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How to Learn to Speak English – English Language Learning Methods
Admin - Mar 11 2016
English is continually becoming a global language. It is now being used extensively in business, education and entertainment. Learning to speak English is essential to anyone who wishes to communicate and interact with the rest of the world effortlessly. Like learning any other language, learning to speak English requires willingness, commitment, and persistence. However, should not scare you away as the experience can be fun and rewarding depending on the approach and the methods that you use. Here are a few methods that you can use to learn how to speak English fluently.
Try the direct method
This process is also known as the natural method. It is utilized in schools where all the other subjects are taught in English. This process means that instructions are given in English, and you are not allowed to use your mother tongue. In such a setting, English becomes the target language. The method exploits the use of questions and answers as well as learning vocabulary through visual aids. Dictation, reading aloud, conversation practice and self-correction are also used. One Benefit of using this method is that it helps you understand the target language, which in this case is English, quickly and naturally. Further, it is exciting and motivating because it utilizes activities which ensure increased participation. Another benefit of learning to speak English through the direct method is that you learn to express yourself in English because you are not allowed to use your mother tongue. Finally, using the direct method will help you convert passive vocabulary into active vocabulary. The only criticism that this approach has received is that it is time-consuming and not suitable for slow learners.
Use the Total Physical Response (TPR) method
The learning method has its basis in the fact that infants do not start talking right from birth, but rather spend a lot of time listening and responding to directives. Their responses are however not verbal but physical. For example. if you tell them to clap, they will clap, which is an indication that they understand the instructions you issued. You can utilize the TPR method very well especially if you are surrounded by people who speak English well. Just listen and observe; you will learn a lot.
Try the Immersion method
Immersion is mostly experienced by ESL students who are immersed in an English speaking school community and are expected to learn all the other subjects in school using English. It is also experienced by people visiting a foreign country where English is the language of daily use. The advantage of using this method is that you get to hear the language being spoken in real life, which ensures that you learn how to construct correct sentences that are in daily use. Immersion also helps you to learn language naturally as children do. It does not call for loads of homework or memorizing words; you just have to listen and try to talk like the natives.
Increasing the intensity of learning rather that the length of study will also help you learn how to speak English faster. Someone studying how to speak English for about five hours a day for a month will benefit more that someone who is studying an hour a day for three months. This increased exposure is because language is better learned through plenty of repetition. It is more beneficial for you to allow two to three months of intensive English learning than to spend two days in a week for a year learning English.
Always have a dictionary
Carrying a dictionary is instrumental in learning a new language. Nowadays, you do not even have to carry an actual dictionary since there are many applications available on Smartphones. The one that translates words from English to you native language is especially useful. With smartphone applications, it means that you can quickly check the meaning of a word even during a conversation.
Talk to yourself
Having a monolog is also a great idea. While you are alone, try to have a conversation in your mind. You could explore distinct topics which you think might come up in real life discussions such as introducing yourself, describing your work or why you are in that foreign country. You could also talk about what you like about the new country. Look up the difficult words in the translation dictionary. This process ensures that you are well prepared should such a conversation arise.
Engage in conversations as much as possible
Ensure that you have lots and lots of conversations with a native speaker. This type of practice is the fastest and easiest way to learn. However, the conversation should be complemented with an appropriate correction from the native speaker as well as referencing from the dictionary. Just a few hours of conversation is worth more than an entire day in class.
Having a real conversation with an actual person has the benefits of motivation; it is entirely different from having a book or listening to an audio recording. The person you are conversing with may encourage you, correct you or even challenge you. This interaction will help boost your determination to learn and become fluent in spoken English. The conversation also helps you to process language rather than merely memorize words. This is because the brain will attach more meaning to words when they are used in meaningful conversations because they are tied to real human interactions characterized by emotions. Another benefit of communication is that it helps you hit two birds with one stone in the sense that you practice language and use it at the same time. Learning words and phrases in a class or alone will require you to seek further for an opportunity to utilize them. However, when using conversation as a method of learning, you learn new words and phrases and use them instantly.
Learn the first 100 commonly used words
While learning to speak English, it is important to start with the most commonly used words. This starting point ensures that you can comfortably perform basic communication such as asking for direction or introducing yourself. It also boosts your confidence to learn further other aspects of the language. Studying the first 100 words that are commonly used in English will go a long way in helping you become familiar with the language. This can be done using audio classes or with a native-speaking friend. However, after learning the 100 most commonly used words, it is now time to become conversational. As time goes, try to climb the ladder and learn the first 300, 500 and 1000 commonly used words in the English language.
Hire a tutor
Hiring a personal tutor may be expensive, but it is worth every penny. One-on-one tutoring is one of the most effective methods of learning how to speak any language. It will only require you to set aside three hours a day for two weeks with a tutor, and you will be surprised how quickly you become fluent. The benefits of having a tutor are similar to those of conversations.
Don’t fear to make mistakes
It is entirely natural to make a lot of mistakes while learning anything new. Likewise, it is okay to make mistakes when learning to speak English. Making mistakes should not make you feel embarrassed or discouraged. Instead, you should seek to correct those mistakes by learning the right words, pronunciation, and phrases from a native speaker.
How to spice it up
If you are looking for a date in a country where people speak English, pick someone who does not speak your mother tongue. This makes you determined to learn more so that you and your partner can have better conversations. There are also languages buddies online who will help you become fluent in spoken English in exchange for you teaching them your local language.
To avoid making English learning an annoying activity, avoid spending long hours in class and instead learn to talk about topics that interest you or find people with whom you enjoy talking. If you want to learn to speak English quickly, watch English movies, listen to English music and read English newspapers, magazines, and online articles. This practice will not only ensure that you learn English in the areas that interest you but will also ensure that you do it in a fun and interesting way.
Finally, never give up and never try to learn everything at once. Take one day at a time and remember that Rome was not built in one day.