Episode 34: The Sharing Economy


Episode 34: The Sharing Economy

This week we are chatting about the sharing economy. If you have used Airbnb, if you have used Uber, you have participated in the sharing economy. It's all the rage these days, and it's really changing the way that people use products and services.


Episode 33: Enjoy your Stay! Useful Hotel Vocabulary


Episode 33: Enjoy your Stay! Useful Hotel Vocabulary

In today’s episode we’ll be sharing with you some typical vocabulary you’ll need to use the next time you stay at a hotel. We’ll simulate some common common conversations you may run into during your stay. If you get lost along the way, the transcript and vocabulary guide are on our website as always to help you out.


Episode 32: Let's Fly Away! Useful Airport Vocabulary


Episode 32: Let's Fly Away! Useful Airport Vocabulary

This week, we are talking about vocabulary that you use in an airport. All over the world, whether you're traveling to Thailand or Russia or the United States, English is a really useful language to be able to use in the airport because it's sort of the go-to language if you don't speak the language in that country. So, we know that being in an airport can include lots of different scenarios, so today, Paige and I will be very dramatically and realistically acting out typical scenarios in an airport


Episode 31: Phrasal Verbs and the Oscars


Episode 31: Phrasal Verbs and the Oscars

This week on the podcast, we're talking about an annual event where all of the biggest stars get together. We're chatting about the Oscars. As we talk, we'll be using phrasal verbs. We know that these are tricky, and we wanted to be sure that you had a chance to hear them in context. So, as we talk about the movies we watched, we'll be using those a lot.


Episode 28: Conditionals


Episode 28: Conditionals

Today, we will be talking about conditionals. Conditionals are a tough grammar point for a lot of English language learners. They're tough in any language, and so today, we'll just be using them. So, as you listen, you'll have a chance to listen to conditionals in action. If you get confused along the way, we'll have the transcript, the vocabulary guide, and a little grammar view of conditionals to help you out on the website.


Episode 27: Family


Episode 27: Family

This week, the theme of the pod is family. So, Paige and I will talk a little bit about our families, our childhood, and hopefully it will give you the vocabulary that you need to be able to talk about your own family.


Episode 23: Cheers to Drinking Vocabulary


Episode 23: Cheers to Drinking Vocabulary

So, I want you imagine that you are traveling in an English speaking country, and you go to the bar, and you're ready to order a drink, and you're like, "Shoot, I don't know vocabulary for any of the drinks on this menu!" Or maybe you don't have a menu! That's the worst case scenario. So, today, we are reviewing the vocabulary for some of our favorite alcoholic beverages. Now, we know that some people don't drink, but a lot of you do. So, tune in, and remember that if you get lost along the way, the vocabulary guide and transcript are on our website to help you out.


Episode 21: Summer Vacation Planning


Episode 21: Summer Vacation Planning

Welcome back to the podcast. This week, we are chatting about trip planning. We're both people that really enjoy travelling, especially living abroad, there are lots of opportunities to do it. And we know that a lot of our listeners do too! So today we're practicing vocabulary related to planning a trip.


Episode 20: Books and Movies!


Episode 20: Books and Movies!

Welcome back to the pod. Today, we are talking about pop culture. And we'll be focusing on books and movies, and giving some of our recommendations as the year comes to a close.


Episode 19: New Year, New You?


Episode 19: New Year, New You?

Listen to Episode 19 of "Coffee with Gringos" here or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

Download the Episode 19 Transcript here!


Paige: You're listening to Coffee with Gringos. I'm Paige Sutherland.

Mariah: And I'm Mariah Wika. Welcome back to podcast. This week, we are chatting about New Years resolutions. Those are the goals that we set, and we try really hard to keep every year. Or maybe we don't try so hard to keep them. We'll talk about that today. Remember, as you listen to the episode today, if you get lost, the transcript and vocabulary guide are on our website to help you out.

Paige: Alright, so to talk about the common New Years resolutions, I think a lot of them have to do with health, right? Exercise more. Eat better.

Mariah: Right. Personal development, maybe learning a hobby, learning a skill. Or, I think, related to what you're saying, not necessarily eating better or exercising more, but eliminating a bad habit. I think resolutions generally fall into those three camps.

