How to improve in spoken English

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Red5

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:hi:

That's more of a demand than a question, isn't it?

If you have any specific questions, just ask us here and we'll try to help you. ;-)
 

Kenneth

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Tony, I'm facing the same problem as well. I'm actually way better at written English. I'm not sure, I just find it difficult to speak in English more fruently. My mother tongue is not english. It bugs the hell out of me to have to keep pausing when speaking in English :oops:
 

Tdol

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Why do you pause- to think of what to say next? ;-)
 

quba

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as a non-english speaker i often find difficult to speak fluently, even though my american friends say that mine english is really ok, i'm not quite confident about it, still have problems with the words, i often forget the more complex ones and while speaking i have to use the simple ones to describe what i want to say (what costs me much more effort:)
how to learn words?
how to get accent?
 

Offroad

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Let's put it this way:

You can't spend more than you earn.

If you find speaking English difficult, it means you have not listened to native speakers enough. When you were a child, you spent years listening to your parents talking. Call it 'input'. When you have enough 'input', you will be able to provide 'output', simple like that.

If you spent your precious time studying grammar rules, doing as the teachers say (it does not matter if she/he is native or not), you are kind of blocking/hurting your natural learning process. It makes you think before speaking.

Some people, including some teachers, may disagree, but you need to follow this sequence:

1. listening.
2. listening and speaking.
3. listening, speaking and reading.
4. listening, speaking, reading and writing (now you may want to study grammar).

If you disagree, answer me: Did you mother give you a grammar book when you turned 2 years old? I guess not. Actually, I hope not.;-)

You all forgive my manners. I mean no offense, at all.
 
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elektro

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Let's put it this way:

You can't spend more than you earn.

If you find speaking English difficult, it means you have not listened to native speakers enough. When you were a child, you spent years listening to your parents talking. Call it 'input'. When you have enough 'input', you will be able to provide 'output', simple like that.

If you spent your precious time studying grammar rules, doing as the teachers say (it does not matter if she/he is native or not), you are kind of blocking/hurting your natural learning process. It makes you think before speaking.

Some people, including some teachers, may disagree, but you need to follow this sequence:

1. listening.
2. listening and speaking.
3. listening, speaking and reading.
4. listening, speaking, reading and writing (now you may want to study grammar).

If you disagree, answer me: Did you mother give you a grammar book when you turned 2 years old? I guess not. Actually, I hope not.;-)

You all forgive my manners. I mean no offense, at all.

Did you use this method?
 

cmlg38542006

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My own experience is learn English on daily basis.

Watch TV programmes/news on English channels. Most of our English channels with Chinese subtitle that I can understand the Chinese meaning. Of course, listen to English songs can also help.

Of course, the most ideal way to improve spoken English is talk to native English speakers as frequent as possible.
 

maral55

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Let's put it this way:

You can't spend more than you earn.

If you find speaking English difficult, it means you have not listened to native speakers enough. When you were a child, you spent years listening to your parents talking. Call it 'input'. When you have enough 'input', you will be able to provide 'output', simple like that.

If you spent your precious time studying grammar rules, doing as the teachers say (it does not matter if she/he is native or not), you are kind of blocking/hurting your natural learning process. It makes you think before speaking.

Some people, including some teachers, may disagree, but you need to follow this sequence:

1. listening.
2. listening and speaking.
3. listening, speaking and reading.
4. listening, speaking, reading and writing (now you may want to study grammar).

If you disagree, answer me: Did you mother give you a grammar book when you turned 2 years old? I guess not. Actually, I hope not.;-)

You all forgive my manners. I mean no offense, at all.


I can't agree with you more. If only I had known this several years before, I wouldn't have spent lot's of my time reading grammar. I mean it's not that I don't find grammar tips useful but in my opinion they are useful and necessary to a point but if you just immerse yourself in lot's of listening and reading and speaking then it all just comes naturally to you.


and also that way you don't have to memorize lot's of grammar rules and formulas and then still find yourself unable to figure out the correct form in the exceptional cases.
 

