If you're looking for ways to improve your spoken communication in English, you're not alone.
'How can I improve my English speaking skills?' is one of the most popular questions we get asked.
So here's what everyone wants to know. Read on for four tips to improve your fluency, pronunciation, accuracy and conversation skills in English.
Speak English to practise and improve
Speaking a language is a skill, like driving a car, playing a musical instrument or learning to swim.
To be a good driver, you need to practise driving. You can read a book about car mechanics. You can study the rules of the road. But nothing is as good for your driving as spending time behind the wheel of a car, actually driving.
It's the same with speaking English. No matter how much you study grammar and vocabulary, if you don't practise spoken communication, it's very difficult to get good at it.
So maybe you talk to yourself in English as you go about your day. Or maybe you look for opportunities to chat in English with people you meet. But however you do it, the most powerful way to improve your English speaking skills is to use them.
Find people to talk to
OK, so you want to practise, but who can you speak English with?
Do you know anybody in your network who speaks English? Maybe you have friends or colleagues at work that you can speak English with.
If not, look for 'meetups', social events for people interested in practising languages. Or what about a language exchange? You find someone who is learning your language, and in exchange they speak to you in English. A language exchange app can also be a great way to find a conversation partner. (Remember to stay safe when connecting with new people in person or online.)
Practising English socially is fun! You get to know new people. You use your English for real communication. You adapt to each other's level and direct your own learning.
All this means you learn the skills and language you need fast. And you don't forget them.
Record yourself speaking
Listening to a recording of your own voice can feel strange. Especially talking in English.
But, once you get used to it, recording yourself speaking can be a powerful tool for improvement.
The big thing it helps is confidence. I bet you, the first thing you notice when you listen back is that you speak English better than you thought!
Another thing is pronunciation, or just feeling the words in your mouth. Speaking a foreign language is a physical workout for your mouth, and you want to get in the gym!
You're also practising fluency. Next time you have to talk about that same topic, the ideas and words will flow more easily.
By training yourself to notice and correct mistakes, you'll improve your accuracy too.
Work on your listening skills
Watching series and films in English, or listening to audio designed for your level, is great for your pronunciation and intonation.
Listening to English is also a good way to notice how grammar is used or to pick up new words and phrases.
But not only all of that!
Here's the big one.
Being a good listener is a really important part of a good conversation. We often forget this when we're concentrating on what we're going to say.
You don't even need to be that good at speaking English. If you can listen, understand and show interest, people will absolutely love talking to you.
And that means more English speaking practice, more opportunities to improve your speaking and more of that lovely, warm feeling that happens when you use your English to connect with someone.
Enjoy improving your spoken communication in English! Choose one tip from this article and start improving your English speaking skills right away.