Paige: Yeah, eating less candy, not smoking, drinking less... all of those kind of vices I guess that we have. So, are you a New Years resolution setter?

Mariah: I think there are two types of people, maybe there are three types of people... people who are obsessed with New Years resolutions and very committed to them, people who set them and just absolutely fail, and people who really could care less.

Paige: What camp do you fall into?

Mariah: Honestly, I'm somewhere between two and three. I occasionally set them, and then I disastrously fail. Or I just don't do it at all because I don't want to fail. I don't know. How about you? Which group do you fall into?

Paige: I usually set a New Years resolution, but I've never been successful.

Mariah: Ever?!

Paige: No... the biggest one that I set probably every year I think I'm gonna try again this year, and maybe it will finally stick... but it's always, you know, a big character flaw of mine is waking up early. I hate the mornings. If I have to wake up for something, I can physically do it. If it's something, where you know, oh you should wake up early to do work or go to the gym or go for a run... I will snooze the heck out of it. I'll snooze for five minutes for two hours and get up two hours later.

Mariah: Me too... Me too.

Paige: So, it's probably one of my worst pet peeves of mine. So, every year, I'm like, "Nope, that's it, you're gonna wake up at 6:30 every morning, regardless of when you have to wake up." And probably the first week or two, I'm like very committed. And then I let a week slip... and then another week, and then I'm back to snoozing.

Mariah: Just back to the same old, sleeping in. Yeah, I hear you, I hear you.

Paige: What are your biggest New Years resolutions?

Mariah: Oh, that's a good question. One resolution that I have for the coming year is to be more on time. So, I am not the most punctual person in the world. I've arrived to Coffee with Gringos studios late many times... every time, except today. A round of applause!

Paige: I was very shocked when I heard the doorbell ring, and it was exactly on time... I was like this can't be Mariah, this must be someone else.

Mariah: Right, I'm a woman whose full of surprises, and being on time is one of them. So, I think that's a good goal. I would also like to wake up earlier, but frankly, I think that's pretty unrealistic for me, and so I'm going to set a goal that's maybe more achievable... which is showing up on time like 75% of the time.

Paige: I think that is the biggest flaw of New Year's resolutions is they are so unreachable.

Mariah: Right, they're lofty.

Paige: I'm gonna work out everyday for the next year! When you're a person who works out maybe once a month. That's unattainable for you. You're not going to go from once a month to everyday... so it's kind of, I think the pitfall is you set these unattainable resolutions, where you aren't gonna be successful.

Mariah: Right. I was reading an article the other day that was talking about New Year's resolutions. And it was actually focused on the UK, so it had surveyed a group of folks there, and it said that resolutions are impossible to achieve because they aren't specific, and they aren't realistic. And so, it was saying, you know... maybe your resolution is, "I want to save money." Well, that's really general and broad, but maybe something more achievable is to say, you know, "I want to save 50.000 pesos a month." Right? And all of a sudden, you have a measurable goal. And I think that's good advice.

Paige: Have you ever gone to the gym the week after New Years?

Mariah: Oh yeah. It's packed.

Paige: It's packed. You can tell everyone's New Year's resolution is to work out more, to exercise, I mean, I remember I would go to the gym, and I couldn't get a treadmill, I couldn't get a bike... and then, maybe two weeks in, it's like ghost town. No one's there anymore. It's like everyone already broke their New Year's resolution and is like, "Eh, that worked out for a good five straight days. I'm good for the year."

Mariah: Right, exactly, exactly. That's typical. Yeah. I think that the thing with New Year's resolutions is that a lot of times, these are big changes we're talking about. These lofty goals that we said people make... eating well or exercising routinely or drinking less alcohol or quitting a smoking habit. Those are not necessarily things that happen overnight. And I think that it's good that people see the turning of the year as an opportunity to make a change in their life. That's a positive thing, but at the same time, research shows, and I think we know as humans that changes take time, and you know, the change from December to January doesn't necessarily indicate that you're going to be able to flip a switch and become a triathlete that eats salad every single day.

