Speaking: Spoken English can be made more polished only by practising the write methods. It can be a quite tough skill to master if English is not, one’s native language, but it is not impossible. One’s speaking skills can be improved by following the correct steps and tips. In this article, we have developed a number of methods to speak and improve one’s spoken English.
Apart from the basics – listening, reading, writing and speaking – there are various other ways of improving English speaking skills. We have talked about both the generic as well as listed some tips which will surely help you master the skill.
- Why one can’t speak in English fluently
- Skills of Spoken English
- Ways of improving your spoken English skills
- Tips for speaking English confidently and fluently
Before we get into depth about how to improve your spoken English, let’s talk about why one might find speaking in English difficult.
English might not be your native language
In case English is not one’s native language, then they are most likely to face many challenges with the language. Imagine putting together all of these at the same time – interpreting what the other person is saying or what the topic is, formulating the right sentences, having proper grammar and vocabulary, using proper punctuation.
Phew! That can be a lot. It takes people years to learn these properly.
Not practising the proper skills needed for improving speaking
As the saying goes, practice always makes a person perfect! There are some particular skills that will enhance one’s spoken power, and not all books or classes teach those. Learning about grammar and its techniques is necessary, but having an experience about the techniques of talking and pronunciation is also needed.
There are four primary skills for learning spoken English – listening, reading, writing and speaking. All these skills are needed for mastering any language. Similar to any type of learning, studying English is like a mental exercise which needs daily practice for forming new skills.
These four skills will help in improving various aspects of mind and come together for improving one’s English speaking.
One of the main elements for learning any language is listening – similar with English. Listening is an active as well as a passive form of learning. When we hear different words being pronounced and used in conversations, we store information that will be needed for future use.
Watching English movies, listening to podcasts, listening to English songs are passive forms of listening, where one absorbs information without even being aware of it.
Similarly, like listening, reading is also an important method of grasping the English language. The best part about reading and reading is that one doesn’t need to produce their own sentences, just learn about the knowledge around them. These act as building blocks for when you will have to start making sentences.
Writing might be the most difficult skill to learn – it takes patience, time and repetition. Writing gives one the opportunity to use the words which were learned previously and all the knowledge gathered. Writing gives one the opportunity to explore their creative side and makes mistakes.
Unlike reading or listening in writing, one is not provided with the information; hence they have the scope of making mistakes. Making mistakes is necessary when learning something. That way, one gets to learn about what is written.
Similar to writing, speaking also needs one to produce their own content. When speaking a new language, it doesn’t need to be perfect. Slowly with time, one perfects the other aspects such as pronunciation, pauses, punctuations – things which will make your spoken English to go from good to wow.
When speaking one gets to express their thoughts, and it’s necessary to reply on the concepts and words, they are comfortable with.
1: Work on pronunciation
Learn the sounds of various English words and learn how to use them correctly. One needs to learn the proper method of speaking, use of stress, use of notation, relaxed pronunciation and many more.
This will make a major difference to the way one speaks. People are going to understand them better. Their English is going to be more accurate.
Think about any situation when one last spoke English. Did they need to concentrate on how to properly make the sounds of English? If so, they need to work in this area. With practice, one will reach the stage where they can produce the right sounds that come out of their mouth without one thinking about how to make them. One might be thinking, but how to do that?
- Use any site for seeing what they need to do for making make the correct sounds
- Record yourself on camera saying these sounds
- Get feedback from someone who is an expert in this
- Once it sounds right, get long-term repetition and work on the mistakes made previously
It is similar to learning any new skill. First, we learn the basics, get guidance from an expert and start practising, working on our mistakes until we master the skill.
2: Imitate Native Speakers
This is a highly effective way of improving one’s grasp of spoken English, not only one is speaking actively, but one is also listening to pronunciations, vocabulary, and grammar skills as well. One can pick up the good pronunciations when they hear them.
Follow the mantra of LRRC:
- Listen – start by listening to any sentence in English (could be a movie, podcast, or music)
- Repeat – pause the audio and repeat the sentence or phrase that you heard
- Record – when repeating the sentences or phrases, record yourself.
- Compare – listen carefully to the original audio, and compare with your recording. Here, you’ll understand what you need to work on, what you’re saying and understanding accurately and the changes that must be made.
