Improving your speaking skills
As we have seen, learning a language is very similar to learning a sport. If you want to become an athlete, you need to do a lot of training. Most athletes do training every day as part of their daily routine.
Naturally, the best way to improve your English speaking ability is to spend as much time talking with native English speakers as possible.
However, most people don’t have many opportunities to speak with native English speakers. So here are a few suggestions for improving your spoken English.
- When you learn new vocabulary or grammar, learn examples that you can use in everyday life.
- Learn fixed and semi fixed expressions that can be used in everyday situations.
- During lessons notice how your teacher says things not just what he or she says.
- When you do speaking activities in class, consider why you are doing it. Don’t just try to finish it as quickly as possible.
- Make sure you have learnt the sounds and not just the sequence of words. Remember, a large part of speaking is physical.
- When you read English underline and learn useful expressions.
- Read out loud.
- In ‘dead time’ (waiting for a bus, walking along the street) hold imaginary conversations in your head.
- Write dialogues related to situations you could find yourself in.
- Remember that speaking skills are a combination of fluency and accuracy. You need to find the right balance. If you are too focussed on accuracy, your speaking will be blocked. If you are too focussed on fluency, people might not understand you.
- Remember ‘ACTOR’: accuracy, confidence, training techniques, making it ordinary, and rhythm.
Most of all, don’t worry. Learning a language takes time and effort. If you are too anxious, it will take longer.
Useful websites and apps:
Remember this website is interactive. Describe your experiences practising speaking on the Tag Board - to the right of this post - or in a Comment.
More listening practice coming soon!