Hey there, funky readers! Tired of being speechless when trying to speak Spoken English? Do you find yourself struggling to express yourself confidently in conversations? Well, it's time to get your groove on because, in this blog, we will share 10 funky tips to help you practice English speaking like a boss! We've got you covered from mastering pronunciation to building your vocabulary and fluency. You don't have to be a native English speaker to be able to communicate with confidence. we are here to prove it. So, let's put on our dancing shoes and groove our way to better English-speaking skills! Are you ready to funk it up? Let's go!
Think about your Motivation
The best students I had during my time in Korea were those who had some motivation beyond a grade in a class or a score on a TOIEC test. They wanted to learn Business English because they were looking for a job that required English (working for a commercial company, flight attendant, fashion designer, etc.) because they wanted to travel the world with a backpack, or because they had an English-speaking cousin. I was learning Or a friend, etc. Anything is better motivation for speaking a language than just getting a score on a test! Think about your motivation. What is it? Say it now! Write it down on a piece of paper. Mount to a bedroom wall or bathroom mirror. Remind yourself, when things are difficult, why are you studying English?
Think about your Goals
Your motivation is why you want to learn English. Your goals are what you want to do in English. Do you want to speak to coworkers in English? Do you need to pass a test for work? Would you like to be accepted as a school or apprentice? In order to be smart about your language learning, you need SMART goals:
Specific- Focus on one single skill; for example, begin, maintain, and end a conversation naturally with discourse markers is a more specific goal than improve conversation skills.
Measurable- Have a tool to assess your progress. If there is no way to measure your development, how will you know when you have reached your goal?
Attainable- Be realistic. While you should aim high, a goal of 100% fluency is un- likely for most people. Arnold Schwarzenegger has an accent despite living in the US for over thirty years. Attainable goals are realistic for both your current level and the amount of time and resources you have to improve your English right now. If you have only one hour to study each week, set lower goals than if you had one hour per day!
Relevant- The goals should align with your needs and current language level. Focus on the areas where you are weak. Vocabulary? Grammar? Confidence in speaking? Listening?
Time-bound- Your goals need a deadline. Without a deadline, it will be too easy to procrastinate, or put off achieving them until you have more time, energy, the right study partner, etc.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when you are setting your SMART goals:
- Who, if anyone, will I study with? Will I work with a tutor, a friend, a conver-
- What materials will I use? Books, apps, videos, pen and paper, etc.
- When will I study? Before work/ school, during breaks, just before bed? Set a specific time and day to study.
- When won’t I study? If you don’t plan exceptions, you will give yourself a reason to quit. For example, if you have a project to complete for work or school due one week, can you take a week off? A day? If you get sick and take a day or two off, will you make those lessons up later in the week?
- Where will I study? Do you have a dedicated study or work area at home? If not, think about where you will study. If you are studying away from home, choose a comfortable, well-lit, reasonably quiet location. For example, if you will be reading, the library is an obvious choice, but not if you are meeting a speaking partner. Similarly, a coffee shop is a better choice to meet a speaking partner than a noisy bar.
- Why is this a goal for me? Can it help you communicate with a specific person or group? Will it help you meet some requirements for school or work?
- How will I work towards this goal? This puts together a few of the above elements. For example, “I will meet a conversation group once a week, listen to one podcast and read the transcript at home on Mondays and Wednesdays after work, and work through Conversation Strategies with a tutor for onehour on Saturday mornings.”
Learning another language can be fun! Of course, some things are not fun; studying vocabulary lists, or figuring out a difficult grammar concept won't be easy. But there are so many cool things! For example:
- Watch an English movie or TV show
- Read an English book that you enjoy
- Talk to some friends in English
- Go out to a foreign restaurant where the waiter or waitress doesn’t speak your native language
- Join a conversation club
- Practice singing some English songs
Remember to have fun while you learn! This is what will motivate you to keep going and you’ll end up learning more in the end.
Don’t Give Up!
It’s normal to get frustrated when learning. You WILL get frustrated when learning English. We guarantee it! You might feel bored, lonely, confused, tired, apathetic, etc. Everyone experiences this. It is important not to give up. Take a short break for a few hours, possibly a day or two. Do something fun that you enjoy. Get some exercise. Eat some healthy food. Take a nap. Talk to your friends and family. Relax with your pet. Then go back to studying. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to keep going. Remember: you are not a robot! People need time to relax. Give your brain a break.
