7 Answers | Add Yours
Watch TV. I know it is hard to follow conversations in English, but the more you watch the more you will learn. You can see what words mean by looking at what people do. Do not be ashamed to watch children's shows. You can pick up a lot of language that way.
Having had Spanish speaking exchange students live with our family, one of the ways they used initially was to watch movies in English with Spanish translations below. It didn't create spoken fluency but gave them a sense of the sound of words in English.
Many colleges have a program which will pair you with an English speaker with whom you meet several times a week. That isn't enough either, so start looking for English speaking people who like to chat whether that is in the cafeteria, coffee shop, or in a quiet bar. However you choose to find more people to practice with, be sure that you ask them to correct your pronunciation For example, my Argentine son could not distinguish the word bass from bus; to him, it sounded the same.
I also teach verbal pronunciation to Vietnamese adults, and the easiest way is conversation. We also use young children's books and telling their own stories. Then I can show them how to make the th sound by all of us sticking out our tongue and physically making the sound which is difficult for them.
I know that finding people is difficult, but be persistent if you wish to speak English well even if you have to advertize to find someone who wishes to speak your language. That is not a good idea, but set a timer for each person's language and then switch to the other language. Good luck.
Actually speaking with a person who speaks English fluently is probably the best way to learn to speak English well, but you could also look into English language instructional programs available through various websites. There are also books with CD's that you can listen to that would allow you to hear and practice spoken English.
If oral English, specifically, is your weak area, you need to find opportunities to speak English! Explore your surroundings and use your imagination and all the resources at your disposal.
Are there classes in spoken English that you could take? Is there any sort of travel club you might join? Is there a volunteer program or senior citizens center or other organization that might include English speakers who would be willing to work and talk with you on a regular basis? Do you have access to Skype or another type of resource that would allow you to find someone who speaks English - a verbal penpal? Have you checked into organizations that sponsor international studies for contacts with English speakers?
I feel the exact same way when I have to have a discussion in Chinese with my teacher. However I can tell you how I am improved and go how you can too. In my earlier stages of studying Chinese I thought having a conversation was not going to happen because I was to afraid of my pronunciation so one night I found a book in Chinese and the audio and I would read aloud with the audio. The more I read the more I realized that I was getting better at pronouncing words and speaking with more of a flow. I recommend finding a book and its audio and read it at least twice once with the audio and once without. It really is a help :D
A few ways to improve your speaking skills:
- "Romanization" If you can find people who translate, for example, English music into your language and also add on romanization subtitles, this can be helpful in learning pronunciations easier of words. This tends to work best for languages that do not use the English alphabet. It may not be called romanization for your language. For example, instead of saying romanization subtitles for chinese, it is called pinyin subtitles.
- Watch movies, tv shows, etc. in English. If it helps, first watch them with subtitles on so your mind can acclimate to matching the words to how they sound easier.
- Talk to a native English speaker or find a teacher/tutor who you can speak with in English. You can find people online as well to talk to and improve.
- Practice speaking out loud as much as you can. Sometimes you can read something in English and in your mind it is spoken correctly, but outloud it may not sound the same. You have to adjust to saying such foreign words.
We’ve answered 318,928 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question