A little bit of practice can go a long way.
In my last post, I discussed how to improve your writing skills. While that was certainly useful for any professional who wants to get a leg up on their competition, it’s not as useful for someone trying to learn American English.
This is especially true when it comes to speaking. Even if you know how to write, it’s important to get out of your comfort zone and practice your new skills.
STEP 1: Know What You Want To Say
The first thing you need to do is to have a clear idea of what you want to say. If you don’t, you’ll be lost in translation.
Start by picking a topic that you want to discuss, and then find a good resource to read up on. There are a ton of great books on Amazon, and even some free resources.
STEP 2: Watch Videos of People Speaking
The next thing you need to do is watch videos of people speaking. Find examples of people talking about your topic, or people from your target audience.
If you’re lucky, you can find videos of native speakers on YouTube. Alternatively, you can use apps like Reverbnate to record yourself speaking.
STEP 3: Record Yourself Speaking
When you watch videos and listen to people speak, you’ll notice that they all have certain common traits. For example, most people will start with an introduction, tell you what they want to say, and end with a conclusion.
These patterns are universal, and will make it easier to mimic. To record yourself speaking, you can either do so with a smartphone or webcam, or with a mic connected to your computer.
STEP 4: Translate What You Heard Into Your Own Words
Now that you’ve recorded yourself speaking, you’re going to translate what you heard into your own words.
First, write down what you think the speaker said. Then, use your knowledge of English grammar and syntax to fill in the gaps.
STEP 5: Listen to the Recording Over and Over Again
This is the most important part of the process. This is where you get to practice listening to yourself.
Try listening to the recording over and over again, until you can recognize every word and phrase.
STEP 6: Create a Lesson Plan
Finally, you’re ready to create your lesson plan. This can be done in a number of ways, but the easiest is to create a spreadsheet with each step broken down.
For example, your first lesson might be “introduction”, and your second lesson might be “conclusion”. Your third lesson would be “what did they say”, and so on.
STEP 7: Practice Speaking
Finally, you’re ready to start practicing your new skills. The most important part of this is getting feedback.
Ask friends and family for feedback, or ask your local community center for help.
Thanks for reading!