An English Speaking Club (also called English Conversations Club, Spoken English Club, or English Conversation Circles) are a great way to improve your English speaking skills. Once you have learned the basics of English grammar and have developed a vocabulary of around 100 words, you have to start practicing English speaking. English Speaking Clubs are a great way to practice English speaking with like-minded English language learners. The biggest advantage of an English Speaking club as opposed to a traditional English school is that English Speaking clubs allow students to practice speaking in an informal, relaxed environment.
As a global English language training program, we at Spoken English Practice has had the unique opportunity to observe and English Speaking Clubs all over the world. We have worked with English Speaking Clubs in Moscow, Munich, Tokyo, Shanghai, Bangkok, San Paulo, Brussels, Barcelona, Rome, Istanbul, Dubai, etc. Based on these experience, we would like to give some tips on what ESL students should look for when picking an English Speaking Club to practice.
When it comes to improving English speaking skills and developing your proficiency to an native level, you must get exposure practicing with Real Native English Speakers. So if you can join an English Speaking Club that has at least 1 or 2 Native English Speakers, that will help you improve faster and with more accuracy in areas like accent and pronunciation.
Why would Native English Speakers spend time in an English Speaking Club? Simple. There might be Native English Speakers who are traveling who might want to interact with locals. We have seen this happen in many centers we have worked with – Tokyo, Madrid, Hanoi, San Paulo, Moscow etc. And it is a true win-win. The Native Speakers can learn so much about the local lifestyle and the destination and the non native English learners get a valuable opportunity to practice English.
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A common mistake that happens in some English Speaking Clubs is that some members start speaking in the local language. Once you develop this habit, the whole value of the English Speaking Club diminishes.
When joining an English Speaking Club, always sit for a trial session and see whether the conversations happen ONLY in English. If the club members switch to the native language often, then you can’t expect an improvement in English.
If you are in an English Speaking Club that is too big, you will not get many chances to speak. And if you don’t actually speak in English, you will never become fluent.
On the other hand, if the English Speaking Club is too small, it could hard to have an interesting conversation. You need at least 5 people to keep an engaging conversation going for an hour.
Consider these factors before joining an English Speaking Club. Pick a club that will allow you enough opportunities to practice speaking in a comfortable, relaxed setting. If you are shy and afraid to speak in English, it is a good idea to start in an Conversation Circle that is smaller in size.
Improving English speaking is all about practice.You cannot improve English speaking just by memorizing grammar rules or learning new words. Of course, you need some basic knowledge of sentence structures etc but to get to the next level in communication, you need to practice speaking regularly.
So when you join an English Speaking Club make sure you join a club that meets at least 2-3 one hour sessions a week. The more time you can spend everyday speaking in English, the faster you will improve.
Want even more practice to accelerate learning? Find a private Conversation Partner.
Is the English Speaking Club a good fit for your skill level
What is your English skill level? Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced? Where do you stand compare to other students in the Conversation club? A good way to asses is by sitting in for a trial session.
What kind of topics do you like to discuss during Conversational English practice? Is it just simple topics such as family, weather and hobbies? Or do you prefer more advanced topics like the social equality, international politics and philosophy. Always challenge yourself and join an English club that is one level above you. That will push you to be fluent faster.