Speaking In English

When I was a student at university I studied French and I was always worried about my accent and my level in French. This was a big problem for me because it stopped me from talking to people and also from making progress. 

I`m sure students who learn English feel the same. 

They get nervous and don`t want to talk with other people. So my advice is: don`t be afraid! Speak with your teacher and with other people you meet. No one will make fun of you and it can help you so much with your studies. 


When I went to France my french was not very good at all and my pronunciation was...well...terrible. But, I knew I had to carry on so I spoke with people and I tried to improve my accent by watching youtube videos and eventually the hard work paid off and now I can speak fluently (I still make some mistakes of course!). Here are just some things to help you with your pronunciation and speaking.


1) You can search for pronunciation guides online. There are lots of videos explaining how to pronounce English words. Just searching for a "word + pronunciation" will often bing up a short video showing how to pronounce a word.


2) Record yourself. Use the record function on your phone to make a recording of yourself speaking. Sometimes when you speak it is hard to know where the problems are. If you record yourself then you can compare your pronunciation with the pronunciation of native speakers. 


3) Shadowing. Find an audio book online and download the book version too. You can read and listen to the book at the same time. This will help you correct your pronunciation and help you learn vocabulary as well. Look at the Audible and Amazon websites to find English books and audiobooks.


4) Watch a TV show in English with subtitles and read along with the show. Watch as much as possible and don`t give up! It will be hard at the beginning but you will get used to it. 


5) Speak as much as possible. Your mouth has to get used to the sounds so you need to speak as much as possible. Come to Sunrise a little early and talk to other students or staff in the lobby. You can then come to class with extra questions if you have any. 


6) Think only in English! If you can, try to think in English and (I know it sounds strange) talk to yourself in English. Just practice saying different things and really force yourself to say things and think things in English. 


7) Find a Podcast in slow English. There are podcasts on itunes where you can listen to slow English and also sometimes read the text as well. These are good to practice your listening skills and also the pronunciation. You can also improve your vocabulary and also understand a lot more because it`s much slower than normal English. Many podcast players have an option to slow down the speed.



Don`t forget: it`s ok to make mistakes! I`m learning Japanese now and I can say that I do not speak very well but I try to force myself to speak when I am in restaurants and in shops. I have a lot of work to do and sometimes I get embarrassed but I know if I keep trying then I will make progress. Good luck and keep up the good work!


- David