We very often find learning to speak in a foreign language really challenging. When we study foreign languages at school, we do so subconsciously, relying on teachers or linguists to teach us the ropes. But there are other ways. Check out our SMART tips for learning spoken English.
SMART TIPS TO HELP YOU WITH SPOKEN ENGLISH
The first thing we do when we try to speak a new language is translate between the new language and your native language. This usually slows down the progress. To avoid this, it is crucial to integrate English into your daily routine. How? Use newly learned phrases when speaking about your daily activities, spend some time watching English programs or listening to English songs. Make English learning an integral part of your day.
While studying languages, we usually feel uncomfortable speaking the language outside the classroom or while we interact with native speakers or those with better language skills. We are more relaxed when we read because if we meet a new word or an unknown phrase, we know that we can refer to the dictionary. But when it comes to speaking, we may not feel so confident. We worry about the way we speak and how we are perceived by others. The following 5 SMART tips can help.
Choose only one topic and try to develop it. If we choose too many topics, it is very difficult to concentrate and develop them simultaneously. Being specific helps us concentrate on the grammar, the vocabulary and the way we develop our idea. When you choose a topic, find as many resources as possible to read or learn more about it. By reading or listening to information about the topic, you will develop the vocabulary to be able to speak more confidently. In addition, this will help you expand your vocabulary and develop your analytical thinking.
Pick a Measurable Goal
You need to measure the progress. Pick a level or end point and measure where and how you reach it. It is very important to know what quality of speech you need to present. For instance, people may like others’ speeches because they have a very impressive vocabulary range. You need to understand what constitutes a good level for you. When you understand why, for example, the speech is so good, you can make measurement criteria with the end goal of producing the same quality of the speech. Some questions you can ask yourself are:
- Can I speak for longer than 4 or 5 minutes?
- Do I have a good vocabulary?
- Is the grammar I use advanced?
You need to take the ownership of your plans, your goals, and your progress. Accountability is the key to high self-esteem.
Speaking is the promotion of our personality in social life and therefore it is good to define the importance of your level of speech and how people perceive your speaking skills. You need to set a plan to improve your speaking but not get rid of your sense of accountability when you hire a teacher or take a course. It is too easy to blame others for our bad speaking skills.
If you do not state a realistic plan for yourself or you choose an unrealistic level or quality of speaking, you will become really disappointed and give up working on your speech. Thus, a realistic plan will make you feel confident about your progress as you see that it is possible to achieve. A realistic plan is the most objective assessment of your resources and abilities. No one knows better than yourself where, how and to what extent you are able to develop your speaking skills.
Time is crucial. So, whenever you are driven by the desire to improve, do not waste your time and do not wait for the teacher. Be very specific about the topics you choose to speak, regularly measure your progress, take accountability for your plan, set a realistic goal and a time frame.
Remember! You are the one responsible for your learning. It can be challenging and sometimes even boring, but it is always rewarding. As a result, you will soon speak more fluently. Take a deep breath, use your willpower and visualize your goal.
Have you any tips which might help others improve? Let them know in the comments below. You can also learn more about improving your spoken English in this blog post.