According to this Korea Herald survey (http://www.koreaherald.com/view.php?ud=20140218000688), Korean high school students sleep less than 6 hours a night. That’s not enough sleep, especially when you’re studying so much. Your brain needs time to rest and organize the information you learned during the day; this happens when you sleep.
Sleeping also allows you to focus more easily the next day. Of course, you know the difference when trying to study after sleeping only 3-4 hours compared to 7-8 hours. It’s much easier after 7-8 hours! Even though you might be able to study a bit longer when sleeping 3-4 hours, you probably will learn less. Focused study time when you’re well-rested allows you to learn something. Studying when you’re really, really tired is not productive. Do yourself a favour- get enough sleep! You’ll be able to remember what you learned much more effectively.
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The bad news is that there are no shortcuts to becoming fluent in English. No magic pill, no magic program. It takes a lot of effort to become fluent in any language.
Experts disagree about the number of study hours required to master the language, but estimates range from 1,000 for him to 2,500 for her. The lower end is for “easier” languages and 2,500 for “harder” languages. The good news is that English is considered one of the easier ones, especially for Europeans or those who speak Spanish. Unfortunately, if you are a native speaker of an Asian language or Arabic, it will be at the “harder” end of the spectrum. So don’t give up, and keep working on it! Be patient with yourself because it will take time to become fluent. The key is to progress each week, month, and year.
Don’t be Afraid of Mistakes
I make a lot of mistakes when learning new things. This is a fact! This is normal for anything and not just English! Remember the very first thing you cooked? It probably wasn’t so delicious and took you a long time. Maybe your kitchen was a disaster afterward. How about the first time you shot a basketball? It probably didn’t go in! Learning a language is the same. You won’t be good at it when you start, but the key is to keep practicing and improving. But practicing English speaking is hard if you’re scared of mistakes. So try to overcome your fear and speak. Of course, you’ll make lots of mistakes. But the most important thing is to keep trying. People won’t laugh at you. They’ll be kind and try to understand what you’re saying, even if imperfect.
Practice Every Day
The best English speakers are those who practice every single day. This requires some serious commitment! However, if you want to become fluent in English, this is a must. The best results come from studying for 1-2 hours a day consistently for years. These people eventually start to sound almost like native English speakers. If you can’t commit to this amount, it’s better to do something small daily than a lot only once a month. For example, 20 minutes daily is better than once a month for 10 hours. If you study only once a month, you’ll forget almost everything you studied the previous month and have to relearn it. But if you learn a little bit each day, it will be fresh in your memory.
Immerse Yourself in English
In my experience, the best English speakers are those who are immersed in it. By “immerse,” I mean getting obsessed with English! These people practice English in many ways: English-speaking friends or a boyfriend or girlfriend, reading, listening to podcasts, attending a conversation class, studying for an English test, watching movies or TV, studying vocabulary on the bus, etc. Think in English, dream in English, speak in English!
Tell your Family and Friends about your Goal
Studies show that sharing goals with family and friends can help you achieve them. Of course, this makes sense. These people can help support you in reaching your goal. You will also feel accountable to them if you give up and fail. So tell lots of people that you want to speak English well! Talk to them about your progress and how you practice. Maybe some of them will be inspired and join you. Who knows!
Here are a few tips for making goals:
- Make some small goals. If you make one huge goal like “Speaking English fluently,” it can take years to reach. It's easy to give up and get frustrated. Instead, make many small goals. Memorize _____ vocabulary words each week. Make one new English-speaking friend this year. Go to one conversation club meeting each week. Sign up for and attend 90% of an English conversation class for one month. Get a score of _____ on the TOIEC speaking test.
- Reward yourself. Once you achieve your goal, reward yourself. Get yourself a small gift-a book you want, a nice journal, a new pair of socks, or go out for a movie with a friend.
- Think about long-term goals too. You may want to study at an English-speaking university. Perhaps you want to get a job requiring a high English level. Always keep this in mind when you’re studying to help with motivation in the long run but don’t forget to set plenty of small goals for yourself along the way.
In conclusion, by incorporating these ten funky tips into your English-speaking practice, you'll be the talk of the town! From impressing your friends with your newfound vocabulary to nailing your accent like a pro, you can strut your stuff confidently in any conversation. And if all else fails, remember that a good sense of humour can go a long way ????. So, grab your favourite funky hat, get your English-speaking playlist on, and let's groove our way to better communication skills! Keep it funky, my friends!