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How to start speaking English

Have you been learning English for a while but still can’t say a sentence? Or, maybe you’ve just started learning and don’t feel confident speaking? Whatever your situation may be, here are a few useful tips on how to get started. Remember, learning is a process and making mistakes is part of it!

Start listening

First and foremost, start listening to the English language. Nowadays, we are surrounded by countless resources, from radio and movies to podcasts and vlogs. It’s easy, search for what you’re interested in and start listening. The more you immerse yourself in English, the better. Listening just 10 minutes a day will make a great difference. If you’re lucky enough to live in an English-speaking country, then listening to native speakers’ conversations is another fantastic way of getting to know the language. This will help you build your own sentences by taking words and expressions you hear and using them yourself.

Don’t memorise, learn the meaning

It may seem like memorising certain structures could help you along the way, yet this is not the best way of being able to continue a conversation. When you hear a new word or expression it is worth checking the meaning and learning it by associating it with something you know. For example, if you are a visual learner pictures might help you, if you are kinaesthetic, you may want to think of using gestures as a way to remember. It is, however, very important that you will understand the meaning of the words you want to say as well as try to comprehend other peoples’ discourse.

Read aloud

Reading aloud is particularly helpful with your pronunciation. It makes you think about how the words should be pronounced before you say them out loud. It’s even more helpful if you could record yourself and listen back to evaluate your speaking and hear yourself in English. Of course, read a text that’s suitable to your level and a text that interests you, don’t spend time reading something which you find boring.

Don’t compare yourself to others

What you have to understand is that every individual learns in a different way and at a different speed. There are many factors which contribute to this. The fact that you already have enough motivation to learn a foreign language is a lot. There is no point in comparing yourself to other people. Also, you shouldn’t rush, take your time to understand the language rather than *learn by heart.

Practice with an English speaker

This is probably the best advice I can give you. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, start talking with a stranger, use the English you already have and begin conversing with people. Start with short conversations, and ask for time or directions when you’re on holiday. See if there are any conversation groups you can join, it may be where you live or online. As an English teacher I also help with conversation, just send me a message.

*learn by heart - learn something by memorising it


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