No-one to Talk to? Practice English With Yourself!

By Robby

If you are new here please read this first.

Find out how to improve your spoken English is 30 days or less

Today’s video topic is about the importance of practicing English speaking on a regular basis. In other words, if you want to be a fluent English speaker, you have to speak, there are no magic shortcuts ❗

There are, of course, shortcuts in terms of efficiency of the learning process, and you’re welcome to check out my blog to found out more, but in this video lesson let’s focus on the importance of speaking English every day.

By the way, did you know that the most viewed video on my YouTube channel so far is the one where I’m talking about the importance of speaking English with yourself in case you’ve got no-one else to talk to? I guess it’s a good indicator of a typical situation that foreign English speakers find themselves in.

You know – even if you live in an English speaking country, there might not be enough face-to-face communication with other English speakers. On many occasions foreigners living under such circumstances won’t go the extra mile to practice some English because it’s not a necessity and they can do without it.

If you’re willing to improve your spoken English, however, you can do so much more to step up your English fluency and having regular conversations with yourself is definitely better that no spoken practice at all!

Talking With Myself? Isn’t That a Sure Sign of Insanity?

First of all, the best occasions for speaking English with yourself is when you’re alone or when there’s no-one in close proximity. That way you’ll make sure no-one overhears you and you’ll avoid embarrassing situations. I’m pretty sure that anyone has at least 10, 20 minutes a day when you’re completely on our own and that time can be very well spent improving your spoken English.

Secondly, you don’t actually have to talk out loud as you’d normally do when communicating with others. Just a slight whisper would suffice to exercise your vocal cords, so even if you’re overheard on rare occasions, it’s not going to sound bizarre.

Let’s say for instance, that you’re working at an assembly line in a manufacturing plant. Most likely you spend your working day thinking about all sorts of things and daydreaming. What I’m saying is – why not use at least part of that time practicing English with yourself? There would be no-one to hear your quiet whisper at the assembly line anyway, right?

But if you think it’s not really necessary to engage in weird activities like thinking out loud in English because you get to speak some English with your English speaking supervisor and you also watch some English TV channels in the evening – I’d say you should think twice.

You simply have to speak as much English as you can, and no amount of time spent in front of TV and reading newspapers will make you into a fluent English speaker ❗

Besides, those few sentences you swap with your supervisor count for virtually nothing considering that an average person speaks at least a couple of thousand words a day.

And you should also bear in mind that by practicing spoken English as often as you can you’ll facilitate your ability to think in English and you’ll add more words and phrases to your active English vocabulary!

Huge Benefits – Thinking in English and Widening Active Vocabulary

You know, it’s one of the biggest issues that foreign English speakers face worldwide – they can’t help thinking in their native language and translating into English. It results in a very slow and hesitant English speech, and it also drains off that person’s confidence. One of the reasons for this issue originates in the very English learning process; yet the lack of English speaking practice also accounts for much of that inability to think in English.

Also the size of your active English vocabulary plays a crucial role in maintaining fluent English speech when you communicate with other English speakers. Active vocabulary consists of all those words and phrases you can use when speaking as opposed to English vocabulary you only recognize but you can’t really use in real-life conversations. Normally foreign English speakers don’t dwell upon these matters and you can often here statements like “How come that I can understand everything that I’m being told in English but I can’t speak anywhere near as fluently?”

Well, my friend, the answer is simple – it’s the lack of spoken English practice and apparently you don’t get enough opportunities to speak with other English speakers. You’re being mostly exposed to passive English input and your English understanding is quite good, but when it comes to speaking, you still have to come along.

So my answer to all these problems is – engage into regular English monologues, and you’ll feel your spoken English improve radically! 🙂

You definitely have situations when you are on your own and you’re actively thinking about something – your future plans, events from the past, and so on. So why not turn that thinking in your native language into a purposeful English speaking practice session? It’s easy, it’ll cost you nothing, and it’s a brilliant way of improving your English fluency and also preparing for important events like interviews and appointments!


P.S. Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System

P.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out the English Harmony System HERE!

