10 Ways to Improve Speaking a Foreign Language
On a daily basis, both Arsenio and I receive questions from English Language Learners who want to know, “How can I improve my English speaking?” So, in this episode, Arsenio and I discuss my Top 10 Ways to Improve Speaking a Foreign Language.
I’m grateful to be a regular guest on The Arsenio Buck Show, a high-energy ESL Podcast! Arsenio interviews English teachers and English language learners from all over the world, giving practical English language learning and teaching tips through entertaining discussions and cultural stories. In previous podcast episodes we have discussed everything from How Mindfulness Benefits Both Teachers and Students to the Balance of all 4 Domains of English Language Learning: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. Speaking Strategies are sprinkled throughout all of our podcast episodes. However, due to the high demand, we made one concise discussion with our favorite foreign language speaking strategies.
You can listen to the podcast for our explanations and examples. Here are the bullet points of my Top 10 Ways to Improve Speaking a Foreign Language:
1) Speak in Daily Interactions
Put yourself out there in natural speaking settings.
2) Conversation Partner
You can find a conversation partner in person OR online.
3) Integrate all 4 Domains of Language Learning: Reading, Writing, Speaking, & Listening
Above all, language lessons are most effective when there is a balance between all four domains of language learning: reading, writing, speaking, and listening! For example, watch TV and videos WITH SUBTITLES in the target language to hear how native speakers speak.
4) Sing Karaoke
It’s amazing how many of the Multiple Intelligences are incorporated into singing a song through karaoke!
5) Listen to a variety of different accents of the target language
For example, listening to Arsenio’s podcast, in which he interviews English speakers all over the world, is an exceptional way to hear English speakers of MANY accents– WHILE sharing language learning experiences and strategies!
6) Reflect after Conversations
Make note of what went well and what was difficult. Then look up the unknown words or phrases from the conversation that you could prepare to make a similar conversations easier next time.
7) Collect useful phrases on notecards or your phone
Essentially, these are cheat sheets of phrases you’ll want to use in a specific context (at the grocery store, post office, bank, etc.)
8) Record Yourself Speaking
This is a valuable way to notice your speaking habits, including pace, pausing, accenting syllables, and pronunciation strengths and weaknesses.
9) Make Phone Calls
Also, leaving voice messages has a similar benefit. So take a risk– put yourself out there!
10) Ask native speakers to critique your speech
Most importantly, native speakers can point out pronunciation strengths and weaknesses that language learners may never notice on their own.
In conclusion, these are 10 Ways to Improve Speaking a Foreign Language–out of so many other strategies! So, do you have favorite speaking strategies? Please share!