Spoken English Tip #1:
Learn phrases, not just individual words
If you study individual English words in isolation, this is what happens:
When you need to speak, you have to think a lot in order to combine the individual words in the right order, using the right grammar, and in a way that makes sense.
That’s WAY too much work!
If you focus on learning phrases instead, then you will have ready answers and responses for any situation – no need to over-think. Focusing on phrases will help you speak English in complete sentences more naturally.
Spoken English Tip #2: Listen to more English
Most English learners read too much and listen too little.
But when babies and children learn English, they listen first – then speak – and later learn to read and write.
Half of a conversation is hearing the other person – and if you don’t understand what they’re saying, how can you respond correctly? So if you want to improve your English speaking, spend more time listening!
Bonus: Listening more will also help you naturally improve your pronunciation and reduce your accent.
Spoken English Tip #3: Practice speaking by yourself
(both reading aloud and speaking spontaneously)
When you speak English, there are two main difficulties:
- The mental difficulty of thinking of the English words to say
- The physical difficulty of pronouncing the English words correctly
Reading English texts out loud will help you with the second part without having to worry about the first part. It will train your mouth and lips to pronounce English words more easily.
Speaking English spontaneously by yourself is also EXTREMELY helpful in developing your ability to put your ideas into words… without the pressure of a real conversation. You can look at a list of discussion questions and respond out loud in English – speaking alone.
It might feel a little silly, but remember – this is GREAT training for your spoken English, and there’s nobody to hear your mistakes!
Spoken English Tip #4: Practice thinking in English
Do you think in your native language and then translate it into English in your head before speaking?
Don’t do this! It often results in sentences that don’t sound natural in English, because the sentence structure is often different in English and your native language.
Also, it takes WAY too much time to think and translate when you’re in a conversation.
One of the biggest secrets to speaking English fast and fluently is to learn to think directly in English. The great news is that this is is a skill you CAN develop with practice, and you can practice anytime – while taking the bus, while waiting in line, while sitting at home.
Try thinking in English for a few minutes today, to start building this habit!
Spoken English Tip #5:
Get an online conversation partner
“How can I practice speaking English if I have nobody to talk with?”
There are “conversation exchange” websites where you can find a partner who speaks English, but wants to learn your native language.
You can then schedule a conversation session and speak half in English, half in your native language so that both of you can practice.
It’s also good to have someone help correct any errors in a relaxed, low-pressure situation.
Here are some examples of conversation exchange websites:
- Top 10 websites for English language exchange
So if you don’t have a conversation partner, get one today – it will really help you practice your speaking.
Spoken English Tip #6: Remember that communication is more important than grammar
Do you get nervous when speaking because you’re afraid of making a mistake?
Remember that the #1 goal of speaking English is to communicate. Although grammar is important, it is less important than communication when speaking English.
Here’s a simple example – if you say:
“Yesterday I go to party on beach.”
The sentence isn’t grammatically correct, but it DOES successfully communicate your message, and an English speaker will understand you. It’s better to say something “wrong” and still communicate successfully than to say nothing!
Also, the grammar of spoken English is more flexible than the grammar of written English – so don’t worry too much about grammar when speaking.
Spoken English Tip #7: Speak slowly
Trying to speak English too fast won’t make you sound like a native speaker. Instead, it can actually make it more difficult for the other person to understand you.
Speaking English slowly has two advantages:
- It gives you more time to think of what to say
- It makes your speech clearer so the other person can understand
Over time and with practice, your spoken English will get faster naturally.
Spoken English Tip #8:
If you forget a word, use other words
It’s very common for English learners to stop a sentence in the middle because they’ve forgotten the word they want to use – but try to be creative. The other person can help you if you describe the word you want by using other English words.
For example, one of my students was describing a recipe, and he didn’t know the word for one of the vegetables. So he said “It’s white, and like a ball, and when you cut it, you cry.”
I said, “It’s an onion.”
So you can see that my student communicated successfully by using different words, even though he didn’t know the word he wanted to use.
Spoken English Tip #9:
Relax & have a positive, confident attitude
If you make a mistake or forget a word when you are speaking English – it’s OK! Don’t be nervous or afraid.
