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Learn English Speaking: Top 3 Techniques

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Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to learn to speak English? Do you ever feel that you are going too slowly, and that you’ll never reach your goal with English? Well, the problem isn’t with you. It’s with the techniques you’re using to learn English. And so, in this article I’d like to show you the Top 3 techniques to learn English speaking.

Technique #1: Learning from context

If you’ve read some of my other articles, you may have heard me talk about contextual learning. If so, you already understand the power of this method. But if it’s new to you, let me show you how it works. Let’s try to learn the Swahili word “mitaani.” Here it is in context:

Girl crossing street

Every time I went outside, my mother would tell me, “Make sure you look both ways before you cross the mitaani.”

…or…

Directions

Imagine giving someone directions: “Drive north for two blocks and then turn right onto 42nd mitaani.”

What’s important is that I never told you what mitaani means. Your brain figured it out very easily from the context, that it means “street.”

Your brain is designed to learn meaning from context, which is why it seems so easy and natural. So make sure you use this technique in your studies of English, (or any other language.)

Technique #2: Learning grammar through patterns (not rules)

Grammar seems like a scary thing for many students, but it’s actually a very simple idea. Grammar is simply the patterns of how words change and how they work together in a language. And instead of memorizing lists (which is slow and unnatural), the best and easiest thing to do is have someone show you the patterns.

For example: If you’re teaching someone how the present simple verb tense works in English, you could explain to them the rule: “In the third person singular, most regular verb forms add an ‘s’ at the end of the word, unless the verb ends with an s, a ch, sh, or certain vowels like an o.”

Rules like this are why people hate grammar.

But the problem is with the teacher (or the textbook), and not the student! Your brain would prefer to just see the pattern of how the words change. Like this…

I work.
You work.
He works.

I think.
You think.
She thinks.

I write.
You write.
He ….?

….He writes, of course. Grammar is so simple when you stop explaining rules. Just show me the pattern. I can see the rule for myself. This is how I learned English as a child, and it’s how you should learn, too.

The last technique to learn English speaking is:

Technique #3: Use constructions

A construction is what’s known as a fill-in-the-blank sentence. Everything in the sentence stays the same except for what goes in the blank. Like this:

Can you hand me that _____ ?

Here are just a few words a speaker might use in this construction: towel, hammer, box, pen

Can you hand me that towel?
Can you hand me that hammer?
Can you hand me that box?
Can you hand me that pen?

There is much more to say about constructions. This is only the most basic part of the idea. But for certain, it is one of the top three techniques to learn English speaking.

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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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