d better stop mixing the languages ‘cause uh, we, you know, kind of in the beginning, it was sort of hard ‘cause all of a sudden you wanna be mixing Portuguese with English and so we’re careful not to do that even with our kids now too. We do, we do that a lot! If you hear us speaking… Leia mais
(Ana) No, I can imagine… I can imagine, you probably, like, start a sentence in one language a lot, and then you finish…
(Tim) We do!
(Ana) … in another language.
(Tim) And sometimes we get together with other missionary kids. We, we would do that. We had like, conferences and… here in Brazil. And, oh… it’s a… it’s, it’s like a… if someone that doesn’t know English and Portuguese would be in the middle they’d get totally lost ‘cause we’ll mix everything.
Talking about culture
(Ana) So, you know… following up on that, you have such a unique perspective on both cultures and, I don’t know, the cultural differences, the cultural similarities… So in your opinion, is it important to understand the culture? For example, the culture of the United States, in order to gain a better understanding of the English language. What do you think?
(Tim) Yes, like you said, we do have a unique perspective on language I think, ahm, especially English and Portuguese you know, because of our upbringing. And of course a language is… is completely tied to a person’s culture. I… I remember I read something, I’m not sure if… you know, if this is true or not, but… So if it’s not true someone can correct me. Specially if you have any Japanese on Inglês Online. But I heard that, at least in the past, Japanese, they liked it when people would learn Japanese, when foreigners would learn Japanese. But, ahm, they would get suspicious, this is like in the past, when someone would, would really speak very well their language. It was almost as if they invaded their culture. Probably not that way today but, I remember reading that once, that language is very tied to a person’s culture. Of course it is. The more you understand someone’s culture, the more you understand the language and the more you understand their language, the more you understand the culture. That’s, of course, a very important ingredient in someone… in learning a language, for sure.
(Ana) So what would you recommend that Brazilian learners do, in order to gain a better understanding?
(Tim) Of the culture? They just have to be… Well, sign up on Tim and Tammy, uh… read Inglês Online, uh… And of course, just be interested in the, in… You just don’t learn “Oh, I’m gonna learn English, I’m gonna learn…”, uh, a lot of times students come and they say, “I wanna learn business English”. Right? You have to learn English, period. Not “Oh, I wanna learn these business terms” ‘cause what happens is, you’ll have a visit from someone from the States, or someone from England, and then they’re not gonna only talk business. They’ll say, hey, like you asked me in the beginning, what’s the weather like there in Jundiai, or… You know, what… What’s this, or what’s that, they’ll ask about your culture, so… It’s very important for you to be interested in, and try to understand the American culture. Make a friend, online, now you have MSN today, and other resources. Orkut, our community, we have Americans that participate there… Uh… so it’s really important to get to know the American culture, the British culture, whatever. Uh, find out what makes them tick, what their interests are, sports… My students ask me a lot about politics… So it’s real important to understand the culture. And of course, doing that, you’ll be learning the language too ‘cause it’s all tied into the language, it’s all tied together.
(Ana) You can’t, yeah… You can’t really separate. In my… I don’t know, I think I’ve always thought that one of the best ways to learn about the culture, and specifically about the American culture, is just watching movies.
(Tim) Well, that’s true.
(Ana) Not all movies, but I don’t know… When you watch, like, movies… a drama about someone’s life…
(Tim) Yeah, sure.
(Ana) … with scenes of everyday life, it’s amazing how much you learn. Sometimes…
(Tim) Sitcoms, too.
(Ana) Yeah, sitcoms, exactly. For everyday language, and just for situations, you know. You see how people handle situations, and sometimes you… You know, it comes to my mind “Wow, look at what they’re doing… We wouldn’t do this in Brazil”. And right there, that’s, that’s something that’s different from our culture.
(Tim) And people would be amazed at how different cultures really are. You know, sometimes people aren’t even aware there are certain things you do here in Brazil or, you do in the States. Like, like you said, because of our upbringing, we, uh, we’re very aware of the differences… And actually, I have a mixture of both cultures… It’s funny…
(Ana) You spend some time in the States and then you come back to Brazil and then you have to wait in line for an hour to, I don’t know, make a deposit in the bank and then, oh my God… I’m back in Brazil.
