Welcome to Think Big - I'm your host, Tara Cull, Neurolanguage coach®, English teacher, and landscape architect. And I'm bringing all these passions and interests together to help people in the built design profession, who speak English as a second language, to build outstanding communication skills, to help them find their voice and to speak up.
In the very first episode of the Think Big Podcast, I explain the podcast project that I've been working on for the last few months, who I am and how you can use the podcast to help you as an architecture professional trying to advance and uplevel your English.
I wanted to summarise what you might expect as a listener of the podcast.
✨ A little more about me and my story and how I coach architects and built design professionals
✨ The topics we will discuss in future episodes
✨ How you can start by thinking about how your life might be different when the language comes to you more naturally so that you can set realistic priorities
✨ 5 things you can do to be an independent learner; and
We address a dilemma I've come across quite often over the last 18 months of my coaching:
"I feel blocked when I need to say something intelligent in a conversation. I worry so much about what I need to say. I practise what I need to say to my boss or the client beforehand and then I get tongue tied and I say things wrong an it comes out like I'm a 10 year old child!"
At the end of the episode, I share some expressions with the word place.
Books & Resources
🎥 TED Talk by Emilie Wapnicki - Why Some of Us Don't Have One True Calling 📚 Think Like an Architect, Randy Deutsch
📚 Livewired, David Eagleman
📚 Bliss brain: The Neuroscience of Remodeling Your Brain for Resilience, Creativity, & Joy, Dawson Church
📚 The Artist Way, Julia Cameron
📚 Think Like an Artist, Will Gopertz
Episode 2: What Does it Mean to Think Like an Architect? How to be more innovative & Creative
Episode 3: How to use storytelling to connect to your clients - Fiona Dunin, FMD Architects
✨ Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/archienglishteacher
✨ Connect with me on LinkedIn Tara Cull
✨ Extended Show Notes and Full Transcript:
Ready to take action to speak up and share your voice?
Ready to start making a BIG impact on your English & building the architecture career you want?
You know it's time to make a change and you've got to start somewhere. In the evaluation and action plan, you will get my best tips so you stop the self-doubt and start taking action now. Take me to the action plan
Table of Contents Books and Resources
Transcript Images of Expressions
accountable (to be accountable) - required or expected to justify actions or decisions / responsible
accountability - the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.
autonomous - having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs.
diplomatic - being polite
dissimilar - not the same / different
forefront - (to be at the forefront) - the leading or most important position or place.
freelance - self-employed and hired to work for different companies on particular assignments
jargon - special words or expressions used by a profession
make the most of something - use something to the full advantage
multidisciplinary - combining or involving several academic disciplines
nitty gritty - the real heart of something
pay attention to something - be careful
reframe - express something differently subtle - so delicate or precise as to be difficult to analyse or describe.
