How To Improve English Speaking Skills
Many students master the fine points of English grammar but find themselves at a loss when it comes to actually having a conversation with native speakers. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in speaking is by huge amounts of listening, and then practicing. The following are a few tips for improving English speaking skills. Don’t forget that listening is the foundation for speaking! When you also want to practice speaking, here are some suggestions for how to improve English speaking skills.
Smile and breathe – No matter what your level of English, confidence is vital. When you speak English, smiling will make you feel more confident. It might even help you make some new friends. Make sure to take time to breathe while you are speaking, too. If you get stuck for what to say, just pause, take a breath, and you will feel your confidence returning.
Exercise your mouth muscles – English probably uses some sounds that you don’t have in your first language. To make these sounds accurately, you need to develop the muscles in your mouth by exercising them. Practice speaking loudly and clearly at home and record yourself to make sure you are doing it right. Exaggerate each sound when you practice alone and you will find it easier to speak clearly in a normal conversation.
Read Aloud – Reading out loud is a great way to practice speaking when there are no conversation partners available. Reading aloud gives you a chance to focus on pronunciation and pacing without worrying about coming up with words. Make sure to practice with material that you can understand. Some students find videos online that have transcripts. Many TED talks, for example, include word-for word transcripts of the talk. By reading aloud from a transcript, you can check your pronunciation by listening to how the speaker says something.
Listen to learn – When listening to English radio, news or movies, pay close attention to what you hear. Keep a notebook to write down new phrases, and look up or ask your teacher about any that you don’t understand. If you are speaking to a native speaker, don’t be afraid to ask them to explain any idioms or expressions that you don’t understand. Learning from the real world will make your English more relevant and natural than learning from a textbook.
Practice With Music and Movies – Listen to music in English and sing along. Music is one of the best tools for learning intonation pronunciation. Listening to and singing songs might also help you remember vocabulary and phrases (if the song is easy to understand), and it will help you learn to pronounce English rhythm in a more natural way. By unconsciously imitating the singer, you’ll learn to pronounce phrases the way native speakers do. One good song for ESL or EFL students is “Tom’s Diner” by Suzanne Vega because it uses simple language to describe everyday scenes and actions. Movies are a much better choice for learning English. You’ll learn vocabulary, idioms, slang, pronunciation, and listening by watching movies. Be sure to use my movie technique when you do this.
Talk To Yourself – Saying your thoughts out loud or narrating your actions (“I am drinking coffee, and now I’m going to open my book”) can be a very effective way to practice spoken English. By talking to yourself, you can become more fluent in translating your thoughts into spoken words. Practicing alone is also a low-pressure way to practice, since no one will hear your mistakes.
How To Improve English Speaking Skills. How To Improve English Speaking Skills.