Paige: No! And I think for our listeners who are trying to learn English, I think that is a good thing to keep in mind... set goals for yourself that are attainable. Maybe I wanna improve my English so that I'm speaking more in the past tense or that I'm, you know, able to strike up conversation more comfortably. Like, set reasonable goals instead of being like, "I wanna be fluent in 2019!" That's a very hard goal to have, so you wanna, like Mariah said, have some tangible goals.

Mariah: Right. That's a great point, Paige. I think that, like this article I was telling you about said: Is it attainable? Is it realistic? And is it measurable? So, instead of saying, "I wanna be fluent," saying, "Okay, I wanna practice 10 minutes a day in any way that I possibly can, whether that's listening to music or watching part of a series or listening to Coffee with Gringos!

Paige: Great goal to have for 2019.

Mariah: Right, but that's an attainable goal, maybe a realistic goal, like Paige said, is saying: "I'm going to master the past tense this year!" or "I'm going to be conversational this year!" But a goal like fluency is a lofty goal that might take you years to achieve.

Paige: And might disappoint you... because you're aiming for something that most people can't achieve. It's too high of a task to set for one year.

Mariah: Right, so it's a great goal to set, and we hope that learning English is part of your New Year's resolution, but if it is, make sure that you're setting it in a way where you can be successful and where you can actually see change instead of, you know, hitting the books, studying three hours a day for the first two weeks of the New Year, and then completely quitting by week three.

Paige: So, now that it's out there, it's recorded... Mariah is gonna work on being on time, I'm gonna work on getting up early...

Mariah: And our listeners are going to be devoted Coffee with Gringos fans.

Paige: Settled. 2019. Best year yet.

Mariah: Here we come. We're ready for ya. Thanks so much for listening, and we'll talk to you soon.


Goal (noun) - an objective

Example: This week, we are chatting about New Year’s resolutions. Those are the goals that we set, and we try really hard to keep every year.

To set goals (phrase) - to decide on and try to achieve your goals

Example: This year, Paige set the goal to wake up earlier.

Achieve (verb) - to obtain, to accomplish

Example: Sometimes it’s difficult to achieve your goals when they’re too unrealistic.

Resolution (noun) - an objective or goal

Example: It’s common to make New Year’s resolutions every year.

To keep a goal/resolution (phrase) - to be committed to your objective

Example: Every year, we try hard to keep our New Year’s resolutions.

Fall into camps (idiom) - are separated into groups

Example: Usually New Year’s resolutions fall into three camps: health, personal development, and eliminating a bad habit.

Vices (noun) - wrong or bad habits

Example: Some people try to eliminate their vices for New Year's - smoking and drinking for example.

Committed (adjective) - dedicated

Example: Some people are very committed to keeping their New Year’s resolutions.

Skill (noun) - an ability

Example: I want to learn a new skill for New Year’s… maybe I’ll learn to play the piano!

Fail (verb) - to not succeed, to not complete your objective

Example: Sometimes I set New Year’s Resolutions, but unfortunately, I almost always fail!

Flaw (noun) - an imperfection or weakness

Example: One of Paige’s biggest character flaws is that she’s not good at waking up early.

Hit snooze (slang) - to silence your alarm clock when it sounds

Example: I hate mornings! Sometimes I hit snooze five times.

Sleep in (phrasal verb) - to sleep late, especially to sleep later than you planned

Example: I love sleeping in, so it’s hard for me to wake up early.

Pet peeve (slang) - something that you find very annoying or frustrating

Example: Her pet peeve is when people arrive late.

On time (phrase) - punctual

Example: I almost never arrive on time.

Achievable (adjective) - able to be reached/obtained successfully

Example: It’s very important to set goals that are achievable.

Lofty (adjective) - unrealistic

Example: Exercising every single day is a lofty goal.

Pitfall (noun) - danger or difficulty

Example: One of the pitfalls of setting resolutions is that people often choose goals that are completely unattainable!

Work out (phrasal verb) - to exercise

Example: One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to work out more.

Flip a switch (idiom) - make a very sudden change

Example: Research shows that it’s very difficult to flip a switch and change a habit.

Attainable (adjective) - possible to obtain or achieve

Example: If you’re an English language learner, set an attainable goal, and try to practice for just ten minutes every day!

Hit the books (idiom) - study very, very intensely

Example: You don’t need to hit the books for three hours a day to improve your English, but it is important to practice a little every day!