Quick Find Snippets - Take me straight to these sections
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 00:00
You're listening to Think Big episode one.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 00:20
Hello big thinkers and welcome to the very first episode of think big. I'm your host Tara Cull, and I help architecture and built design professionals who speak English as a second or third or fourth language to build outstanding communication skills. You can learn more about my coaching programmes at archienglish.com.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 00:42
Well, welcome everyone to the very first episode, I'm really excited to be sharing everything I've been working on for the last few months. And I've been working really hard to make sure that I bring all of this great content together to be able to share it with the world. So for the last few months of putting together this podcast, I've spoken to several people from all over the world. So professionals who speak both English as a first language, and English as a second language. And it's been really great to speak to professionals in architecture. And a lot of the conversations have been very insightful and, and helped me to learn a lot. And one of the common threads that's coming through in all of my conversations is that good communication is just as much about listening, and understanding the other people as it is about knowing what to say and how to say it. I went into the project of creating this podcast with one idea in mind. And after speaking to several people, after all the interviews that I did, I realised that it really became something else. And that for me was okay. And it helped me to learn that the best way to learn the best way to improve and to understand more is to ask lots of questions, and to be curious, and to be open to where things might lead to, and to really stay in the moment. So there are two parts to today's episode. It's really packed full of useful things. And hopefully, you'll be able to walk away with some insight and maybe some inspiration. And I firstly want to share with you what this podcast is all about. I'm then going to briefly explain how I work with somebody in our very first evaluation session to determine how and what we'll do together and when we're working together. But then you might also find this example useful. So that if you want to take it further to be an independent learner, because there's definitely things that you can take from this conversation. In the second half of the podcast, I want to talk about some of the ways that you can learn and stay curious about English as an independent learner. And as a professional, who, no doubt wants to stay on top of this very curious language of English, and who also works within the built design profession. And then finally, I want to talk about a dilemma that many of my clients have, when they come to me, they often say this in the very first session. And I try and give them my thoughts about the topic, and I give this advice or these ideas. So I thought it would be a great way to help you if you may have something similar if you have a similar problem. And this dilemma is about how to walk away from a conversation, feeling like you really made that impact that you wanted. So I'll explain a little bit more about that dilemma later. And then as with every episode, in future episodes, I will give you some examples of useful expressions or ways to use the language. So as you'll notice, in a couple of the future episodes, when I'm speaking to some of my guests, or when I'm talking about a particular topic, different types of language come up. So I'm going to explain those expressions or something to do with the podcast episode.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 04:12
And at the very end of today's episode, I'm going to give you a few examples of expressions with the word place because as myself and some of my clients discovered recently, we have lots of expressions with place, lots of idioms and very important words. So to sum up, the purpose of this podcast is to share stories from architects and built design professionals. So landscape architects, interior designers, urban designers, engineers, and also about architecture, and its various disciplines. So for me, it's for everyone, but it's also importantly a listening resource for English learners, from the discipline of architecture, so that they can improve their listening comprehension, but also their critical thinking skills.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 04:59
The expression of ideas, but also thinking about motivation and mindset when it comes to being a learner of English living outside of your comfort zone. And for me, it's really an adventure that I'm happy to be on. And I hope that you will enjoy listening each week. So of course, you can follow along with me on Instagram at @archienglishteacher, or on LinkedIn, which is where I'm most active, so you just need to search for my name on LinkedIn. And then lastly, each episode comes with a transcript on an episode page. So on the ArchiEnglish website, you'll find a blog page for each of the episodes, where you'll find key vocabulary, show notes, and then also some images if we're talking about particular projects. So I'm really excited to share some of these projects that I've been talking about with some of the professionals that I interviewed.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 06:09
