How to Improve English Speaking Skills?

How to improve English speaking? A really common question by English learners. Speaking is probably the most problematic skill for most of English learners. There are many reasons for this situation:

· Not being able to practice speaking with other people.
· Not having native English speakers to practice English.
· Feeling shy to speak English.
· Feeling afraid to make mistakes while speaking.
· And many more…

All non-native English speakers have problems in speaking. So, the question is, how can a person improve his or her speaking skills? Well, in order to improve English speaking skills, you should just speak English. But there is a misconception that in order to speak English well, you should always talk to other people in English. Although speaking to other people, especially native English speakers, is one of the best ways to improve English speaking, there are also some other ways by which a person can improve his/her speaking skills. Before we start talking about these ways, there are some things you should know about speaking.

First of all, there are three main skills in speaking; fluency, accuracy and pronunciation. Fluency means being able to speak in a flowing way without interruptions. Accuracy means being able to use correct grammar and vocabulary items appropriately while speaking. Pronunciation means being able to pronounce the words correctly.

Among these 3 skills, fluency is probably the most important. Because if your grammar is good, you don’t generally have problems in terms of accuracy. If your grammar and vocabulary aren’t good, you can just study English grammar and vocabulary to improve accuracy. Also if your vocabulary knowledge is good, I mean if you know the correct pronunciation of the words as well as their meanings, you won’t probably have problems in terms of pronunciation. If your pronunciation isn’t good you can do listening or simply you can just sit and study for pronunciations.

However there is just one way to improve speaking fluency, practicing. Your mouth should work in order to improve speaking fluency. Because people can’t find suitable environments to practice English speaking, fluency is probably the hardest skill to improve. But don’t worry, there are also some alternatives to practice English speaking apart from the natural conversations.

Now that you know the main skills in speaking, we can talk about some ways to practice English speaking.

1) First of all, as we mentioned a bit earlier, one of the best ways to improve English speaking is to talk to other people, especially native English speakers in English. There are two main benefits of this type of practice. First of all you speak English and with practice, your English fluency improves. At the same time, you get new vocabulary items and correct pronunciations etc. from the native speakers. Thus, your accuracy and pronunciation also improve. As a result, this natural type of conversation is really beneficial for all people.

2) A second way to practice English speaking is individual speaking. Here is how you do it; Search some conversation questions on Google. You will find conversation questions with different topics such as family, friends, holidays, relationships, free time etc. There are many good websites which provide conversation questions as lists. After you find a list of conversation questions, ask these questions to yourself and answer these questions by speaking. You will talk to yourself, it’s that simple. You can also record your voice and analyze it with your English teacher. This method is especially perfect to improve your English fluency because you can speak for a long time. Also you don’t need anybody else to do it, you can do it on your own.

3) Another way to improve speaking is reading-aloud. Reading aloud can be really helpful for a person to improve speaking accuracy and fluency. Just get a book for your level and read it aloud every day. By doing this you can improve your speaking fluency and accuracy.

4) Shadowing is another method to improve English speaking. In shadowing, you find a video which is slow enough to be repeated. You start listening and you repeat everything you hear. For this activity, you should find a really competent speaker, preferably a native English speaker. You can search it on YouTube to get more information. So, these are some of the effective ways to improve English speaking. Don’t forget, going to countries such as England or United States is of course effective to improve your English speaking. However, this is not the only way to improve speaking. If you don’t have an opportunity to go to these countries, you can still improve your English with the alternative practice methods we talked about. Just speak at least half an hour everyday through one of the ways we talked about and you will see the difference in a short period of time. Good luck.


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