English isn’t spoken the same way it’s written, so you’re going to need to do more than read a book and practice with written tests if you want to be able to communicate effectively. What’s the best way to learn how to talk like a native speaker? Start doing it! Below you’ll find six tips that will give you a better ear for spoken English and help you speak with confidence.
Surround yourself with native speakers
If you’re living in a country where English is the native language, make friends with native speakers to give yourself more opportunities to practice. If you don’t know where to meet native speakers, consider taking a community class, joining an amateur sports league, or attending a free event. It will be easier to talk to native speakers if you’re participating in an activity that interests you!
Ask friends to correct your speaking errors
Let your native English-speaking friends know that you’d like them to correct your grammar or pronunciation errors so you’ll be more aware of what you need to practice.
Have a debate
If you’re having trouble coming up with things to talk about in your ESL class, pick a topic with two sides so you and your classmates can take opposing sides and work on building your vocabulary while making an argument.
Learn a new word every day
Challenge yourself to learn at least one new word every day and use it in spoken conversation. Think about words you often use in your native language, and teach yourself the English equivalents.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes when they’re learning a new language, so you shouldn’t be anxious about sometimes making mistakes when you speak. One of the biggest challenges for many ESL students is overcoming the fear of speaking in English and making mistakes, so if you can just tell yourself that mistakes are a part of learning and aren’t anything to worry about, you can greatly improve your spoken English.