English Harmony System
  • hamza

    I am a muslim too……i dont know what type of Islam is he following……There is nothing like that in Islam or in any other religion especially when speaking to urself is just one of the ways to learn

  • snigdha dey

    ..thank u..

  • Hi Snigdha,

    Currently there aren’t any free spots in my Skype-based fluency program Fluency Star , sorry about that!



  • snigdha dey

    Hey i’m sorry but if u dont mind..can we that i can improve it…please..
    Sent from my Samsung device

    ——– Original message ——–

  • Hi Snigdha,

    Well, guess what? That’s the whole point of doing spoken English practice as per this article – in situations when you’ve got no-one else to talk to!

    You may not believe it, but I’ve actually achieved a pretty high level of spoken English largely due to regularly speaking with myself, and here’s exactly what steps you can take to get there:



  • snigdha dey

    hey Robby…u see i dont have any foreigner here..people usually talks in their native languages…really need your help…

  • snigdha dey

    hey Sora…can we have a conversation on mails…i’m very bad in speaking english..i find no one to talk with…atleast u can understand the situation if u don’t mind… i’m Snigdha Dey ..from India.. please its a request..

  • Hi Sora,

    Yes, I can totally relate to you when you’re saying your spoken English is getting worse due to constant forced simplification of the language. I’ve actually touched upon the topic why it’s easier to speak with natives than with other foreigners in this article:

    Another thing I could mention in relation to the same subject is that you should try speaking with your fellow foreigners without simplifying the language. Let them take some of the responsibility of the conversation and if they don’t understand something, let them ask you! There’s nothing wrong with that and you shouldn’t jeopardizing your own fluency at the expense of other people’s understanding.

    Speaking of spoken English self-practice – yes, it’s beyond the shadow of a doubt the best tool for improving your fluency, and I also want you to read a couple of more articles that will definitely help you with it:



  • Sora

    I mean, thank you so much. See what I mean!? Now it’s affecting my thinking too. Anyway, thank you again.

  • Sora

    This is just what I need! That you so much!!! I didn’t use to be a bad speaker but being surrounded by people who are not really well versed in English, with only few I can talk to, I had to adjust to using simple English and less words. Few years after, mine needs adjusting, very badly. When I speak, I make grammar mistakes and my vocabulary is sometimes a mess but I can write and think in English pretty well! I can form a perfect sentence inside my head but when speaking, I feel like a caveman and it’s so embarrassing!

    I used to talk to myself or read a book out loud in front of the mirror to practice my speaking skill and the outcome was impressive! I guess I’m going to do it again.

  • I’m so glad I can help my fellow foreign English speakers like you!

    And keep up the good work doing daily spoken English practice – it’s very effective and instrumental in developing your oral fluency. Been there, done that! 😉



  • fahmi

    Thanks rooby for you’re awesome work, I found you’re website last week and you really helped me, I’m sure there is a place in heaven for people like you! 😉

    I started speaking to myself everyday before I go to the english course, it REALLY works! helped me alot when I talk with the students and the teacher.

  • Hi Arstan,

    OK, so if this is the case, then you have to dedicate pretty much your entire time to improving your spoken English exclusively!

    I just asked the question about your written English level in order to figure out whether you should do some writing practicing before engaging in spoken English practicing, but it seems that your writing skills are pretty well developed so you don’t have to focus on developing your writing any further for the time being.

    Now, how often should you practice?

    Frankly speaking – as much as you can.

    There’s no minimum or maximum amount of daily spoken practice, it’s all about getting the most out of your day.

    Speaking of how you should structure the practice sessions – you should have a fair idea as to what exactly you’re going to discuss so some advance planning is a big advantage ensuring you don’t run out of things to talk about. Basically before talking about a specific subject, sit down and think of 4 – 7 main points you’re going to touch upon.

    Next, think of any specific vocabulary and word combinations you’ll have to use (10 – 15 units) and then memorize them so that you can use them automatically. This vocabulary and phraseology is going to serve as anchor text.

