This is English Harmony, and it’s all about improving your SPOKEN English, right?
And there’s no better way – as a matter of fact, it’s the ONLY way! – of improving your spoken English than engaging in heavy spoken English practicing.
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions in relation to this topic.
I mean – specifically about PRACTICING spoken English.
- What’s the best way of doing it?
- What to do when there’s no-one else available to practice with?
- And what to do when I don’t know what to talk about?
Every time I respond to these type of questions, I use pretty much the same answer because I know for a fact it WORKS:
If you’ve got no-one else to chat with, you can do it all by yourself – just narrate your thoughts and if you don’t know what to talk about, the best topic is to describe what you’ve been doing during the day and what your plans are for the following day. And in case you’re skeptical about this approach – read this article to find out why speaking with yourself isn’t so dissimilar to speaking with other people!
There’s one aspect of spoken English practicing, however, that I haven’t touched upon on my blog yet, namely – READING ALOUD.
Come to think of it, I actually do it all the time.
You see, when I write my blog posts, I always read them out loud while editing them, so I personally don’t need to set aside any time to do it purposefully.
All I have to do on top of that is some actual spoken English practicing to keep my fluency sharp, and HERE you can see how I do it while driving to work, for example.
As far as YOUR oral fluency development is concerned, however, I warmly suggest you do some reading aloud if you haven’t been doing it already! 😉
Reading Aloud is the IDEAL Way of Practicing If You’re Just Starting Out!
When I do some spoken English practice, I’m very comfortable doing it – and so are other foreign English speakers who’ve been engaging in similar activities for a while.
But what if you’re just starting out?
What if you’ve rarely had the chance to open your mouth and you just can’t produce coherent speech no matter how hard you try?
Well, let me try to remember how I did it, I mean – how I started engaging in spoken English practice… To be honest with you, it was so long ago, that I can’t actually remember much! I have a vague recollection of me lying in a bed at night and trying to speak in English with myself to see how good I would be at it – it must have been more than 10 years ago at this stage.
But anyway – if you want to do it but you don’t’ know where to start then READING ALOUD IS THE IDEAL WAY of kick-starting your spoken English practicing routine!
When you read aloud, you don’t have to:
- Think about WHAT you’re going to say – you can focus on pronouncing the words and sentences instead!
- Think about the CORRECTNESS of your speech – you can focus on getting the intonation right and making the speech flow!
- Worry about anyone thinking you’re a weirdo if they catch you doing your spoken practice – after all, reading aloud is perfectly fine, right? 😉
So, you don’t have to do it in bed at night – you can do it out in the open!
Reading Aloud Guides Your Mouth in the Right Direction!
Have you ever thought about the fact that you can learn English quite fast if you MIMIC native English speakers?
Here’s why it’s very effective – you don’t have to create English speech from scratch by sticking words together! You can repeat sentences and phrases that are used by others – it’s the perfect shortcut, don’t you agree?
Now, hands down the best way of mimicking is when you can HEAR someone else say something and then you repeat it.
- Watching a TV program or a video and repeating what the character says would be a good example of that – it’s also a great method of acquiring native-like pronunciation.
- Using the English Harmony System would be another example of you listening to how a native English speaker speaks and then you repeat after them.
When you read aloud, you can’t really hear how those sentences and words are pronounced, so that’s a drawback.
But as far as mimicking native-like English sentence structures – reading aloud is PERFECT ❗
Just think about it – someone else has done all the work for you by writing it all down, and all you have to do is open your mouth and train it to speak by repeating THE SAME EXACT sentences that some other English speaker has created!
Basically you allow your mouth be guided by the text, and in my opinion it just doesn’t get better than that!
What Kind of Material Can Be Used for Reading Aloud
And here comes the best part – you can choose pretty much ANYTHING as a source for your spoken English practice if you decide to do some loud reading:
- English fiction – just make sure it’s easy-to-read;
- English newspaper articles;
- Quite obviously – online news articles and other websites you find interesting;
- You can also write something yourself and then read it out loud;
- You can even read my blog articles out loud ❗
There’s only one thing you absolutely have to make sure of.
You have to UNDERSTAND what you read and it has to be written in an easy-to-read manner.
Don’t fall victim to the pitfall of choosing some sophisticated English text you can barely understand thinking that it somehow is going to improve your English in a short space of time.
In reality, quite the opposite is going to happen – you’re going to get confused and eventually you’ll end up HATING the very concept of reading aloud!
Just like I said – what you want is something that flows nicely when reading.
But in case you’re one of those perfectionists with very high standards – please watch this video where I’m talking about the fact that you have to lower them to stand a chance of achieving oral English fluency.
On the finishing note, let me tell you that you don’t have to go with some specific material created with the purpose of reading practice in mind.
The KEY is probably to read out loud something you’re actually INTERESTED in, something that excites you!
And now it’s your turn to write something in the comments section below.
Let me know if you’ve ever been doing loud reading practice, and also let me know if you have any specific tips on it that other English Harmony readers might find useful!
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!