Spend more than five minutes online and the chances are you will come across hundreds of pop-ups, adverts and emails all claiming to hold the secret to fast language learning. Whether they tell you they can get you speaking Japanese fluently in a week or that only they know how to improve English speaking fast, they all have one thing in common: they’re not going to happen. Want to know the real secret to effective language learning in a short space of time: hard work and lots of practice. But it doesn’t have to be as dry as that sounds. Here are a few hints and tips from teachers, English language lecturers and EFL students for how to improve your English speaking skills quickly, but effectively! English is just the example language, of course, and it will apply to everything you try your hand at!
1. Practice with native speakers
Buying text books, taking online exams and memorising verb tables is all well and good, but it’s tough work and fairly boring even for the most motivated of students looking to improve English speaking. Interacting with native speakers, however, is a fun, effective and simple way of increasing your English speaking skills. Whether you find a tandem partner to practice with on Skype, over a coffee on a Saturday morning or at school or college, finding a native speaker to help you with pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar is one of the best ways to advance quickly. If you don’t speak with native English speaking people, you’ll never advance, will you?
2. Take a course at an English school
This might sound like quite a big commitment, but really, it’s not. Taking a course at an English school to improve your English speaking skills is a tried and tested method of advancing quickly. And you don’t have to drop everything in your life, either. Nowadays English courses can be very flexible, often operating at evenings and weekends and can offer a range of offers and discounts at certain times of the year, so try to take advantage when you can. Whether you end up at English schools in Cape Town or English schools in Florida, there are thousands of great English schools across the area with teachers there who can help you improve very quickly. Check out what is available near you by searching for English schools online.
3. Learn vocabulary and grammar at the same time
This is the most basic method, and perhaps not the most fun, but if you don’t master the basics, you will never advance. Try to combine vocabulary with grammar learning, either using online tools, textbooks or just by yourself with a dictionary. It’s important to combine the more fun aspects, such as taking an English course or finding a speaking partner, with activities like vocabulary memorization and grammar practice.
4. Use podcasts, listen to music, watch films…
Now we come to the really fun part. If you want to become an effective English speaking person in a short amount of time, the trick is to immerse yourself in English speaking culture. For some, this could mean a study trip to an English school abroad, but for others without such a free budget, it might just mean some time at home, watching English speaking movies, television programmes or other media. There is a huge amount of English speaking media available online for free, such as the BBC news website or the Guardian newspaper, that offer a huge resource of language learning material, so it’s up to you to take advantage of it!
If you combine all of the methods discussed above, or even just focus on one or two, your English will be fluent in no time at all. Language learning is tricky work, but if you want to know how to improve English speaking skills fast, you might just have found the answer here!