10 tips to help your English students improve their speaking skills

Improve English speaking skills

For any language learner being able to speak the language fluently and with confidence is generally the one skill that they want to perfect. We’ve put together a list of 10 tips that could help your students improve their English speaking skills, let us know if you have any other ideas!

1) Join an English conversation group. Speaking English with other people is the best way to practice so if there is an opportunity to join a group or even attend an activity in English your students should take advantage of this.

2) Watch TV shows and movies in English. Even if your students use subtitles in their own language when doing this, TV shows and movies in English are a great form of language acquisition. Anything they pick up can be applied to their speaking and the dialogue they hear will often be applicable to real life situations.

3) Listen to music and sing songs. Music is a powerful way to learn language because people can connect to it. English music in particular is very popular worldwide so you’ll probably find that your students already listen to it and there is considerable evidence that listening to music aids in the development of grammar and vocabulary for second language learners. As you’ll already know from your own experience many of the words used in songs follow a rhythm and are repeated, which makes them get stuck in your head and for English students this helps to memorise them and their meaning for when they use the language in their speaking. 

4) Watch YouTube videos. In addition to TV and music there are a number of English teachers who produce excellent YouTube videos to help students learn English and enhance their English speaking skills. These can be targeted at everything ranging from grammar, sentence structure and pronunciation.

5) Get students to record videos of themselves speaking. You should firstly make sure that your students feel confident enough with their English skills to do this, but it is a great way to find areas of strength or development. Students can record themselves either at home or in class and you can then watch the video back with them and discuss where they need to improve their English speaking or what they did well. You can also record your own video so students can compare their video to yours and copy what you say.

6) Read as much as possible in English. Get your students to read books, magazines and newspapers in English or even watch TV with English subtitles. This will help them consolidate their existing English knowledge and enable them to learn new language within a specific context that they can use when they speak.

7) Leave post-it notes. If there are particular words or a phrase that your students need to remember or have trouble saying get them to leave notes to themselves and say the word or phrase every time they see the note. A good place for this is either at their desk or on the front door of their house.

8) Encourage students to talk to themselves and think in English. Perhaps they shouldn’t always do this when out in public but it is a great way to think in English and practice speaking when they are going about their daily routine! Post-it notes can again assist with this.

9) Become a member of an online community or forum. Getting involved in discussions helps reinforce vocabulary alongside how the English language is structured, which will give your students the confidence to use it in their speaking.

10) Talk to friends in English. If your students have English speaking friends or even friends who are learning English, talking to them in English can help improve their fluency and confidence and learn new vocabulary.

A bonus tip:

Spend time in an English speaking country. This is not within the reach of all students, but if they have the means and/or opportunity your students should try spending some time in an English speaking country, even if it is just for a holiday. When learning to speak any language immersing yourself in that language and culture is generally the fastest and best way to learn to speak it!

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