Offroad

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Did you use this method?
That's how I leaned Portuguese, my mother-tongue.
I am saying that because I have seen lots of people stuck in grammar rules. Unfortunately, this country teaches us grammar in order to enter some university, period. There's no talking. Lots of reading. There's also lots of English schools here, very expensive by the way. But guess what, right on the very first day, they give you grammar lessons. At the end of 1, 2, 3, or 4 years, you get the diploma, which says "I speak English", it's a beautiful certificate, colourful.
Haha... Then... students decide to travel (abroad)
Whatcha wanna do? (some people say this in less than 1 second):lol:
sup?
how ya doing?
You gotta see their face. Perplexed, "What are they talking about?" (3 seconds)
Could you speak more slowly?
 

jctgf

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I think learning a second language is very different from learning the first one.

Depending on your age, it will even be a very tough process.

When you're a child, you will learn anything they teach you. Except during the very first months of life, I don't think the process follows a logic order, as listening firstly and speaking afterwards. To me, things kind of happen simultaneously. Of course you first need to hear in order to repeat but, in my opinion, once you reach a certain age everything happens "at the same time". It’s a messy process that takes several years.

Being an adult and trying to learn a second language is a very different thing. Adults already have a background, an accent and "beliefs". They have a way of distinguishing the sounds that they "hear". What you "hear" is already determined by the assumptions you bring and the "certainties" you have. It’s part of what you are.

I’ve seen advanced students trying to imitate the American accent, pronouncing many words incorrectly just because they were repeating what they thought they had “heard”.

Pay attention to the word "minute", for example. This word is written almost identically in Portuguese.

Precisely because of it, some students assume that the "u" in the middle is pronounced like in Portuguese.

They simply relied too much on their "ears" (assumptions) and failed to do the right thing: hold conversations with natives and, most importantly, double check if they were speaking correctly.

I think the only way to learn a good English is talking to natives who actively correct the learners as they speak.

Otherwise, I believe, you'll take chances of spending your whole life speaking incorrectly just because you are repeating what you "heard".
 
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jkl

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I have been speaking with native english speakers for 10 years. I have been working with native speakers for past 6 years. I still find speaking is very difficult. I just started a new job two weeks ago I am quite sure my coworkers and even my new boss figured out that english is not my first lanuage. I have a thick and broken accent. I guess it is very diffucult to learn a new language when you are an adult. Kids can learn multiple languages at the same time but it takes time and patience for an adult.
 
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jctgf

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I have been speaking with native english speakers for 10 years. I have been working with native speakers for past 6 years. I still find speaking is very difficult. I just started a new job two weeks ago I am quite sure my coworkers and even my new boss figured out that english is not my first lanuage. I have a thick and broken accent. I guess it is very diffucult to learn a new language when you are an adult. Kids can learn multiple languages at the same time but it takses time and patience for an adult.

I think you're right.
Besides, nobody is supposed to speak with somebody's else accent, right?
You have the right to have your own accent!
just a student.
 

jkl

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I am not sure about the right of imitating an accent. But I know if this is not your first language does not matter how hard you try you can only do so much about it. To me it is very important to speak clearly and slowly. Actualy if you are fine in reading and writing you should be fluent in speaking too. So it is not just speaking problem. I myslef struggle with writing a lot too. When I write a letter or any other official documents at work I become very nervours in case I make any mistake. I learnt english as a subject in school not as a communication language. I started with alphabet, words and then grammar. Later on I memorized somebody else's written paragraphs and essays. I have noticed people who went to proper school their english is perfectly fine even though english is not their mother language. So it depends on many different things.
 

Offroad

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JC, não precisei ler todo o seu post para notar que você é vítima do que mais atinge os aprendizes adultos de uma língua estrangeira: a influência da língua-mãe. Se todos conseguissem eliminar esta etpa, a qual não é fácil de se livrar, o inglês viria de prima. Todo mundo acha que deveria haver uma intermediação entre a nova língua e a pessoa. Não é surpresa, o povo tem suas crenças e etc. Bom... em nosso país, apenas 5% da população, tem um curso de graduação, juntando os que fazem cursos de linguas por fora, totalizamos 0.6% de mais de 185 milhoes de brasileiro que falam ingles ou uma segunda língua. Na alemanha, esse número é maior que 72%. Não há nem como comparar. Perguntei a um nativo alemão o motivo, ela disse que se aprende durante o "segundo grau". Aqui, inglês é para passar no vestibular, se você quer aprender a falar, tem que pagar um curso extra.
Mas voltando ao tópico influência da língua mãe, me respondam (voc~e e jkl).
a) Por que vcs acham que devem traduzir?
b) Por que vcs acham que devem falar corretamente?
c) Por que inglês tem de ser dificil e doloroso de aprender?

