Ways to Learn to Speak English Well
I have been an editor of English as a Foreign Language textbooks for many years, so I know that many students struggle with learning to speak English fluently. Here are several things students can do to learn to speak English well.
Take an English Class
Find a language school near you and sign up for a class in English conversation. The class will use a book that focuses on speaking, listening, and pronunciation. (Conversation classes are generally for intermediate or advanced students. If you're still a beginner, a class that includes reading and writing will be a better fit.) A good teacher will also bring in authentic English materials, such as videos, books, and songs for you to learn from.
Volunteer to speak and answer questions. A good teacher will make sure that everyone has a chance to speak, but shy students may not get as much practice. The key to speaking English well is practice!
Talk with a Native English Speaker
Meet with a native English speaker on a regular basis to practice your conversation skills. You can ask your friends or a teacher for a recommendation, or advertise locally. It is common to pay for this service, but it may not be expensive. A licensed English teacher will charge more than a college student will.
Meet someplace quiet, like a coffee shop, so that you can hear clearly. Bring a notepad and pen for writing down new vocabulary and idioms. You may feel funny at first, but just start talking. Talk about the weather, the last movie you saw, your plans for the weekend, or anything friends talk about over coffee. If there is a special area you want to focus on, tell that to your partner. If you are looking for a job that requires you to speak English, role-play pertinent scenarios together. For example, if you want to work in a store, practice clothing vocabulary and customer service language.
Learn English from Videos
There are many high-quality videos available online to help people learn English. Some videos offer tips for increasing fluency in English. Watch these videos for strategies you can use to speak better. Other videos show people having conversations similar to those in English textbooks. Speak along with them, or pause the video to practice correct pronunciation.
Use Apps to Improve Speaking
Many people have smartphones and tablets these days. If you use one, check out the apps available for your device. There may be good apps that can help you practice your English speaking anytime. Read the reviews to make sure the app is right for you before spending your money. Here are some suggestions:
for Android devices
Clear Speech From the Start
Everyday English Vol.A
Speak Perfect English - Basic
English Listening 1000
Videochat in English
If you can't meet someone in person to practice speaking, try videochat. Set up a time to use Skype or Facetime with a friend from English class or a native English speaker, and practice talking. If you can't find someone you know to chat with, or you only have time late at night, find someone online in a videochat room. There are even some videochat services designed especially for students of English.
Another option is to make a short video of you speaking English and then post it on your social network. Have your friends watch and comment on your fluency and pronunciation.
Watch TV in English
In your free time, try watching TV or movies in English instead of your native language. Your listening comprehension will improve, and you will benefit from hearing the authentic pronunciation and speed of the actors' speech. If you cannot follow the action in a DVD the first time you watch it, keep the sound on in English, but put on the subtitles in your native language. That way you can hear the English, but check your understanding at the same time. The next time you watch, you won't need the subtitles anymore.
The Most Important Thing to Do to Speak English Well?
It's no secret: Practice, practice, practice!