When learning any skill, there are few important tools and methods that serve us well in learning the skill for life. These practices ensure that we learn and never forget the same whether we are 8 or 80 years of age. These same skills are applicable to horse riding, biking, cooking or even speaking a language.
Whether we’re learning a life skill like darning clothes or an academic one like another minor or even a practical one like another language; they all fall under the category of skills. There are a few things one can do to make sure that we don’t fail spectacularly when learning things like this.
1. The determination to succeed and a realistic understanding of your goals:
There are many times I’ve seen students and learners get frustrated because they haven’t reached where they wanted to be or they feel that things are moving far too slowly for them. Knowing that things take time and that you need to be determined even when things don’t seem to be moving “fast enough” is a good place to start.
2. Regular practice:As the saying goes, practice makes a man perfect. Practicing things over and over is as important as learning it in the first place. Keep revising what you learnt in your class by speaking in English with your family and friends.
3. Correct yourself:
Being corrected when we learn as children is the most effective way of anyone learning anything. Why should that change when we become adults? Having someone correct you as you learn is the reason our education system has teachers and not just a syllabus of books to study with a computer generated randomized test at set intervals. This holds true for language as well. If the someone can guide you how to effectively improve English speaking skill, then you have yourself an exemplar to follow.
Stop the runaway train of your brain from going down the connection between the latest Fashion Week and learning a spoken language. Modelling as a term is used when you copy the pronunciation or word in a repetitive fashion over a short period in order to get used to saying it in a certain manner. You may or may not be able to do it with a teacher or trainer guiding you in the process throughout your life like some Ghost of Christmas Past that only you can see but if you’re creative enough there are ways to go about something like this. The internet with its explosion of material is the place to go. Get onto a good dictionary website like Cambridge or Merriam-Webster etc. that has the audio clip for the pronunciation of the word available and even short grammar and usage notes should you choose to read it.
Knowing the words you use daily is all well and good but as most educators will tell you, you’re never too old to learn something new. Adding small words to your functional vocabulary is as important as brushing up on your old words. Humans are a lazy species and there is a reason 4 letter words like with S**t and F**k are the choice curse words/abuses used most popularly. There’s no denying the creativity required in adding these to other commonplace words like horse or mother respectively but when the function of language is to succinctly expressive and creative why not make use of other words that mean the same but leave your listeners scratching their heads trying to understand just what you meant when you called them a Zounderkite instead of an idiot or a Mafflard instead of a klutz.
And let’s face it, the impact value of a word that’s now common place isn’t much. So maybe expanding your vocabulary and by practicing those words won’t be the worst thing in the world.
Agree? Leave a comment below to share how you improved your English speaking skill.
This article has been written by Arnaz Raioman Mehta, faculty at Englishmate Gurgaon center. Englishmate helps learners to improve their communication skills by providing Cambridge certified English speaking courses.