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Improve Your Spoken English

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This article will be a guide on how to improve your spoken English. I’m going to assume you are a serious student of English, and therefore have bought at least one language course. But owning an English course isn’t enough to improve your spoken English. You need to use the course the right way, to maximize the benefits.

First, whenever you watch a video in the course, or listen to an audio of the native speakers, you need to do the following:

* Always hit PAUSE, and repeat after the speaker.

Echoing what a native speaker says — even if you didn’t completely understand it — is extremely important to your success in English. Again, don’t worry if you completely understood the speaker. Children echo the things they hear all the time, but they don’t always know what they’re saying.

* Create your own constructions

A top-quality English course will obviously teach you with constructions. But they can’t show you every possible construction for each word or phrase. They will show you the basic ones, but you need to take it further. For example…Let’s say your English course just taught you this construction:

In my room I have _____ . (a bed, a closet, a dresser, a desk, a lamp)

So, after you’ve said (out loud, of course) each version: “In my room I have a bed. In my room I have a closet…” and so on, you want to add your own choices. Add other answers that the course didn’t list. Like, “In my room I have a guitar.” Or, “In my room I have a television.” Do as many of those as you can. And then, create your own, new construction, similar to the original. (This is technically known as “Construction branching.”) For example:


In my home I have ______ . (a pool, an office, a jacuzzi, a pool table)

In my office I have ______ . (a computer, a printer, a fax, a secretary)

In my ___ I have _____ . (Can you create your own construction?)

Finally, to improve your spoken English, you must…

* Make flashcards

Buy a package of small, blank recipe cards. They usually measure 4 inches long and 3 inches tall. Then cut them in half. (So the cards will be 2 inches wide, 3 inches tall.) On one side, write the new phrase or construction you learned. On the other side, write the meaning, either in your native language, or using simpler English words. As you study your cards, make an ‘X’ next to each phrase you get wrong. Then, you can spend extra time with the phrases that have the most ‘X’s by them.

So, to summarize: Repeat after the native speakers. Create your own constructions. And put everything on flashcards. Do this, and you will definitely improve your spoken English.

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About the author

Mark Thomson is an expert in both learning and teaching language. Among the courses he has created are: Master Fluent English, Speak Fluent English, and the English Mastery Method series.

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