Can you speak English? Every year, millions of people learn English as their second language in school or at university. However, many English classes focus on written English and grammar instead of teaching students how to speak English clearly.
In this spoken English tutorial, we’ll cover five great strategies that you can use to quickly enhance your spoken English. From reading aloud to chatting with friends, learn how to quickly and reliably master the art of communicating in English.
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Read books out loud to improve your spoken English
Reading out loud forces you to put your pronunciation to the test, especially if your written English skills are advanced enough to read novels and newspapers. Read an article or chapter every day and you’ll quickly add new words to your vocabulary.
When you run into a word that you can’t pronounce, look it up with a pronunciation dictionary. Make a list of problematic words – words you struggle to pronounce – to review at the end of every reading session.
A lot of English learners fall behind in their education because they’re too afraid to engage in conversation with native English speakers. Reading aloud lets you work on your pronunciation and vocabulary while avoiding any fear or nervousness.
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Watch English TV shows, movies, and documentaries
While reading out loud will improve your pronunciation skills, it won’t help develop your listening skills. Watching TV shows and movies, on the other hand, will make it easy for you to understand what people are saying when they talk to you.
Start by watching TV shows and movies that use basic language, especially kid’s TV shows and animated movies. You might need to turn on the subtitles, since many of the actors and actresses in English TV shows speak quite quickly.
Once you’ve watched movies with subtitles switched on, try watching the same film without subtitles to see how much you can understand. If you run into a tricky part of the film, rewind and re-watch it using the subtitles to help you understand.
Watching English language films and TV shows is a wonderful way to gain a deeper understanding of conversational English. If you watch shows from both the United States and the UK, you’ll also learn how to understand a wide variety of accents.
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Start by having small, easily controllable conversations
Chatting with strangers can be daunting, even when it’s in your native language. If you’re just getting started with spoken English, the idea of talking to strangers can seem terrifying, but it’s a surprisingly good way to master basic conversations.
Try to have short, easily controllable conversations with strangers you deal with on a day-to-day basis. A controllable conversation is one that you can exit from at any point without creating any awkward feelings or looking as if you’re rude.
Examples of controllable conversations include chatting with store clerks or talking to cashiers and salespeople. Any conversation that you can politely end can turn into an opportunity to improve your spoken English skills.
Start small and ask your local grocery store cashier how their day is going. As your spoken English improves, you’ll be able to converse with confidence while carrying out your daily business.
If you’re studying abroad in an English-speaking country, try to find English groups or language exchange societies on your campus. You’ll meet people who are happy to help you with basic conversation, often in exchange for help with your language.
Want more practical tips for learning spoken English quickly? Try An Introduction to English Pronunciation, to learn everything from pronunciation basics to tongue-twisters you can do to improve your spoken English.
Keep a notebook of words and phrases you hear other people using
The English you learn in school is often significantly different from the English you’ll end up using in conversation. Many words that are used often in written English are barely ever used in conversation, and vice-versa.
Because of this, you’ll probably run into new words and phrases when you start to speak English with your friends and colleagues. One of the best ways to memorize these words is by keeping a notebook of new words, phrases, and expressions.
Don’t have a notebook? Use your phone to jot down notes after every conversation and quickly remember the words you hear other people using. Using this strategy, it’s easy to add 5-10 new words to your spoken vocabulary every single week.
Do you struggle to remember new words? Our course, How to Learn and Memorize the Vocabulary of Any Language, includes a simple system you can use to remember English words and phrases, no matter how difficult they might seem.
Study your passions and hobbies in English
Do you love to cook? Instead of viewing cooking videos in your native language, use YouTube to find English cooking videos for recipes you’d like to learn. You’ll quickly learn new words and phrases, as well as mastering your pronunciation.
Are you interested in history? Find historical documentaries about people you’d like to learn more about, or significant historical events. Do you love the arts? Find how-to videos in English about painting, writing music, or sketching.
A lot of people burn out while learning spoken English because the subject matter of their exercises is boring. Instead of relying on bland listening exercises, make every one of your hobbies and passions part of your English learning experience.
Want more language learning tips?
Learning spoken English doesn’t have to be difficult, and if you can already read and write English with confidence, you’ll find the process of learning spoken English far from challenging.
Do you want more language learning tips? Discover how imitating a native speaker can help you reduce your accent and have better conversations by reading our blog post on the best way to learn a language.