These suggestions are aimed at those learning english as a foreign language.
Have a conversation with a native speaker
Try and find opportunities to use your english speaking skills. This might be at the bus stop, at the supermarket or at your local gym. Don’t obsess over sentence structure of grammar just try and have a conversation that flows. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake, you WILL be understood. Most find that people are kind enough to help you out if you find yourself in real language difficulty!
Think in English
Many people struggle with improving their language skills because they are constantly translating from their native language into English.
This is simply not sustainable. In fact you are just making language learning more difficult. Multilingual speakers actually find switching between languages very difficult because they are not translating in their hands, they are in fact thinking and speaking in that language instead.
Task: When you are going about your daily activities, instead of thinking in your native tongue, try and and use English. Try this for a day, and just see how your spoken english improves.
Listen to English
Watch films, listen to podcasts or the radio. Anything that you find interesting that helps you to engage with the spoken word. Utilising your listening skills is useful for improving your conversational skills. It also help you improve your spoken English because you hear more frequently how it should be spoken.
A great task to do is to watch films, and then repeat what has been said. That way you improve your sentence construction.
Slow down your speaking speed
You can’t be expected to speak english fluently at the same speed you use when speaking your native tongue. Focus more on what you say, and using varied vocabulary than trying to get all your words out at once. You can try and progress from that point.
It’s better to get your general message across than to speak really fast and risk confusing your speaking partner. You will never improve your language skills if people can’t actually have a coherent conversation with you!
Don’t forget to listen
A great way of improving your fluency is to listen to the nuances of peoples conversations. Often people are so concerned with what they have to try and communicate across many people forget to listen to what the other person is actually saying. Make sure you are responding to what they are saying, not just want you want to respond to!
Learn a word as part of a sentence
When you are introduced to a new word, try to learn that word as part of a sentence.
This will help you understand the meaning of the word. It will also give you more confidence when speaking. Instead of panicking to form correct sentences, you will already have a phrase bank of great sentences that you have already formed.
7. Record yourself speaking
This can have several benefits. If you are trying to improve your accent, it can be useful to hear how you pronounce certain words. Recording your voice can also be useful to hear your fluency and give you confidence. If you hear yourself speaking, likelihood is you’ll be better then you think you are! Technology is a great tool to give you added support.
Read out loud
Reading out loud may seen foolish but it really is the best way to improve your spoken english. Start by using simple books, and just read out loud until you find a word you do not know. Try if you can to infer the meaning of word from it's context. If you can't don't worry, make a note of it and carry on reading.
Don't forget to later look up it's + meaning!
The key is to hear yourself reading fluently. This will help build confidence and vocabulary.
Learn a new word everyday!
Practice, Practice, Practice.
This is the most important point of all. If you try and adopt some or all of these top tips, you will be fluent in no time!
If you are still having problems, a tutor can help you feel confident about your language skills. At Tutorfair, we have english speakers who teach English as a Foreign Language (EFL)