Download the Episode 19 Transcript here!


Episode 18: Let's Get Political


Episode 18: Let's Get Political

Listen to Episode 18 of "Coffee with Gringos" here or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

Download the Episode 18 Transcript here!

Politics. Whether you like it or not, this is an incredibly important topic! Today, Paige and Mariah do their best to explain the always entertaining, often confusing United States political system.


Paige: You’re listening to Coffee with Gringos. I’m Paige Sutherland.

Mariah: And I’m Mariah Wika! Welcome back to the show! The theme of today’s episode is politics. Dun, dun, dun… It’s a topic that you either love to love or you love to hate, but no matter what, it’s part of our life, and so… we’re going to chat about it today. And remember, if you get lost along the way, the transcript and the vocabulary guide are right there on our website to help you out.

Paige: Okay, so, to start off… me and Mariah, as you all know, are from the US. And we had quite a big election that happened last week.

Mariah: Yeah, recently we had midterm elections. So, midterm elections, they’re not presidential, they’re basically for some of the seats in Congress in both the House and the Senate.

Paige: And it’s usually a big election because it kind of sways the power.

Mariah: Right.

Paige: So, in the US we have two main political parties. We have the Democrats, which are more liberal, more left-wing. And then we have the Republicans, which is the right-wing, conservative.

Mariah: In Chile, I’ve realized that a lot of people have pretty solid knowledge of the US political system. I’ve been surprised and a little bit humbled because I certainly didn’t have that knowledge of the Chilean system prior to coming here. But for those of you who don’t know, and it’s obviously totally fine if you don’t! In the US, we have the Executive Branch of power, the Judicial Branch of power, and then we have the Legislative Branch, which is our congressional branch and includes two main parts. It includes the Senate, and it includes the House of Representatives. And in the midterm elections, there are usually many, many seats availabe in both the house and the Senate, and depending on what happens, that balance of power between the House of Representatives and the Senate can sometimes change. And when it changes, we call it “flipping the House,” and when it doesn’t change, we call it “holding the House” or “holding the Senate.” So, for example, in the last election, Democrats flipped the House, and they now have control. And the Republicans held the Senate.

Paige: Exactly, so it was a very, very important election for both those political parties. And so in the US, we are federal, but we also have state law. So the midterm elections was federal positions. We’re talking about House Representatives, we’re talking about Senators. So, to break that down too, each state gets two senators and the House of Representatives depends on the size... the population of your state. So, a state like Rhode Island that is very small has fewer House Representatives than a state like California. So, it’s really based on size when it comes to your House Reps. And that’s federally. This is talking about in Washington DC. But each state has their own laws.

Mariah: Right, and I’m glad that you brought that up Paige because I think people often forget about the major importance of local politics, and elections like these… for United States citizens, they’re a huge opportunity to vote on local politics and vote for politicians that will change things in your own community because obviously federal law is not as personalized to the things that you are your family experience on a day-to-day basis.

Paige: No, and some of the big elections that happened in the midterms were races for governor. So, a lot of states had those seats open, and a governor is basically a president of a state. He is the executive branch of that state.

Mariah: Or she!

Paige: Or she, sorry! So, that person basically maintains that state. They oversee the laws that are passed in that state. The enforcement. They’re basically, like I said, the president of that state. So, very important. And like Mariah said, it’s more personal! The laws that each state have touch your life a little bit more, than say, a federal law does.

Mariah: Right, exactly. Yeah, you’re voting for somebody that intimately knows and can represent your district for example. And that, that’s different than voting for a senator that will serve you nationally.

Paige: So, like Mariah was saying, federally we have House Reps and Senators. And each state has their own House Rep and Senator as well. And so, if you live in a state like say, Minnesota, you have your state House Rep, and you have your State Senators. And then you have your Federal Senators and your Federal House Reps.

Mariah: It’s a little complex. There’s a lot going on. I know that something that people know more about here, especially because when a president is elected of any country in the world, it has global shockwaves, right? And, something that Paige and I have talked about is that in the United States, presidents can serve… they serve a four year term, but then they can run for re-election and serve another four-year term. But consecutively. This is different than in Chile because I learned, we both learned, that here, you can serve a four-year term, then you have to stop, and then you can run for re-election! I was completely surprised by that. It’s a really fascinating system.

