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How to learn to speak English fluently and competently: 16 simple tips

The skill of speaking is the most important in learning any foreign language. Some students admit that they easily master the grammar, read foreign literature with pleasure and listen to audio recordings calmly. But when it comes to speaking in English, they fall into the state of "I understand everything, but I can not answer." And this often happens not because of a lack of knowledge or a limited vocabulary, but because of a lack of speaking practice and a psychological barrier.

Фото: Depositphotos

Edition Englex I understood not the psychological, but the linguistic reasons that can stand between you and the fruitful communication in English, and also told about ways to solve them.

Lack of language skills

The vocabulary of native speakers is 10 000 - 20 000 words. Anyone who studies English, for comfortable communication on everyday topics is enough 2 000 words, which corresponds to the level Pre-Intermediate. To begin speaking, you must master a minimum grammatical margin: the present tense - Present (Simple, Continuous, Perfect); past time - Past Simple; future time: Future simple and design be going to; modal verbs: have, must, may, might, should; indirect speech; passive voice. If your knowledge of English is at level Elementary or Beginneryou need to pull them up Pre-Intermediate. If you have already overcome this level, then you are ready to communicate in English. Yes, such conversations will not be ideal and easy, but you will definitely be able to express your thoughts in accessible ways.

Nothing to say on the topic

If it seems to you that you don’t know what to talk about at all, start with the development of Russian. Take any object or phenomenon. Think about what thoughts and emotions you are experiencing towards him. Try to find several sub-topics in this broad topic. Then talk about this subject or phenomenon for at least one or two minutes. Exhale Try the same thing, but in English.

Structure of the answer to oral questions

Let's imagine that you are asked a simple question. For example: What is your favorite kind of food? - What is your favorite food? If panic arises in your head and the gastronomic variety creates complete chaos, take your time. The fate of humanity does not depend on your answer now. Think calmly and only then speak according to the approximate scheme: Introductory sentence - Answer - Reason / Example - Conclusion.

By practicing answering questions according to such a scheme, you can get rid of the problem “I have nothing to say.”

16 recommendations how to solve the problems listed above:

1. We learn new words

The more words you know, the more conversational topics are available to you and the more accurately you can express your thoughts. Therefore, fascinated by conversational practice, do not forget to replenish your vocabulary.

2. We make our speech lively and natural.

To make your speech beautiful and natural, while studying a new word, look in the dictionary, where its synonyms and antonyms, as well as phrasal verbs and idioms associated with it are indicated. So you diversify your speech and increase vocabulary.

3. Learn phrases

If you ask modern polyglots how to learn to speak English quickly, many of them will answer in the same way: “Learn cliche phrases and speech constructs”. Expressions like Let's talk briefly about... (Let's talk briefly about ...) I am inclined to believe that... (I tend to think that ...) I've got an impression that... (I have the impression that ...) will help you start the conversation correctly and beautifully. But what if you didn’t understand what you were told? You need to learn to capture keywords in the statement. Pay special attention to nouns and verbs, because they are the main words in any sentence. The rest will become clear from the general context of the utterance, intonation, emotions, facial expressions and gestures of the speaker. More often engage in listening and get used to the sound of someone else's speech. In the meantime, you can ask the other person to repeat:

Screenshot from Englex

4. We activate the vocabulary

Active vocabulary - those words that you use in speech or in writing, passive - learn in someone else's speech or when reading, but do not use. The more your active vocabulary, the more ways you can express yourself and the easier it is for you to speak English. Work on its expansion: learn new words and bring them into your speech.

5. Learning to paraphrase

If you are afraid that during a conversation you may forget a certain word, then do not worry, because you can learn rallying point — an indirect, descriptive designation of an object. And in order for you to be able to paraphrase, we will give some tips. If you forget a compound word, use a simpler one: a department storea supermarket (Department store). Use that, which, whoTo describe a subject or object: Ifor the home. - This is a large store that sells food and other products for the home. Use antonyms and comparisons: It is the opposite to a neighborhood shop. = It's not a neighborhood shop. “It’s the opposite of a convenience store.” Use examples: “Sainsbury's ”and“ Tesco ”are examples of best supermarkets. - Sainsbury's and Tesco - examples of the best supermarkets.

