Analysing and improving your speaking 26 Mayıs 2013

It may be that you feel comfortable writing, reading and listening in English.  For some learners however they feel frustrated when sitting down to a meeting or a conversation and they cannot speak fluently.  You might feel this way.  Firstly you need to remember that you do not need to speak like a native speaker, with perfect pronunciation and grammar.  In fact if you record two native speakers talking in English there will be many grammar mistakes.  Quite a majority of English learners in the world today are communicating with foreign speakers of English due to the nature of English’s role as an international language.  Secondly you can make major improvements in speaking if you have the courage to record yourself. 

Now with your smart phone, Iphone or IPAD it is very easy to record your voice. 

So how do you go about this recording activity?

1-      Pick a topic that you want to talk about.  You could do this as a mini presentation or if you have a friend who also wants to improve their English you can have a conversation together.

2-      Record yourself speaking for about 5 minutes.

3-      After you have recorded, listen to yourself.  (This is the hard part!)

4-      Now listen again and ask yourself the following questions:

  • How is my grammar and vocabulary?  Where do I have strengths and where are my weaknesses?
  • How clear am I to understand?  Could the other person understand what I am saying from my pronunciation or my expression?
  • How cohesive is my speaking?  Am I using short sentences, or am I combining them into longer chunks? Do I use linking words to make my speech more organised?
  •  How fluent is your conversation?  Are the pauses too long?

Once you have evaluated yourself, you do the same speaking activity again and listen to the new recording to see if your speaking has improved.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net