10 Simple Tips for Improving Your Spoken English
1. Practice to think in English
As a rule of thumb, the most important key to English fluency is the ability to think in English, so you need to practice to think in English as native speakers do. Here are some useful tips to help you improve this typical skill.
• Stop the habit of translating between languages (if you have)
• Use an English to English dictionary to look up words
• Try to think in English anywhere, anytime. A student shared with us that she usually walks in the park and trying to describe people around her in English by using as much adjectives as she can. You can do the same, or create your own method to practice thinking English whenever you have “free time” to think.
You’ll notice that when you think in English, it’s easier for you to speak in English.
2. Talk to yourself in English
Whenever you’re at home, you can practice your English with your favorite person: yourself. The following tips would help you to talk to yourself in English.
• Read out loud from your favorite books
• Speak out loud with your own thoughts in English on certain topics (e.g. sports, family)
• Use a mirror to practice as you can see your partner J
• Use a recording device (e.g. your phone) to record what you read/speak (you will be able to hear yourself speaking English and then finding out the pros and cons of your tone, pronunciation and even accent).
The most significant benefit of this method is that you will be more comfortable in speaking English and be aware of your own strengths as well as weaknesses in speaking. Then you can find the right tips to improve the specific weak points in your spoken English.
3. Get a friend or partner to practice
It is always easier to improve your English with a friend or a partner especially if he or she is a native speaker. There are many ways to get to know such individuals online. However, you should be careful when talking or making friends with others on the internet.
It is suggested that you should join a language exchange website to find native language exchange partners – it’s a win-win situation.
4. Read English Books, Newspapers
Reading English Books can open your mind to brilliant new worlds and take you to a new level of English language learning. The key to success is choosing the right book for you. If you do not know where to begin, you should find something that interests you.
Newspapers are also worth reading. Not only you can improve your English but you’ll learn about what’s going on, which can be handy when talking with native speakers.
5. Watch English TV Shows, Movies
Watch TV shows or YouTube videos in English is another great way to help you – use them to improve your fluency.
How will you do it?
• Pick a short part of your favorite TV shows
• Repeat what the speakers are saying line by line
• Try to sound just like them (matching the tone, speed and even the accent) – record yourself speaking if you can.
• Imagine that you are trying to learn a new song in English and you want to sing as good as the singer.
It doesn’t matter if you miss a few words; the important thing is to keep speaking. By practicing this method many times, you will notice that your spoken English will sound more like a native.
If you’re tired of reading books, there’s nothing better than learning English through movies and film. This might be the most fun way to learn English. You should choose a film with English subtitles which allow you to check up new words. I would recommend the “Friends” TV Movie for you, watching this series kills two birds with one stone. It makes you laugh you heart out and will help to improve your English in a natural way.
6. Writing Everyday in English
Writing is a great way of using new vocabulary and getting your head around grammar. Try and write something every day using new words and grammar that you’ve learned. Even if it’s only a few sentences, it’s very important to get into the habit of doing this.
7. Learn with English songs.
Singing along to your favorite English songs is a great method for you to become more fluent. You will get familiar with the sound of English and have better understanding of the English language’s rhythm, tone and beat. Moreover, singing along to your favorite English songs will help you to remember new words easier as you are singing with your emotion.
8. Learn phrases and English Idioms
As a rule of thumb, you should learn word phrases, not just words in English. For example, you can say “how do you feel today?” (the same way with your native language) but an English native speaker might say “how’re you doing?” or “what’s up?” instead. So one of the key to become more fluent in spoken English is to master English phrases. You should learn English phrases, not individual words.
English Idioms are also used so often in everyday English, if you don’t know them, it’s almost impossible to understand the context. Learning common everyday English idioms will help you fit in with most situations and your spoken English will sound more like a native.
9. The most common sayings in daily English
There are many common phrases which native speakers use in daily specific situations. For example, there are a great variety of ways to thank people in English, such as “you’ve made my day”, “that’s so kind of you”, etc. So, you should 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.
10. Prepare for specific situations and don’t be afraid of making mistakes
People learn English for many specific reasons. One learns English so he or she can get a job in an English-speaking company. In that case, they should focus on practicing English for an interview. The others might just want to learn English so they can make more friends in America. Then they would need a different kind of English. So the point here is to focus on your purpose of learning English, you will find the suitable preparation methods for your spoken English.
You’ll feel more confident if you’re prepared!
You should also remember that making mistakes when learning English is Good! Making mistakes is a natural part of learning English and they are only bad if you allow them to be, and if you don’t learn by them. If you really want to be able to speak English, you really need to practice speaking English anywhere anytime.
So, don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Practice makes perfect!
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