    Then, do the actual spoken practice (for best results record it onto a camcorder so that you can listen to it and look out for anything requiring correction at a later stage), and then do it again, and again – every next time aim for more improvisation and less looking at the sheet.

    As you do the spoken English practice, jot down anything you’ll have to look up later on – any specific vocab you may struggle thinking of etc.

    In short, that’s pretty much all!



  • Arstan

    I think I have no problems with written English, I never get stuck for words except for some moments. But somehow or another I can’t push myself to speak all of those things in real life, you know what I mean ?
    Also, I don’t mean to brag about myself but I suppose that my english grammar is allright, I never had problems with it. English words just imprint inside my mind so that I can remember the right spelling.
    The trouble is that I can’t still speak fluently, because of getting confused, just don’t understand why I can’t use all words from my vocabulary.The worst thing is whenever I try to describe something randomly it takes too long time. However sure thing I do speak but only after much thinking. So that’s why I asked for your advice while I have a time to practice it. As you already told us – english words ultimately must get cemented into our brains and mouth mouscles and come out just spontaneously. This what kind of level I would like to get. Thank you again, please me guide to overcome this sticking point and barrier!

  • Arstan

    I think I have no problems with written English, I never get stuck for words except for some moments. But somehow or another I can’t push myself to speak all of those things in real life, you know what I mean ?
    Also, I don’t mean to brag about myself but I suppose that my english grammar is allright, I never had problems with it. English words just imprint inside my mind so that I can remember the right spelling.
    The trouble is that I can’t still speak fluently, however sure thing I do speak but only after much thinking. So that’s why I asked for your advice while I have a time to practice it. As you already told us – english words ultimately must get cemented into our brains and mouth mouscles and come out just spontaneously. This what kind of level I would like to get. Thank you again, please guide to overcome this sticking point and barrier!

  • Hi Arstan,

    And thanks so much for the positive feedback, much appreciated!

    Speaking of how your free time would be used best for your spoken English improvement – and your overall English improvement for that matter – let me just ask you a question first.

    Can you please describe your written English level vs spoken English level?

    Chat soon,


  • Arstan

    Hi Robby! First of all, I would like to thank you for making this kind of helpful videos! I’ve been learning english language about 3-4 years. Although, there’s a gap in my learning process, because I would stop practicing my skills for a long period of time I think Im doing quite well.The thing is that I’m between jobs right now, which means I have a lot of time to practice and increase my abilities of english to the extent when english words would come out of my mouth by themeselves. However, I decided to ask for your advice how to distribute my free-time in the right direction. Can you please make-up the process of studying english ? Do I have to practice my speaking skills all the time ? You know I’m aiming to become an interpreter, so I need to master this language as well as it possible. Which aspects I must place more emphasis on ? How many hours do I have to speak with myself per day ?
    Thank you ahead of time, Robby!

  • Hi Sagar,

    So, first of all you have to realize translation isn’t necessary – please read this article:

    Now – about creating a routine whereby you practice English with yourself based on how you deal with customers at work.

    In essence, you need to learn expressions, phrases and specific terms you most commonly use when dealing with your customers:

    * Observe what you and your customers mostly talk about.

    * Write down any specific sentences and phrases you hear most often.

    * When you go home, do a role play with yourself where you use those phrases many times over!

    It’s really that simple! 😉



  • Do you really think I’m sitting here on this website 24 hours a day and provide immediate answers? 😉

  • sagar

    if it will take long time kindly mail me and this websilte link so that i can come again and talk to you

  • sagar

    may i know you will answer it right now or i have to wait for your reply

  • sagar

    hi robby,

    Im facing problem in fluency and making sentences because its so hard to think and translate from one language to english……im working in a domestic bpo i speak in english 75% whole day with cust but all are repeated sentences, so please help me how i made my schedule and practic by my self to speak correct and fast.

  • Sure, please check out this article:

  • aditya

    can you suggest some topics for self discussion?

  • No problem, I hope it helps!

  • Sunny

    Thank you Guru!

