Did you know that 1 in 7 residents of the United States is foreign-born? Immigrants now take up about 13.7% of the U.S. population!
In fact, the number of immigrants in the U.S. is higher than ever before. A 2017 Census report revealed that 44.5 million immigrants currently live in America.
What does that mean for you?
If you’re struggling on how to improve English speaking skills, you’re not alone. There are millions in a situation like yours. That means that there are tools, tricks, and tips galore!
We want you to feel confident in your speech — because your voice is important. Speaking with certainty is important for that sense of belonging. What you say matters and we want to help you say it.
So let’s go over a few easy steps that should help you improve your fluency!
Don’t Forget to Listen
Speaking is of the utmost importance. But listening is a great way to round out your learning of a new language.
Much of our time gets spent listening, not talking. So use this time to your advantage.
What goes in must come out! The more you listen with intention, the better you understand inflections, emphasis, slang, and more.
Immerse Yourself in the Language
Surround yourself with as much of the English language as possible. How?
Watch TV in English (with subtitles!). Read books in English. Listen to English music while following along with the lyrics.
This will teach you common English phrases and dialect. A quick Google search reveals popular songs that can help improve your skills:
Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin
Friday I’m in Love by The Cure
Hey Jude or And I Love Her by the Beatles
She Will Be Loved by Maroon 5
These songs are slower-paced and use simple, easy-to-follow words. You can listen to any song you’d like, though. Google the lyrics and sing or listen along!
How to Improve English Speaking Skills by Thinking in English
It may be tempting to think in your native tongue. After all, it’s easier for you. But that makes it harder to translate your thoughts to English when it comes time to speak.
Practice thinking in English instead. Narrate your actions and the actions of others. Read labels, menus, signs, and instructions in English.
Fluency First, Grammar Second
It’s also tempting to want to practice grammar first. Although grammar is important, it’s easy to get “hung up on” it (as in, focus on it too much).
Instead, focus on speaking without pauses or second guesses. The odds are good that whoever you’re speaking to will understand you. Focus on speaking first, however, it comes out, and grammar second.
Find an English-Speaking Partner or Tutor
If you have a friend, neighbor, or relative that speaks English, use that to your advantage! Practice conversations, different tenses, and learning key phrases.
If you don’t know anyone who speaks English, consider an English tutor. This is another great way to immerse yourself in the language. Take cues from your native English speakers.
You can even work with them on how to speak your native language! Being bilingual is great for the brain. It improves attention span, decreases cognitive decline, and betters adjustment skills.
Go out and Speak with Confidence!
We hope we gave you some good tips on how to improve English speaking skills.
Remember, it’s a long journey, but it’s a worthwhile one. The better grasp you have on the language, the better you can navigate the American world.
Practice makes perfect, right? Here are some daily speech exercises you can practice every day!