Learn English – When I grow up I want to be a……

We all have childhood dreams about what we might become. Most of the time our ideas change.  What did you want to be when you were little?  Do you still dream of an ideal job?

Hey there. This is Maria from English without Fear. When you were younger, did you know what you wanted to be when you grew up? Did you want to be an astronaut or a veterinarian or something else? Today we’re going to talk about childhood dreams and the jobs we end up getting. So, sit back, relax, listen, and just try to understand as much as you can.

(Intro: English without Fear where you can learn to speak English naturally, through listening to stories)

Grownups love to ask little children: “What do you want to be when you grow up, little boy?” And here in America you sometimes hear kids say: “When I grow up, I want to be President of the United States.” Or, “When I grow up, I want to be a rockstar.” Or, even: “When I grow up, I want to be a professional basketball player.”

But I don’t know many people, I don’t even think I know any people who now work jobs or have careers that they once dreamed about as a child. I’m sure there are some –  maybe doctors, but I don’t know any personally. 

When I was a little girl about 10 years old, that’s fifth grade here in America, I remember my mom taking me every week, one time a week after school, to an ice cream place. I would have peppermint ice cream and she would have cake and coffee. What I remember we talked about most was what I was going to be when I grew up. It felt like a big problem. The only idea I recall that I can remember, the only career or profession that I remember is I wanted to be a nurse. But I don’t think that lasted long, that desire.

My mother was great. She was a wonderful mom. She always listened well and took seriously what I was thinking about. She never laughed at me or said, ‘Oh, Maria, that’s ridiculous!”

Did I become a nurse? No. I did change my mind later. I do remember wanting to be a diplomat so I could live all over the world and learn different languages. And then there was a period of time when all I wanted to do was live in Switzerland, work in a drug store or pharmacy and practice speaking French, German, and Italian. I wanted to be multilingual.

But I never thought I would become a teacher. That never crossed my mind. And here I am a teacher. Oh well!

My husband tells me that when he was a boy, he wanted to be an astrophysicist, someone who would study stars. Did he become an astrophysicist? No, but he’s an engineer, so at least at science or math, something like that.

One of my sons thought he wanted to be a rockstar. He played the guitar and sang and wrote his own music. He did end up doing something with music though. He’s not a rockstar, but… online, he teaches people how to record music. And he also teaches people how to start online businesses. And he still plays and writes music for himself and for church.

I asked a couple friends of mine what they wanted to do or what they want to do when they get older. Here’s Deb: “When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a business woman and carry a briefcase and go into the city every day. But as I grew up and now I’m happy to be a wife and a mother.”

So Deb dreamed of being a business woman in a big city and carrying a briefcase. She didn’t become the business woman, but she is very happy staying at home, taking care of her family and teaching her children at home. Here’s Emma, one of her daughters:   “Emma, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“When I grow up, I want to be a teacher.”

Emma says she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. I bet she’ll become a teacher. She is a good student and loves to learn. Usually people who love to learn become teachers. 

Then here’s John, her younger brother: “John, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

“When I grow up, I’m going to be a professional soccer player for Atlanta FC or Arsenal.”


What does John want to do when he grows up? He loves soccer, so he wants to be a professional soccer player. Will he do that? I don’t know. Maybe he’ll play in college, but I think it’s hard to become a professional sports person.

Well, what about you? If you’re a teenager or a young person, what do you want to do? What do you want to be when you grow up? And if you’re an adult, what DID you want to be when you grew up and did, did that happen? Are you doing the kind of work that you dreamed about as a younger person? Tell me, leave me a comment below this video. 

And remember if you would like the transcript, the written words, then go to my website, www.englishwithoutfear.com and there you will find transcripts and past episodes. Well, that’s it for this episode. I’m Maria from English without Fear. Talk to you later. 


(outro: Thanks for watching. For questions or comments, here’s my email.)

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