6 Tips to Improve Your English Speaking
Speaking in a foreign language, and especially to a native speaker, can be challenging for language learners. It is hard to keep up, and you feel uncomfortable and afraid to make mistakes. Sound familiar? You are not alone. But don’t worry! With these tips to improve your English speaking, you’ll feel comfortable and confident soon enough.
1. Talk to yourself
This tip might feel a little strange, but it really is a good way to improve your English speaking! Become your own voice-over and start narrating your day out loud to yourself. Things like: ‘I am making breakfast, and now I’m reading the newspaper.’ By speaking English out loud to yourself, you can practice translating your thoughts into spoken words. Bonus: when you’re by yourself, nobody will hear your mistakes!
2. Find a conversation partner
The best way to improve your English speaking is simple: practice! By finding yourself a conversation partner, you will improve your speaking, listening and vocabulary. You could ask a friend who is also learning English, but it would be even better if you could find a native speaker. This way, you will also learn the correct pronunciation and intonation. You can look for native speakers online, or at your university or local coffee bar. They don’t even need to live near you: you can also practise over Skype. So join a chat group, change your Tinder-location to London, or find a language buddy on Facebook and get started!
3. Get yourself a drink!
Yes, this tip sounds really weird, but it’s true. Research has shown that alcohol helps you speak a foreign language better. As we all know, alcohol can lower inhibitions and thus make it easier to overcome hesitation. Dutch researchers found that a low-to-moderate dose of alcohol reduces language anxiety, and therefore increases proficiency. So remember this the next time you find yourself in an English pub!
4. Immerse yourself in English
It would of course be wonderful to just go to an English-speaking country and practice, practice, practice. But you don’t necessarily need an airline ticket to immerse yourself in English. Start listening to podcasts, watch your favourite Netflix shows with English subtitles, or listen to your favourite albums while reading the lyrics. Your vocabulary and pronunciation will improve like crazy!
5. Download a language learning app
There are a lot of free language learning apps out there. Have you heard of Hello English or Duolingo? With just a few minutes of practice per day, you can improve your English speaking, reading and vocabulary. And it’s fun too! Perfect for your daily commute.
5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Last but not least: keep in mind that everybody makes mistakes! Even native speakers make grammatical or vocabulary errors. So don’t you dare feel ashamed of your mistakes! People will appreciate the fact that you’re learning a foreign language and will totally understand the fact that you’re still improving your English speaking. And you know the saying: practice makes perfect.