Why is speaking a Problem?
You Are Not Alone!
There are currently an estimated 2 billion English learners worldwide. Many countries now require English as a second language in schools. After years of studying English, students still have difficulty speaking English.
Research shows the problems are the same for ESL (English as a second language) students from all countries. Students will take grammar courses for years but still feel uncomfortable speaking.
Why can’t you speak English?
“In the typical school lessons on English, teachers explained the grammatical rules, students did the exercises set out in the textbooks, and classroom interactions were largely one-way. Oral communication skills such as speaking and listening were almost totally ignored. Students rarely had the chance to use English in conversation in the classroom and were under no pressure to become competent in this.” (International Education Journal, 2005)
Speaking is the one language skill that requires interaction with other people. An individual can learn and practice English grammar, writing, reading, and listening without help from other people. However, speaking is more difficult as a self-study lesson and practice are required. Verbal communication becomes a problem without practice.
Much time is spent on learning grammar and other Spoken English skills. You also need to spend time on oral speaking skills. The main objective of ESL teaching should be effective communication, not perfect grammar. Successful oral communication requires speaking practice.
“The teachers think that teaching grammar and vocabulary items are enough to help students speak.―We teach the vocabulary and grammar, but they don’t study at home. It seems that teachers are unaware that studying vocabulary items and grammar rules by students is insufficient to improve their speaking skills. Teachers are not aware enough that focusing on teaching the form does not necessarily result in using it, and that’s why students need to be engaged in communication—to improve their speaking skill.” (International Journal on Studies in English Language and Literature, 2014)
While there is little doubt about teachers' awareness of the importance of speaking skills, there is even less doubt about students’ need for more speaking improvement. Most students agree speaking is a priority and their biggest problem.
Despite common knowledge about the importance of teaching speaking skills, speaking skills receive the least attention in English courses. The reason is not a lack of desire but knowing how to teach these skills successfully. The problem is that teachers have little training and resources for teaching effective speaking skills. So the question is not whether to teach speaking skills, but how to teach speaking skills.
You can learn English from a book, but can you use the knowledge in the real world?
Many students will learn English but still have problems using their knowledge. Speaking skills involve not just memorising rules or knowing information, it is also a physical skill requiring action.
English is not like history or math. Just learning and memorising the knowledge is not enough. For example, in math, once you remember 2+2=4, then you can easily use this knowledge.
Learning the English grammar rules is not enough, and it is impossible to memorise every English conversation. Situations will be different, and making unique conversations will be required. Also, body movement is required for pronunciation, and this physical activity is necessary for verbal communication.
Learning English takes practice. You can read about basketball and learn how to kick the ball properly, but you won't succeed until you practice. English is also a skill that requires practice.
Important: You should continue studying grammar while using these methods.
Can you improve your speaking skills?
Research shows we learn more from real situations (95%) than lectures (5%). Learning from real situations is easier, faster, and more effective. Notice the best four methods are: used in real situations, teaching, practice, and discussions.
Speaking skills should be taught using natural exercises and practice in real communicative situations. Students should practice English skills useful to them in their real lives.
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How to practice and improve your speaking skills?
Improve your speaking
- Don't rush. It's better to speak slowly and clearly.
- Use full sentences, not just words or phrases.
- If you do not understand, ASK.
- Use the Speaking Rules in this blog.
- Do not worry about a native-English accent.
- Practice, Practice, Practice
Improve your vocabulary
- Read books in English
- Use the internet in English
- Do you use movies, TV, the Internet, music, etc.? and LISTEN.
- As you learn new vocabulary, USE THE WORDS.
- Keep using and repeating the words in sentences
Practice your speaking
- Practice in the real world outside of a classroom
- Use English to learn about something you enjoy
- Play games
- Practice in groups
- Find people to practice your English conversations
- Listen to English as often as possible
- Do you use movies, TV, Internet, music, etc.? And LISTEN
- Relax and have fun
Improve your pronunciation
- LISTEN to native speakers pronounce words and phrases
- Learn the phonetic alphabet (find it in most dictionaries)
- Learn the stress of new words
- Practice intonation
- Practice the sounds you find difficult
- Practice speaking loud and clear
Let’s Focus on English Speaking!
Why do you want to improve your English?
I always ask this question and get a “This is a stupid question” facial expression. However, people learn English for different reasons. You are one of her 1.2 billion people around the world who are learning English.
First, think about your problem and get a clear understanding. Your objective for learning English is essential. The following will help you focus on your situation and find the best solution for your needs.
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Why is it important to you?
- Some common reasons are:
- Study Abroad
- English Test Preparation
- Working Abroad
- Global Company Employment
- Career Advancement
- Living Abroad
Learning English for Global Business
Effective communication is key to business success. The rapid growth of global business increases the need for globalised English communication. Most people planning to work in global business know this demand and understand learning English will probably be required.
Reading and writing is a good start, but English speaking and listening skills will also be necessary. If you plan to work in a global business, you should be able to communicate using all English skills effectively.
As we end our conversation of conquering the test of not having the option to communicate in English, one thing turns out to be clear. The ability to succeed is inside you. With the right disposition, apparatuses and support, you can foster the talking abilities and certainty you really want to prevail in an English-talking climate.
So assuming you experience issues communicating in English, recollect that you are in good company. With persistence, diligence, and an eagerness to learn, you will before long defeat language hindrances and become familiar. Ordinary practice, concentration, and backing from language instructors and different assets will assist you with building the abilities and certainty you want to succeed.
Also, when you do, new open doors and encounters will open up. From associating with individuals overall to propelling your vocation and chasing after your fantasies, the advantages of communicating in English smoothly are boundless.
So venture out today, and focus on fostering your talking abilities in English. The sky is the limit with difficult work and commitment. What's more, who can say for sure? You may be astonished the way that far you can go.