Speaking in a foreign language is one of the more gratifying aspects of language learning. Being able to convey your thoughts to others in a way they understand. Wow, great stuff.
My very first bit of advice is to chill, don’t get hung up on trying to seem just like a native speaker. Would you start learning the piano in an effort to seem like a famous pianist? The first rule of speaking English is to learn how to speak clearly and concisely and remember you will not just be speaking to native speakers: There are approximately 380 million native speakers out there, but as many as a billion people speak English as another language. English is the Lingua Franca, the common language. As such it is important that newcomers first master the ability to speak before we hold them accountable for speaking properly.
Be patient with yourself. Learning any language can be frustrating, but frustration won’t assist you, so let it go.
Avoid using idioms and slang, understand them but do not use them. It might sound clever to say “You are barking up the wrong tree,” but if you use it in the wrong situation, or when the other person simply does not know you, you will only look silly, you may insult the other person.
Get over any fear you might have of making errors. You may make errors.
Use a shorter word when another, longer more complicated word would do. Read that again.
Short paragraphs are equally as good (if not better) than long rambling explanations. The value in what you need to say is what you say, not just how smart you look or sound when you say it.
Moot point: take every opportunity you have to speak with people in English. Speak to friends that are also learning English.
Look at other English environments:
- Yahoo! Messenger: Search for individuals with the same interests as you. It is no good asking everyone you meet to assist you with your English, instead develop natural friendships based on your hobbies. Eventually, you’ll make friends and they will be much more inclined to give you correction/advice.
- Singing: Try singing along to English songs. With friends or in the solitude of your bathroom. Tons of the main games consoles have karaoke games nowadays.
- Join an English club or conversation group. Around the globe there are many English speaking clubs, these clubs aren’t just for expats but for people considering the English way of life. They can be friendly and fun.
- If there isn’t one in your area – start one! Put an advertisement in your paper for individuals considering starting a group or visit Meetup.
- Get on iTalki (www.italki.com). Find language partners willing to exchange language on skype or chat programs.
- Go to an English theme pub or British food shop, you can generally find one at the bigger cities. Often, the waiters and waitresses come from English-speaking countries, the menu is often in English too! Force yourself to speak in their language.
- When your English is great enough, go shopping in some tourist areas. You’ll discover that a number of shop assistants speak very good English.
- If you’re able to travel, travel to English speaking countries.
Accents don’t matter as much as they did in years and decades gone by. It is possible to spend a fortune and squander a lot of time trying to “eliminate” your accent. Time and money that you could spend learning more English. Therefore, unless you’re up for a role in a film, don’t be worried about your accent too much. Nevertheless, people will need to be able to understand you, therefore pronunciation and enunciation are still very important.
Oddly enough, Read. Reading, and particularly saying words and phrases out of your reading is one of the better methods for increasing your vocabulary and exercising your fluency. Reading can provide you the language you want to be a confident speaker. The combination of reading and speaking will enable the brain to become accustomed to new terminology, and this will grow your potential to speak well too.
Listening when coupled with studying will fill your brain with phrases you understand and will finally have the ability to use. You might want to imitate out loud the odd word or term, even as you’re listening. This is sometimes known as shadowing. But you need more practice in getting out the words. Listen a few minutes to content for which you have the transcript, and in which you like the voice and how the individual speaks. After listening, read the identical text out loud trying to mimic the way the individual speaks. Focus on the rhythm and intonation. Do not worry about words that you mispronounce, get the flow and rhythm right for now.
The main thing to consider is can people understand you? If you can get that right you’re on the right track.
Source: Speak Proper Blog