The first rule of speaking English is to learn to speak clearly and concisely and remember you should not just be speaking but thinking in English since translation from your native language to English changes the meaning of your thoughts in your native language. Get over any fear you might have of making mistakes. You will make mistakes. Be patient with yourself. Learning any language can be frustrating, but frustration won't help you, so let it go.
Increase Exposure to English
Tell your family and friends about your study plan. Get them to push you to study and also don’t let them interrupt you. Practice the 4 core skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening. They all need to be worked on for you to improve. Keep a notebook of new words you learn. Use them in sentences and try to say them at least 3 times when you speak. You will find words easier to remember if you try to remember an example sentence using that word rather the word on its own. Think of the bigger picture. What can you do when you have a good command of English? How will the quality of your life improve? Get help! If you don’t understand something you’ve got to ask someone. Ask your teacher, classmates or friends for help. Don’t be in such a hurry to move up a level. Concentrate on the level you are at now.
Maximizing Speaking Opportunities
Grasp every opportunity you have to speak with people in English.
- If you get nervous when speaking, take two deep breaths before you say something. You’ll speak better when you feel relaxed.
- You are never too young or too old to start learning English. Don’t make excuses not to learn. What are you waiting for?
- If you haven’t gotten the results you wanted yet, it’s not because you’re bad at languages, it’s because you haven’t found your own special way of learning yet.
- Don’t worry about making your accent perfect. It’s an important part of your cultural identity to keep your accent.
- There are many types of English: British, American, South African and so on. None of these are wrong or not as important. English is English.
- Instead, be aware of the differences in American and British English and use your words accordingly. For example: Elevator (US) / Lift (British).
Meet new people. Make the effort to mix with English speakers in your town. You could join a club or go to bars where foreigners hang out. Buy one a drink, they love that!
- Be the person to start conversations in English. Try to keep the conversations moving and use listening words (‘really?’ / ‘go on…’/ ‘what happened then?’) Don’t wait for others to speak to you. Get in there!
- Debate. Discuss topics in a group. Each person should choose a viewpoint (even if you don’t agree with it) and debate it within the group. Make sure you get your point across. Learn to listen actively. Focus on the person who is talking. Concentrate on the speaker with your ears and eyes. Follow the movements the speaker makes in an effort to hear more. It may help to repeat what you hear others say in an effort to understand their thoughts.
- Keep it up! If you take a break from speaking English, you will find that your level decreases and all your hard work has been wasted.
- Remember that as long as you have tried your hardest, you have succeeded!
- Keep in mind that it takes longer to improve when our level is high. Usually the fastest progress is made when we are beginners. Don’t think that you’re suddenly not learning anymore, it’s just a less noticeable progress.