How to Improve English Speaking

This article is about; How to Improve English Speaking Skills at Home. To improve your spoken English, the best thing to do is to talk with a native speaker.

Tips to Improve English Speaking Skills

The best way to improve English Speaking Skills, the best method is to talk with some native speaker. Which most of the time is not possible though! what if you don’t know anyone who speaks English? What if we have lack of time? or what if you are not confident enough to talk with native?

But no need to worry any more because here you will find some tips where you can improve your speaking skills without having someone who help you as partner.

Think in English

If you think in your native language and then try to speak English, you’ll always have to translate between languages. Translating isn’t an easy thing to do! Even people fluent in two or more languages have trouble switching between languages.

The solution is to think in English.

You can do this anywhere, anytime. Try to use English when you’re thinking about your day, or when you’re trying to decide what food to order. Even try to use an English to English dictionary to look up words. That way you never have to use your native language and translate words. You’ll notice that when you think in English, it’s easier for you to speak in English.

 Improve your pronunciation

You might know a lot of words, but if you fail to say them correctly, you will not be understood. That seems like a waste of the time spent on remembering words, right?

When using online dictionaries such as Macmillan and Merriam-Webster, make use of the little speaker symbol to check the pronunciation of any word that you are not sure about. There are English pronunciation tutorials on YouTube or podcasts like English Pronunciation Pod or American English Pronunciation to teach you the many aspects of American English pronunciation.

When you are ready for something more challenging, try out tongue twisters. Some examples are available here. Personally, I love the Fork handles sketch from the show “The Two Ronnies.” It might not be a typical example of everyday conversation, but it shows you the richness of spoken English. Besides, you will have a good laugh.

Talk to yourself.

Whenever you’re at home (or alone somewhere else) you can practice your English with your favorite person: yourself.

If you’re already thinking in English, try speaking your thoughts out loud. Read out loud, too. Practice is practice, and even if you don’t have anyone to correct your mistakes, just the act of speaking out loud will help you become more comfortable speaking English.

Learn the natural flow of English

Being able to say individual words correctly is great, but the secret of speaking fluently lies in the flow of sentences. Whenever you read a piece of poetry, listen to a melodic song or watch a hilarious sitcom, pay attention to the following:

  • Linking. Notice how native speakers link words together: joining two sounds, making a sound to disappear or changing a sound for a better flow.
  • Contractions. Contractions are shortened forms of two words. For example:
    • I + am = I’m
    • he + will = he’ll
    • they + have = they’ve
    • do + not = don’t
  • Stress. There are stressed syllables in a word and stressed words in a sentence.
  • Rhythm. The rhythm is the overall result of stress, contractions and linking. It is the ups and downs, the musical feature of English.

Use a mirror.

Whenever you can, take a few minutes out of your day to stand in front of the mirror and speak. Choose a topic, set a timer for 2 or 3 minutes and just talk.

The point of this exercise is to watch your mouth, face and body language as you speak. It also makes you feel like you’re talking to someone, so you can pretend you’re having a discussion with a study buddy.

Talk for the full 2 or 3 minutes. Don’t stop! If you get stuck on a word you don’t know, try expressing your idea in a different way. You can always look up how to say that word after the 2-3 minutes end. This will definitely help you find out what kinds of words or sentences you have trouble with.

 Expand your vocabulary

Learn New Words Every Day

Gleaning new words day in, day out is a good way to widen your vocabulary. Commit to a suitable target: it can be three daily words or it can be ten daily words.

Even if you only have time to learn one new word per day, it is still worth trying. By learning one word every day, after one year you will have learned 365 new English words.

Write the number down to remind yourself frequently. If you have a learning partner, share it with her so that she can check on your progress.

Focus on fluency, not grammar.

When you speak in English, how often do you stop?

The more you stop, the less confident you sound and the less comfortable you become. Try the mirror exercise above, but challenge yourself to speak without stopping or stammering (taking pauses between your words) the entire time.

This might mean that your sentences won’t be grammatically perfect, and that’s okay! If you focus on speaking fluently instead of correctly, you’ll still be understood and you’ll sound better. You can fill in the correct grammar and word rules as you learn them better.

Sing along to English songs.

Singing along to your favorite English songs will help you become more fluent.

Once you can sing along to Taylor Swift and Jason Mraz, you can test your skills with something a bit more difficult: rap!

Rap is a great way to practice English because often the words are spoken like regular sentences. However, the rapper uses a stronger rhythm and faster speed. Some of the words might not make sense, but if you can keep up with the rapper then you’re on your way to becoming fluent!

Try some tongue twisters.

Tongue twisters are series of words that are difficult to say quickly. One example is: “The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday.” Try saying this a few times! It’s not easy.

Word games like this will help you find the right placement for your mouth and tongue, and can even help your pronunciation. You can find a list of great tongue twisters here.

Learn your most common sayings.

Take some time to really notice how you speak in your native language.

What words and phrases do you use the most often?

Learn how to say your most commonly used phrases and words in English. Knowing them in English will help you speak as well in English as you do in your native language.

 Listen and repeat.

Do you watch TV shows or YouTube videos in English? Use them to improve your fluency. Choose a short part of a show and repeat it line by line. Try to match the tone, speed and even the accent (if you can). It doesn’t matter if you miss a few words, the important thing is to keep talking. Try to sound just like the native speakers on the show.

 

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