All English language learners reach a point when they want to start speaking English quickly and confidently. Overcoming the fear of speaking English might seem challenging and time-consuming, but below, you'll find seven proven strategies to improve your English speaking skills faster.
#1. practice speaking regularly
Here is a fact that many learners forget. Speaking a foreign language is a skill and not a state of mind. One of the best ways to improve your speaking skills is to practice speaking as much as possible. This can be done through conversations with native English speakers, participating in language exchange programs, or joining speaking clubs or groups.
#2. Focus on pronunciation
Paying attention to the sounds and rhythm of the English language can help you improve your pronunciation and make your speech clearer and more understandable to others. You can achieve it through listening to native speakers, practising tongue twisters, and working with a language tutor or accent coach.
Two fantastic YouTube channels that can help you with improving your pronunciation are below:
#3. Improve your vocabulary
Having a larger vocabulary will give you more options when speaking and make it easier for you to express yourself. You can improve your vocabulary by reading, listening to podcasts and lectures, and doing word games and quizzes.
When it comes to the challenge of memorizing all the new words you discover, spaced repetition is one of the scientifically proven ways to do that. Check out our detailed guide to the most effective flashcard apps for language learners to find a spaced repetition app that works for you.
#4. Work on your grammar
Grammatical mistakes should never be the reason why you don't practice English. This is how all language learners start. That said, if you want to take your English speaking skills to the next level, good grammar is essential for clear and effective communication.
When you speak with correct grammar, it is easier for listeners to understand and follow your message. Improving your grammar can also help you express yourself more accurately and precisely, making you a more confident and effective speaker.
To improve your understanding of grammar, you can try the following strategies:
- Study English grammar rules: There are many resources available, such as textbooks, websites, and apps, that can help you to learn the rules of English grammar. Check out the list of 21 best free online resources to improve your command of English grammar.
- Practice using proper grammar: Practice speaking and writing using correct grammar, and seek feedback from a tutor or native speaker to help identify areas where you may need to improve.
- Use grammar reference materials: Keep a grammar reference book or app handy to help you identify and correct errors in your speech and writing.
- Pay attention to how native speakers use grammar when they speak (in the movies, YouTube videos, shows, etc.). This can help you understand how grammar is used in real-life situations and improve your use of grammar.
#5. Slow down
Don't try to speak fast. If you talk too quickly, it can be difficult for listeners to understand you. Practice speaking at a slower pace, and focus on enunciating each word clearly before adding pace to your speech. Being understood is far more important for you as an English language learner.
#6. Use body language and gestures
Nonverbal communication can reinforce your message and make you a more confident and effective speaker. Use appropriate gestures and facial expressions to help convey your meaning. You'll be surprised how much you can communicate with gestures and facial expressions, sometimes without even saying a single word in English.
#7. Listen to and imitate native speakers
One of the best ways to learn to speak like a native speaker is to listen to and imitate their speech patterns and rhythms. By listening to and then repeating what native speakers say, you can learn to speak with the same beats and intonations they use. This can help you develop a more natural-sounding accent and improve your fluency.
For example, watch a piece of a video on YouTube where a native English speaker says something. Pause the video, repeat the exact words, and do your best to mimic the intonation and speech rhythm. Record yourself and compare the audio to spot issues for the best results. Rinse and repeat.
Improving your English speaking skills requires practice and dedication. By following these strategies and tactics, you can develop your ability to speak English more fluently and accurately. Remember to focus on pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and speaking at a natural pace, and use nonverbal communication and gestures to help convey your meaning. Practice speaking with native speakers, and seek feedback and guidance from a tutor or language coach to help you identify areas for improvement. With consistent practice and dedication, you can make significant progress in your English speaking skills and become a more confident and effective speaker.