  • Hi Sunny,

    The phrase you’re using – Here’s the thing – is really, really good for such situations, I’m using it a lot myself.

    Here’s a few more phrases that will come in handy for you in such situations (great job using the idioms – well done!):

    And by the way…

    By the way, I read (heard) somewhere that…

    (Person’s name), there’s something really interesting I’d like to tell you!…

    You know, …

    Most commonly, however, I would just refer to the person by their name and just say – did you know that… – simple as that!



  • Sunny

    Hi Robby, could you please spare a few minutes from your precious time and help me out in finding a suitable idiom/phrase for the following situation- Me and my friend discussing about a topic , now after saying a few common lines i think that i have an interesting point to make, I know what the point is , but i don’t know exactly what transitional word/phrase to say before making the point so that i sound smarter. MORE OFTEN THAN NOT,I use the phrase – ‘here’s the interesting thing’ .
    So,could you please suggest me some more smarter ‘transitional phrases’ if i am not wrong to say in SUCH AND SIMILAR situations.

    P.S. Idioms all in upper case are the ones I learned from your blog.

  • Hi Su,

    Not sure what you mean by joining this blog – you can leave comments and read the blog content for free!

  • Su

    Can somebody tell me how to join this blog? Thanks

  • I haven’t heard of anything like that either, and I wholeheartedly agree that speaking out loud is a perfect way of improving one’s ability to express themselves properly (if it’s second language such as English) or organize thoughts (if you do it in your native language.)

    Speaking of speaking with oneself as a sign of some mental condition – I’m sure that many normal people do it and if there’s something more to it, surely there are other symptoms that indicate that the person in question has some issues – strange behavior etc.

  • Hikari

    I am a muslim too, yet I am surprised to see this statement. I never heard any verse or hadith that forbids or discourages us to speak with ourselves. I am afraid that my lack of knowledge would leave me in ignorance, so please do me a favor. I respectfully ask you, brother Menj, to at least provide me and the readers, with a source to support your statement, in which you claimed that this is an act of “syirik”.

    I talk to myself a lot, with a clear purpose in mind and that is to improve my speech. I hope with practice, I could gain confidence especially when public speaking is a valuable skill. Sometimes talking out loud to myself also helps me to organize my thought, and it helps me to get a job done rather easier. It just doesn’t make sense to me why this could be considered as a bad thing.

    I am also aware that there is a psychological condition in which a person might talk to himself/herself. In some cases, when it gets bad, the person might end up harming himself/herself. If this is the case, yes, I agree that the person needs to make an effort to find a solution to this problem since harming oneself is never a good thing.

  • Hi Menj,

    This comes as a surprise to me, I wasn’t aware of that!

    Now can you tell me where do you draw the line?

    If you can’t simply talk all by yourself, can you record a video using a camcorder on the basis that you’re talking to anyone who’s going to watch the video?


  • Ibn Juferi

    we are not allowed to talk to ourselves in islam. it is shirk. it is a crime against god and his messenger to do so. so as a muslim, how to i improve my english. please dont ask me to talk to myself because that is against my religion.
    Muslim Daawa activist
    Selangor, MALAYSIA

  • I’m so glad you’ve been taking action by working on your active vocab – well done and keep up the hard work!

  • Mahesh

    Yes,I couldn’t agree more.I had a good grip on understanding english what you stated as passive vocabulary but speaking was the hardest thing for me, I was kicking myself why this struggle with speaking.Then I came across the magic term “active vocabulary” from English harmony and that made the difference.Thank you so much..Now my confidence have gone up.

  • Sorry Shibbyl, I forgot to respond for some reason or another! Must have skipped the comment somehow….

    Anyway – here’s what I think.

    You definitely have at least 20 mins a day total amount of time to use for your spoken practice while you:

    * have a breakfast at home in the morning;
    * take a shower;
    * walk to public transport/drive in a car;
    * visit a bathroom;
    * wait till you fall asleep!

    Each and every single one of those individual occasions probably won’t provide you with more than 3 – 5 mins long practice, but all taken together they result in a real opportunity to take your spoken fluency to the next level.

