How do I improve English speaking? This is a question we are asked a lot at Oxford English Academy. In a previous blog about beginner English we discussed the various English skills we asses to ascertain your English level when you arrive at our schools in Cape Town or Oxford. Often it happens that students have different skill sets, some might speak very well but cannot write in English easily. We have also found that some students can understand English from watching movies or listening to music, however they cannot necessarily speak very well. So how do your specifically improve your speaking skills?
Improve English Speaking with Music and Movies
Last week we mentioned the value of listen to music and watching movies and series in English. Here are some great English podcasts to help you improve English speaking. Hearing the way words are pronounced will train your ear and make you accustomed to hearing the sounds the English language make. You can even learn the lines of your favourite song or movie and start saying them out loud while you watch.
Improve English Speaking by Talking to Yourself
As far as learning English, talking to yourself will not mean that you have lost the plot, as they say! Spend time at home talking to yourself, running through the words and phrases you have learnt in class. Try to even speak your thoughts and ideas aloud, or tell yourself in English what actions you are busy with. You could pretend you are the host of your own reality television show and give explanations of whatever it is you are busy with.
Add to this a few conversations with yourself in the mirror and you might be thought of as certifiable, but your English speaking will improve. Looking in the mirror while you speak will help you with pronunciation. Your native language may be using completely different muscles, so think of it as a work out.
Improve English Speaking with Fixed Phrases
Often students find it easier to learn and remember and entire phrase rather than individual words. Leaning something like “what is your name?” and “Hello, how are you?” will help your confidence along to start a conversation. Learn a few key phrases and practise them on your classmates.
Basically, the best way to improve your speaking is through practice. Accept that you will make many mistakes, but be assured that you are improving every single day, as long as you keep trying. Never give up!