The person who you’re talking to will understand and be patient with you. If you are insecure when speaking English, it will be even more difficult to speak.
So DON’T say “My English is terrible” or “Sorry for my bad English.” These are negative comments and they’re not helpful.
Instead, think “I can speak English!” before every conversation in order to give yourself more confidence and help you speak better!
Spoken English Tip #10:
Learn real English phrases for everyday life
Today, you have the opportunity to take an English course that focuses on useful English in the context of conversations.
The Everyday English Speaking Course is a simple, fun, and effective way to learn new phrases and expressions – and improve your speaking ability.
Each lesson is based on conversations, and reading and listening to the dialogues will help you improve your understanding.
The next part of the lesson explains and expands upon the vocabulary you heard in the conversations, teaching you new expressions and showing you how to use them.
There are lots of practice phrases which you can listen to and repeat to improve your English speaking.
Finally, each lesson has quizzes to help you test yourself and remember the new phrases – and opportunities for you to send speaking samples and get feedback from me on your spoken English.
Learn English for Daily Life
In this course, you’ll learn how to speak English in the typical situations of daily life:
Talking on the phone
- Going to restaurants & going shopping
- Traveling: airport, hotel, & sightseeing
- Talking about hobbies & entertainment
Learn Social English
You’ll also learn important phrases for social English, so that you can interact with other English speakers successfully and confidently.
Agreeing & disagreeing
- Giving opinions & advice
- Asking & interrupting politely
- Expressing thoughts & feelings
Learn Practical English
The course also covers practical vocabulary for talking about:
- Similarities & differences
- Certainty & probability
- Hypothetical situations
Interesting Topics in English
And finally, there are lessons on topics you don’t often find in textbooks:
Slang & euphemisms
- Interjections & swearing
- Discourse markers
- Using vague language
More than 100 students have taken this course and enjoyed it.
They describe the course as…
“Very good with clear explanations”
“Useful for daily life”
“Brilliant, warm, nice, and concrete”
“Totally worth it!”
Would you like to learn new phrases
and improve your speaking, using the same
expressions as native English speakers?
Register for the Everyday English Speaking Course
and start speaking better today!
Other English websites charge a monthly fee for access, but when you sign up for Everyday English Speaking, you’ll get instant and permanent access to the 45 lessons in the course.
You can take the lessons online or download them to your computer, and there’s no time limit for finishing – you have access to the course forever.
Your investment in the course is $45 – that’s just $1 per lesson – and you can pay by credit card, debit card, or PayPal through a secure connection that keeps your information safe.
For payment by bank deposit in Brazil, contact me for details.
Everyday English Speaking Course
One-time payment… permanent access
Everyday English Speaking Course – Lesson List
Lesson 1 – Telephone English Phrases
First let’s learn some essential telephone vocabulary, and then you’ll hear examples of formal and informal telephone conversations – learning phrases for making a call, answering a call, taking and leaving messages, and finishing the call.
Lesson 2 – Apartments & Neighborhoods
Today you’ll learn phrases for searching for an apartment and talking about where you live. At the end of today’s lesson, instead of a quiz, there’s an opportunity for you to send me a speaking sample. Don’t be shy!
Lesson 3 – Talking About TV & Movies
Emily and Dave are a husband and wife who are relaxing in front of the TV on a Saturday night. Listen to them decide on which TV show to watch. Bill and Wanda are two friends who are chatting about movies; from their conversation, you’ll learn how to comment on movies.
Lesson 4 – Talking About Relationships
Today you’re going to learn phrases for talking about every stage of a romantic relationship – from the first impressions upon meeting each other, to starting a relationship, making it official, and breaking up.
Lesson 5 – Talking About Your Hobbies
The word “hobby” refers to an activity or interest that you do for pleasure or relaxation. In this lesson, you’ll learn vocabulary words for some of the most common indoor/outdoor hobbies, as well as phrases for talking about your passions.
Lesson 6 – Public Transportation
Today you’ll learn how to ask for information, buy a bus/train ticket, and take a taxi. After this lesson, you’ll be able to speak confidently when taking public transportation in English!