Paige: And it’s interesting that the past two presidents have done so.

Mariah: Right! Right, it was Bachelet, Pinera, Bachelet, Pinera.

Paige: So it’s not only the law, but it seems like it’s very normal here.

Mariah: Or, it has been!

Paige: It has been, at least recently. I wish I was here during the election, the most recent election. But I do know from research that it is very different. The US itself is just very different, where in 2016, when that election was over, people were already considering and looking at 2020, which is the next presidential election. In the US, it’s like this non-stop election campaigning period, where even the day after an election, people are already looking to the next one. It’s constant fundraising, campaigning, advocacy...

Mariah: Lobbying.

Paige: Where in most countries, there’s laws where you cannot campaign until a certain amount of time before the election. In the US, it’s like years… people just constantly campaign.

Mariah: Right, it feels like the political machine never rests in the United States. That’s what I would say.

Paige: The other thing I noticed was you can walk by La Moneda… and you can be, I mean, what… 300 feet away from the building? Where in the US, our La Moneda is the White House, and there’s a huge fence with military security… you can barely poke your eye in to see the White House. You can get nowhere near. Where here, there’s even a street that goes behind La Moneda that you can drive by.

Mariah: Right, so access to government buildings is really, really different. Didn’t you go to La Moneda the other day?

Paige: Yeah! Besides teaching, I also am a reporter, and I was interviewing someone there. I set up the interview the day before, I just showed my ID, I walked in, and I was inside La Moneda, and I was in someone’s office interviewing them. Where in the US, I’ve done interviews in the White House, but you need to be pre-screened, I need to show my passport, I need to do this a week before before I can even get near the gate.

Mariah: Probably intense security once you enter…

Paige: Yeah, it was liberating! It was nice that, it was like the people have access. You walk by La Moneda… people are outside having picnics and hanging out with friends and enjoying the green space right in front of it. Where in the US, it’s like, we’re a democracy but we’re caged up!

Mariah: Right, you can look at the home of the United States’ democracy behind a very large and imposing fence.

Paige: With huge rifles!

Mariah: Yeah, I like that too. Spaces are important, and when a government building feels like it belongs to the people, I think that that’s a really cool element of a country’s politics.

Paige: The biggest thing that I’ve realized too when I’ve talked to a lot of my students about politics, and I think that you will take this away from this episode is that it’s confusing. The US politics are complex because we are this federal government that is state-run as well. So, when people talk about “Oh, this is going on in the US!” It’s like…oh, that’s actually a Texas law. I don’t have that law in Massachusetts! Or, I heard about this law in California… well, we don’t have this law in Minnesota. So, it’s very, very…

Mariah: Convoluted. Totally. I agree.

Paige: So we talked about how important the midterm elections were, but did you vote in the midterm elections, Mariah?

Mariah: Absolutely. Absolutely. Voting, to me, is a really important way to participate in the political process. And I feel really lucky because Minnesota is a state that tries really hard to make voting accessible, and so for example, if you’re in the state, you can do same-day registration. You can register to vote, vote that day, awesome. And, in terms of voting from afar, I sent an email requesting an absentee ballot with a form with some of my information, they emailed me a ballot, they emailed me a PDF of my ballot, I printed it, I voted, and then I mailed it right back. It was a painless process. It was easy. And, it felt good to have my vote counted. How about you? Did you vote?

Paige: I did! I went home in October, and so I did a similar process, but I actually went in and got the absentee ballot and just filled it out and sent it in right then when I was home. But no, like you said, I think that we are abroad, we are living in Chile, but the politics that are still going on in our homes are important, and we should have a voice in it!

Mariah: Totally, and I know that in some countries, it’s not possible to vote from a distance, and so I feel fortunate that we’re able to do that in our country. Voting’s good. Make your voice heard.

Paige: So, even though, we were talking about politics today, I hope that this didn’t feel too political.

Mariah: Or too boring!

Paige: We just felt like it was good to…

Mariah: Politics are talked about everywhere! They’re talked about in the United States, they’re talked about here, and as the world becomes more and more globalized, these are conversations that are just going to keep happening more and more.