Não me acho um "falante de sucesso", mas digo a vocês:
quando eu estava aprendendo, não me importava se tava falando errado ou não, para mim era mais importante me comunicar, e assim uma criança faz, e os adultos a corrigem.:-D

Passei muitos anos estudando gramatica da lingua inglesa, nunca fui capaz de falar ou entender nada nesse período. Depois que me formei, contratei os serviços de tv a cabo e internet. FOI Batata, deixei a grammar de lado e comecei a aprender a língua. It's been amazing. Tenho amigos de 17 nacionalidades diferentes, ao todo, mais de 100 contatos, nativos e não-nativos. Meus conhecimentos de grammatica no ingles são tão ruins aos que tenho de portugues, mesmo assim, me comunico bem, em ambas as línguas.

Digo que aprendi a língua quando tinha 26 anos, hoje tenho 28. Inglês é minha segunda língua. CNN e BBC são minhas fontes de informações preferidas. Comecei a dizer a mim mesmo que podia falar essa língua e acreditei.

Eu também achava que para entender eu precisava traduzir. Estava cegamente errado. Aceitei o ingles como uma outra língua, não uma extensão do portugues. Believe it or not. Há coisas que não sei o equivalente em portugues, posso até prover uma tradução de idéias, mesmo assim, com certa difficuldade.

Vejo a língua como uma grande e poderosa ferramenta. Especialistas dizem que hoje é possível se dobrar nossos conhecimentos em portugues a cada 4 anos, no ingles, é de 2 em 2. Toda informação possível é mais fácil de se encontrar em ingles. A língua é falada nos quatro cantos do mundo.

Ja li, e continuo lendo diversos livros, sem tradução, logicamente. Com o tempo, a arte de predizer o significado se torna fácil, a lingua se torna cada vez mais natural.

tenho o hábito de ficar por dentro das noticias através de rádios, publicradiofan.com, todos os dias, logo quando acordo. Tenho toneladas e toneladas de arquivos de audio e video somente daquilo que acho interessante e que valha a pena ouvir.

Para finalizar, outro aliado importante: a motivação. Se achamos qualquer coisa dificil e dolorosa, dificilmente iremos conseguir aprender aquilo.

:up:
I have been speaking with native english speakers for 10 years. I have been working with native speakers for past 6 years. I still find speaking is very difficult. I just started a new job two weeks ago I am quite sure my coworkers and even my new boss figured out that english is not my first lanuage. I have a thick and broken accent. I guess it is very diffucult to learn a new language when you are an adult. Kids can learn multiple languages at the same time but it takes time and patience for an adult.
Certamente o método que você usa precisa de revisão, 10 anos é tempo mais que suficiente. Não procure cursos, procure métodos mais eficazes e motivação. Não precisa ser um fardo. Precisa ter diversão.:up:
 
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jctgf

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I am not sure about the right of imitating an accent. But I know if this is not your first language does not matter how hard you try you can only do so much about it. To me it is very important to speak clearly and slowly. Actualy if you are fine in reading and writing you should be fluent in speaking too. So it is not just speaking problem. I myslef struggle with writing a lot too. When I write a letter or any other official documents at work I become very nervours in case I make any mistake. I learnt english as a subject in school not as a communication language. I started with alphabet, words and then grammar. Later on I memorized somebody else's written paragraphs and essays. I have noticed people who went to proper school their english is perfectly fine even though english is not their mother language. So it depends on many different things.

I agree with you.
Learning a foreign language is a very complex process and I'm sure there is a number of variables involved in it.
To me, speaking is the worst part of this process.
I also think you're right when you say that people who has formal education seems to be more prepared to speak the language. I believe it also depends on a lot of things, such as personal skills and the amount of effort they put in the learning process.
Just a student.
 
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