Many students of English ask “How can I improve my English naturally?”. Finding ways to practice your English every day can be challenging, especially in an area like South Florida, where many people will share your native language.
Here are some tips for improving your English pronunciation, as well as general communication skills in English:
Tips for Improving Your English Speaking Skills
Watch Various Videos on Youtube
You can find a huge selection of videos on Youtube that can help you to improve your English naturally. Short news summaries from the local news channels are one very helpful option.
The news reporters are trained to speak clearly and with good pronunciation, so imitating them is a great way of improving your English pronunciation. TED Talks are a series of cultural and intellectual lectures that can be found on Youtube, and can also be an engaging way to practice your English skills. The presenters are highly educated and articulate. Search for “TED talks short” if you are looking for shorter presentations.
For almost all content, Youtube has a great option (found under “Settings”) that will slow the video and audio if you find them too fast. Usually the “playback speed” of 0.75 is enough to make understanding easier.
Listen to English Songs
Listening to songs in English is a great way to practice your English everyday. Try listening to songs with videos that show the lyrics. Listen first without the subtitles, and then with the subtitles to check your understanding. Many older styles of music are great for practicing English because they place more emphasis on the words.
Old school singers like Elvis and the Beatles are excellent models for English pronunciation. Contemporary singers like Taylor Swift and Adele who use their songs to tell stories are also ideal for improving your English understanding.
Participate In a Karaoke Night
Why not practice your English speaking by singing in English at a karaoke night? Try to sing some of the songs you have been listening to. If singing in front of people makes you anxious, try it anyway. When you become even a little confident singing in English, then just speaking it will seem very easy!
Think Out Loud (Talk to Yourself) In English
It’s natural to have a conversation with yourself, especially when making a difficult choice, or thinking about important life events. Sometimes we don’t speak these thoughts, but why not? To help improve your English, speak these conversations with yourself in English, and say them outloud.
Join a Group for Playing Games (Such as Chess)
Joining a group that plays a game that is internationally popular, such as chess or poker, can be a fascinating way to practice your English pronunciation. You will meet people from all over the world, so English will most likely be the common language.
Take a Trip on a Train (Either Local or Long-Distance)
Try taking a trip on either the local commuter train (such as TriRail or Brightline), or on a long-distance train (to Orlando or New York, for example). People who take the train are often more relaxed and willing to talk to strangers, so you will probably be able to find someone willing to converse with you in English.
Of course, it’s usually a longer trip than on a plane, but you can put the time to good use by improving your English naturally in conversation with other passengers.
Follow Social Media Accounts in English
Following social media accounts in English can be an awesome way to practice your English everyday. Social media influencers will often use English as a common language to reach an international audience.
You can pick up the latest slang and cool expressions in English since social media is all about what’s trendy, hip and the latest and greatest.
Attend a Comedy Performance in English
For more advanced learners, attending a comedy performance in English is a great way to learn some of the nuances and slang expressions of the English language. There is usually a relaxed atmosphere at these performances. If you take along a native speaker they can help you with any unusual slang or idiomatic expressions you don’t understand.
Enjoy an Evening in a Jazz Club
Like comedy performances, jazz clubs usually have a relaxed vibe, so people will be more willing to engage in conversation. The informal nature of a jazz club makes conversation less likely to disturb other members of the audience.
The overall volume level of the music is better for understanding that at a rock concert or dance club. Jazz originated in America, but has fans from all over, so you will want to practice your English speaking with the international crowd you’ll meet at these places.
Watch Movies in English
Listening to movies in English is a super way to improve your English naturally. Try starting with movies you have seen in your first language, but with subtitles or dubbed in English. Then enjoy watching a movie in English you haven’t seen before. Use subtitles when needed but also watch without them. Stop the video when you hear a word you don’t know (and whose meaning can’t be guessed from context).
Look the word up in a dictionary and write the meaning down, along with a sentence or two about the movie scene you heard it in. Study the list until the words become part of your everyday vocabulary.
Talk to Your Pet in English
Talking to your dog or cat (or even your fish or hamster) in English is a great way to practice your English speaking skills everyday. As animals are generally non-judgemental, you should be less shy when speaking to them in English. They won’t correct you! If your dog becomes familiar with commands in English, it might come in handy if you ever need to leave them in the care of someone who doesn’t speak your first language.
Surprisingly, recent scientific research has shown that dogs understand many actual words, and are aware when different languages are spoken. Your furry friends can become multilingual too!
Take a Course in English
Attending an English class is a great way to improve your English speaking. At LanguageOn Schools, you can take a class with students from all over the world, who speak many different languages.
Or, you can take a private, one-on-one class. LANGUAGE ON’s friendly, expert teachers will make sure you get the most out of your time and financial investment to take your English skills to the next level. Check out all the great options at: Our Courses.
Go Shopping In an Ethnic Food Market
Try to go shopping in a food market that specializes in ethnic foods from a culture other than your own. For example, you might go to an Asian or Caribbean market, where English will be used a common language to communicate with customers.
Plan a Day Trip to a Smaller Town or Rural Area
As one travels outside of the major urban areas, the more opportunities you will have to practice your English speaking in everyday life. In many medium-to-small towns in the US you can enjoy beautiful scenery, see interesting architecture, and participate in unique festivals. Local residents are proud of their unusual attractions and are willing to converse in English with visitors.
Attend An “Open Mic” Night
Attending an “Open Mic” night is another unusual but fun way to improve your English speaking. Many small coffee shops, bookstores, lounges and other intimate venues have a night where amateur performers or authors recite their own poetry, short stories, plays or perform music. You could even create a short piece in English to present yourself. Success in speaking English to a group of strangers is a great way to jump-start your confidence speaking in English in everyday life!