So who am I, if this is the first time you've heard about me, that's the first time you're listening to me. I am an Aussie. And I'm from Melbourne in Australia, and I'm currently living in the south of France in a smallish city, Montpellier. My first degree is in landscape architecture. And I've been working as a landscape architect for 15 years. So I've worked in multidisciplinary offices with architects and other disciplines. I've also worked as a residential landscape designer. And I'm currently working as a freelance landscape architect. So I work on projects, from time to time in Australia, using some of the existing contacts and the existing clients that I had before I moved to France. But I'm also a teacher, I have a master of teaching. And I work as an English teacher. So I'm currently working at a university in Thailand at the moment teaching architects now Emily Wapnicke would describe me as a multipotentialite light, someone who loves to do many things, and likes to see the intersections between subjects. And through many of my conversations with architects, I realised that lots of architects, lots of landscape architects are also like this, we have lots of different interests, because architecture comes from so many disciplines, and there's so many disciplines embedded within architecture. So science, technology, design, art, there's so many aspects of different disciplines that exist within architecture.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 07:49
I'm also somebody that likes to think deeply and process ideas, I guess that's why I call this podcast, Think BIG, because I like to take in the world around me. And to understand what is happening, I'm really curious by other cultures by other styles, and how people do things differently. I'm very introverted, but I'm not shy. So I just need sometimes to think about things more deeply, and to analyse things. Now, I've been living in France for almost three years. So I'm also like you learning French. And I'm always adapting to life on the other side of the world. And I'm happy to say that after almost three years, I'm still not fluent in the language of French, but I'm enjoying the learning process with all of its ups and downs, I can definitely tell you that some days, I think, why am I doing this? Why am I learning this language? And I feel frustrated and annoyed about why am I speaking this language. But you know what it is, and you do what you got to do. So just over 18 months ago, I think now, I was with my French teacher, and we were talking about my landscape design projects. So as I was saying, I work freelance on projects in Australia. And I realised I was so frustrated because I just didn't have the French vocabulary to be able to explain my projects to her. So the next day, I was sitting at this very desk that I'm sitting at, and I was sitting at my computer doing some research and I had a big A1 sheet of paper in front of me. And I just couldn't stop thinking about this idea that if I have trouble with being able to express myself and explain my projects and explain what I'm doing in French, then I'm sure that there will be people out there who have the same problem as me, but in English, it was like a light bulb went off for me. So I pulled out more bits of paper, and I spread them across the kitchen table. And then I started dreaming up this idea of what ArchiEnglish could be and
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 10:00
Who I could help. So almost a year later here, I am excited to be bringing this podcast to the world for you. So what will you expect to see on the podcast? Well, as I was saying, I believe that architecture and of course, landscape architecture, my the discipline that I studied, transcend many disciplines. So in order to think like an architect, you really need to see the intersections. And that can be difficult when English is your second language, and you're trying to express your ideas in a second language. But I think that it's so much more than just learning the technical vocabulary, or the names of a house, or the names of a building or the parts of the landscape. Because you can find a lot of that information in technical manuals and diagrams, the thing about architecture and landscape architecture is we have a certain way of thinking, and a certain way of communicating, which is different to just Business English. So if you're learning Business English, to improve and advance your English, is it really helping you and making the difference that you need? So we have very specific expressions, ways of looking at spaces, and ways of communicating with clients, and stakeholders and consultants. And sometimes these ways can be really subtle. So in this podcast, we will be addressing a number of these things. So we're going to do things like exploring the disciplines, while also understanding the parts of the language that we use the most. We're going to be talking about words and expressions and practical grammar, but within the context of the episode. So within the context of discussing the topics, the projects and the ideas, and also through the interviews that I have done with architects and landscape architects, we'll be discussing communication skills in a business setting, in several situations, things like preparing you for difficult conversations, how to be diplomatic, and how to really hone your listening skills. We'll talk about the language of presenting and clearly communicating ideas, discussing architectural projects and resources. And, of course, art. I am a huge fan of art, street art and creativity, and all forms of art really, in the landscape, and the built environment. So you'll definitely hear me talk about some of these passion projects. And since I live in France, I'll definitely also discuss some of the places that I have visited.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 12:40
I'm also really interested in cultural differences and how that plays out in language, and how that really impacts you when you're in different situations. And also, I've thought a lot about how that might change in terms of looking at the built environment as well. I'm also really fascinated by jargon. And I've got a great interview with somebody very special, who will talk about jargon with me. And we're going to talk about jargon busting.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 13:11
