15 Ways in Which you can Improve your English Skills
Acquiring English speaking skills quickly and to the point of fluency can be accelerated if you establish what is the most effective way of learning a new language. Some people can pick up languages, including vocabulary, intonation and pronunciation easily because their method of learning is more auditory than visual. They generally mimic the sounds native speakers make and this confidence that they are understood adds another incentive to them speaking the language. But others learning English as a second language might not have those types of learning abilities, and might learn more easily by reading, writing or listening to the language. Memorization is also a skill individual to each learner. The way you memorize could be through association, context, repetition and so on.
How to Improve your Spoken English Fluency
Whatever way you learn a new language, the bottom line is to create a method of learning that suits you, set goals, be consistent and don’t let a lack of progress at time discourage you. These are some good ways to achieve fluency in spoken English:
- Avoid speaking anything but English, especially in your host country and don’t let yourself gravitate to fellow students and others from your native country.
- Speak English whenever you can, by participating in classroom conversation, interacting with local English-speaking students and locals, and sticking to English with your fellow international students.
- Focus on achieving fluency. Do not worry about making mistakes. Let native speakers know you welcome their corrections if you do make a mistake.
- Join an English conversation club.
- Use TED talks or Podcasts to listen to English. These are not only interesting to listen to, they are also covering many different topics that will extend your vocabulary. Use subtitles if you want to check your comprehension. Listen to the way the language is spoken.
- Keep a journal or start a blog in English. Think and express ideas in English. When you can’t think of a word to describe someone, look up equivalents in your own language, then look up synonyms of the word to find exactly the word you want. This way you will train your brain to express yourself and clearly in English.
- Learn the local lingo and slang. As you will quickly become aware, there are many when it comes to common phrases, idioms, and American English sayings, and understanding their meaning will help you to speak the living language better.
- Try not to rely on just memorizing vocabulary. Instead rely on the process of regularly listening to the spoken language, writing it with the intention of expressing yourself clearly, and speaking it to be understood.
- Build your vocabulary words in a methodical and practical way, by starting with the words you need to get by in your environment, and then expanding gradually, by reading, listening, going to movies, listening to podcasts, writing a journal till you get to the point of being able to express abstract thoughts
- Use the many resources available to learn English: apps, learning English websites like BBC Learning English, podcasts and online courses in learning English as a Second Language.
- Be strategic with your learning process. Select activities, events, clubs that will further your fluency skills.
- Experiment with the language and don’t be shy.
- Don’t avoid practicing the language by saying you are too busy or you are too shy.
- There are lots of strategies form which you can choose to achieve fluency, from memorizing idioms, to translating from your language to English and back… recording yourself reading English and comparing it to English spoken by a native. Using devices to help you remember new words, having a system for learning new words.
- Mix up the resources that help you learn to speak English, to keep things interesting.
An eye-opening statistic about how best we learn, and this applies to English as a second language as much as anything, from Quora.com:
90% of what they learn… when they teach/explain to someone else/use immediately
75% of what they learn… when they practice what they learned.
50% of what they learn… when engaged in a group discussion.
30% of what they learn… when they see a demonstration.
20% of what they learn… from audio-visual.
10% of what they learn… when they’ve learned from reading.
5% of what they learn… when they’ve learned from lecture.
Thus, make it a habit to continually use new vocabulary words in your conversation, in your writing, in explaining the underlined ideas to others.