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The Less Opportunities You Have to Speak With Others, The More You’ve Gotta Speak With Yourself!

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VIDEO TRANSCRIPT BELOW:

Hello, my friends!

Hello, my dear fellow foreign language speakers!

I’m Robby from Englishharmony.com and welcome back to my video blog.

Today’s topic is something that I’ve touched upon multiple times on my blog and on my YouTube channel, namely – it’s…

The Importance of Doing Frequent Self-practice.

Basically, you’ve got to be exercising your spoken English by engaging in a lot of self-practicing.

“Why?” – you may ask. It’s very simple!

If you haven’t got that many opportunities to speak with other people in real life then pretty much the only way you can maintain a high level of spoken English is speaking on your own.

It’s no different from working out your body if you’re an athlete, right, and obviously nowadays there’s millions of people engaging in all types of sports related activities, even not being professional athletes for that matter, right, so basically its available to anyone. Gym memberships are as cheap as ever and anyone can join a gym, or indeed just do something at home or run, which is my thing personally – I’ve been a runner for six years now, or slightly more, right.

So basically, when you work out your body, more often than not, you just do it on your own.

You don’t necessarily engage in team sports, so if you draw parallels between speaking with other people and playing team sports games such as football or soccer, depending on where in the world you come from. Soccer, that’s American because football in America is American football which is a totally different ball game altogether, right. (This was an idiomatic expression.)

If you say that something is a totally different ball game, it simply means that this thing that you’re talking about is a completely new thing, right, but ironically enough, I was talking about ball games and I was actually using that expression in which case, it’s not so idiomatic anymore because American football and European football are the so called soccer, right, it’s a totally different ball game, but what was I talking about initially? You see, I have this bad habit of straying off the subject because I keep talking and talking…

We were talking about speaking with other people is pretty much the same as being engaged in team sports but working out on your own is the same as doing some spoken English practice on your own and there’s nothing wrong with that.

You may want to check out this article where I’m discussing the whole subject and where I’m explaining why speak with yourself. It doesn’t have to be perceived as speaking with yourself, as if you’re some sort of lunatic, right. It’s just a monologue, just like now I’m recording this video, right, and I’m just speaking to the world, even when you are on your own and you don’t necessarily have a camcorder in front of you, you can actually just voice your thoughts out loud.

You don’t necessarily have to be staring at yourself in a mirror and actually talking to yourself, right, so this article reveals why speaking on your own is pretty much the same as speaking with other people, why it’s not so much different from speaking with others, right.

Why this topic is very relevant in my life currently – well I’ve recently changed my job, right, and in this new job, there’s two more Latvian’s working in the team. Basically, there’s three people in the team which leaves another person which is me, and we’re all Latvian’s basically.

In the previous job where I was for almost six years, I was talking in English only the whole time because my buddy, my work colleague was an Irish guy. I live in Ireland, right, and English is the native language of 99.9% of Irish people except for the ones who’ve been born in Gaelic speaking regions and whose native language is the actual Irish language, otherwise known as Gaelic, if I’m not mistaken (that is the proper pronunciation, right; that’s how they call it in Irish.)

So, needless to say – 

Now I Don’t Get As Much Spoken English Practice in Real Life…

because previously, as I said, I was talking in English all the time. I was communicating with my work colleague, with the secretary (as a matter of fact, there were a number of secretaries), with my boss, with a lot of managers, but now there’s the supervisor, two deputies who are English speaking people and when I speak with them, I have to be using the English language, but for the most part, my communication at work happens between me and the two Latvian guys, right.

Speaking in English is not really an option because… well, I could make it happen, right, but it is strange, do you know what I mean?

I actually do find it strange to use the English language to people who I know I can communicate with using either Latvian, which is my native language, or Russian, which is language I also speak, right. It’s somehow weird. That would definitely be weird, and those two guys probably would think that I was some kind of a weirdo trying to show off my English skills or whatever, right.

So, to maintain my English at a high standard, I’m going to be speaking with myself a whole lot more, more so than previously.

I just know for a fact that if I stop doing that, my English is going to deteriorate over time. It’s just a simple matter of not using it. It’s the same as in fitness my friends.

If You Don’t Use It, You Lose It!

The same goes with pretty much any practical discipline and don’t you ever forget, my friends, spoken English practice is a practical discipline. It’s an ability that you develop with your mouth. It’s not as if you just exercise something inside of your brain, such as grammar, knowledge or reading. It’s not passive!

It’s all active, and it’s actually coming out of your mouth and the moment you stop doing that or you don’t engage in that kind of activity on a frequent basis, on a daily basis, right. That’s why I suggest do it every day, even ten to fifteen minutes a day, that’ll do the trick, that’ll keep your fluency at an equal level the whole time, right, so the moment you stop doing that, your fluency goes out the window.

I’ll admit, friends, I’m a little bit anxious and I shouldn’t be because I’ve developed my fluency to quite a high standard over the years and I shouldn’t be worried that I will lose my ability to speak just like that overnight. It’s not going to happen.

