Expand your vocabulary
Learning new words a day in, day out is a fine way to widen one’s vocabulary. Committing to a suitable target of gleaning five or ten words a day, for example, is worth trying. By learning even two new words a day, you will have learned 730 new English words after one year. If you can get a learning partner, you may share it with him to check on your progress.
Some beneficial resources for words are TV shows, English news or songs, depending on your preferences. If you like listening to music, paying attention to lyrics and taking note of words you are unaware of is helpful, as songs usually contain many practical vocabularies, expressions and phrases. Therefore they are considered for learning English.
There are many software, websites and tools available out there, which takes real-world videos and turns them into personalized language learning tutorials, using which you will feel your speaking skills skyrocketing if given proper time and attention.
- Learning Scheme:
You must learn words in phrases and chunks. For example, you refer to beverages as a cup of tea, a pot of coffee, a bottle of milk, a can of juice etc. You may also benefit from learning related words; for example, the moon has four phases in lunar month: gibbon, crescent, waxing and waning, as it is more efficient to learn all four words simultaneously.
- Improving pronunciation :
One might know a pool of words, but it is of no use if he fails to say them accurately. It seems like a waste of time consumed in remembering words, right?
Using online dictionaries, podcasts or youtube can teach you many aspects of pronunciation. When you feel like doing something more challenging, trying out the tongue twisters is a fun idea. Examples are given below:
- She sells seashells by the seashore. The seashells she sells are seashells, she is sure.
- If you must cross a course cross cow across a crowded cow crossing, cross the coarse cross cow across the crowded cow crossing carefully.
It might not be an example of everyday conversation, but it shows the spoken English richness. Besides, one will have a good laugh too.
Having grab over the proper pronunciation of English is essential for excelling in conversations and even in socializing. To have command over professional or business English, there are many resources available on the internet having high-quality videos about good communication skills even in an entertaining format. In addition, there are exclusive free platforms on the internet teaching about speaking related body language, intonation and pronunciation dialects English of different types.
- Learn the natural flow of English
Being able to say the words correctly is good, but the secret of having a grip over fluent English lies in the flow of sentences. So whenever you listen to a melodic song, watch a hilarious sitcom or read a piece of poetry, pay attention to the following:
Contractions: These are the shortened forms of two words, for example:
He’ll = he + will
I’m = I + am
They’ve = they + have
Don’t = do + not
Linking: You must have noticed how native speakers link words together, like joining two sounds, skipping a sound of alphabet or phrase, or changing a sound for the sake of better flow.
Stress: Stressed syllables in a word and stressed words in sentences
Rhythm: Overall result of pressure, linking and contractions, is termed rhythm. It is the ups and downs of English speaking.
- Building English speaking confidence :
Lack of confidence is one of the most significant barriers to developing English speaking skills. It is seriously something that language learners have difficulty with, and the best way to overcome this is practice.
If you feel like you have got what it takes, you should practice English with strangers or speaking partners. By doing so, you will be able to focus on this sometimes forgotten component of language learning, i.e., confidence! Eventually, you will completely rid yourself of English speaking fear, hence building a sound foundation in the language.
- Speech shadowing
To hone your speaking skills, this technique is solely about imitation. In a nutshell, you listen to a native speaker’s speaking style and try your best to copy it.
For this you may follow these steps:
- Picking your favourite video with subtitles (Making sure that its something you enjoy watching).
- Listening to it many times.
- Repeat listening while reading the subtitles aloud for getting a good grasp of content and flow.
- Imitating the narrator sentence by sentence
Listen and copy the pattern of speech as best as you can. Recording your practice and comparing it with the original one is a good approach as well. Be critical of the similarity and differences while listening to your voice. Repeating this practise will refine your speaking capability.
Talking to yourself in English loudly is an exciting way to improve your English speaking. It can be anything from a reminder like, “I need to organize my room today” or a suggestion like “ Shall we go get a glass of water?”.
Alternatively, picking up a book and reading a couple of pages aloud will speed up your speaking skills.
Recording your self, watching out for wrong pronunciations and requesting feedback from a native speaker are good ideas too.
8. Thinking in English
If you think in English, it takes less time to respond in everyday conversations; no translation needed!
An excellent way to initiate rethinking is to keep a diary to express your daily thoughts in English. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Instead, it is more about the outflow of your ideas in English with less effort.
9. Retelling a story in English
Challenging yourself a step further by retelling a story is a great way to enhance your speaking English skill. Retracing other people’s line of thoughts in one’s own words is a sharpening tool in this aspect.
But ding so, keep the need to convey meaningful words and all cultural and rhetorical nuances under consideration.
Alternatively, you may play with choosing different words to retell a story in English. But, again, start from the basics, reading something simple fable. Either way will be beneficial to your communication skills in the targeted language.
10. Practicing frequently :
Practising is the key to unlock the way of smoothening fluency, so you should speak English in plenty. One must not be pessimistic about not been born in an English country, and it’s a lame excuse if he thinks that there is a lack of opportunity to practice speaking. This kind of idea is discouraged because, otherwise, it will hinder your learning. Globalization and technology have opened the door of opportunities to practice speaking English.
11. Participating in public speaking events
Cultural societies, theatres and prominent universities organize events like improvised storytelling gatherings, spoken word readings and open debates.
These are good places where you can mingle with like-minded people and practice your speaking.
Many cities are hosting TED talks where you can participate and share innovative ideas. It might be nerve-racking, but it would be great for your improvement.
- Using different apps
Another good option is to use different apps to talk to native speakers in the comfort of your own home. Using those apps, you introduce yourself to your hobbies, your native language and interest areas. Those apps then find you relevant matches as a speaking partner.
13. Chatting with Siri
Yes, chatting with Siri is one of the great ways to speak more clearly. However, you cannot rely on the environmental clues and face gestures, as Siri is a machine, but you can work with that when you do not find a speaking partner. Plus, Siri is always there for you as long as you have an internet connection. Just press the button, and you are ready to go.