Language level: Intermediate
When we learn a language, we all imagine ourselves in conversation with native speakers, talking fluently about different subjects – we want to have fantastic conversation skills.
But what’s the best way to improve our speaking skills? What are the best tips for getting better at talking in English? Check out these 5 tips:
Top worrying about grammar
When you’re in the middle of a conversation, you’ll probably want to produce perfect grammar. Don’t! When you’re speaking, grammar is not the most important thing. Instead, just focus on listening carefully to the other person, and on expressing your ideas well. If you worry too much about grammar, or about remembering that perfect word, you might not say anything at all! It’s better to make mistakes and think about them after the conversation. This way, you’ll improve your pronunciation and get better at your general speaking and listening skills.
Focus on learning complete sentences, not just words
When you practise pronouncing a new word, practise it in different sentences and situations. In English, we like to connect different sounds together, so it’s important you can say new words in the middle of a phrase. Often this can change the way we say that word. For example, the word “you” is often pronounced “ya” in the middle of a sentence. Learning how to connect sounds and produce words in different sentences will be important for your fluency.
Listen carefully to others in the conversation
Sometimes we are so worried about what we want to say, we forget to listen carefully. How can you have a conversation with someone if you’re not listening to them? If the other person says a word or phrase you don’t understand, don’t worry – just continue listening. It’s more important to understand the general meaning than every single word. Listening carefully will also help you learn about pronunciation, different accents, intonation, and new vocabulary.
Don’t forget to ask questions
Asking questions is an important skill. It’s also a great way of showing the other person that you are interested. When someone is explaining something to you, try to respond by asking them a relevant question.
Most of all, practice
The best way to improve your speaking skills is to practise as much as possible. So, practise speaking with a friend – even if your friend is from the same country as you. Also, practise speaking by talking to yourself – maybe when you’re tidying up at home, or walking in the street – be imaginative and create ‘conversations’ with yourself. This is a great way to always be developing your skills in fluency and pronunciation.
If you’d like to improve your English language skills, check out our English courses in London today!