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. 

15 Things You Can Do To Improve Your English Today!

Stop making excuses about not having enough time to learn English. By making small changes on a daily basis; learning English will become a habit instead of a chore (or headache). 

You don’t need to spend an hour or two each day to get better at speaking English. Try dedicating 5, 15, or 30 minutes a day to improving your English. If you really commit to practicing English every day you will get better at it. I promise! 

15 Things You Can Do Today To Improve Your English!
1. Listen to a podcast every day
Podcasts are great. You can download them for free to your ipod, phone or computer. You can listen to podcasts while you are going to work, exercising or around your house. There are many podcasts to choose from in iTunes. You don’t have to just listen to English language learning podcasts (Like the English Tonight Podcast), but can find podcasts that are of interest to you. If you are interested in Soccer, Business or Marketing there are many podcasts to listen to. Also, listening to podcasts to varying subjects will ensure that you  stay engaged while listening and learning at the same time. 

2. Change the language on your phone to English
Change the operating language on your phone to English. You can usually change the language under ‘settings’. Though it may be difficult to understand the first few days, you will learn new words in English without even realizing. 

3. Change the language on your computer operation system, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to English
You could also change the operating system language from your native language to English on your computer, tablet or on any social media site that you use; such as Facebook or Twitter. Again you will learn new vocabulary in English instantly. 

4. Read or watch the news in English articles
You may already watch or read the news on a daily basis; now try doing it in English. BBC, CNN or Google News. You will continue your “good’ habit of staying informed on what’s happening in the world and improve your English reading and/or listening at the same time. 

5. Turn on English subtitles on your TV or DVD
Check to see if you can turn on English subtitles on your TV. If you have cable or satellite TV, watch programs in English with subtitles would be helpful. Also, before watching a DVD, check to see if is has English subtitles. You can find this function on the Main Menu of the DVD or sometimes the remote has a ‘subtitles’ button. Being able to hear and see the words at the same time will help to improve your English listening comprehension and understanding.

6. Listen to Music in English and learn the lyrics
Listening to music in English is great but do you struggle to understand all of the words that they are singing? Struggle no longer! You can finds the lyrics of many songs on these two websites: A to Z Lyrics UniverseLyrics.com or you could search for the lyrics on google or your preferred search browser.

 

7. Read more in English- the news, blogs, books, magazines
There are tons of printed information in English- be it on the internet or actual physical books and magazines. Read something in English that challenges you and is interesting. There are a lot of free materials, you can often download books from Amazon Kindle store for free. Don’t have a Kindle or iReader? Don’t worry. There is an app you can download and you can read it from your computer. 

8. Write in a journal every day in English
Practice writing every day. Practicing English for five or ten minutes a day will help. Write about what you did each day in English or write a story. Don’t have any ideas? Check here –> English writing prompts

9. Learn a new word in English every day
  Want to expand your English vocabulary? Great! Check out these word of the day websites: Here, here or here. Some of the words are rather complex but you are guaranteed to expand your vocabulary if you visit them every day. 

10. Speak in English with someone
Try to find someone to speak English with; whether it be a friend, family member or colleague from your work. The more you practice talking in English the better you will get at it. It will become more natural for you and you will start to feel less nervous when you have to speak English. Don’t have anyone to speak English with? You could try visiting these sites iTalkiverbling,  MyLanguageExchange or if you really want to improve your English you could sign up for an online English group conversation class

11. Write down new words and phrases in English that you learn
Keep a small notebook or a computer document (if you prefer) of new phrases in English or words that you have learned. Keep it in a place where you can refer back to it easily. When I was learning my second language, I kept a small notebook in my purse or pocket. I would write down anything new I learned or phrases I didn’t understand and needed to look up later. 

12. Watch children’s cartoons
Watching cartoons is a great activity for learning English. You will hear simple English and be able to see illustrations or animation of what they are talking about at the same time. Cartoons are often repetitive so you may hear some things more than once to help you improve you listening comprehension. 

13. Read children’s books
Children’s books are great for English language learners. You will be able to see words and illustrations and the context is usually simple because the materials were created for children. Don’t feel bad about reading children’s books there are tons of wonderful Children’s books in English that will interest you and teach you new English. You can access some Children’s books at MagicKeys, FreeKidsBooks, or as I mentioned above in Number 7, you can download free children’s books in English on Amazon as well. 

14. Dictate (Write down) what you hear
You should ideally dictate something you can listen to over and over again. You can find listening activities on English Tonight or ton of stories in English to listen to at ESL Fast or Randall’s ESL Cyber Listening Lab. Remember, try to listen first a couple of times and write down what you hear. Then you can check when you wrote down compared to the exact transcript that is displayed on the website. 

15. Set measurable goals about learning to speak English
 You want to improve your English, right? Then you need to set a measurable goals. If you want to improve your English speaking skills you need to set a specific goal and put a plan in motion to help you succeed. Think: who, what, where, when, how?
Example of a measurable goal: I will improve my English speaking skills by enrolling in a speaking course online, finding someone from my work to speak with me two hours a week and by watching the news in English every day for 10 minutes. 

So, are you ready to stop making excuses and do something? Good!
What action will you take today to learn English?
Leave a message in the comments and let us know. 

Don’t let another day do by without improving your English. Register for our 30-Day English Challenge Course, where you will get 1 lesson a day for 30 days on interesting topics. 

Watching Cartoons Can Improve Your English

Cartoons aren’t just for kids. Watching cartoons can improve your English language skills.

What are cartoons?
Cartoons are animated drawings, usually popular with kids but there are some popular cartoons for adults such as the Simpsons and Family Guy.

How Can Cartoons Improve My English?

1. Cartoons are Simple
Most cartoons are simple. They have simple storylines with a problem and solution, so they are not hard to follow. Even if you do not understand every single word you will be able to visually see the storyline play out and that will increase your comprehension because you will be able to use more than one sense at the same time. When watching cartoons you use your sight (eyes) and hearing (ears) to increase your comprehension.

2. Very Common Language is Used
Since the target audience for most cartoons is children the language used is purposefully simple. The English verbs that are used are common and words that you could most likely use in your every day when speaking English. You will not hear complex academic language used in cartoons. They use common words that most English speakers and learners can understand. 

3. Repetition
Some cartoons are repetitive and ask the people viewing questions and to repeat back what the character has to do. This is helpful because you can practice listening to and answering questions.

4. Improve Your Vocabulary
You will learn some new words. Some words might be useful to you and others you might never need to use. Adding new words to your vocabulary as an English language learner is always helpful.

5. Improve Your Listening Comprehension
Being able to see and hear what is going on at the same time will likely improve your listening comprehension. You will be able to relate words and phrases said to the actions or things you see the characters doing on the screen.

Where to Find Cartoons in English:
1. Your TV if you have cable or satellite TV in your home
2. Nick Jr. 
3. PBS Kids 
4. YouTube
Tom and Jerry 
Franklin 
Woody Woodpecker 
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
Bugs Bunny 
Olivia
Peppa the Pig (British Accent)
5. Disney and other animated Movies/DVD’s
On many DVD’s you can change the language that is spoken to English or you can add English subtitles.

Give it a try… next time you have an extra 5 or 10 mins. or want to try learning English differently tune into some cartoons.

Skip to toolbar