English is an indispensable language if one wants to survive and excel in today’s environment. From research to business, governance to broadcasting, English is being increasingly adopted across the world. However, countries where English is a second language face a special challenge – while students are able to understand and write English well, they are not very fluent in spoken English. The reasons for this are twofold: not being able to think in English directly, and not being familiar with the numerous expressions in English that collectively add up to a natural speaking style.
Can anything be done about this? Absolutely, which is why we thought we should share these tips for improving spoken English with you:
- Watch the accent: People from different geographies have a characteristic accent. This accent is easily identifiable, and makes its way effortlessly into spoken English as well. For example, English spoken in the United Kingdom has a very different flavor than English spoken in the United States. In any case, it’s a good idea to work on neutralizing your accent, which means getting it in line with the native English speakers. You can do this easily by going through a good course.
- Study pronunciations: English is not a phonetic friendly language. This means that there is no direct relation between groups of words as they are spoken and as they are written. For instance, we all know that “gut” and “put” are to be spoken differently, even though they are written in the same pattern. These were simple examples, but there are many more important words that are poorly pronounced by many people. And this can become embarrassing for you, unless you pay special attention to it and work on it consciously.
- Listen to spoken English: Just as you learn your native language by listening to people around you, you can learn spoken English by listening to the native English speakers. If that is not possible, watch TV programs in English, radio broadcasts specially BBC, and whatever else you can lay your hands on. The more you come in contact with it, the sooner your spoken English will take a turn for the better.
Working on spoken English needs effort. This means following a trusted plan and sticking to it. We have selected some very helpful books for you to improve your spoken English skills. Have a look; you’ll definitely find something that you like.