The thing is, if I stay in my new job for say a year, two years, three, four, five… who knows how long I’m going to stay there, right. If I stay there for six years straight, is that going to have some effect on my fluency? It shouldn’t.

It really shouldn’t for as long as I keep doing a lot of spoken English practice, so from the moment I wake up in the morning, after work because I work night shifts now, right. So, from the moment I step through the door at work, I constantly try to do some spoken English practice.

Whenever I’m out and about, I’m driving in the car or I’m doing some chores, or I’m doing something in my office here (there’s a whole lot more I’m doing except for the English Harmony blog by the way!) I’m currently setting up a small online shop selling jewelry, right, and there’s a lot of work involved.  All that jewelry needs to be photographed and this and that, then it’s all added onto the shop. It’s all based on software. It’s a platform basically I’ve signed up for and all the settings need to be adjusted and all that, and whenever you add on a new product, there’s a whole lot more to be done than just meets the eye, right, whenever you go online and you open some shop website – it doesn’t look like there’s too much going on but in the background, there’s a whole lot to be done to make it all happen.

When I go about that routine, I constantly speak. I describe my activities. I’m describing what I’m doing at that particular moment in time and so on, and so forth.

If you’re anything serious about maintaining your fluency and developing it to a high standard, I warmly suggest, my friend, you embrace this same kind of attitude, right?

Stop complaining about lack of opportunities for you to speak with other people, just…

Make Those Opportunities For Yourself!

…by a way of doing spoken English practice on your own, simple as that!

Probably the best way actually is to get hold of a camcorder, a small camcorder just like I have. It’s called ‘Flip Mino’. Now, it’s a very old one. It’s actually playing up now. Before I actually record any video, it takes me about five to ten times of unsuccessful attempts because I have to reset the camcorder time and time again to get it to work right.

Now, one of these days, I’ll probably have to get a new one because this one will probably stop functioning for good, right, and I’ll just have to get rid of it. Over the years, I’ve changed three or four camcorders but this is the one that’s been lasting for the longest, about two years now, right.

Anyway, get hold of a camcorder or just use your smartphone. I’m not a very techy guy. I don’t have a smartphone myself but I’m pretty sure you have one, so why don’t you just record yourself and that’s great for feedback.

You can watch the video later on and see how we perform, spot any small mistakes or corrections that need to be done and I kind of feel that having the camcorder in front of me is always the same as if a real person would be sitting right in front of me because I know for a fact that that little lens there is recording everything and that lens represents my entire audience ❗

It represents you, my friend, so I kind of feel as if I’m talking to you right now. I know for a fact that the video is going to go live in a couple of days and you can see me. It’s as simple as that, right, so if you’re interested in improving your spoken English, do the same thing. Get a camcorder, start recording daily videos and you’re going to see your fluency level skyrocket!

Okay, my friends, thanks for watching me and if you have any questions or any feedback or whatever, just publish it in the comments section below. Thanks and talk to you again!

Bye, bye!

Robby 😉

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!

English Harmony System

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Hi Indrajit,

    And thanks a lot for your questions and I really appreciate you’ve been following my blog and reading my articles and watching my videos!

    Now, here’s answers to your questions:

    1) Sometimes it’s difficult to speak with certain people – it happens to me as well as here’s an article that addresses that issue: http://englishharmony.com/difficulties-with-speaking-with-certain-people-in-english/

    Also, please read this article http://englishharmony.com/good-luck-charm/ where I’m talking about the fact that some people can actually bring out the best in you as an English speaker; it’s quite the opposite of the previous phenomenon so I hope there’s a few take-home lessons for you in the above articles!

    2) Speaking of deteriorating fluency in times of stress – please read these articles http://englishharmony.com/stress/ http://englishharmony.com/anger-management/ where I’m talking about why when we stress out we can’t speak as fluently as normally and what to do about it!

    3) Fluency fluctuations are normal – please read an article I wrote about it here: http://englishharmony.com/english-improvement-trend/

    As you can see, I’ve addressed all the issues you’ve mentioned previously on my blog which just goes to show that we foreigners are experiencing pretty much the same issues when it comes to our ability to speak fluently – and needless to say, over the years I’ve addressed them all on my blog.

    Hope it helps,

    Cheers,

    Robby

  • Indrajit Kar

    3) One thing I also forgot mentioning is that my fluency levels also seem to be fluctuating in different days…Whats that ??

  • Indrajit Kar

    Hi Robby,
    I’m from India…
    Well…I have been following your blogs really intently…
    I gotta say you’ve done a fantastic job for me as I can proudly say that I’m fluent in English now…but just a couple of things that’s vexing me…

    1)I have got this habit of talking to myself in English whenever I can to get my English going….but something that I’ve observed over the days is that although I can speak to myself really well (albeit a few mistakes here and there and acceptable) but when I’m speaking to strangers and others in English…I tend to make more mistakes and seem a little less confident and less fluent…What shall I do ??

    2)Also, when I’m relaxed I can speak English well…but the moment I get too angry or too sad…(I mean hyperexcited)…I start stuttering and I just cant get the words going…I feel like I’m not fluent anymore…What about it ??