How to improve your English speaking skills by Rachel Rowland (ABC School’s Academic Coordinator)
English Students tend to believe that their ability to speak English is the product of language learning but speaking is also a very important part of the language learning process. Some language learners lack confidence when it comes to participating in group conversations and tend to remain silent and let others do the talking. This is because speaking is a highly challenging skill for most learners to acquire and there is always a fear of making mistakes. In order to carry out basic social transactions, such as ordering food in a restaurant, students need to speak with a degree of confidence. It is even more challenging when there is a need to develop speaking skills in order to make friends, impress people or argue your opinions. In this article, I will look at some ideas to help you gain confidence when speaking in English.
Practise the language in the country of its origin
It is very beneficial for language students to fully immerse themselves in the new language they are learning. When we know more about the people we are interacting with, we have a greater chance of saying the right thing at the right time. In addition, learning about how local people live and communicate introduces a human side to the language, which maintains our interest in the learning process. Travelling to the country where the language originates from will give you the opportunity to practise using the language in real-life contexts. You will not only be able to hear how native speakers communicate but you will also be able to join in their conversations!
English language courses
Living and studying in the UK can be very daunting and there are so many English language courses available which can be a minefield for students. At ABC Language School, in the heart of London, we will ensure that your language needs are taken care of. Through a combined learning approach, using the Callan Method and General English, you will learn English very quickly. New words and phrases will be repeated in Callan classes until you feel comfortable saying them and have a good understanding of their meaning. The question-answer format ensures that you are actively involved in hearing and speaking the language constantly. Through this constant repetition of the new words and phrases, you will be able to develop confidence in no time at all! You will also have the opportunity to practise using the language more freely if you combine Callan classes with one of our General English classes.
Living with a host family
Living with a host family can help you to understand the local language more easily, and can also help you to appreciate the culture of the country you are living in. Living with a local family means that you become a part of the family. You will be able to share your life stories during meal times. Sitting together at a dinner table offers opportunities to practise your conversation skills and also offers a fun way to learn new words and phrases. It will probably take a little time to get used to the different food and eating at different times but this is a part of the cultural experience. You will also spend time with the family participating in everyday activities, such as going to the supermarket or watching films together in English. Just think how amazing it would be to learn a new language whilst using the new words and phrases in real-life situations! At ABC Language School, we work with wonderful host families who really enjoy getting to know our students from all over the world. All of our host families will make you feel very welcome and will be happy to show you around our wonderful city.
Making mistakes is the best way to learn
Making mistakes is an important part of the language learning process. Fluent speech with some errors can often communicate more effectively than accurate but painfully hesitant speech. Students often expect to have every mistake corrected but this is not helpful during speaking activities which are designed to improve spoken fluency. Our General English classes allow learners to make mistakes and provide them with opportunities to think for themselves and to self-correct. Common mistakes are always noted down by the teacher who will then go through them later on. In this way, the flow of conversation is not interrupted and you build confidence more quickly. You cannot always rely on your teacher to correct you. In the real world, your teacher will not be there every time you go to a supermarket or go out for dinner in a restaurant. Researchers have found that if we make mistakes, we will learn from them and agree that we should see mistakes as learning opportunities. Think about the last time you made an embarrassing mistake. Now think about whether you’ll ever make the same mistake again. I doubt that you will! The only way to improve your speaking skills is to get out there and give it your best shot. You can’t get better at speaking a language unless you give it a try! You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
There is no doubt that learning English whilst living in the UK will quickly enhance your speaking skills and there will be ample opportunities to make new friends and immerse yourself into a new way of life. Ultimately, the best way to improve your English language skills quickly is to sign up for one of our combined courses and to stay with one of our wonderful host families in the heart of London.
We would love to see you at our school in the near future. Why not make it your New Year’s resolution for 2021 to study English whilst living in the best city in the world! This year, it’s time to put you first!