Kristian de Groot
Hey everyone! I help people prepare for and pass the C2 Proficiency exam. I spend most of my time improving my English in many different ways. Reading books, listening to audiobooks, creating my own content, etc.

Leonardo English room on Clubhouse starts next Sunday 16:00 CET

Hi everyone, 

I'm super excited to announce that I'm going to be hosting Leonardo English rooms on Clubhouse. And I'll be doing it in my own club!  :)

It's a simple concept:
  1. I'll pick an episode
  2. I'll create some questions/prompts which we can use to start a conversation
  3. I'll point out some interesting things about some of the vocabulary that Alastair used 

It's a tremendous opportunity to practice your speaking skills while talking about weird and wonderful topics in English! 

Do come and join me on Sunday at 16:00pm. For more info, check this link. (Or take a closer look at the attached images)

Hope to see you on Clubhouse!!

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Easiest way to put the bonus episodes on my smartphone?

Hi everyone,

What's the easiest way to put all the bonus episodes on my phone?

Do I need to download all the bonus episodes (MP3 format) from the website one by one or is there an easier way?

Thanks for your help :) 
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ATTN all curious minds looking for speaking partners: check out Clubhouse app

Hi curious minds, 

Have you heard about Clubhouse? It is a new social media app (iOS only for now) that is based on voice only. So, it’s all about speaking and listening!
Many people all around the world use Clubhouse to improve their English (and other languages).

I love this app! No more being self-conscious on camera while speaking in English. :) 

Sounds great, right? 

I published a blog article that explains how Clubhouse works and how the app can help you improve your English in 10 different ways.  

If you have any questions about the app, let me know. 

Best, Kristian

P.S. It's invite-only, but the first person who replies here gets an invite from me. And then that person can share invites here with other members :) 
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Reflections on 100 Episodes

This has been a great read! There are many valuable lessons I can learn from your intriguing reflections, Alastair Budge .

But... now I have two questions for you, if you don't mind me asking. :)

Question #1
I’d never have guessed that you were a consultant for Jaguar Land Rover! It's so different to what you're doing now. I do understand you have a background in marketing, but still...

So my first question is:

Did you have any experience with starting up an online project before LE? (Website email-list, social media, etc)

All right. Let's move onto the heart of the story.

The getting started part is fascinating. My takeaway would be different though.

Instead of Getting good sound quality is hard I would opt for: Getting traction is hard.

Why? Because: I posted in Facebook groups, subreddits, and on language learning forums, waiting for the crowds to roll in. But not much happened.

Later you also talk about another takeaway: Unless you’re selling Christmas cards, 5th December probably isn’t a great launch date.

I would opt for: Getting traction is hard part II. ;)
Question #2
Actually, the whole article reads like a lesson for people who want to start their own (online) project to help learners of English.

So, let's cut to the chase and ask the 2nd question:

You mention 12 takeaways. What is the number one tip you would give to someone like me who's starting an online project for learners of English who want to pass a Cambridge exam?

Congratulations again on the 100-episode landmark and many thanks for your all your efforts! 

I'm looking forward to reading your answers :)
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Native vs. Non-Native English Teachers—Which Should You Choose?

As a non-native English teacher, this is a topic dear to my heart.

In general, the different skill sets of good non-native and native teachers - as pointed out in this intriguing article - complement each other well.   

That being said, in the end it really depends on the unique individual.

So, instead of reiterating the valid points of ... (the 'written by' part is empty Alastair Budge ), I'll tell you a bit about my own experience. Hopefully without sounding self-indulgent.

I've been teaching for over 2 years, and what I've learnt is that the discipline to prepare your lessons and to show empathy are the most important skills you need to develop as an English teacher.

If you show empathy for your students and you prepare what they want, you'll be successful as a teacher. Your students will give you compliments and spread the word.

You can have perfect pronunciation (usually native) or excellent grammar expertise (usually non-native), but if you do not genuinely care about your students, you're toast.

Now, is there a difference between native vs non-native teachers when it comes to these two key factors?

I don't think so. I don't see any correlation between preparation & empathy and non-native or native teachers.   

What I do know, is that your ability to keep learning is the most crucial skill to master if you want to be a great teacher.

And I'm not referring to your ability to keep learning English

I mean developing empathy and the discipline to prepare your lessons in the best way possible. Because that's harder than learning English, in particular when you do the same thing as a teacher over and over again... 

All right, that's my two pennies worth. :) 

I wonder what you think about this topic? What are your experiences with native teachers and non-native teachers? Join the discussion in the comments :)

Keep learning, keep growing! 👍     
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Blog interaction

Hi Alastair Budge

I apologise if you've already answered this somewhere on the forum, but I couldn't find it.

Why is it not possible to reply to the blog posts? So much interesting stuff and food for thought (and discussion) in these articles...

Re:, I enjoyed reading this one very much! Congratulations and keep learning, keep growing! 


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Episode #90 - The House of Medici

I loved this episode, not in the least because of, and I quote here:

It is a pretty interesting story, and it’s always nice to hear a story where almost everyone seems to win, and nobody needs to have their head cut off or be stabbed in the back.
It's true, and in fact, it's almost unbelievable, so now I'm curious to learn more about this family and Florence.

This episode reminds me of the fact that there's so much interesting history on the European continent. In the 90s I always wanted to visit other continents, but nowadays I'm more eager to explore Europe*. Especially now the EU is under pressure and some people tend to forget how much violence there was on the continent, before the EU was set up.

*That might be another reason why I chose Prague as my new home base.

Anyone with knowledge about the history of Florence or the Medici family, don't hesitate to share it here.

On a different note: 
Alastair, I'm really curious to hear more about 1) your research process in general, and 2) how you learnt to transform epic events that span across centuries into 18 minute stories.

It's an interesting podcast topic. Maybe I'll invite you one day to talk about it with me on my podcast... ;)
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Hi there, I'm Kristian 👋

Hi everyone, I'm Kristian 👋

I'm originally from the Netherlands, but now I live in Prague, the Czech Republic.

A few months ago I got the opportunity to introduce myself on the Leonardo English blog, so a link to that article is probably the easiest way to introduce myself:

Fun fact about me: I'm an early bird. At least five days per week I get up at 4am. When they made face-masks mandatory in Prague early March, I decided to start my workout at 4am, because I didn't want to run with a mask. Now I'm used to getting up early in the morning and I don't want to go back to my old routine. I'm super productive in the morning. However, I do take a nap when I get tired... ;)

Other fun fact: last week I've started a podcast myself. Alastair was one of the people who inspired me to take the plunge :)

I'm stoked to see this community up and running. From the moment I started listening to the podcast, I was interested in getting to know other listeners. 

Many thanks for setting this up!

P.S. If you read this and you have any questions for me, just ask :)
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