How Can I Improve My English-Speaking Skills?
‘Improving your speaking’ is the goal of almost all language students. You will find yourself talking with all kinds of native speaker when you are trying to learn a foreign language. If you are in a particular place with English as the main language, then you will have to talk to your teachers, your landlord, taxi drivers, even servers in a restaurant, so it comes important that you feel comfortable. Even if you are not, it still is great to learn the language as it is used almost everywhere and may even help you while looking for jobs, as some of them require speaking English as a necessity. There are techniques you can use to improve your writing or listening, or any other skill, in same way there are techniques to improve your spoken English too. You can improve your spoken English in a targeted way, and here a few ways on you can do that.
Speak As Much You Can
The first thing for you to understand is that there is no magic pill that will improve our speaking. We know that that, that would be too easy. So, the best and most used way to speak better, is to do one half of just that – speak. Commit to practicing with as many different people as possible and as often as possible. You can take advantage of the thousands of native speakers in your immediate community is you are already living or studying in an overseas country. You can talk to people like your friends, their families, your classmates, employees at the coffee shops, post- office, supermarket, any other place you visit, or even your co-workers. Increase your practice time by meeting your friends or classmates after class if you are learning in your own country. Or you can join an online community of learner of the same language, or find a language exchange partner.
Reflect on Your Conversations
Take moment to reflect your conversation every time, after you have one. Think about how it went, about how much do you think you understood, if you encountered any new words, how comfortable you felt when you talked about whichever subject you talked about, your confidence will increase for the next time you speak by merely thinking about it in this way. Also, if you do find any mistakes, like vocabulary that you did not understand, be sure to work on it.
Listen and Read
It is an obvious fact that in order to talk, you need words, so improving your vocabulary becomes essential. One way to do this is just paying attention in class, but that is not the only way, some other ways to increase your vocabulary can be – watching movies, listening to the radio, listening to music, and podcasts. You can even read blogs, books and magazines. Fine new and interesting expressions, synonyms, slang terms when listening and reading, then write those down and look up anything which you are not familiar with. All this will give you more material the next time you practice.
Prepare Cheat Sheets
Not knowing what to say at any given moment is part of the nervousness that people feel around speaking. Prepare a cheat sheet to fight this situation. Are you going to the supermarket? Before you leave, research and look up vocabulary that you may use while talking to the workers, and some phrases that you’ll probably need. Use the same technique before going to the doctor, paying a bill, attending job interviews, making a compliant, eating at a restaurant, or for any other situation that you may get anxious at.
Pick Up the Phone
Since we can not see the other person’s body language or watch their mouth move when they talk, most people find it difficult to have conversations on the phone, as both of those tools are some that really help to communicate. Start with small phone conversations with friends, then move on to harder challenges like calling to make appointmentsor inquiries, if you want to feel confident on the phone. You can even prepare a list of questions during these phone calls, as mentioned in the previous tip.
Record Your Voice
While it is true that most people do not like to hear their own voice, but it’s actually a great way to improve your speaking, as hearing yourself on a recording may show you things that you may not realize. Things like maybe you tend to speak very fast when nervous, or you swallow your o’s or you mumble. Or there is also a chance that you might be surprised to hear yourself, as you may see that you have improved in the language. If you want to analyse your recording even more, then show it to your teacher or native speaker friend, so that thy can give you feedback.