Paige: So these are good tools for your toolbox.

Mariah: Exactly. Thanks for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon!


Love to love or love to hate (phrase) - something that you truly enjoy or that you enjoy having negative feelings about

Example: Politics is a topic that you either love to love or love to hate.

Start off (phrasal verb) - to begin

Example: To start off, Mariah and I are going to talk about the recent midterm elections that happened in the United States.

Midterm elections (noun) - in the United States, the general elections that happen two years into a president’s four year term

Example: The midterm elections happy halfway through a presidency. In the midterms, citizens vote for federal, state, and local officials.

Seats (noun) - available positions

Example: During the midterms, many congressional seats are open.

Sway (verb) - to move from side to side

Example: And it’s usually a big election because it sways the power.

Political parties (noun) - an organized group of people with similar views

Example: In the US, we have two main political parties.

Democrats (noun) - the left-wing, liberal political party

Example: In 2016, Hillary Clinton was the candidate for the Democrats.

Republicans (noun) - the right-wing, conservative political party

Example: In 2016, Donald Trump was the candidate for the Republicans.

Humbled (adjective) - to feel less proud

Example: In Chile, I’ve realized that a lot of people have pretty solid knowledge of the US political system. I’ve been surprised and a little bit humbled because I certainly didn’t have that knowledge of the Chilean system prior to coming here.

Branch (noun) - in the political context, a large section or part

Example: The United States government has three main branches.

Executive Branch (noun) - the part of the US government that is administrative, includes the president

Example: The Executive Branch implements the laws passed by Congress.

Legislative Branch (noun) - the part of the US government that makes laws

Example: The Senate and the House of Representatives are part of the Legislative Branch.

Judicial Branch (noun) - the part of the US government that interprets the law and administers justice

Example: The Supreme Court is part of the Judicial Branch.

Senate/Senators (noun) - the upper section of the United States Congress, the people who serve in the Senate

Example: Each state elects two senators to serve in the Senate.

House of Representatives/House Reps - the lower section of the United States Congress, the people who serve in the House of Representatives

Example: House Reps work together in the House of Representatives to create laws for people in the United States.

Flip (verb) - in a political context, when the power changes

Example: In the most recent midterm election, Democrats flipped the House of Representatives.

Hold (verb) - in a political context, when the power doesn’t change

Example: In the most recent midterm election, Republicans held the Senate.

Federal (noun) - the national level of government in the US

Example: The United States is governed at a federal level and a state level.

Term (noun) - the amount of time a politician can serve

Example: In Chile, the president can serve four-year terms non-consecutively.

Convoluted (adjective) - confusing or unclear

Example: In general, politics can be very convoluted.

Fundraise (adjective) - to raise money for something

Example: Politicians are often fundraising non-stop in the United States.

Ballot (noun) - the document you complete when you vote

Example: Since I’m in Chile, I had to mail my ballot to Minnesota. That’s called an absentee ballot!

Same-day registration (noun) - when a state allows voters to register on the day of the election

Example: Minnesota makes voting very accessible because it has a same-day registration law.

Download the Episode 18 Transcript here!


Episode 16: Getting the Job, Interview Practice!


Episode 16: Getting the Job, Interview Practice!

Listen to Episode 16 of "Coffee with Gringos" here or on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and Soundcloud.

Download the Episode 16 Transcript here!

Interviews… just the word makes us nervous. Interviews can be really difficult, especially in your second language. Today, follow along as we simulate a typical English interview. Of course, we know every single interview is different, but pay attention to the typical questions Paige asks and the general format of Mariah’s responses. We hope that our voices are in your head next time you have an English interview (although that’s a little creepy… sorry).


Paige: You are listening to Coffee with Gringos. I’m Paige Sutherland.

Mariah: And I’m Mariah Wika. Today’s topic is something that many of us have done and makes 100% of us very nervous. We’re talking about interviews. Whether you’re applying for a job at a language institute in Santiago, Chile. For example, Dynamic English… check em’ out, or any other job, your interview is your foot in the door. It’s your chance to make an impression and hopefully get a job.

