Learn English with English, baby!

Join for FREE!

Bad English

Bad English English, baby! Video Lesson

Date: Apr 13 2007


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

When you are learning another language, it is difficult to blend what you learn in books with how people actually talk.

In every language, people stutter, insert extra words and use expressions that are not in the dictionary.

English, baby! members sometimes comment on the “bad English” of our cast members. For example, they say we shouldn’t be saying “like” so much. But “like” is very common in the spoken language. Of course, you would never use the expression in writing unless you were quoting someone.

Listen to Amanda and Kevin talk about bad English.

3. Watch - Watch the video without reading the dialog.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

Log in to Listen

2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Amanda:  So what’s interesting is I have a four year-old son…

Kevin:  OK.

Amanda:  ... and so we’re trying to teach him the language. The English language. But it’s very difficult to realize that, how we speak with all the slang and the poor construction using “like,” “um,” the pausing…

Kevin:  The colloquialisms.

Amanda:  Yes. Pausing, “um,” “Like, well”... It’s so difficult to curb that while you’re teaching a child because you don’t want to teach that or pass it on. It’s near impossible.

Kevin:  Well, it is but his English will eventually get good. But it does take sort of coaching, right?

Amanda:  Absolutely.

Kevin:  And, and good teaching, both from the parents as well as in school.

Amanda:  You don’t realize how much you do it yourself.

Kevin:  Mm hm.

Amanda:  You know which mistakes are mistakes and you just, that’s how you’ve taught yourself.

Kevin:  Yeah.

Amanda:  You’ve trained yourself incorrectly.

Kevin:  It’s very interesting.

Amanda:  And it’s so hard to rewind and go the right way even though you know what’s right.

Kevin:  I used to be an ESL teacher and a lot of students would write in essays the word gonna... g-o-n-n-a.

Amanda:  Oh no.

Kevin:  Which they didn’t realize was OK verbally but written, is, is not appropriate.

Amanda:  Right.

Kevin:  So it takes a lot of practice.

Amanda:  It does. I’m working on it…

Kevin:  It will come.

Amanda:  ... still!



Go Super to take Quiz Go Super!


Lesson MP3

Go Super to download full lesson MP3 Go Super!

The iTEP® test

  • Schedule an iTEP® test and take the official English Practice Test.

    Take Now >


Amanda is teaching her four-year-old how to talk. It is making her realize her own poor speaking habits.

Kevin has a lot of teaching experience. He assures Amanda that her son will learn how to speak properly despite her own mistakes.

Kevin also points out that his ESL students would use colloquialisms (like “gonna”) as written language.

Do you have bad habits in your native language?

Would it be hard for someone to learn the difference between the spoken and the written in your language?



Log in to Comment




Yeah bad habits like what the lesson is about. But I try not to write them down in an essay because I know its informal. :) Nice lesson though!

07:36 AM Oct 08 2012 |

1 person likes this

La Princesse de la vie


I have a problem with my native language, as we don’t use it much at speaking, I sometimes find it kind of difficult to find the proper words within writing formally.. But I think that can be better and can be fixed with reading more in the formal language..

It’s not that hard to differentiate between the formal and the spoken in one’s language…It just needs practice and using…

03:17 PM Sep 23 2012 |




I think, the main issue that especially during learning a language is about your aspect. If you try to learn a language with your language culture, you’ll have probably many problems. You should just let it go.

In the main time, the writing skill is based on grammar rules. The speaking is about more likely emotions. This difference seem when they’are used. This is anormal thing.

04:35 PM Jun 17 2012 |




Wtfs wrong with the word “gonna”?
I’m… Wait for it… GONNA unsubscribed from ebaby cuz of its bs…

02:17 PM May 31 2012 |



I didn’t like the book ‘Help’ because it was written in a really, really bad English – couldn’t finish it. Also I love websites with funny pictures and captions [I’ve learnt a lot] but pictures like this one: http://gb.yeeti.com/10260 always confuse me. The spelling and it’s hard to say it out loud.

11:34 AM May 31 2012 |


Saudi Arabia


10:47 PM May 25 2012 |



United Arab Emirates

Wow … it seems big issue for most of us to describe or answer the question asked from the previous Bad English video.


In my country the learning system is great and our environment is so helpful to be an English native user because we have more than 200 nationalities most of them I assume communicate by using English as understanding bridge.


Of course in every language there are mistakes happen whether in converting from peaking to writing and reveres back. In my home accent the formal writing is different from slang free style of using words. I supposed that are available in all languages  


07:54 AM Apr 03 2012 |



Russany Chen : Save “Print this lesson” on your computer and you’ll read all thay tell ))

01:51 PM Apr 02 2012 |

Russany Chen

Viet Nam

Oap!they speak too fast.I can’t listYellen to them clearly

08:20 AM Apr 01 2012 |

Andressa Holland


Sonrah, just great idea! :D
I have nobody who speaks English around me, so, i talk with myself, i read text, i try to hear people talking (that’s why the English, Baby! is perfect), and now my English is much better (although I still have to practice a lot). It’s like ola33 and Buttafly said.
The important is practice as much as you can!

11:10 PM Mar 27 2012 |

1 person likes this




09:22 AM Mar 08 2012 |

manik athawale


Very nice discussion. I’m just learning to speak, and writing, the English. When we learn different language. We should know very well like grammar etc.

09:11 AM Mar 08 2012 |




By learning this lesson I too realised that my natiVe speaking really bad, or maybe I don’t use it that often that’s why it’s very difficult for me to talk using my native, I always pause too long and too many ums….. :D, I am learning English hope for the best of it, though my English speaking really suck but I’ll keep working on it,keep it!!!!

08:55 AM Feb 22 2012 |




practice is a must if we want to learn a language. Personally, there’s none I can practice english with, so I sometimes, talk to my reflection in the mirror. It can help. just be sure none can see youWink

09:13 AM Feb 21 2012 |




In the video I can understand perfectly the woman but I have some difficulties to understand what the guy says, even with subtitles.. Has he a particular accent or something like that?

07:28 PM Feb 04 2012 |




I agree with Buttafly and also want to add not to get discouraged if you won’t be understood.

06:48 PM Feb 04 2012 |




Practice and participation…. talk, talk talk and listen

04:16 PM Feb 04 2012 |




Julito—that’s right. I’m that way too. Practice is verry important for improving my english.

04:12 PM Feb 04 2012 |




BLUESKY—- You are not alone  on this. speaking another language  requires practise and above all not to be afraid to make mistakes !we all do! Even an accent could be charming. practise whenever you can, you will  improve  little by little.  

03:54 PM Feb 04 2012 |




If anyones English is bad, please don’t tell him that. You should help him for improving Smile

02:45 PM Feb 04 2012 |

1 person likes this

Likes (423):

See all >

Share this lesson:

  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Bebo
  • Share on Myspace
  • Share on Twitter
  • Email this to a friend
  • Share on Sina

Post Ebaby! lessons on your blog:

Ebaby! Cast