3: Shadow English Speakers
It’s more difficult compared to the first two methods, and it is all about working on one’s English fluency. In shadowing, one needs to listen to any audio of their choice and repeat what they are hearing without pausing it. No pauses, no stops! It is also necessary to choose audio that one can follow.
This is the key: Only do this with audio (like a movie, podcast, songs or TV shows) that one is able to easily repeat. Don’t choose any difficult audio, or you will end up mumbling. Also, subtitles will help you in times when you can’t understand the pronunciation of a word.
Take your time and find audio that is easily understandable and you are able to repeat. Doing this will help one in improving their fluency. A good test to check if one is doing it correctly is to record themselves and listen to it.
4: Take Spoken English Classes / Courses
Find a course or class which suit your level of learning. These will provide one of the safest environments for learning because one knows that their mistakes are going to be corrected. One can dramatically improve their speaking by having a natural conversation – especially with family and friends.
Speaking with friends or family might be the perfect and most enjoyable way of learning the skill. Talk with your peers in English, you are going to have fun while learning!
Working on your spoken English at home is amazing. But you must get some real-life practice to put it all together and especially practise.
Plus, most individuals learn English by having conversations as it gives them a first-hand experience. So, start having conversations now!
5: Expanding One’s Vocabulary
The English Language is an extremely broad area. There is so much one can learn, and it is necessary to learn all of it because you never know which one might come to use. However, it can be overwhelming for many people to learn all of it together. So, we would suggest starting with the basics and working your way up.
Things you can try:
- Read a book of your choice of your level.
- Listen to English songs and listen to them on loop.
- Listen to the news report.
6: Listen As Much As Possible
As listed above, listening is a passive form of learning any new language. Listening for long periods and getting a lot of listening practice as possible is going to dramatically help one’s speaking. In order for an individual to have any conversation, they need to understand the person they are talking to.
Remember, having a conversation isn’t just about speaking one must also be a good listener. Only then a person will be able to understand what they are saying and frame your own reply.
Additionally, when listening to individuals when having a conversation, one can pick up phrases or words that they use. But one can only do this if they work on their listening skills. Listening is also passive input. It will help one increase their vocabulary, and it will also help with their pronunciation. The best thing is that you can listen when doing other things – working, exercising, cleaning, cycling, jogging, travelling and many more.
7: Stay Consistent
The English-speaking methods discussed above only work if one uses them.
Do a little every day.
Commit to 10 to 15 minutes each day. If one can do more, great! Some days one might be able to do 2-3 hours. But ensure that you do the minimum every single day. It is better to do something poorly than not doing it at all.
This implies that even if one is tired or really busy, one still has to commit. On days when you don’t feel like practising for 2 to 3 hours, do it for 20 minutes
1. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes
Making mistakes is good and necessary when you are learning something new. The goal is to send a message, not to speak perfect English, with the proper use of grammar and vocabulary. Native English speakers also make mistakes, and that’s okay!
2. Practise, practise, practise
The best and only way to master a language is to extensively practice. Constantly lookout for opportunities will test your spoken English. A great way of practising speaking English and learning faster in a fun manner is to have a conversation with your peers in the language. With them, you are comfortable and get to talk fluently.
The more one listens, the easier it will be for them to speak better English. They will start speaking more fluently in conversations, learning how to give their opinions in English with proper expressions and idioms.
4. Celebrate success
Every time one has a conversation in English, it is an achievement. Every single interaction they have, no matter how small or big, will help them improve their skills over time and overcome their fear.
5. Think in English
When we think, we tend to think in our native language. Go from good English to great English by thinking in the language. One will surely find it difficult at first (since we are all accustomed to our mother tongue), but after a while, one will learn.
6. Talk to yourself
It might look funny, but by talking to themselves in English in front of a mirror every day, they will learn to pronounce each letter in the English alphabet, plus when and how to use various expressions. They will also learn where they make most of the mistakes.
7. Tongue twisters
Tongue twisters are going to help improve one’s diction teach them how to speak fast. Practise with tricky sayings, and slowly you will master the language and pace.
Mastering spoken English for people whose native language is not English is going to be a difficult task. In this article, we have listed steps and methods that will assist you in the process. Keep in mind that it’s okay to make mistakes and practise is the only way you are going to master the skill.
Speaking fluent English might take years to learn, but there needs to be a start somewhere. Follow the tips mentioned above to master the process in a very short time.