(Tim) Then, then I start complaining… But even I… I remember us going to church there in the States, so we get there, we start going, you know, all around the room shaking everybody’s hand and they would joke, “Oh, there come the Barretts from Brazil”. You know, because it’s more of a Brazilian thing that, uh, when we come to church here we’ll be shaking everybody’s hand, uh, hugging…
(Ana) Yeah, we kiss a lot, right…
(Tim) That too. I get shocked when I go back to the States, uh… ‘cause you know… In the South it’s a little bit more like Brazil.
(Ana) Yeah, it’s true.
(Tim) But we’re from the North… Most of the time we spend in the north. Uh, and it’s… people say that their code… it’s not that their code is, it’s just that… It’s a different culture. You know, there,
there are… I have some great friends there too, and loyal, and wonderful people, but it’s just… they’re two different cultures. I was shocked even with my cousins, they just shake your hand, like uh,
we’d go to their house for Christmas or something, and “Hi Tim”, they just kinda wave, and I felt like oh, you know, give me a hug, you know, but, uh… So, of course, even things like, when people come in a house in Brazil, they’ll say “Excuse me”, “Com licença”, when they come in someone’s home… It’s funny little things like that, not funny, but… They’re things you do here in Brazil, then people go to the States, they say “Excuse me” when they go into someone’s home and it’s like, uh… Oh, what did you just do?
(Ana) Yeah, I know. It’s just different, right?
(Tim) Uh-huh, like here when you visit someone, you gotta leave, they say “Hey, it’s early”. Then they’ll walk you to the door, so… And of course, like you mentioned, films are one of the major ways of learning about the culture, and like sitcoms, and different things on TV, for sure. Yeah, that’s a big one.
Tim and Tammy Teach Phrasal Verbs
(Ana) You know, now I wanted to ask you about your website.
(Ana) Uh… you have a very nice website, like I said, timandtammy.com. And Tammy, by the way, I assume is one of your sisters.
(Tim) Well, that… actually…
(Tim) No. One of my sisters does the voice of Tammy.
(Tim) It’s like, my name’s Tim, ok that’s not a fictitious name, but, what I did, and we will talk about that, we created these fictitious characters that are involved in these adventures and stories, and they… one of them, his name is not even Timothy, which is my name, Timothy. It’s Timóteo. His sister is Tamires. They’re two Brazilians who went to live in the States, so their name… So their
American friends, these fictitious characters that we created, kinda fanciful characters, they call them Tim and Tammy.
(Ana) Ok, so Tim isn’t even from your name, it’s from the character’s name…
(Tim) I do… Exactly, I do the voice of Tim…
(Tim) But his name is Timóteo, not Timothy.
(Ana) Your sister does the voice of Tamires.. Tammy.
(Tim) Tammy, exactly.
(Ana) Ok, gotcha. I’ve always… so Tim, I know Tim… So who is Tammy?
(Tim) So it’s Tim and Tammy Teach. See, it’s these two Brazilans who went to live in the States and, uh… They live all these different experiences and, that’s how we… I came up with this idea to help, you know, teach… We talked about the American culture and everything… phrasal verbs, which we’re teaching now. So that’s how, how we do it.
(Ana) Yeah, yeah that’s what I wanted to ask, I mean, you have this great group of products… They all have…
(Tim) Thank you.
(Ana) Yeah, they all have, they all have audio, Yeah, I’ve listened to the one you sent me. A big part of it is audio, right? You always include an audio recording and then there are exercises and they all include, like, natural conversations in English. But they put a strong focus on learning phrasal verbs. So tell me, why phrasal verbs?
