5 Tips To Get Better At Speaking English
1. Accept That English Is a Weird Language
Sometimes, English doesn’t make sense at all. For example, why are “read” (reed) and “read” (red) the same word, but pronounced differently depending on whether you’re speaking in the past or present tense? Or why is “mice” the plural of “mouse”, but “houses” is the plural of “house”?
So instead of trying to find a reason for everything, the best thing to do is just memorize the strange exceptions and move on.
2. Slow Down Your Speaking Speed
You might be an eloquent speaker when it comes to your mother tongue, but expecting the same standards when speaking in a foreign language may not be very realistic. To overcome this difficulty, you may try slowing down your speaking speed.
Nobody will hold it against you if you speak more slowly and clearly. Great speakers do the same to get their message across. Selecting your words carefully may also be seen as a sign of respect towards your audience. It shows that you want to give them the best possible answer.
3. Remember the Answer Is in the Question
Listen carefully when someone asks you a question in English and you’ll answer perfectly every time. English questions are like mirrors:
Does he…..? Yes, he does.
Can she….? Yes, she can.
Is it….? Yes, it is.
If someone asks you a question and you’re not sure how to answer, start by thinking about the words used in the question. The person has already said most of the words you need to make your answer. Instead of just memorizing English grammar, start to look for patterns like this one. There are a lot of simple ways to “cheat” and make it easier to remember the right words.
4. You can memorize Fixed or set phrases
These are phrases whose words are usually fixed in a certain order. They can be verb patterns, idioms, collocations – basically anything we always say in one particular way. For example,
- during the day
- in the meantime
- It’s been a long time since
- Sorry to bother/trouble you, but…
- Would you mind if…?
- Oh, come on!
- I’m just kidding!
- For what it’s worth,…
- To be right/wrong about
- Tit for tat/an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth
5. Get More out of Listening
Try listening not just to what the words mean, but to how the person says them. Notice which words the person links together in a sentence, or when they say “ya” instead of “you.” Try to remember these details the next time you speak and your English will begin to sound more natural.
Easier said than done, right? When you listen to native English speakers, it can be hard to understand every single word that is spoken. They might use many words you don’t know, talk too fast or have a strong accent. So, find people you can practise with – either on Skype, or on language exchange sites.