29 Dec 2016
Learning to Speak Better English
Sounds English seems appropriate for this particular article.
We can communicate by written or visual means (using signals, gestures or pictures, for example road signs) – usually understandable in any language.
The most common form of communication in any language is verbal – that means speaking.
Human beings have been communicating using voice and sound for thousands of years – although definitive proof of the exact time period is sketchy, with many experts disagreeing about the origins of spoken language as we know it today.
What is clear is that our speech has evolved through the ages, as our brains have developed, people have begun to mix, travel and share. Proof of this lies in the number of new words that are added to the various reference dictionaries every year.
So, how do you learn to speak English? Here are some of our tips.
Firstly, we say listen, read and, of course speak.
However, it’s important to practice these skills and not just accept what you hear. Challenge yourself, listen to intonation of particular words. Why are certain words stressed?
This could be to reinforce a point or ask a question, but only with practice will you understand why and when this happens. This is why a child’s language skills are (usually) developed in the following order:
It follows then, that to be competent (or fluent) in English, you should learn to speak it first – the rest should follow naturally.
In previous articles, we’ve talked about not just translating from your Mother tongue. This is because, often, words are in a different order and, translated directly, don’t make sense – and because you need to change the way your brain behaves and think about what you are saying.
You may know a lot of single words when you first start learning English, but putting them into a meaningful sentence is a different skill.
When you’re learning to do this, don’t concentrate too much on the grammar rules you will have been taught. Your speech in English should become automatic, and, whilst grammar is important for writing, it’s more important to be understood when you speak.
Finally, spend time with people whose native language is English.
The speed at which you learn the English language will increase the more you are exposed to it and, therefore forced to listen and interact.
Visiting English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand if you can, will benefit you greatly. This is because you’ll be immersed in the language itself – you’ll have no choice!
The resources you’ll have access to by becoming a member of soundsenglish.com will help you to achieve your goal of speaking English fluently.
We’ve been teaching English to students all over the world for over 20 years, with over 200 lessons from beginner to advanced, FREE English language tests and resources.
Why not become a member today?