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10 Ways to Improve the Way You Speak English

by Tiffany

Many deserving candidates often lose out on jobs because they might be a bit difficult to understand. The better you communicate with those your work with, the more effective and successful you will be at your job and in your daily life interacting with people!

But how do you train yourself to do so?

Through practice, you can soon learn to speak English as comfortably and easily as your native tongue. Incorporate these tips into your daily life. As with anything in life, the more you practice something the proper way, the better you will become at it. Here are several tips to improve your English speaking skills.

1. Observe the mouth movements of those who speak English well and try to imitate them.

When you are watching television or watching people in real life converse, observe the mouth movements of the speakers. Repeat what they are saying, while imitating the intonation and rhythm of their speech. Great television shows which reflect everyday English conversation are Friends, Seinfeld and The Simpsons.

2. Listen to English music, television and movies to get familiar with the language sounds.

This is an extremely helpful and fun way to improve your English. Also listen to the volume of their voices depending on the situation. Remember that loud volume can sometimes indicate aggressiveness or anger in certain situations. Watch the English news on television channels like CNN (for American English) or the BBC (If you wish to study British English). The news is very helpful because their speech must be clear, concise and objective - however, keep in mind they do not hold a great amount of emotion in their voices because of this.

3. Use the dictionary.

Try and familiarise yourself with the phonetic symbols of your dictionary. Look up the correct pronunciation of words that are hard for you to say. Write down words and their definitions in a notebook for future reference - it may come in handy!

4. Make a list of frequently used words that you find difficult to pronounce and ask someone who speaks the language well to pronounce them for you.

Record these words, listen to them and practice saying them. Listen and read at the same time.

5. Buy books on tape.

Record yourself reading some sections of the book. Compare the sound of your English with that of the person reading the book on the tape.

6. Pronounce the ending of each word.

Pay special attention to '-s' and '-ed' endings. This will help you strengthen the mouth muscles that you use when you speak English.

7. Read aloud in English for at least 15 minutes every day.

Research has shown it takes about three months of daily practice to develop strong mouth muscles for speaking a new language. Find something you enjoy reading - especially if it has a lot of dialogue, and read it aloud. Even if you don't speak aloud, reading as many English books as possible will increase your vocabulary and knowledge of sentence structure. Make sure when you read these books that you understand what the author is trying to say.

8. Record your own voice and listen for pronunciation mistakes.

Many people hate to hear the sound of their voice and avoid listening to themselves speak. However, this is a very important exercise because doing it will help you become conscious of the mistakes you are making.

9. Be patient.

You can change the way you speak but it won't happen overnight. People often expect instant results and give up too soon. You can change the way you sound if you are willing to put some effort into it.

10. Know which version of English you intend to speak.

Various versions of the English language exist. Begin by identifying the category you fall into and start by improving the clarity of your speech.

What else?

As a overall and final note, I would recommend for you to simply practice and repeat. Having conversations with others in English is quite helpful because you refresh your memory on what you know, and you learn new things as well. When my mother didn't know what a word meant or how it was pronounced, she would ask me the meaning and to pronounce it. Then she would whisper it to herself repeatedly after this. This helps to strengthen your memory.

Immersing yourself in English-speaking culture is a good way to appreciate the understand the English language without losing a sense of your own identity and culture. Don't forget that you can embrace both!

Images: Ybite M00by

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