Conversational / Pronunciation practice
Experience: 0 years
Here you will find some good tips on how to improve your English conversation skills- The main goal is fluency. Remember that you don't have to know many complex grammatical structures to achieve that goal! First of all try to speak as fluent as possible (even making some grammar mistakes). Then, after making your speaking fluent, you can focus on grammar aspects. Many people think that knowing a lot of words is a key to fluent speaking. It's true! However, there are many people who have wide idiolect and problem with fluency. They try to learn more and more words because they think vocabulary is their problem. They don't realize the problem is somewhere else. They always try to use exact translation of the word thay want to use, but it causes that they often get stuck. Don't be afraid to speak. You must try to speak, even if you make mistakes. You cannot learn without mistakes. There is a saying: "The person who never made a mistake never made anything." So think of your mistakes as something positive and useful. Speak as much as possible! Make as many mistakes as possible! When you know that you have made a mistake, you know that you have made progress. The Importance of Speaking Practice There are 4 key skills when you learn a language: listening speaking reading writing Which one of these is the "Odd-One-Out"? Which one of these is different from the other three? The answer is speaking. The other three you can do alone, on your own, without anyone else. You can listen to the radio alone. You can read a book alone. You can write a letter alone. But you can't really speak alone! Speaking to yourself can be "dangerous" because men in white coats may come and take you away!! That is why you should make every effort possible to find somebody to speak with. Where can you find people who can speak English with you? And how can you practise speaking when you are alone? At School If you go to a language school, you should use the opportunity to speak to your teachers and other students. When you go home, you can still practise listening, reading and writing, but you probably can't practise speaking. If your teacher asks you a question, take the opportunity to answer. Try to say as much as possible. If your teacher asks you to speak in pairs or groups with other students, try to say as much as possible. Don't worry about your mistakes. Just speak! Conversation Clubs Many cities around the world have conversation clubs where people can exchange one language for another. Look in your local newspaper to find a conversation club near you. They are usually free although some may charge a small entrance fee. Shopping If you are living in an English-speaking country, you have a wonderful opportunity. Practise speaking to the local people such as shop assistants or taxi drivers. Even if you don't want to buy anything, you can ask questions about products that interest you in a shop. "How much does this cost?" "Can I pay by cheque?" "Which do you recommend?" Often you can start a real conversation - and it costs you nothing! Pubs and Bars Even if you don't live in an English-speaking country, there are often American, British, Irish and Australian pubs in many large cities. If you can find one of these pubs, you'll probably meet many people speaking English as a first or second language. Language is all around You Everywhere you go you find language. Shop names, street names, advertisements, notices on buses and trains... Even if you are not in an English-speaking country, there are often a lot of English words you can see when walking in the street, especially in big cities. And there are always numbers. Car numbers, telephone numbers, house numbers... How can this help you? When you walk down the street, practise reading the words and numbers that you see. Say them to yourself. It's not exactly a conversation, but it will help you to "think" in English. For example, if you walk along a line of parked cars, say the number on each car quickly as you pass it. Test yourself, to see how fast you can walk and still say each number. But don't speak too loud! Songs and Video Listen to the words of an English-language song that you like. Then repeat them to yourself and try to sing with the music. Repeat the words as many times as possible until they become automatic. Soon you'll be singing the whole song. Or listen to one of your favourite actors on video and repeat one or two sentences that you like. Do it until it becomes automatic. It's good practice for your memory and for the mouth muscles that you need for English. If you have same problem remember that almost all words can be swapped by some other words. If you'll be speaking and suddenly stop, trying to get to your mind translation of some word, forget it! Try to say what you have on mind in other words - practising it is a real key to fluent English conversation! Listening Two simple definitions to hear: to receive sound with the ears to listen: to try to hear You are very good at languages. That's obvious, because you already speak one language very well - your own! And if you can learn and speak one language well, then you can certainly learn and speak one or more other languages. But did you ever ask yourself: "How did I learn my own language?" In fact, you never really "learned" it at all - you just started speaking it. One day, when you were about two or three years old, you started speaking your language. A few words at first, not full sentences. But you spoke. And very soon you made progress without even thinking about it. It was like magic! But it wasn't magic. It was the result of hearing. For two to three years before you spoke, you heard people speaking your language all day, and maybe all night. You heard people speaking your language. Maybe you listened to people, but more importantly you heard. them. Then, as if by magic, you started to speak. All that hearing was necessary for you to start speaking. For two to three years words went IN to your head. Then words came OUT of your head! That is why hearing (and listening to) English as much as possible is so important to you now. The more English you put in, the more you'll get out! So how can you hear a lot of English when you're not in an English-speaking country or family? Fortunately, there are many ways of hearing English in almost all countries of the world like Radio, TV, Internet, Cinema. In my programme, I provide audio tapes with documents to listen and read at home.
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