How to Improve English Speaking

Do you struggle to think of the right words in English? Are you afraid to make mistakes? Is not knowing the correct English grammar scaring you into silence? This happens to many people that are learning English.

You are not alone.

So, you need to know how to improve English speaking? Good! 

Below you will find eight simple tips on how to improve speaking English.

1. Listen to More English 
Listening to English trains your ears to understand. It helps you know correct phrases from incorrect phrases. Try listening to any English audio you can find. There are millions of resources out there… and a lot are free. Try listening to different podcasts or music in English. Or you could watch TV or movies in English. Listening to English also allows you to hear it being spoken in natural contexts. 

2. Speak More English
Seems obvious, right? But what if you have no one to speak English with? Trying speaking out loud to yourself. Read a book, article or practice English phrases out loud. As you speak more English out loud, you will train your ears to hear your mistakes and you will be able to correct yourself. You could also register for an online English speaking course to help you improve your English speaking quickly

3. Make Millions of Mistakes
Okay, maybe you won’t necessarily make millions of mistakes… but who’s counting? If you need to know how to learn English speaking, than you can’t be afraid to make mistakes. No one speaks perfect English. Don’t be silent because you do not know how to say something; just do your best. By being silent you will not learn from your mistakes. By trying to speak English you will teach yourself what sounds right and will learn to fix your commons errors. Open your mouth and start talking! 

4. Bad grammar? Keep talking. 
Yes, you heard read right. Don’t stop speaking English because you don’t know the proper verb tense to use. Native English speakers will be able to understand you even if you use incorrect English grammar. The most important thing is that you are trying to speak.  If you confuse a native English speaker while talking with them, they will likely ask you clarifying questions to ensure they understood you correctly. 

5. Memorize Common English Phrases
There are many phrases in English that you will hear and use over and over again. Instead of memorizing single words, you should memorize entire phrases. After a little practice, you will start using these phrases automatically without thinking.

For example:
Yesterday, I went to the beach.  
Yesterday, I went shopping. 
Yesterday, I went  to my friend’s house. 
Yesterday, I went out to eat with my grandma. 

6. Keep it simple!
You need to keep your words simple to ensure you are improving your English speaking . Do not try to say complex things. Speak in simple short sentence in English to ensure you are understood by all. After you have mastered basic or beginners English speaking then you will be able to start speaking in more complex ways. 

7. Don’t waste time translating
 Many English language learners get stuck when trying to improve their speaking skills. This is because they are concentrating on translating instead of speaking. If you focus on the words coming out of your mouth and not what their exact meaning is in your native language; you will improve. At the beginning, you may only understand 30 or 40 percent of what is being said to you. That’s perfectly fine. Don’t stop speaking and translate. To get by, you just need to understand the basic meaning of what is being said to you. Not. Every. Single. Word. 

8. Mimic Native English Speakers
  If you have the chance to interact with native English speakers where you live or online, try copying some of their expressions. Native English speakers use idioms, slang, vocabulary and different verbs that sound more natural. 

For Example: How are you?
I bet your textbook or English teacher taught you to say, ‘I’m fine, thanks. And you?’ when asked how you are. It is correct but not commonly used by native English speakers. A native speaker most likely will answer something like this to ‘How are you?”…

“Good.”
“I’m okay. And you?”
“Not too bad. And yourself?” 

Improving English speaking is not just about becoming proficient but also sounding natural when you speak English. By using some of the words and phrases you hear native speakers use, you will start using real English instead of textbook English. 

Knowing how to improve English speaking should not be difficult. If you use these tips on a consistent basis you should be able to improve your English speaking skills. 

Call to Action: Want to improve your English speaking skills quickly? Register for live online individual/private classes. The first lesson is only $1. 

Talking About Your Feelings in English + 8 Idioms

 Do you ever struggle to express your feelings in English? Today you will learn eight idioms in English to help you talk about happiness. At the end of this article, you will find some sentence starters and questions to help you speak about your feelings in English. 

Check out the info-graphic below from Kaplan International presenting some English idioms about happiness: 

Read original article from Kaplan here

 

Talking about your feelings in English

Sentence Starters to Help You Talk About Your Feelings: 
I feel __________________ because _______________.
I feel happy when _____________.
I feel unhappy about _______________. 
I  feel sad when ____________.
I feel confused when_______________. 
I am ___________________ because ______________. 

You can also use the English idioms about happiness above when you are speaking to sound more like a native speaker.