Lesson 7 – Driving & Directions
Listen to a conversation about a terrible road trip, and learn phrases for talking about driving actions/problems as well as asking for directions to your destination.
Lesson 8 – Restaurants – Part I
We’re going to eat out – that means eating at a restaurant. Today you’ll learn how to make reservations, what to say when you arrive at the restaurant, and how to understand the menu.
Lesson 9 – Restaurants – Part II
Today we’ll continue our restaurant lesson by learning how to order the food, how to pay the bill, and how to talk about your experience at the restaurant.
Lesson 10 – Ordering Drinks, Coffee, and a Pizza
I hope you’re still hungry, because today you’re going to learn how to order drinks at a bar, order coffee at a cafe, and order pizza for delivery.
Lesson 11 – At the Post Office and Bank
Today we’re going to run some errands. “Errands” are activities of daily life that you do outside your house. Let’s go to the post office – that’s the place where you can send mail and packages – and the bank.
Lesson 12 – Shopping
Today’s lesson is all about shopping – let’s begin by learning about the different types of stores. Then, you’ll hear typical dialogues when shopping for clothes and shopping at the supermarket.
Lesson 13 – Getting Sick & Going to the Doctor
Today you’re going to learn phrases for not feeling well, and how to talk to a doctor about health problems and treatments.
Lesson 14 – Crime & Safety
How to talk about different types of crime and criminals, the process of justice and punishments for crime, and how to report a crime to a police officer.
Lesson 15 – Talking about the Weather
In this lesson, you’ll learn practical words and phrases for describing the current weather and temperature as well as predicting weather conditions in the future.
Lesson 16 – Airport (Part 1)
Are you ready to take a trip? We’re going to start a series of lessons on practical English for use while traveling. Today we’re going to go through the airport step by step, learning important vocabulary and useful phrases along the way.
Lesson 17 – Airport (Part 2)
Today you’ll learn how to go through immigration and customs, what to say if you miss a flight, and how to report lost luggage.
Lesson 18 – At a Hotel
We’ll continue our lessons about practical travel English with dialogues for making a hotel reservation, checking in and checking out, and describing problems with your hotel room.
Lesson 19 – Sightseeing
Today’s dialogues focus on asking for tourist information and booking a tour. There are also two quizzes that test your listening ability.
Lesson 20 – Camping & Hiking
In today’s lesson, you’ll accompany George to the countryside and learn vocabulary and phrases for camping and hiking.
Lesson 21 – At the Beach
Listen to this conversation to learn phrases and vocabulary for describing a beach and talking about what you bring and what you can do there.
Lesson 22 – Social English: Basics
Many students are afraid of making a mistake or “saying the wrong thing” when talking with a native English speaker. These social English lessons will teach you phrases you can use with confidence in various social situations. Let’s start with some basic expressions.
Lesson 23: Likes, Dislikes, and Preferences
Denise and Robert are discussing a new design for their website. Listen to their conversations to learn various phrases for talking about things you like (or love), things you don’t like, and what you prefer.
Lesson 24: Invitations and Offers
Knowing how to make – and respond to – invitations and offers is a very important part of social English. It helps you build professional relationships as well as friendships. This lesson will teach you how to speak in these situations in a friendly way that’s appropriate for the context.
Lesson 25: Agreeing & Disagreeing
Co-workers Shannon and Cathy agree that there need to be some changes in their office – but when they present their proposal to vice-president Dan, he disagrees with every single one of their ideas. In today’s lesson, you’ll learn multiple phrases for agreeing and disagreeing in formal and informal situations.
Lesson 26: Arguing & Swearing
Yesterday you learned how to disagree politely – but what if the disagreement turns into a real argument? Listen to this conversation between Christine and Tara, who share an apartment, to learn some of the common phrases used for arguing.
Lesson 27: Apologizing & Expressing Regret
In yesterday’s lesson, you learned how to argue and swear in English – but after having an argument or fight, it’s important to apologize in order to maintain a good relationship! This lesson will teach you about the different ways to say you’re sorry and accept responsibility for what you did wrong.
