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    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Twi
      • Home Country:
      • Ghana
      • Current Location:
      • Ghana

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 4
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    #1

    Improving Spoken English

    Hi All,

    First post . A little background information about myself. I'm Ghanaian and a university graduate. English is our official language in Ghana so though we have many local dialects, officially we communicate in English and that has been the default language through school.

    My problem is I'm not as fluent as i want to be. When in speech, i often encounter several blank moments where i need to think for the particular word, apt for the moment. Most times, I'll have in mind a certain word but it'll be at the tip of my tongue but will never come out. This leads to several "ummmms" and "what do you call it" in my speech.

    The word might inexplicably pop up in my head several moments after and I'll be like aha! there you are.

    I'm not as articulate as i want to be and this has an effect on my social and professional life as I'm always nervous about speeches and public speaking. I tend to feel comfortable in the background rather than lead and be assertive.

    How do i become more fluent and confident in my speech? What exercises will help me craft better sentences and appear eloquent and well-spoken?

    I enjoy reading a lot but that doesn't seem to enhance my vocal prowess as much. Or I'm reading it wrong...

    Hope you can point me in the right space and looking forward to learning a lot from this site. Thanks in advance

  1. euncu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • Turkish
      • Home Country:
      • Turkey
      • Current Location:
      • Turkey

    • Join Date: Aug 2009
    • Posts: 1,307
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    #2

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    It is shame, but not on you, that in some countries, fluency in English is expected from non-native speakers by their fellow citizens (from employers to university administrations). What a professional should do is trying to be best at their professions, not knowing English as native-speakers do. Being fluent would be an asset for an English teacher or a must for a simultaneous translator, but, for a doctor for instance, being good at medicine should be what really matters, not fluency in English. I am aware that what I think would be of no help to you, because this is neither what you expected to hear nor what the real world conditions require from you to do.

    But those real world conditions or those so-called job-requirements are sometimes nothing but hypes. If you are the best or one of the bests at what you are doing, no one's going to question your sufficiency in English.
    Last edited by euncu; 14-Dec-2010 at 22:59. Reason: some minor corrections both for typos and grammatical errors

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Twi
      • Home Country:
      • Ghana
      • Current Location:
      • Ghana

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 4
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    #3

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    I somewhat agree to your assertion but not entirely. Obviously there are some professions that wouldn't require a whole lot of dexterity in verbal communication. But in the corporate set-up, you really need to distinguish yourself from the pack if you want to excel and advance further. Who would employ a CEO who cannot adequately represent the company and communicate what the corporation is about? Suffice to say, I'm in a more of a marketing oriented role so i definitely need a very polished and articulate verbal communication skills. I'm still looking forward to some education...Please contribute if you know of any helpful exercises and vocabulary building habits that would reflect in my speech. Thanks


    • Join Date: Sep 2010
    • Posts: 1
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    #4

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    I' m new here but I agree with 2g3g you are right and best wishes for your future education...

  2. youandcorey's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 79
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    #5

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    First of all, remember that you can and will achieve your goal.

    It's only a matter of time.

    Study daily at www.smart.fm . It's free, fast and fun. Next record and listen to your own voice. You should be keeping a daily English diary. Get other native English speakers whom you respect and would like to pattern your speaking style after to review your recordings and to give you daily tips. Keep some of your earlier recordings and judge for yourself after each month about how amazingly well your speaking ability has improved.

    Set a concrete goal for your language studies. Just wanting to improve your fluency isn't the clearest goal.

    Best of luck!

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Bhutani
      • Home Country:
      • Anguilla
      • Current Location:
      • Austria

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 37
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    #6

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    You'd better listen more ,remember more ,and then you can speak fluently.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Nov 2002
    • Posts: 44,225
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    #7

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    2g3g, how long does it take you to write your posts? I ask because your written English is fine, so it may simply be a matter of confidence- the more opportunities you have to communicate, the more confident you will be. Your writing suggests that your English is good.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Czech Republic

    • Join Date: Oct 2010
    • Posts: 28,167
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    #8

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    When in speech, I often encounter several blank moments where I need to think for the particular word, apt for the moment. Most times, I'll have in mind a certain word but it'll be at the tip of my tongue but will never come out. This leads to several "ummmms" and "what do you call it" in my speech.

    Listen to native speakers in normal conversation, not just in prepared speeches or presentations. You'll find that most of us have the same problem.

    As Tdol said, your written English is fine. I know it's difficult, but try to worry less about the accuracy of your speech. Concentrating too hard can in itself cause problems. It's often much better to come out with an expression that is not perfect than to hesitate while trying to find the precise thing a fluent native speaker might produce. Once again, listen to native speakers in normal conversation. We often use inappropriate words and ungrammatical sentences. Nobody notices, because they are listening to what we say rather than how we say it.

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 4
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    #9

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    As Tdol said, your written English is fine. Firstly your spoken English might now be as bad as it you think it is. Get some feedback from a teacher and see what they say.

    A little tip is when reading, read the text out loud. This a good way to practise.

  4. riquecohen's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • Brazil

    • Join Date: Aug 2010
    • Posts: 5,981
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    #10

    Re: Improving Spoken English

    Some posters on this thread have implied that 2g3g is not a native speaker. He is from a country where English is the official language and the language of instruction in school. To my mind, he is a native speaker who has the same problem that many of us have when speaking.

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