Have you ever found yourself in an English conversation where you weren’t sure what to say? For those who speak English as a second language, this can be a common issue. Maybe you have a native English speaker friend, coworker, or even a family member who you’d like to get to know better. Or perhaps you simply want to improve your English speaking for your own self-confidence.
In any case, you’re probably asking yourself: what are some actionable steps you can take to improve your English speaking skills? In this guide, we will explain how to improve English speaking with 4 simple tips!
How to Improve Your English Speaking
There are a number of traditional methods to improve English speaking: formal English classes, living in an English speaking country, or hiring an English tutor. However, these methods may not always be feasible. Thankfully, there are a number of free, simple ways to improve your English speaking and have fun at the same time!
Watch English Videos Often
English speaking is not just about talking; it’s also about listening. In the past, people living in non-English speaking regions had little or no access to English, making it difficult to practice on their own. Thanks to the Internet, people have access to MILLIONS of free Youtube videos to practice speaking English.
Watching movies or TV shows in English is another way to expose yourself to English speaking, but it generally takes a greater time commitment. On the other hand, an average Youtube video lasts between 4-5 minutes, meaning that you can watch a quick video on the train, while you’re waiting at the bank, or just whenever you have a few free minutes!
What are the benefits of watching English videos? First, they allow you to hear English from native English speakers. This will help you learn new vocabulary and practice listening skills and correct pronunciation. Finally, it will expose you to different accents (American, British, Australian, etc.), which will be helpful if you like to travel.
Here are a few useful English video resources to get you started:
Listen & Repeat
Whether you’re listening to music, watching a movie, or checking out one of the Youtube channels listed above, you’ll want to actually practice speaking English. To do this, you should listen closely and repeat what you hear. Don’t be afraid to pause or replay certain sections until you get it right.
This may feel a little awkward if you’re in a public place, but don’t be shy! There’s no shame in making mistakes. In fact, you can’t learn anything if you’re afraid of saying something wrong.
So, whenever you hear a new word, phrase, or grammar structure, repeat it out loud. This will help you practice pronunciation and proper intonation when speaking English. Additionally, it will help you get a little speaking practice, even when you’re by yourself!
Here are a few more resources to help you listen and repeat words/phrases correctly:
Don’t Rush Through Pronunciation
As previously stated, people tend to worry about making mistakes too much when studying a new language, and English is no exception. This is especially problematic when it comes to pronunciation. Rather than saying something wrong in a conversation and being corrected, many English students mumble through difficult words, or just skip over them entirely.
Unfortunately, this will not help improve your English pronunciation. In fact, if you don’t try to say new or complicated words out loud, you won’t be able to identify areas for improvement. If you do this often enough, your English speaking will likely suffer, and it may take you longer to gain confidence as an English speaker.
To avoid this problem, take your time with pronunciation. This means that you should practice saying a difficult word or phrase as often as possible. Naturally, you want to get the pronunciation right, but don’t be afraid to mess up now and again. Let’s take a look at a few challenging words to get you started:
These are just a few examples of challenging English pronunciations, but you’re probably asking yourself: how can I actually learn to pronounce these words? After all, not everyone has a native English speaker to ask for help. Thankfully, there are a number of free online tools and resources to help you learn and practice English pronunciation rules:
Practice Speaking with Another Person
Finally, the best way to improve English speaking is to practice having conversations with another person. Do you have a classmate, friend, or family member who speaks English? Are you part of an organized English class? Do you have a private English tutor? If so, you should try to find time in your schedule to meet and have a chat in English as often as possible!
Whether you’re having a formal or informal conversation, you don’t need to worry about perfecting your grammar or pronunciation right from the start. Practicing English speaking takes time, so conversations may feel a little clunky at first. Thankfully, the more you practice speaking one-on-one with another person, the more natural it will become to speak in English.
Don’t know anyone who speaks English? Not a problem! There are dozens of online tools, apps, and other resources to match you up with English speakers. Check out this article on the “10 English Speaking Apps for Non-Native Speakers” for more information.
Improve Your English Speaking with Magoosh
If you still need assistance in improving your English speaking, Magoosh is here to help. Check out theMagoosh Speaking blog for useful information on English grammar, sentence structure, pronunciation, vocabulary, and more.
Additionally, Magoosh offers one-on-one live sessions for students at any level. These sessions are designed to fit your specific needs, while also utilizing tried-and-true methods developed by English experts. For more information on how to improve your English speaking skills with Magoosh, make an appointment for an introductory lesson today!