Most English students struggle with the ‘rhythm’ of Conversational English. Tone, tempo and overall confidence matter a great deal in communicating effectively, yet is often the last thing taught. This is why a practice with a Native English speaker is so important in mastering Conversational English.
In this post, we are going to look at 5 practical ways you can improve Conversational English skills and learn to speak like a Native English speaker.
Listen to English as much as possible. Train your ear to be active. Podcasts are a great way to improve your listening skills and learn the rhythm of Conversational English.Find a podcast about your favorite subject and listen to it. Hearing the varied sounds of English will help you when you try to speak English.
Play your favorite video game in English. Watch videos and television shows in English to hear “real” English. If there is a phrase that you don’t understand, use captions to help. Naturally, most videos will contain slang words.
Once you are familiar to the speed and rhythm native English speakers talk, the better you will be at Conversational English.
Take a selection of text from the Internet. Play the spoken version of the text. Next, read the selection of text to yourself while recording your speech. Compare your version to the computer version. Did you remember to say the “S” at the ends of words. D Did you pronounce the “sh” sounds well? Did you pronounce the “W” and “V” sounds differently? What sounds did you have difficulty making?
The more aware you are of the English sounds you have difficulty pronouncing, the better you will be in Conversational English.
TED talks are such a great way to improve Conversational English while having fun.
Watch TED talks on subjects you are interested in will help to build your vocabulary and give you a good grounding in how Native english speaker speak generally, including tone of voice. TED talks are mostly conducted by educated people including academics so they are more likely to have high verbal skills.
Most importantly, TED talks are real, live presentations so the speed and rhythm of speech is ideal for English leaners. You will learn where to stress sounds and to slow down.
Also, you will understand the “situational” aspects of speaking english. The way groups of friends speak when they are out in the evening is usually very different from how they speak at work. Make sure your language is appropriate for the social situation you are in.
It might sound, and feel, a little silly, but even carrying on conversations with yourself can help sharpen your Conversational English skills.
As you go about your daily activities at home, narrate your actions as though you are on your own TV show. Tell your “viewers” what you’re doing, and how you feel about it. How did you sleep last night and what did you dream about? Why are you choosing that outfit to wear to work today? As you prepare your dinner, imagine you’re on a cooking show, and talk about what you’re making. Tell your “viewers” about your secret smoothie recipe 🙂 Or do something fun with your kids and be the “host”. The fun of this exercise is that you can practice your accent without worry, or use words you maybe haven’t tried out loud yet.
The more you practice English speaking, the better you will get at understanding the rhythm of Conversational English.
Lastly, the support of a teacher or tutor can help you perfect the language. If you feel your English has plateaued and you want to reach the next level, enlist the support of a qualified teacher or tutor to assist you. They have the necessary skills to develop your speaking skills and will guide you through the next phase of your English journey.
When picking a teacher, pick someone who is a Native English speaker. Been a Native speaker is the most important qualification one can have for teaching english. A Native speaker will help you learn the perfect accent and pronunciation. Also, find a teacher who is more a Conversation partner than a professor. You will only improve Conversational English through conversations so just taking notes will not help.