Paige: And nowadays, more than ever, sometimes when you apply for jobs… they require that you speak more than one language. So, besides being nervous about being in an interview, you might have to do it in a language that isn’t your native tongue.

Mariah: Right, so for example, for a lot of you, you’re English language learners. We’re guessing that the majority of our listeners, except for our moms, are English language learners. And so, today we want to give you an example of an interview that will help you for that next interview that you have.

Paige: So, listen in, take some notes, and remember - if you get lost, the transcript and vocabulary guide will be online at dynamicenglish.cl. So, now, I am going to interview Mariah for Coffee with Gringos’ next host position.

Mariah: So excited. I want this opportunity so badly.

Paige: Let’s see how she does.

Transition noises

Paige: Hi Mariah! Thanks for being here. It’s so nice to meet you.

Mariah: Thank you so much for having me. I’m really excited about interviewing for this position.

Paige: I hope that you got to the office okay. No trouble?

Mariah: I found it perfectly, thank you so much.

Paige: Okay! Well, sit down. Do you want a glass of water or something to drink?

Mariah: No, I’m alright. Thank you!

Paige: Okay! Well, we’ll start then. So, first question: just tell me a little bit about yourself.

Mariah: Yeah! My name is Mariah, and I’ve been living in Santiago, Chile for a little over a year now, but before that I lived in Minnesota in the United States, and I worked in marketing and social media. But, I’ve been a teacher for about a year here, and I definitely have an interest in podcasting, in media, in marketing… and that’s why I’m here today.

Paige: And so I have to ask - how did you hear about the position?

Mariah: I heard about Coffee with Gringos through my language institute. So, of course, Coffee with Gringos is housed by Dynamic English, and I’ve been a teacher with Dynamic for a while now. I’m really passionate about education, and I love working in the classroom, but I also love the idea of creating resources that my students can use when we’re not together… when they’re out of the classroom. And so I heard about it through the institute, and it sounded like an opportunity I’d really like to give a try.

Paige: Absolutely. Well, why do you think you would be a good fit for the position?

Mariah: That’s a good question. I think that my past experience in marketing and media combined with my passion for education make me a really good fit for an educational podcast. In addition, I’m pretty social, and I like interacting with folks and talking. This is a conversational podcast, and I feel like I have the right personality for the job.

Paige: And have you done any radio in the past? Any experience with that format?

Mariah: To be honest, I haven’t done radio in the past. This would be a new opportunity for me. But, I’m a fast learner, and I’m not afraid of stepping out of my comfort zone. In the past, I did theater, and I did performance, and I know what it’s like to speak to an audience. So, while I haven’t done radio, I have other experiences that make me a good candidate for this position.

Paige: Yeah, I must say for someone who has no radio experience, you have quite a voice for it. So, you have that going for you, Mariah.

Mariah: Thank you! I appreciate that.

Paige: As is tradition, for this interview, what is your biggest strength, professionally?

Mariah: Yeah, I think that I’m a really strong communicator, and that stretches across different modes of communication. So, I make sure to communicate clearly in person, and I also am able to communicate really, really efficiently and reliably over e-mail. I use social media. And so, being a strong and reliable communicator is one of my best strengths. And I know that when it comes to being a host for a radio show, it’s not just about the time on air, it’s also about the time that goes into preparing and editing and working with your co-host to create a good product. Communication is key for a project like that.

Paige: No, it completely is, and it seems like through your teaching experience, you’ve definitely acquired that. What about your weaknesses? What do you think is your biggest professional weakness?

Mariah: I would say that my inexperience in radio is my greatest weakness when it comes to this position. I know that there are probably other candidates that have been working in radio for a long time, but what I bring to this position is an eagerness to learn and a lot of other strengths and tools that I’ll be able to use to overcome that weakness.

Paige: Yeah, no, and I think that as you said, you might not have the experience that some of the other candidates have, but it seems like you’re a quick learner and y’know having the teaching experience you have here in the city under your belt is definitely a positive.

Mariah: I do my best. And I’m passionate about education, and I want to bring this information to the learners at Dynamic English.

Paige: Well, I think going through your resume and talking with you today, I think you are more than qualified for the position. And like I said, you have the social skills, the personality, and quite the voice for a show like this. So, I really wanna thank you for coming in today and having the interview with us. Do you have any questions that you wanna ask?