For example: 
I am over the moon because I passed the IELTS exam. 
I was on cloud nine when I started my first English teaching job. 
My English teacher was tickled pink when I did my homework correctly. 

To ask someone about their feelings, you can say: 
How are you feeling?
How do/did you feel when ___________? 
Does _____________ make you happy?
When do you feel __________? 

Leave a comment and tell us what makes you happy. 🙂 

7 Idioms in English with the Word ‘Clean’

Seven Idioms in English with the Word ‘Clean’

1. A clean break
Meaning: leave quickly and completely
Example Sentence: She wanted a clean break after they broke up. She didn’t want to see him ever again.

2. A clean slate
Meaning: to start something again
Example Sentence: The new CEO started with a clean slate.

3. Clean something out
Meaning: to remove dirt or things from the inside of something
Example Sentence: This weekend, I cleaned out the basement and have four boxes of clothes to get rid of.

4. Clean up
Meaning: get someone or something cleaner
Example Sentence: I’ve got to clean up before the party guests get here.

5. Clean-cut
Meaning: a male that is clean, has short hair and orderly
Example Sentence: Most politicians and men in the military are clean-cut.

6. Wipe the slate clean
Meaning: to forget all past problems or mistakes and start again
Example Sentence: Amelia wanted to wipe her slate clean and get a new job after being fired.

7. A clean bill of health
Meaning:
– News that you are healthy or well
– News that an organization or company is operating correctly
Example Sentences:
1. Marie can’t go back to work until the doctors give her a clean bill of health.
2. The Orange County Health Organization received a clean bill a health after an external investigation.

30 Prompts to Encourage English Conversation

It can be difficult to come up with the right words when you are learning and studying a new language. If you are in English class or trying to speak English in real life sometimes you do not know how to react to what someone said or how to continue a conversation. 

When you are learning a new language you often have limited things to say. Hopefully the list below will expand your English vocabulary and give more words you can use in your English courses and in real life situations.

Prompts to Encourage English Conversation: 

1. I agree with _____ because…
2. I disagree with ________ because…
3. So, what you are saying is…
4. Can you give me an example of that…
5. Why do you think that?
6. Can you tell me more about…?
7. Can someone clarify…?
8. I have a question about….
9. Couldn’t is also be that…?
10. I don’t think that…
11. On the other hand…
12. For example…
12. Another example of _______ is…
13. Can you explain your idea a little more?
14. I wonder…
15. I noticed…
16. I think…
17. _______ made a good point. I would like to add that…
18. _______ made me think about…
19. Why do you think….?
20. What do you think about…?
21. They both have ________ in common.
22. Many people think ______, but I think…
23. I predict that…
24. What do you think will happen if…?
25. I believe that is true because….
26. I can’t figure out why…
27. I still don’t understand…
28. ______’s idea reminds me of….
29. I don’t agree with you because…
30. I would like to find out more about…

Here, you can download a printable sheet of conversation prompts for you to use when you are speaking English.

What did you do yesterday? Talking about the Past in English

 Learning to talk about the past in English is very important. Most of the time you talk about something that you already did (the past) or something you will do (in the future). Below you will find examples to help you talk about yesterday or even last year. 

Sentence starters to help you talk about what you did yesterday or in the past:

I went (to)…
I ate…
I saw…
I worked…
I slept…
I watched…
I studied…
I listened to…
I cooked…
I talked to…

Audio of Some Possible Answers to ‘What did you do yesterday?’ 

1. Yesterday, I went to work. I worked from 7am until 3pm. After work, I went to Happy Hour with two of my coworkers. We spent about two hours catching up, eating and talking. After Happy Hour, I went home. I got home around 7pm. I took a shower and watched TV for a while. I went to bed around 10pm.

2. I had to get up really early yesterday. I took a flight from New York to Boston for work. I got to Boston around 8am, and went to survey a project there. After spending the day on the job site, I went back to the airport and took the 6pm flight back to New York. I finally got back to my apartment around 8:30pm. I was so tried from all the travel and running around all day I went to bed early.

3. I slept in yesterday. I went out to coffee and shopping in the morning. In the afternoon, I visited my parents and ate dinner at their house.

4. I didn’t really do anything interesting yesterday. I went to work and the gym. Same as usual.

5. I worked. We had nice catered lunch and work which rarely happens. After work, I picked up my kids from school and took them to the park.

Talking about other times in the past (not yesterday):

The day before yesterday…
Last night…
Last week…
Last month…
Last Thursday….
Last year….
When I was 10 years old….

 

 Now it’s your turn. What did you do yesterday? 

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