(Tim) Well, see… We’ve been speaking about a product like that… From a business or marketing perspective it wasn’t the smartest thing to do, because, uh… you know, they say that you’re supposed to give people what they want not what they need. Right? So I had to convince people about the importance of phrasal verbs first. Uh, so that… it took a while for people to really be convinced that they even needed… I’m talking about Brazilians learning English – that they needed phrasal verbs. But what happened is, teaching English all these years, I realized that that was one area where Brazilians learning English had a real hard time… learning phrasal verbs, which we can talk about the importance of phrasal verbs. And, I… I’d try to teach them in class, I’d try… I’d give them lists, now that’s the worst way to teach… Uh, I’d try to… give them a phrasal verb of the week, or… Now there are some good books, dictionaries, but… I could tell that they just were having a hard time learning them and using these phrasal verbs like this. So that’s why, how we came up with this idea, to make these stories and… What we do, right now, we’re going all through the alphabet so, like, the first story… I think I sent you K and J, right… we’re in the letter K, J…
(Tim) That’s why we made these fictitious, like fanciful characters because we can send them anywhere, they can travel around the world, they… We can send them to the moon if we want to, or… We had to do that so we could have more liberty to create all these different stories, and… Like this story, they went to Scotland, for example, to try to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness creature, the K-J story. But in this story, there are about… Usually each story has about five chapters and in these stories we’ll have, just naturally showing up in the story, phrasal verbs focused on a certain letter. So this case would be the letter K and J. There will be, I think there are almost forty phrasal verbs with K and J in the story of the Loch Ness creature. I think it’s called Adventure at…. Adventure at Loch Ness.
(Ana) So that’s the name of the product, right? Adventure…
(Tim) No, it’s Tim and Tammy Teach, Phrasal Verbs with the letter, whatever letter we’re on at the moment and then, then we’ll have the name of the story. This, the one I sent you is Adventure at Loch Ness.
(Tim) And then what we did, see, my parents, we based it on how my parents learned Portuguese. ‘Cause what happens when missionaries go to a new country, like, when we came to Brazil they had to learn Portuguese fast, uh, they didn’t have a lot of time to “Oh, we’ll just spend several years learning Portuguese”, they couldn’t do that, they had to… My parents, they studied Portuguese formally for nine months, and you know how hard Portuguese is.
(Tim) They, they used a method called “Grupos”, at least that’s what they were called. They’d have these pages, where one side they had English, basic, like, questions and answers in English, and then the other side they had the translation in Portuguese. So they had to fold the paper in half and look at the English side – of course they’d be practicing at home, and they’d, uh, let’s suppose… “Quem sou eu? Eu sou professor de inglês”. And they’d have to look at the, excuse me, English, and they’d have to say the Portuguese in a certain amount of time, like twenty seconds to say all the questions and answers, and then the teacher would ask the quesitons out of order and they’d have to give the answers in Portuguese. So they were really forced to, basically, memorize, but in a way where they’d know exactly… it’s not really translating and that’s what I try to explain about our method. It’s not that you’re translating because you don’t have time to translate. You have to think in blocks of ideas. You have to… They’d see the Portuguese and they’d have to… excuse me, they’d see the English and they’d have to say the Portuguese real fast so they didn’t have time to translate each word. They had to know the whole sentence, or the whole block of ideas. So that’s how we use… That, we adapted that method to our stories.
(Ana) Yeah, it’s a really focused, and disciplined way, right, to…
(Tim) You have the story, about, like I said about usually five chapters, and then… So they can, they can just listen to the story, and then we have questions about the phrasal verbs that show up in the story. Uh, so that’s one way that you could, could just listen to the story in English, then try to do the exercises and learn all the phrasal verbs… But then we have our method, which we called, just you know, to have a fancy name we called it “O método dos missionários”… We, uh, we say every, each sentence in Portuguese, of the story, and then they hear a beep, and they have to say the sentence in English in the time before they hear the answer. So they memorize every single sentence, every phrase, every phrasal verb in the story through this method. And then, once they learn all those sentences, then they can just go back and listen to the story again if they want to… It should all come back to them. They just have to remember the story and all these phrasal verbs will come to their mind, you know, come to mind.
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