If you’ve been wondering how you can learn to improve your English speaking skills, you probably already know that it’s not an easy thing to do. Speaking English (and making sure that others understand you) isn’t something you can just study in a book. Unlike grammar, reading, and writing exercises, you need some real-life practice to learn how to speak English.
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How to learn English speaking easily—step by step
Below, we give you six great tips for fun and easy ways to get comfortable speaking English. Lucky for you, there are learning opportunities everywhere. If you’re ready to learn to speak English like a pro, let’s get started!
- Focus on phrases
- Practice in real life
- Talk to Google
- Try tongue twisters
- Keep an audio journal
- Listen to music (and sing along!)
1. Focus on phrases
You might think that the best way to learn English is to learn as many words as possible. While learning English vocabulary words is an important part of speaking, it’s not everything. Simply studying a list of hundreds of unrelated words won’t help you express your ideas or ask questions.
A much better way is to learn English phrases, not individual words. Learning common phrases is much more efficient than trying to remember a bunch of words that may not even be useful in your everyday life.
2. Practice in real life
Let’s be honest: practicing English in real life (with real people!) can be scary at first. But if you really want to learn how to speak English, this is a big one. Once you get over that fear, going out and practicing in the world is so important. This way, you’ll learn useful, everyday English (idioms and slang, for example) that will help you sound like a native speaker.
This kind of practice can take many forms. For example, you could go to a store and ask a salesperson questions about an item they’re selling. You could go to a restaurant to order food. Maybe you could ask a local for directions to a well-known landmark. You can even join a local meetup group to hang out with people who have similar interests as you—and practice your English at the same time.
3. Talk to Google
Okay, real-life practice is great, but maybe you’re someone who wants to get comfortable speaking English at home. If so, this one’s for you! For this exercise, all you need is your phone. Try using the voice command of the Google app on your phone. First, make sure the app is set to English. Next, try saying words or sentences into the app. When you’re finished, you’ll get automatic feedback because the app will show you what it thinks you said. If you notice that it’s displaying incorrect words (for example, it thinks you said “bark” when you really said “park”), you’ll know which sounds you need to practice more.
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4. Try tongue twisters
Like every language, English requires you to use specific mouth and tongue positions in order to pronounce words correctly. These can be really difficult if you’re not a native speaker. It takes time and hard work to develop the right mouth muscles and master those pronunciation positions!
So, you probably want to know how to learn proper pronunciation in English, right?
The answer is tongue twisters! These fun phrases will help you by making you repeat difficult sounds. And as you improve, try to challenge yourself by seeing how fast you can go. There are lots of English tongue twisters to choose from—just do a quick Google search.
5. Keep an audio journal
Another way to learn English speaking is by starting an audio journal, meaning you’ll record yourself speaking. A good idea is to take some time every evening to talk about what happened during the day. It doesn’t have to be super interesting: You can just talk about what you ate, where you went, etc.
Here’s something you might find helpful: Whenever something happens in your day, try narrating it in your head (in English). Just observe what’s happening and try to describe it to yourself in your mind. This is an added bit of practice and will help you remember what you want to say in your audio journal later.
Keeping an audio journal will make you more comfortable expressing your ideas and will help you learn to speak English fluently. You can also listen to your journal regularly to identify speaking errors that you should work on (hearing these things will get easier the more you do it).
6. Listen to music (and sing along!)
No matter what kind of songs you’re into, music can help you learn English! First, think of a song that you like. Next, do a Google search to find the words (lyrics) to that song. Then, play the song or music video once or twice so you know what to expect. Finally, play it again and sing along. Singing is a stress-free, enjoyable way to practice English. Pretty soon, you’ll be singing your favorite English songs without needing the lyrics. Try it—you’ll like it!
Learn to speak English and have fun doing it
Now that you know how to improve your English speaking skills, what are you waiting for? By focusing on useful phrases, practicing in real life, and doing fun exercises like sing-alongs and tongue twisters, you’ll be on your way to English fluency (and you won’t even feel like you’re studying)! And if you need a little extra help from native English speakers, Lingoda is here for you. Start a 7-day free trial today to see how our expert teachers can help level up your English!
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Andrea is a Canadian freelance writer and editor specializing in English, e-learning, EdTech, and SaaS. She has a background as an ESL teacher in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. In her free time, Andrea loves hanging out with her husband and son, creating recipes in the kitchen, and reading fiction. She also loves camping and jumping into lakes whenever possible. Learn more about Andrea on LinkedIn or check out her website.