Are you still intimidated by speaking English outside of class? Don’t worry: we’ll give you ten tips and tricks that will help you improve your English speaking skills and increase your confidence.
- Listen more English: Babies learn by listening first and then they start talking for a reason: half of a conversation is about understanding the other half, so it’s important to work on your hearing when trying to improve your own expression. Find podcasts, series or movies that interest you and hit play! Your spoken English, including your accent and pronunciation, will improve without you noticing.
- Learn phrases, not just words: Studying vocabulary word by word makes it harder for you to use it because you have to think about grammar, word order and how to combine them. It’s a lot of work! If you focus on learning sentences that use the vocabulary you’re trying to learn, you’ll find it easier to use and speak more naturally.
- Read texts aloud: Choose a text (it could be a poem, a short story or a blog post) and read it aloud. This is a very useful exercise in which you will learn vocabulary, writing and speaking skills. It will also help you to train the pronunciation and intonation of the sentences!
- Think in English: When you think in your native language and then translate what you want to say into English, you may end up making mistakes because the structure of your language does not have to be the same as that of English. Try to think directly in the language you want to speak – you will be able to speak faster and more fluently!
- Get someone to practice with: The best way to improve your spoken English is to practice it! Even if you live in an English-speaking country, if you are uncomfortable speaking English, you will not be able to improve! Find yourself someone to talk to in English at least for a while each week, if possible in person. At Time4London we have a Conversation Club that meets every Friday. It’s free and open to everyone, so if you want to practice and get loose with your English, come next week!
Have you managed to speak English naturally? What tricks have you used to do it?