The knowledge of the English language has become a basic necessity, as English is a global language. But as part of the third world, living in a culturally and linguistically diverse nation as India, where different citizens have different mother tongues, it has always been a challenge for most of us to master the art of speaking the English language fluently. Let us explore the five ways to improve our English speaking skills.
In order to speak you require words. Reading a page a day can help you get hold of the general words, their meanings, and usage. An added advantage is that it increases your general knowledge.
Start with a newspaper, book, magazine, since we live in the age of the internet an easy option is to read blogs. As you start practice, your focus should be on getting comfortable with the language, so it should not cause you anxiety when you encounter the words in roman script next time.
Also, take help from a basic English grammar book. Revise the general rules of the language. Speaking fluently is not the only goal, speaking grammatically correct is necessary.
An easy way to do so or to test your grammar is by taking online tests. Or you can teach a kid English grammar. It will help you improve your grasp of the rules and concepts. As you practice reading gradually you will hear the voice in your head translating what you read automatically into your mother tongue with ease.
Listening skills are an essential part of learning. Start watching an English movie, series, news, vlogs, tutorials, listen to songs, audio lectures, etc. Ample of audiovisual options are available online now. Listening helps in learning the correct pronunciations of words. It helps in identifying the pauses while you speak, learning the manner to express various emotions. It improves your concentration level also In the beginning turn on the option of subtitles. As you get used to understanding the language you will no longer feel the need to read the subtitles. This tip helps you to improve your English speaking skills.
If you are shy or don’t have anyone to practice speaking in English with then talk to yourself in the mirror. Stand before a mirror and watch yourself speak. It might be difficult to speak on the spot in the beginning thus, write on a paper few lines. If you are worried about not having a topic, then talk about your day, summarise the news you have read, or the article you read on a blog. Your focus should be on not reading the lines from the paper, memorize them if you can’t remember. Observe your body language and gestures. Try getting rid of movements or gestures, for example, don’t move your hands unnecessarily, avoid blinking eyes constantly, stuttering, repetition due to hesitation, these are the signs of nervousness and lack of attention. We are our best critics, so learn by observing yourself and try to improve.
Remember that there is no way to translate literally from one language to another. Instead of wasting time searching for substitutes, focus on expressing yourself aptly. Eliminate the complexities and write in simple words. The first three points involved the use of our three senses in helping us learn. This tip helps you to improve your English speaking skills.
This involves our ability to adapt and act according to the given scenarios. When you are out in public and you encounter the opportunity of ordering food in a restaurant, or you receive a phone call say from an insurance company and the person on the other side starts the conversation in English or a foreigner asked you for directions, or there is a debate competition, speech competition in your school, college, organization, use these chances. You can only gain control over your fears when you gather the courage to face them Speak in simple and short sentences, don’t make complex sentences. Even if you fail, you will be able to speak better next time. It takes failures along with efforts to grow.
We need to accept the fact that English is not our native language hence we can not get rid off of the influence of our mother tongue while we speak. We can learn how to imitate accents, there are a lot of courses that can help you acquire accents. Rather than speaking a pseudo accent try to speak in a grammatically correct manner. Speak with clarity. Accept the culturally prominent linguistic elements of your speaking skills. This will enhance your confidence and your focus will shift from speaking like a native English speaker to speaking like yourself.
Lastly, as we have read,
“You get what you work for, not what you wish for.”
So, these were the five ways to help you improve your spoken English language, start from now.