How to improve the way you speak English?
If you want to improve your English speaking skills or learn a more “natural” English accent, there are many things you can do to make this happen.
Here we discuss 8 tools and techniques you can use that could help improve your skills in this area.
1) Watch and learn from mouth movements
An easy way to improve your spoken English skills is to…
watch the mouth movements of those that speak English well. By observing and then imitating not just how their mouth moves but also the tone of their voice and speed of their speech, you can learn a lot. The great thing about this is that you can even practice this at home whilst watching television.
You can also check out this article on more information about mouth movements.
2) Speak slowly
Another effective way is to slow down when speaking English. Speaking slowly allows you to focus on the words you are going to say and gives your brain some additional time to process your speech and minimise imperfections. Most people, for whom English isn’t their first or native language, have an accent and speaking slowly also helps you to improve your accent and make yourself understood.
3) “Sing” in English!
If you listen closely to the rhythm of people who speak English well and compare that to other languages, you’ll notice a difference. This is true when you compare almost any two languages. Once you listen to the “song” that English has, and understand its rhythm, you can use this as a technique in your skill development to improve the way you speak English.
4) Use the dictionary daily
You may already be using the dictionary to look up words and improve your vocabulary. However, the phonetic symbols for each word can help you understand how the words should be pronounced. You can also download dictionary app for your phone and hear the words and their precise pronunciations.
5) Listen and learn from others
If you know someone who speaks English well, an easy way to learn from them is to record some of your conversations with them and listen to them later. Listening to recordings like these allows you to take your time in listening to and focusing on their pronunciations, tone of voice, accent and so on.
If there are certain words that you use often but have found it difficult to pronounce correctly, you can ask them to create sentences using these words and you can listen to these recordings. This technique will allow you to target your improvement areas.
6) Listen and learn from yourself
Making recordings of your own conversations when speaking English with others is a great way to identify any mistakes you are making. This can help you improve not just your English speaking skills but also grammar and pronunciation.
7) Read the newspaper aloud every day
This is perhaps one of the oldest and tried-and-tested techniques proven to help you improve your spoken English skills. This technique will not only help improve your English speaking skills but the variety of content found in a newspaper also helps you practice your English skills for concepts and topics you probably wouldn’t encounter otherwise.
Research indicates that it takes about 3 months of daily practice to develop the muscles needed to speak a new language so, it’s important to keep your practice consistent in order to benefit from this.
8) Practise daily
As with any skills, improvements take time and require constant practice. It’s important to keep your practice going even if you don’t notice improvements immediately. Many people give up due to impatience and it’s usually at a point in time just before the improvements would have begun to show.
If you need help improving your spoken English skills, Link School can help. For more information please visit our English Conversation Class page.