Are you into something? Are you a big sports fan and you follow the English Premier League or National Football League and work out in a gym three times a week? Are you mad into photography and you always show up at parties and other occasions with a camera strapped over your neck? Or maybe you’re big into reading and you spend all your free time reading crime fiction?
Well, even if you’re not interested in anything I just mentioned, you definitely have some sort of an interest in something that can be classified as a hobby. Even if you spend the biggest part of your free time playing Xbox or just watching telly, it’s something you can use in order to improve your English fluency, I’m sure of it!
If your hobby is of a social nature like working out or dancing, it’s quite obvious how you can improve your spoken English by interacting with other English speakers. You simply have to make it your goal to embrace every opportunity to speak with others and I don’t think I have to convince you that you can always meet new people in places like a gym or a dance studio.
And even if you don’t like the idea of being distracted while being involved in your activities, you can always find enough time for some interpersonal communication during breaks or after the main part of the sessions. I, for example, always strike up conversations with strangers in a sauna which is a must-have for me after a hard full body workout. The conversation would normally begin with saying things like “Oh Jaysus, it’s really hot in here, isn’t it?” Then I’d go on to tell about sauna related traditions in my home country, and then we’d start talk about how often we go to the gym and so on and so forth.
Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that whenever possible, seek out human contact when you’re out and about so that you can use the English language as much as possible.
Surely you’ll make mistakes along the way, but you have to accept it as part of normal spoken English improving routine and you also have to learn to ignore anything that might affect you emotionally in terms of how you feel about your spoken English performance and also what others think about it.
Some of you may argue that this is all well as far as your activities keep you out of your home, and you live in an English speaking country. Well, it’s a valid point and I can see why you might not find many opportunities to chat with other English speakers while out fishing with your friends in your home country or watching Grey’s Anatomy.
But all you have to do is stretch your imagination a little bit and you’ll start seeing the bigger picture.
If your hobby doesn’t involve other people, you can make it your second nature to comment on things in English while you’re being involved in that particular activity. It’s basically speaking with yourself, and please don’t start freaking out now, it’s not as mad as it may sound at first!
First you should make it your goal to think in English – it’s actually critical if you’re anything serious about improving your English fluency. But then you’ll find it so much easier to think in English if you verbalize your thoughts and speaking out loud or just in a slight whisper is a great way to get used to it
If you’re into photography, you can talk about the objects you’re shooting – whether it’s nature, or urban settings. And when you arrange your photographs and decide which ones to print out you can also verbalize the whole process thus making a constant improvement to your spoken English.
You can retell contents of TV programs and films you watch, and you can summarize what you’ve read in a book to transfer part of that information to your active English vocabulary which is the one you use when communicating with other English speakers. Of course, in an ideal situation you’d do all these things in English – that would be the so called full immersion into the language – but you can still do it successfully even if you have to switch between the languages.
But the biggest benefit you’ll get from using English when involved in your hobbies is developing your spoken English according to your personality. We are what we do, and if you can use English comfortably to talk about things that are important to you and you know a lot about, then what more can you wish for!
Considering the vast opportunities that the Internet offers, you simply have no excuses for not being able to look up any technical terms for whatever it is that you’re into.
Ideally you can turn your hobby into full English immersion by starting buying related specialty literature and magazines in English – that’s what I did when I was practicing yoga and medication a few years ago. Participation in online forums dedicated to your specific area of interest can also be a great way of improving your spoken English because the informal way people write forum posts and chat in chatrooms would be identical to how they speak and when you write something you should always speak it out loud.
Believe me – it’s going to make your English writing so much more easier and you’ll also develop your spoken language along the way. And, by mimicking what native English speakers are saying on forums you’ll imprint natural English speaking patterns into mind which is also a great bonus.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!