In our previous article “How to Improve English Speaking Fluency,“ we discussed the ways that can help you improve your speaking skills. In this article, you are going to learn how to practice speaking by yourself.
Research a topic on the internet and then start talking about it.
Imagine you are supposed to give a lecture in front of a class for a few minutes tomorrow. First, you need to do some research, get some ideas, learn some good vocabulary (topic-specific vocabulary), and then present them with your own words. well, the good news is that you can do it at home too. Prepare your lecture and start speaking.
Record your voice and analyze it.
This may sound funny at first, and you might laugh at your recorded voice, but it’s OK. You’re the only person who is going to listen to that, and you need it in order to hear how you speak and learn where you need improvement. For example, if you find yourself using a word too much, maybe you need to expand your active vocabulary. If you use simple sentences a lot, it’s time to learn different types of sentences and start using them to express your ideas. Remember that the key to sounding natural is variety. By the way, while you are listening to your voice, pay attention to stress patterns. Are you using intonation? Are you stressing the most important words?
Watch a movie and review it afterward.
Watch the movies or TV shows that you like and pay attention to how they pronounce words. You can also watch TED-Ed videos, which are short, informative, and entertaining. Then summarize them and review the different aspects of them like plot, directing, casting, etc. This will help you use the language in a natural way without worrying about running out of ideas.
If you are shy, speak in front of a mirror.
This is a very good technique if you are afraid of talking in front of others. This way, you trick your brain into thinking that you’re talking to someone else and get used to speaking face to face with another person. Moreover, it will help you see your facial expression and body language while you’re talking.
Take advantage of the shadowing technique.
Shadowing is a very effective way to improve intonation and pronunciation. Basically, you listen to a podcast or a speech and repeat it at the same time without pausing the audio. It may be difficult at first, and you might get frustrated, but if you choose short audios at first (under one minute), you’ll get used to it. A fun way to practice this activity is to sing along while listening to your favorite English songs.
Find a picture on the internet and describe it.
Imagine there is a picture on your phone, and you want to describe it to your friend, but this time you do so in English. Use a variety of grammar structures and vocabulary items to practice the words you learn each day.
Think about your daily activities in English.
At the end of each day, try talking about the things that you did that day like a diary, but this one is not written. For example, if you need to practice conditional sentences, make many sentences using this particular grammar.
Today I ate a whole pizza. If I keep eating like this, I will gain a lot of weight. Also, I forgot to do my homework. If I hadn’t forgotten to do it, I wouldn’t be burning the midnight oil now.
Final Note: Surround yourself with English as much as you can. Never miss an opportunity to use it in your daily life if you want to speak fluently. Be patient and persistent because everything comes to those who wait.
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