    Basically the mantra I would go by is – don’t try to find reasons as to why something can’t happen – you can always find those.

    Try finding opportunities instead!

    Yes, I understand you may feel that if you don’t get to talk a lot during the day that those short practice sessions are not going to change a lot, but believe me – they will if you pack a lot into them:

    * plan your day;
    * discuss stuff that’s been going on so far in the day;
    * narrate your actions;
    * describe how you feel –

    – and based on all that build your active English vocab and add relevant phraseology onto your existing one.

    On the finishing note let me tell you that yes – it would be easier if you lived and worked in an English speaking environment. However, you have to work with what you’ve got, so I’d say you should literally embrace EVERY second you can snatch during the day to do some spoken practice! 😉



  • Shibbyl

    Hey Robby, i know you are busy. But, could you give me some advice for my “issue”?

  • Shibbyl

    Animation studio. It’s like working on film, game or tv ads. Even i have my own desk, it’s very quiet.I even listen my coworkers behind me.Talking in themselves.

  • Hi Shibbyl,

    Can I just ask one more thing before giving you any advice – what kind of a studio is it?

    Chat soon,


  • Shibbyl

    WoW, thank you for the great advice you give us here Robby.
    But, i found myself a little bit more worried. Because i am working in studio, where even with a whisper you can listen what has been told. And i know, for practice speaking, i need to spent much more time. But, i work 10,12h per day, my professional is not from 9 to 5.

    When i get home i am really tired, i fall asleep immediately.

    What do you think, how should i practice English speaking with myself in my situation?

  • ranjitha

    hi sir i want some tips for learning english…..

  • Hi Sergey,nnThanks a lot for your comment!nnI completely agree with you. I wouldn’t call it a hard task tough, because if you like the language you learn you should enjoy the learning process. Still you’re correct in saying that to learn English VERY WELL would be a time-consuming process.nnFrankly speaking, I can’t speak English up to the highest standards. I’m not nearly as eloquent as other foreign English speakers I’ve met in my life, not to mention industry professionals. But then again I think our individual fluency requirements differ depending on what activities we engage on a regular basis – and that’s one of the main points I’m making on my blog.

  • Paul Phoenix

    Grettings!nnMy name’s Sergey Dragunov.nnI really enjoy reading stuff on the site and I’m sure many people will improve their spoken English by following the great tips given here.nAfter about 7 months of learning the English language on my own I’ve come to understand it’s not a big deal to learn to speak any language about ordinary things that happen in your daily life. Learning to speak English very well, however, is an extremely hard and time-consuming task, a goal which I believe soo few people actually manage to accomplish even though too many would claim otherwise.

  • Hi Abhishek,nnThanks for your comment and I’m glad you’re feeling improvement in terms of confidence. Let me know how your spoken English class goes in a while!

  • Abhishek9757

    hi sir,thanks to keep me in touch i am following your rules to seaking my self and i realy i am feeling improvement,I am very thankfull to you that u given me advise and i am just foliowing You and now i Opened My own English Spoken Class from Today if i get a chance to teaching to student then i will help them by all means to lear and will get aquainted them with you.Thank Sir.

  • Thanks for your comment Veronika! I’m glad you found this article helpful, and yes – the problem you mentioned in your comment is widespread. Well, that’s why I’m running this blog after all – to show people that to become fluent English speakers we need to SPEAK!

  • Oh Robby, you’re totally right. we also have this problem (understand everything but can’t speak like a dog) at school, even if we study English during all school years (in russia they are 11), we perfectly know grammar, but no speaking practice at all. So, this article is really useful. thanks))

  • Thanks Jerry, I’m glad you find my advice helpful!

  • Jfbssp

    Hey Robby! I just wanted to let you know that I agree with you 100%!. I’ve spent the last five years reading and watching Italian tv with very little progress. Yes, I understand almost everything but speak like a 2 year old child. It has taken my 5 long years to discover that the #1 thing to do is to think in the language!. Thanks, you have been a big help. Jerry from New York