Is it possible for someone to practice speaking English alone?
If yes, how?
Watch this video to learn about a simple speaking exercise that can help improve your English speaking skills.
The best thing about is exercise is that you can do it by yourself. No speaking partner is required!
Now let’s find out what this exercise is:Show transcript
It’s very effective. Before I began doing this exercise, I spoke like this:
As you can hear, back then I did not speak clearly. I was mumbling all the time. If you have the same problem, this exercise can help improve the clarity of your speech.
Here’s how it works: First, you need to find English listening material like an audiobook or a podcast. And by the way you can find a link to download this kind of material for free at the end of this video.
Once you have that, just listen to it and try to repeat what you hear to the best of your ability. This will help improve your speech in several ways: it helps strengthen the muscles involved in speaking, it helps improve your pronunciation, and so on.
This exercise seems easy to do, but doing it effectively is not easy. The results you get depend on your accuracy. If you can repeat what you hear accurately, you will get great results. But if you’re not very accurate, you’ll probably get poor results. So let’s talk about the single most important thing you can do to get the best results possible from this exercise.
The single most important thing you can do is to slow down the audio before doing the exercise.
Most media players allow you to change playback speed. You can use that function to decrease the playback speed like this:
If it’s a video, slow it down as well.
Why do we have to do this?
Well, there are two reasons.
Firstly, it ensures that you will speak slowly. Speaking fast is not good. The faster you speak, the more mistakes you’ll make. Every time you make a mistake, you’re more likely to repeat that mistake in the future. We don’t want that to happen.
Secondly, in order to repeat what you hear accurately, you need to hear it clearly. But if it’s too fast like this:
If it’s too fast like that, you’re going to miss some details. You’re not going to hear some sounds such as the -ed endings of verbs in the past tense. If you don’t hear the input clearly, the output you produce will not be accurate.
Now let’s see this technique in action.
OK. It’s simple, right? All you have to do is listen closely, repeat what you hear. When you repeat, pay attention to your pronunciation. If it sounds good, move on. If you hear a mistake or if you’re not sure, go back and listen to that part then try again until you get it right.
Also, if the current sentence is long, you should pause mid-sentence and just repeat that part. Don’t wait until the speaker finishes the whole sentence or you might forget the beginning of that sentence.
The key is to practice slowly. Don’t rush. Your goal is accuracy not speed. It’s not how fast you can do it. It’s how slowly you can do it correctly.
Alright, that’s all you need to know to get great results from this simple exercise. If you want to get started, click here to go to my website where you can download some materials to practice with for free.
English Materials You Can Use to Practice With
To get the best results possible, you should never practice with movies because:
- Movies characters usually don’t talk like normal people do – they talk with a super dramatic tone of voice, they mumble, they whisper, etc.
- people don’t talk all the time throughout the movie. You’ll waste a lot of time watching scenes where there’s no conversation such as a fight scene, a car chase scene, and so on
- conversations aren’t real
The best materials to use are audiobooks and podcasts. My favorite kind are audiobooks because they’re recorded by professionals who speak clearly.
You can find free audiobooks at https://librivox.org. Below are a few audiobooks from that website that have good quality:
- Mozart: The Man and the Artist as Revealed in His Own Words (download)
- The House of a Thousand Candles (download)
- The World I Live In (download)
You can find some podcasts to download here. Listen to a few of them, then choose the speaker(s) that you’d like to imitate.