After the last episode I received quite a few e-mails asking what topics you can discuss with yourselves. I’ve come to realize that it’s not that easy for everyone to think of something to talk about so I decided to dedicate today’s video episode to various topics you can use as source of inspiration to kick-start your English practicing routine.
But before you even attempt practicing English with yourself, you should remember the following. Don’t try to talk about something that is detached from reality. Don’t try to convince yourself that you should speak about something that you don’t actually take any interest in ❗
A typical example of this would be taking some English learning material and reading a certain topic and then trying to create a monologue around that topic. Well, you may succeed and have a nice chat with yourself about, say, concepts of time and distance, and similar.
On most occasions however, if you try to create a monologue around something that isn’t relevant for you personally, the chances are that you’ll find the very idea of such speech practicing very boring and you’ll give up after a while! 🙁
So the most important piece of advice to anyone who decides to engage in regular English monologues is the following – talk about something that reflects your interests, your personal and professional affairs, generally speaking – your life!
And now let’s look at particular spoken English topics you can always count on not be become boring!
Topic #1 – Your Thoughts
It may sound simple enough, but actually this topic has provided me with most spoken English monologue content back in the days when I used to spend long hours working in a warehouse and speaking with myself to improve my spoken English.
Whatever is going on in your head at the moment, whatever you think about, you can always voice all your thoughts and use English to verbalize them. By doing so, you don’t even have to put much effort into thinking over what to say – you simply speak out loud everything that’s going on in your mind.
I think I’m not wrong assuming that any person on the planet is thinking something at any given moment. Whatever you do, whatever activities you’re engaged into, you’re always dwelling upon something. So I think you really shouldn’t be complaining about lack of content for your spoken English practice if you use your thoughts as source for your monologues!
Topic #2 – Planning Your Day
Whenever you get a chance to speak some English on your own, you can dedicate part of that time to organizing your daily schedule. And even if you haven’t got anything particular planned for the day, you can just talk about what you’re going to do. Say for example, tonight you’re planning to cook and then watch a good film. That’s enough to have at least a five minutes long monologue!
You can go into the very detail of the meal you’re going to cook, you can go through groceries you have to pick up on the way home, and you can also picture and describe the scene of you having a meal.
And of course, if you’ve any appointments to make – this is a great way of preparing for them! Let’s say, you’re going to the doctor for a check-up. You can go through the whole process with yourself in this speech practicing and make sure you repeat all the proper terms so that you can make yourself clear when speaking to the doctor!
Topic #3 – Remembering Past Events
When the planning has been done, you can look back into the past and talk about events that took place recently or some time ago. It can be anything really, but the biggest benefit of this speech exercising topic is that you’ll be forced to look up relevant words and expressions to events which are emotionally important to you and it will definitely speed up your spoken English improving process ❗
You can talk about events that mean a lot to you – like meeting your girlfriend or boyfriend and then quite naturally you can start talking about your current relationships and what you think is going to happen in future and so on.
You can remember scary moments, and talk about how you’d act now if you were in the same situation, and whether you as a person have changed after those events and how it’s affected you.
You can talk about yesterday’s argument with a co-worker, a crazy night out with your friends – anything really; the most important thing is to make sure you’re excited when bringing back those memories!
Of course, this topic partially overlaps with the first one – your thoughts, but then it’s very normal to start talking about one thing, branch off into something else, and finish the monologue with something completely unrelated to what you started with! Essentially it’s the same as having a real conversation, so probably the best way to approach this spoken English self-practicing is to imagine that you’re talking to a friend! 😉
Topic #4 – Talking about a Book or a Movie
This topic is just great for English speech exercising! Most of people I know either love watching movies or reading or doing both, so I’m guessing that there’s a pretty good chance that you might be into one of those or indeed – into both of them!
Ideally you’d have a 10 minute long monologue right after watching a film or reading a chapter in a book. In the monologue you can re-tell the chain of events that took place in the film, and it’s a brilliant way of learning new English phrases and expressions.
While watching the movie you can take notes of new words and expressions that you hear and later on during the speech exercising session you can use those notes as reference to incorporate that new vocabulary into your speech!
Also when reading a book it would be very beneficial to your English fluency and your ability to think in English if you’d re-tell what you just read. It’ll definitely help you to refresh your vocabulary and even if the book you’re reading isn’t in English, you can still do the same!
You see – this whole English speech practicing plan is mostly needed by those who don’t get much real-life practice with other English speakers. But even if you don’t live in an English speaking country, you can still practice spoken English with yourself and it doesn’t matter if the things you talk about with yourself have nothing to do with English language.
The key factor to English fluency is building your ability to produce automatic speech and every time you speak aloud, you’re improving your spoken English by a tiny bit because you’re forcing yourself to think in English.
It doesn’t really matter if the book or the movie you’re re-telling wasn’t in English, you can still force yourself to talk about the related events and characters in English if you’re really serious about improving your English fluency.
But I won’t deny, that without sufficient exposure to English language you’ll find it harder to describe things and events the way native English speakers would describe them.
So if your circumstances inhibit real-life communication, maximize your passive language input such as reading magazines, newspapers, watching films, doing stuff on the Internet on English websites and then transfer all that content into your daily chat sessions with yourself ❗
And the last thing – it’s CRUCIAL to build natural English speech patterns when you practice your spoken English. It’s going to take you much longer to go the trial and error way rather than to learn how certain things are normally said by native English speakers.
Years ago when I used to have hours long English conversations with myself when I worked in a warehouse, I was doing it the hard way. I didn’t optimize the whole speech practicing process and I was just talking to the best of my abilities and learning from my mistakes. Not that there’s something wrong with it, it’s still better than no speaking at all, don’t take me wrong.
It’s just that it took a whole lot longer for me to become a fluent English speaker. Had I been deliberately copying native language speakers and using natural English speech patterns, I would have achieved my goal much sooner!
But you know what? You don’t have to repeat my mistakes. Check out my English Harmony System and see how you can achieve spoken English fluency in a record short time!