Lesson 28: Expressing Concern, Sympathy, and Condolences
One of the most difficult social situations – for both native and non-native English speakers – is knowing what to say when someone tells you a piece of bad news. In today’s lesson, you’ll learn phrases for handling these conversations with sensitivity.
Lesson 29: Worrying, Reassuring, Cheering up, and Encouraging
In today’s conversation, Kate worries about her final exams and her older sister Robin tries to encourage her. In this lesson, you’ll learn phrases for expressing your concerns as well as helping other people feel better.
Lesson 30: Interrupting & Getting Back on Track
Knowing how to interrupt is an important skill in social English. The way you phrase your interruption will make a big difference in how it is received – so in today’s lesson, you’ll learn various phrases for interrupting politely.
Lesson 31: Asking Permission & Asking Indirect Questions
As you learned in the last lesson, the words you use make a big difference in whether your phrase is polite or impolite. Today we’re going to study examples of how to ask questions in a polite and indirect way.
Lesson 32: Common Interjections
Everyday spoken English contains lots of little expressions like wow, oops, aww, ooh, huh? oh, and cool! – each of these interjections serves to express a particular emotion or attitude.
Lesson 33: Common Euphemisms
Today’s lesson is about euphemisms. Euphemisms are indirect or vague expressions that are often used instead of words or phrases that are thought to be offensive or too direct. Most euphemisms are in topic areas that could be offensive if talked about too directly, such as love and sex, bodily functions, death, and mental capacity.
Lesson 34: Talking about Information
Today we’ll begin the final section of the Everyday English Speaking Course – it’s called functional English, and it focuses on practical phrases that you can use in a variety of situations and contexts. We’ll start this section by learning how to talk about information.
Lesson 35: Certainty & Probability
Today you’ll learn how to talk about certainty and probability – including all those confusing phrases like “I’m pretty sure,” “must have,” “might have,” “could have,” etc.
Lesson 36: Similarities & Differences
Kate mistakes a person in the supermarket for a friend of hers – and Jen tries to decide between two very different universities. These two dialogues will teach you various expressions for talking about similarities and differences.
Lesson 37: Talking about Decisions
How can you talk about easy and difficult decisions in English? What’s the difference between “undecided” and “indecisive”? And what are some phrases for evaluating a decision after it was made? You’ll learn the answers to all these questions in today’s lesson.
Lesson 38: Opinions & Advice
In today’s conversations, you’ll learn a number of different phrases for asking for someone’s opinion, giving your opinion, requesting advice, and giving advice.
Lesson 39: Complaining & Criticizing
When we want to make a complaint or criticism in English, we often use specific words or phrases to make it politer and less direct. This helps the other person to listen and understand the complaint/criticism without getting defensive.
Lesson 40: Discourse Markers
Today’s lesson is on some of the most common discourse markers. What are discourse markers? They’re words or small phrases that express the connections between ideas when writing or speaking. You’ve already learned some of these in this course: for example, starting a sentence with “as I was saying,” to get back to the topic after an interruption.
Lesson 41: Idioms for Feelings
Idioms are small phrases that often have a different meaning than their individual words. Although idioms are not usually used in more formal written English, they are extremely common in spoken English – and we have a number of idioms to describe feelings and emotions.
Lesson 42: Using Vague Language
In spoken English, it’s very common to use vague (not precise or exact) expressions. Listen to today’s conversation: Martha is waiting for her teenage daughter, Rachel, to get home from a rock concert. Rachel finally walks in the door at 12:30 AM.
Lesson 43: Talking about Hypothetical Situations
This is often one of the most difficult grammar challenges for English learners. We use the second conditional and third conditional to do it. In today’s lesson, you’ll see examples in two interviews.
Lesson 44: Common Slang
Slang is not usually taught in textbooks, and you won’t hear it in academic or professional situations – but in movies, TV shows, and informal conversations, these words are used frequently. In today’s lesson, you’re going to learn 15 common slang words used in American English.
Lesson 45: Differences between Speaking & Writing in English
There are some real differences between written and spoken English in terms of vocabulary and grammar. In this lesson, you’ll learn three major ways that spoken English is different from written English.