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How to improve English Speaking and Listening

Date:2012-09-01 09:11Source:unknown Author:admin Click: times

    The best thing to do when you are trying to learn a language is to practise.  Practise as often as you are able, whenever and wherever you can.  Talk to people, read books, listen to music, watch TV and movies, anything you can do to immerse yourself in the language you are trying to learn.  How you practise is not nearly as important as the fact that you simply practise. 

    It is often easy to forgo home practise, especially if no one in your home speaks the language you are learning, so it is very important to find ways to motivate yourself.  Setting goals or assignments for yourself gives you something to work towards and a way to measure your own progress.  If you are not invested in your own learning, there is no way for you to succeed.  Learning a language requires a great deal of time and effort not only in your lessons, but outside of them as well, so you must be willing to work at it.  A good thing to do is to set yourself a specific practise assignment. Something you will commit to doing outside of your class work.

    Some examples:  I will practise speaking English for one hour a day.

                I will read one English book a week.

                I will listen to the news in English three times a week.

                I will write in a journal in English every day.

    No matter what you decide to do, make sure you practise all of your language skills: speaking, reading, writing and listening.  (They are all important and each one will help improve the other skills.)  No matter what the assignments and goals you decide to set for yourself are, make sure they are realistic.  It is good to challenge yourself, but not to the point where you cannot complete the assignments you have set for yourself or your goals seem unachievable.  This can be demoralising and hinder rather than help you.

    To practise listening at home you can listen to radio programs, audio books, and watch English programming on TV (the news, movies, TV shows) each of these things will help you to hone your listening skills.  The more you expose yourself to the different accents, idioms, and colloquialisms of native speakers the easier it will be for you to understand.  For speaking there is no quick way to improve other than to practise, practise, practise.  The more you speak the easier it will become.  A good way to practise speaking on your own is to read aloud.  If you are not sure about the pronunciation of a word, there are many websites you can use to find out how to say it correctly.  Here are a few sites that may be helpful dictionary often has two listening options: UK [British] or US [American])


    Just remember that learning a language is a process and the more you practise the better you will become.  Be patient with yourself, practise every day, try your best and do not be afraid to ask questions and get help when you need it.  If you do all these things you will certainly succeed in learning English.


ESL Teacher: Vanessa Bliss

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