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25 ways to improve your own spoken English

Good spoken English is very important because it allows you to better convey your thoughts and ideas to the interlocutor. But when each sentence has to be squeezed out of ourselves through the pain of restoring words and phrases in memory, we feel insecure and restless, and we would like to participate on equal terms in English-language discussions and share our impressions with friends.

Photo: Shutterstock

Here are 25 ways to improve your English on your own.

1. Record yourself when you speak English

Listening to yourself will seem strange at first, but you will get used to it. Play a short audio recording of a native English speaker, then record yourself, repeat the phrase, analyze the differences, and try again. Your pronunciation will improve over time. An excellent tool for such recordings is Soundcloud.

2. Read aloud, especially dialogues

Reading aloud is not the same as talking, but it is very useful for exercising your vocal muscles. Read aloud for 5-10 minutes a day and you will notice which sounds are the most difficult for you to pronounce. Find transcriptions of dialogues and practice reading them with a friend, this is also useful for memorizing frequently used English expressions.

3. Sing in English in the shower or while driving

Popular song lyrics often use colloquial vocabulary, so you can learn common colloquial phrases while singing. Human memory is designed in such a way that memorizing words that sound to music is easier than just memorizing poetry without music.

4. Watch short videos and repeat what you hear

You Tube is a great resource for learning foreign languages, and you most likely already have favorite channels. It is very helpful to watch short videos in English and memorize them. On long videos, your attention may be scattered. The key to success with this exercise is to listen really carefully and focus on words and pronunciation.

5. Learn head and consonant sounds in English

Phonetic table - a list of vowels and consonants in the English language. Learning how to pronounce these sounds will help you speak English cleaner.

6. Learn to notice schwa

Do you know what schwa is? This is the most common sound in the English language.

We use it all the time in words like teacher and around.

7. Learn strong and weak word forms

English is the language of vocal cues and accents, which means that we can use, shall we say, the strong and weak forms of some words. You need to clearly understand which of them should be highlighted in each sentence.

8. Remember the rules of stress

When there is more than one vowel in a word, it is very important to know which one should be stressed. This is easy to remember if you pay attention to the small vertical bar, which is placed above the stressed vowel in the transcription.

9. Place emphasis in sentences

In each sentence in English, it is customary to highlight a word or phrase with a voice, thus helping the listener to understand what is most important. Highlighting the wrong word or not highlighting anything can cause the listener to become confused or misunderstand what you said.

10. Memorize and use stable communicative expressions

These expressions are always actively used during a conversation, so their knowledge expands your possibilities in a conversation. Do not forget that in addition to the meaning and communicative function of these phrases, it is necessary to learn their correct pronunciation.

11. Learn typical phrases.

Words don't like being alone, they prefer hanging out with friends, just like people. Those who have developed close friendships need to be known and used correctly.

12. Replace regular verbs with phrasal verbs.

Many English learners cannot understand why native speakers use so many phrasal verbs, while there are ordinary ones with the same meaning. English has taken a lot from Latin, so historically it so happened that there are many phrasal verbs in it, and if you want to understand the native speakers of this language, then you need to know and use these verbs.

13. Memorize short automatic responses

Many native speakers answer the questions automatically: right, OK, no problem, alright, fine thanks, just a minute, yup, no way! you're joking, right ?, Do I have to? and so on. Memorize these answers and use them.

14. Practice using narrative style, tell stories in English

People are created to share life stories. Usually, different forms of the past tense are used for the story, but sometimes it can be the present. Learn the intricacies of their application and practice in your stories.

15. Learn to pause

Pronunciation of English words quickly doesn't make you a good speaker. You always need to know where to pause so that the listener thinks over what you said, answer or try to guess what you will say next. Imagine that you are an actor on stage - this is how you need to speak English.

16. Learn to compose words

Combining several words into one or avoiding unnecessary ones is often used in spoken English. An example here is the phrase Nice to meet you, in which it is thrown out as unnecessary. There are many such phrases - they should be learned and used.

17. Memorize common English pronunciation mistakes for native speakers

Native speakers of many languages ​​have varying difficulties with the pronunciation of English sounds. Check out the common mistakes Russian speakers make when pronouncing English sounds and try to fix them.

18. Choose the accent you like and imitate it

We always have an emotional connection with representatives of different nationalities. Choose which pronunciation of English is closer to you (American or British), and try to follow it.

19. Take a famous person as an example and identify what makes him a good speaker.

Do you want to sound like Barack Obama, Steve Jobs or Beyoncé? Choose an authoritative person for yourself and try to repeat her speech patterns and accent.

20. Use a mirror or sheet of paper to identify aspirating sounds.

There are many sounds in English that need to be aspirated, study them and learn how to pronounce them correctly.

21. Practice pronouncing Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters are special phrases designed to improve the pronunciation of English and some of its heaviest sounds.

Try to quickly say: What a terrible tongue twister. What a terrible tongue twister. What a terrible tongue twister.

22. Speak aloud names, dates and numbers

This may sound like a little too primitive advice, but if you don't practice pronouncing them, you may soon forget how to pronounce names, dates, and numbers.

23. Learn typical intonation techniques

Intonation is a rather complex part of the English language, but it is very important for expressing the speaker's emotions and feelings.

24. Learn articulation techniques

Articulation helps us make different sounds. It consists of fixed elements that affect the sound, such as teeth, and those that can be repositioned, such as lips and tongue.

25. Repeat the movements that native English speakers use when speaking

This task will help you cope with this video.

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