• Daniel Bullock

10 Ways to improve English speaking skills



speaking skills, improve, how to, english conversation lesson
Taking a lesson with an experienced conversation teacher is beneficial

We are going to look at some practical ways that you can improve your speaking skills in a short time. If you follow these ways consistently, there’s a good chance you can improve! Read on to find out how to improve your speaking skills.

Activities to improve speaking skills:


  • Take a conversation lesson

  • Speak to People

  • Read aloud

  • Shadow

  • Talk to yourself

  • Routine practice

  • Build up natural vocabulary

  • Memorize one sentence

  • Start karaoke!

  • Recruit a Close friend or family member

Take a conversation lesson

There are two approaches to this. First you can find a good school in your neighborhood. The school you go to should provide lessons that focus on conversational English. Also you should ensure that the teacher has plenty of experience in teaching. This will be easy or difficult depending on where you live. If you live in countries such as Japan, there are plenty of English schools around. Other countries such as the UK also have plenty of English schools but you might have to travel a bit further to find a good school.

Another approach is to find an online tutor, and there are plenty of those. I believe it is more difficult to find a good online tutor however. I would really recommend doing research before hiring an online tutor. I’m sure there are very many who are highly skilled but there are also many who are just doing it for a quick bit of money. Both for going to a physical school or taking online lessons find out about the school and the teacher first to make sure they are reliable.


Recruit a Close friend or family member


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Improve speaking ability by regularly talking with a family member

Speaking with a close friend or family member on a regular basis just makes common sense to improve your speaking skills. Speak with that person for 10 minutes each day on a topic that you picked. Obviously changing the topic is completely fine because that’s how natural conversation goes. But if you have a topic to talk about then already you know you can start talking. The reason why you should choose a close friend or family member for A speaking partner is that you are more likely to be able to speak regularly with them. Also you will not be too afraid of making mistakes in pronunciation or grammar.

Speak to People

This may sound very obvious but it works! Shyness is the enemy here. If you can speak to people on a regular basis in English then your conversation skills will definitely improve. Also have questions ready in advance - both to practice language structure and to avoid wasting time thinking about what to say. Obviously this depends on where you are living. If you are living in an English-speaking country then you have so many opportunities to practice English every day for example With friends or acquaintances or in the shops at school or work. Or just generally going out and about.

If you are living in a place with a few English speakers or you find it difficult to go out for whatever reason I would recommend making friends online. We should be careful when making friends online because you don’t always know the person’s true identity. Never give out your personal details. However if you are careful you can make some good friends. Use a hobby you have to network with people. For example if you are interested in playing video games then you may be able to make friends with other people who play the same types of games and they can come from countries all around the world. Chat with them online while you’re playing! There are a variety of ways to connect with people online, be safe, but practice!



Read aloud

Read every day. Whatever it is you like reading, whether that is books or comics or news articles. It should be something you are interested in so you’ll do it more. Read aloud as much as you can. This may even help you memorize words because you’re saying and reading the vocabulary. I would recommend doing this for at least five minutes each day but the more you can do it the better! This will have two strong effects. One of them is your speaking ability can improve, but also if we are paying attention we can really improve our vocabulary. Take the time to note down new words and expressions in an organized vocabulary book. You can kill two birds with one stone! (research this idiom students!)


Shadow

Shadow reading means to follow or “parrot” another speaker while reading from a script. Find a good English teacher, a friend or a relative and read along with them . Other ways are following movie or play scripts - play the audio and then read and speak along. If you’re feeling brave you could also try songs which are faster! If reading from a script is too easy for you then try it without for a bonus challenge. This will also aid your listening abilities.

Shadowing can help us with our speaking fluency as we can learn both native pronunciation and intonation, along with natural speed.

Talk to yourself

Try not to laugh, it can really help with your speaking skills. It can improve our fluency particularly. If you are not worried about making English errors, you will be more relaxed and naturally smoother with your speaking. Where can we talk to ourselves without getting embarrassed? How about in the shower! Or if you’re home alone, obviously.

Why should we talk to ourselves? We can speak freely without feeling anxious about making mistakes, because nobody is listening. This is an amazing activity because you can literally choose anything you want to talk about. When speaking with another person we have much less choice about what to talk about because the other person is also participating. View talking to yourself as a time to practice what you have heard from native speakers of English. Maybe in an ordinary situation you are a little bit too shy to accurately try and mimic I need to speaker. I don’t think you should ever hesitate about trying to sound like a native speaker in a public situation, but the fact is many people do have anxiety about this.

Routine practice

It goes without saying that practicing often is key to improvement. Use the techniques in this article and practice them as often as you possibly can. I would recommend at least 10 minutes every single day, but ideally longer than that. One or two hours would be great!

Build up natural vocabulary

Constantly try to build up your vocabulary bank. If you have a wide variety of phrases and expressions to use, then you will feel much freer in speaking. When you feel free to speak the words naturally come out more smoothly and effortlessly. Don’t just memorize random words though. Spend your time researching words that you know you may use, for example you talk with a friend about fishing - research fishing vocabulary. The idiom “to reel in” might be handy when you’re talking about fishing with that friend.

Memorize one sentence


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Read a thesaurus regularly to boost your English speaking power!

Pick a sentence every day and memorize it. If you do this consistently over time you will have a huge bank of expressions to use in your English conversations. Similar to the point mentioned above, don’t just pick any random English word or term. Find expressions by researching, that you know you may need to use in conversation. A good resource for this is Google, or just a good old fashion thesaurus. If you don’t know what a thesaurus is, it is like a dictionary but instead of giving you the definition it gives you many other similar words to use. This really helps in making our English sound varied and interesting.

Start karaoke!


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Sing your favourite songs to improve your fluency

Sing along to your favorite songs! This will make you smoother and also help your pronunciation and intonation . There are so many ways to do karaoke nowadays. Depending on where you live, you can go to a karaoke box. Or you can set up karaoke at home. You can even play karaoke games on your game console, or find an app on your phone!


What can I do to improve my conversational ability?

By taking a conversation lesson, speaking to people, building up our natural vocabulary, starting karaoke or recruiting a close friend, we can really improve our English speaking skills. The most important thing to remember is consistency. Use these techniques regularly and don’t give up. If you do this you have a very good chance at improving your speaking skills. It’s also fun to speak with people! Go for it!