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Monday, December 23, 2019

Ways to improve English speaking skills.


Common challenges among students of other languages is when they start feeling self-conscious and embarrassed because they focus too much on producing an outcome right away, and they instead retreat whenever asked to participate in class. It is just natural to feel this way because even I would still commit mistakes with my subject-verb agreement, present perfect tenses, and I teach the subject!

As non-native speakers of the English language, students of other languages are not expected to learn everything in one go and magically speak the vernacular. There’s a process of learning, practicing in order to achieve proficiency. It takes time and the best way to handle the dilemma is to be patient with yourself and take one-step-at-a-time.

There is more than one method to improve one’s English speaking skills, you can:
  • Read books & magazines
  • Watch movies
  • Listen to music
  • Or you can join forums specifically for this subject and find people who you can practice conversation with.
You can pick up any of these ideas, using extensive English materials that you’re comfortable with, and another good way to improve your English memory is to practice writing it. What’s important is taking the first step to reaching your goal to learn and be proficient in speaking the English language, and it doesn’t happen overnight.

Another method I practice myself to keep my English memory is I constantly think in English language. How you say? At any time I think of doing something, like a chore or as simple as making myself coffee, instead of telling myself “Makapag-timpla nga ng kape.”in Tagalog, I restate them like this: “I’m making myself coffee.” Now, I would just like to point out that thinking in my first language whilst mentally translating my every word in English is not exactly useful to me because my statement may lose its sense. Also, writing in English helps your memory muscle to retain foreign words and practice your linguistic skill.

This is also why Comprehension is part of learning to speak English, to fully understand the value, or the meaning of the full sentence written or spoken in English, to properly respond to it and avoid misinterpretation or misunderstanding of what you’re trying to say.

This has been a constant dilemma for me in the past, working as a customer service representative for Western clients. I deal with native English speakers daily, and I always have to be at my best whenever I respond to each query; to produce a clear and coherent statement as possible as I can. Being that my consciousness is naturally in my first language, there were times when I struggled to express myself because I still default to my first language. It doesn’t happen as much now because I’ve gotten very used to it in the process.

In conclusion: Finding where you’re comfortable on how you can learn to master English proficiency is up to you; you can bombard yourself with extensive or heavy English language materials, or you can start from the basics and work your way up. The feelings of frustration and discouragement are a natural occurrence in learning another language than your own. But you need to work at your own pace. Learning languages, just like life to me, is not a competition, unless in the literal sense of academic requirement and you are anticipated to do so. The process is still the same, there are no shortcuts.

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