I'm going to talk about interview preparation as well, and how to speak to clients, lots of different things that relate to architecture. And finally, as I was saying, I've also completed several interviews with architects, landscape architects, consultants, so engineers, and then also professionals who are also focused on communication, even those who are working on content creation on YouTube, or Instagram, to share with the world in the world of architecture. So from these interviews, I really realised how much natural vocabulary and expressions I was able to take from these conversations. And sometimes it was about discovering different ways that people think about ideas and concepts. And it was so fascinating to see how people think so differently, and also across cultures as well. But it also made me really appreciate how difficult it must be for people who are learning English, or wanting to advance their English. Because when I was interviewing people, I was really aware of the language that they were using. And I was also at the same time trying to stay focused on what they were saying. And so for me, it was a fascinating learning experience for how can you be listening? And how can you be in the moment? And how can you also be thinking about, you know, what's useful for the people that will be listening. So what a great learning experience that was for me. I've also read lots of books, which have really influenced a lot of my teaching a lot of my coaching techniques. So some great books that have been reading, Think Like an Architect by Randy Deutsch, and I've been sharing this a lot with my clients and my students. I'm also fascinated by neuroscience.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 15:00
So at the beginning of the year, I got my certificate in Neurolanguage coaching. And I'll talk about that in a moment. So I read David Eagleman Livewired, the Ever Changing Brain. So we're talking a lot about neuroscience and how that can improve your learning efficiency and effectiveness. And another one, which is closely related to this is Bliss Brain by Dawson church. So they're just a few of the books that I've been reading. And as I was saying,
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 15:32
I'm really interested too, in creativity, because I think this is something that is sometimes missing. And some architects feel that they've lost that connection with creativity. So I've read some great books recently about art, including the Artists Way, Think Like an Artist, and also Steal Like an Artist was a book that I read a couple of years ago. And it's been coming up a lot for me recently in a lot of my conversations. Now lastly, before we get into the nitty-gritty of the rest of this episode, I wanted to acknowledge that all of this wouldn't be possible. Everything that I've learned in the last 18 months, would really not be possible if it were not for the amazing people who I've worked with for the last 18 months. And it's really because of them that I've been able to understand more, to learn more about cultures, to be curious about architecture. And one thing I was thinking the other day is, I've really been encouraged to look up more, and to pay attention to the world around me. So I feel so grateful to everyone that I've been working with, because they've really ignited this passion within, within me that I'm so excited to share with everyone. Now, when I first start working with someone, I get them to think about how their life might be different if they could use English in the same way that they could with their native tongue, or at least if they could feel as confident as they do when they're speaking their native tongue.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 17:00
So it's a good exercise to do on your own, to write down how your life might be easier if the language came to you more naturally. And to really keep that in the forefront of your mind to help you with setting your priorities. So in some cases, clients say that it would make them feel more confident in front of clients, or it would mean that the whole design might change. And I think this is really true, because they would feel more confident expressing their ideas, because sometimes some people are so afraid to impart the information that they want to give because they're afraid of what people might say. And how often have you sat in a meeting with this great idea. And then somebody else said it before you because you felt like you weren't confident enough to say it quick enough. So I want you to feel like people hear what you have to say that you have the confidence to be you without being somebody different, and to speak up no matter what your level of English is, despite possible mistakes. So my first example for you to be able to look at is to think about how would your life be different if you could speak or feel more confident about speaking English. Now, what is Neurolanguage coaching, I mentioned Neurolanguage coaching before it uses neuroscience to create this perfect learning state. Well, this ideal learning state. So it's based on what we know about the brain and how it learns. So we're looking at connection, association, attention and motivation. As a result of this, I've read a lot about neuroscience, a lot of studies about neuroscience. And what I'm trying to do as a coach is to work with my learners to guide them through this learning process. And I think it's really essential actually, to learn a little bit more about your brain, and how your brain works. Because, you know, we live in a time now where we're time poor, everyone talks about being time poor. So if you can understand more about the way that your brain works, and how to make learning more efficient and effective, then you're on the way to really helping yourself to advance and to get what you really want. As a coach, what I'm trying to do is bring this self awareness to the learner so that they're better understanding how the brain functions, but also learning the processes that help them to learn more efficiently.
Tara Cull - ArchiEnglish 19:28
So this process of coaching really values autonomy. And what I'm trying to do is encourage my clients to make decisions and take ownership of the learning process so that me and the client are feeling equal in the learning process. So we're working together to reach the goals. So what does that mean? It really means a mix of self learning and accountability. So what