6. Learn to ask questions

The strategy of any successful conversation is to talk less about yourself and be more interested in the opinions of other people. To do this, you need to master the scheme of constructing the main types of questions. For example, a person tells you that he loves to decorate his apartment. I like decorating my flat. - I like to do apartment decor. Think about what questions you could ask this person? What materials do you like the most? - What materials do you like the most? Did you learn something about decor? - Have you studied something on the decor? Could you please show me your best work? - Do not show your best work? Would you like to take part in some decorators contest? - Would you like to take part in the contest of decorators?

7. We use a special tutorial

Handbooks for the development of oral speech are a good help for every English learner. They give you topics for conversation, interesting ideas and expressions, as well as new phrases that can be successfully used in any conversation.

8. Improving pronunciation

Work on pronunciation: if you confuse sounds or pronounce them unclearly, the likelihood that you will be understood is greatly reduced. Want to talk right? Imitate the speeches of those people who speak clearly and clearly. You can emulate your English teacher, BBC announcer, favorite actor, or English friend, if you have one. When you learn to clearly pronounce the sounds, you will have the fear of being misunderstood, and you will not be embarrassed by your accent.

9. We are engaged in modern listening

Listening in English does not have to be monotonous or frightening. You can train the perception of English speech by ear on modern podcasts, audio series and radio shows. Some of them are adapted for learning, others contain useful conversational phrases from real live speech of native speakers. Even if you have little free time to study, you can install on your smartphone applications with podcasts, radio programs and audio dramas. Listen to them on the way to work, during the lunch break, while traveling, while shopping, etc. We advise you to listen to the same recording several times. If possible, you can repeat after the speaker. This simple technique will improve your listening skills.

10. Watch the videos

How to quickly learn to speak English using video? - Watch videos of the topics you are interested in, listen to how and what native speakers say, and repeat after them. So you will not only master colloquial phrases, but you can also learn the correct articulation by imitating the characters in the video. Many videos for people with different levels of language proficiency can be viewed on the resources:,, One of the best resources that you probably know is the portal of educational videos from the best lecturers in the TED world.

Фото: Depositphotos

11. Singing songs

Favorite English songs can help you improve your speaking skills. Open the lyrics of the song that you like and include it in the recordings. Listen to the artist and repeat the text behind him. Try to keep up with the pace of the soloist’s speech and at the same time pronounce the words as clearly as possible.

12. We read aloud and retell read

Reading aloud works in the same way as listening to video and audio, only here you read the text yourself and retell what you read. As a result, new words and phrases are remembered.

13. Record your voice

Choose a common topic, such as a story about your favorite book. Turn on the recorder on your smartphone or laptop and record your voice. After that, turn on the recording and carefully listen to it. Pay attention to the times when you have a hitch, where you delay the pause, how fast you speak, good pronunciation and correct intonation. Usually the first entries for learners of English are not a test for the faint of heart: first, we are not used to hearing ourselves from the outside, and secondly, the English-speaking speech at the first steps of learning sounds strange and incomprehensible. We encourage you not to despair. Imagine that this is not your voice, but of some outsider student who really wants to learn English. What would you advise him to work on? After a month or two, compare the first and last entries: the difference will be noticeable, and this will inspire you to further feats in learning English.

14. We speak as often as possible

Do you dream in your free time to speak English, but your friends are not interested? Try participating in conversational clubs with other English learners. Such meetings are held both live and online. This is a great opportunity to start talking and getting used to someone else's speech. In a relaxed atmosphere, you can talk on various topics, occasionally screw up interesting words and turns that you heard somewhere, and just have a good time.

15. Find yourself a partner

You bought a subscription to a fitness club, but you quit playing sports after a couple of months? You decided to master the guitar, but your enthusiasm faded away and you switched to something new? Perhaps you just do not have enough motivation and support. You need someone who will support the desire to learn English. Try to find a friend who will attend courses and conversational clubs with you, communicate on various topics and motivate you to continue your studies.

16. We do not theorize

Practice, practice and only the practice of speaking will bring the desired results. One theory will not be enough: no matter how you read useful tips on how to start speaking in English, the language will not be given to you until you start applying all the tips in practice. Yes, you yourself know it. Whatever you undertake, whether driving, cooking or yoga in hammocks, without practice, theoretical benefits will become waste paper.

Read also on ForumDaily:

12 songs that you can learn to speak English

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Useful YouTube Channels to Learn English

6 rules that help you understand the differences between English and Russian

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