Improving your Speaking Skills
You’ve been studying English for a while, and you’re beginning to feel confident. However, you feel that your spoken English isn’t very good, and you want to improve your speaking skills. The first thing to say is: don’t worry! It’s perfectly normal for speaking to be difficult for learners of English. This blog is going to give you some ideas about how to improve your spoken English.
The first, and perhaps most obvious, way of improving your spoken English is to practise. You can do this in English classes, with friends, or with family. However, the best people to practise with are native speakers. English speaking people have a reputation of being a bit uptight and shy, but, most people will be very happy to talk to you. You might want to consider a language tandem, where you talk to a real native speaker for some time in English and some time in your language. This gives you a good opportunity to meet new people and practise your English – and you can use them to ask any questions you have about English culture. ‘What is a spotted dick?’, for example, is an interesting story which only English people can answer.
Meet new people
Secondly, if you feel nervous about meeting people on a one-to-one basis, you should consider going to a meet up. Google will help you find these, but they often happen all over London every weekend. People from all around the world meet up in a pub, or a restaurant, and you have the opportunity to meet and talk to these people, all of whom are there to improve their English. This is an excellent way to meet people in a similar situation to you, and if ever you get bored with one person, you can find someone else to talk to. This is also a fantastic way to make new contacts – whether you like football, fashion, fishing or any other activity, you will be able to find people there who have the same interests as you, and suddenly living in a big city like London becomes a less scary experience.
Another way to improve your spoken English is to take conversation classes in an English school. Most English schools offer these as an alternative to English classes. Lead by a teacher, you will be put into pairs or small groups and given a subject to talk about. Often the teacher will provide conversation starters, or give you new vocabulary to use in a conversation on a certain topic. This is an excellent way to have a structured conversation with English learners who are more or less at your level. The most important thing about these classes is to make an effort to speak in English all the time, and this will definitely boost your confidence and make you a better speaker.
I hope I’ve given you some good ideas about how to improve your spoken English. The two most important things to remember are: be confident, and practise hard. Don’t worry about being 100% correct all the time – if you worry too much about this, you will speak very slowly and you’ll be boring to listen to! Remember that everyone makes mistakes, and that the only way to make fewer mistakes is to study hard and to practise. You can do this with anyone, and there are even apps which will help you (but this is a poor substitute for a real person). Work hard, practise hard, and you’ll soon be far more confident and speaking English like a native!