Top tips for improving your English speaking skills
Becoming a proficient English speaker is not something that can happen overnight. In reality, the only way to develop fluency in another language is through large amounts of listening and speaking. However, the good news is that practising speaking is a fun and rewarding part of learning English! Here are a few top tips for improving your English speaking skills:
Speak whenever you can!
Be confident and speak as often as possible to as many people as you possibly can! If there are English-speaking members in your family, try to communicate with them only using English. Do not be shy! The more you practice the better and more confident you will become in your pronunciation and vocabulary. You can also speak aloud to yourself when no one is around! Remember, speaking is a skill like learning a musical instrument or new sport – the only way you can get good at it is to actually do it!
Do some speech shadowing
Shadowing is a simple language learning technique. You take a native audio recording with a transcript and you speak along at as close to the same time as you can. That’s it.
Shadowing helps you practise the pronunciation of individual words and phases, as well as helping with the melody of phrases.
- Listen to the text
- Replay the text and repeat in your voice. Be louder and try to match the accent
- Repeat the same text again and again until you are confident you can speak with the same speed as the audio
Listen to native speakers
Listen to news bulletins and songs in English to listen to the pronunciation of words. You can also learn new words and expressions this way. Listening to and copying native speakers of the English language is an effective way to both reduce your accent and to improve your pronunciation. The more you listen, the more you learn!
Read the newspaper or a magazine out to yourself. You could even find a script for your favourite TV show and act it out! This is a great way to practise pronunciation because you only need to concentrate on making sure you English sounds great and don’t need to worry about sentence structure or grammar.
Learn a new word every day
By learning one new word every day, after a year you will have learned 365 new English words. Use the word until you have learnt it and keep using it regularly.
It’s important to find a partner to practice with, ideally a native speaker. Make friends with English speakers or others learning to speak English and compare notes. Talk about things that you have learnt and exchange ideas.
A smartphone a powerful tool – you can use an app to talk to native speakers online and there are also lots of great apps which often have audio examples so you can check your pronunciation. You can also chat with Siri which is a great way to force yourself to speak more clearly.
Of course, the very best way to improve your English speaking skills is by coming to the UK and immersing yourself in the language and culture. If you are interested in learning English in Cambridge check out our course options here.