Mariah: I do have a couple questions! So, one of my first questions is: what is the general schedule for Coffee with Gringos? I know that this is a side project at the institute, and so it’s a different set-up than teaching. So, what does scheduling look like?

Paige: That’s a really good question, Mariah. It’s very dependent on your co-host. It’s very flexible scheduling, where you work it out with the other host and kind of fit it into your teaching schedule. And when it comes to the topics and that kind of stuff, it’s very independent, where the hosts get a lot of the decision making.

Mariah: Perfect. That sounds great. I’m definitely the type of person that works really well with a flexible schedule, as compared to a really rigid one, and so it’s nice to hear that this is a flexible and independent role.

Paige: Well, again, thank you for coming in today. It was such a pleasure to meet you. I hope that you have a good rest of the week, and we will be in touch soon!

Mariah: Thank you so much! When can I expect to hear about the next round of the process?

Paige: Of course. We will send you an email in the next couple of days.

Mariah: Perfect. I’ll look forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much for your time. It was a pleasure to meet you.

Paige: Of course. Nice to meet you as well!

Mariah. Yeah, take care. Bye!

Paige: So, that is what a normal interview looks like. The basic “Tell me about yourself,” “Why are you a fit for this position?”

Mariah: “Why do you want this job?” “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” And of course, interviews are never completely comfortable, right? It’s normal to feel nervous - especially if you’re interviewing in your second language. But, remember. Be articulate. Do your best to communicate the point as clearly as you can using the vocabulary that you know, and we’re sure that you’ll do a great job.

Paige: Yeah, and I think that the big thing is to try to keep it short. I know that in your native language, you want to say a million things, but I think that focus on saying the most important things and keeping it concise so that you won’t overwhelm yourself because like Mariah said, interviewing is stressful, no matter what language you’re doing it in. But when it’s your second language, it really adds another layer.

Mariah: Yeah, a whole new layer. So, we hope that this has been useful for you and that next time you’re interviewing, especially if it’s an interview in English, you’ll be able to use some of the vocabulary and ideas from this episode. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll talk to you soon.


Check em’ out (slang) - look at, consider them

Example: Are you looking for a language institute? We’ve heard Dynamic English is great. Check em’ out.

Foot in the door (idiom) - an initial step that creates potential for more opportunities

Example: For any job you’re applying for, the interview is your foot in the door.

Nowadays (adverb) - at the present time

Example: Nowadays, some jobs require that you speak two languages.

Native tongue (noun) - your first language

Example: It’s possible that someday you’ll have to do an interview in a language that isn’t your native tongue.

Podcast host (noun) - a person who talks during a podcast, the position Mariah is interviewing for in this episode

Example: Mariah, why do you think you would be a great host for this podcast?

Thank you for having me (phrase) - thank you for inviting me, welcoming me

Example: Thank you for having me! I’m really excited to interview for this position.

Housed by (phrasal verb) - to be part of the space, included

Example: Coffee with Gringos is housed by the institute, Dynamic English.

Good fit (noun) - to have the right skills and qualifications for a position

Example: I think that my past experience in marketing and media combined with my passion for education make me a really good fit for an educational podcast.

Step out of one’s comfort zone (phrase) - to take risks and do different things

Example: I don’t have experience in radio, but I’m willing to step out of my comfort zone and try something new.

Strengths (noun) - your best qualities, tasks or actions that you do very well

Example: One of my strengths is that I’m a strong communicator.

Weaknesses (noun) - your disadvantages, tasks or actions that you don’t do very well

Example: One of my major weaknesses is that I don’t have experience working in radio.

Concise (adjective) - short and clear

Example: It’s important to be concise in an interview. I know it’s tempting to talk a lot, but our answers are clearer when we speak concisely.

Download the Episode 16 Transcript here!


Episode 15: Social Media


Episode 15: Social Media

Are you a social media fanatic? An aspiring Instagram influencer? We’re not either of these things… but we’re normal folks who use social media. So, today, we’re talking about it. We’ll talk about our own usage, we’ll try to guess what’s popular with teenagers these days, and we’ll discuss the challenge of deciding whether your social media usage is private, personal, or both.