June 16, 2021
The real key to building confidence is practice!
Practise asking questions, practise talking about things you love, practise new words you learned during the week.
The reality is, English lessons can only teach you so much. Understanding the rules of grammar and increasing your vocabulary through formal English lessons is great, but the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Put yourself in a situation where you automatically use English to communicate. Finding a speaking partner who is learning English is a great way to do this!
Of course, when you start out using English for everyday conversations, you may feel uncomfortable and worried that you will make mistakes. When you start having real English conversations, it is important that you are in a supportive environment, where it’s okay to make mistakes (again and again!).
When you feel comfortable making mistakes, it means you feel comfortable trying new words, practising pronunciation, and learning with each other. When you are comfortable, you don’t have to think too hard before you speak and you will naturally become more fluent. The more you practise in a safe environment, the more confident you will become!
Finding a friendly speaking partner is a great step in your language journey, but this can be a challenge if you don’t have any friends around you that are at a similar level or have the same English goals.
But did you know you can find a speaking partner online? Having an online speaking partner has all the benefits of meeting face-to-face, as Dani outlines for us in her blog post 4 Practical Ways to Create Meaningful Connections Online?
Our online learning community empowers women to pursue their English goals in a supportive environment (free of judgment!), and gives you the opportunity to find the perfect speaking partner.
Clear pronunciation is important when learning English, but there are many other factors that also come into play.
Often it is not what we say but how we say it. Like many languages, English has a bit of music in it. We emphasise important words in our sentences by making them louder, longer. We call this sentence stress. By appropriately using stress in our sentences, we are able to communicate effectively, even if we make mistakes in our grammar.
We typically emphasise the nouns and the main verbs in our sentences. We do this so naturally, without even thinking about it, but it makes a big difference in communication!
Intonation is another huge aspect in English pronunciation! Intonation is the up and down of English. It’s like a song, and it helps us add emotion and give extra meaning when we speak. Questions have rising intonation, statements have falling intonation. When we are excited, we go up and down with our voice. When we are serious, our intonation is calm and flat.
Think about how intonation might help you to express yourself. It helps you to express your emotions. It helps you to communicate more fully when you speak!
So how can you practice stress and intonation? The best way to master these skills is through imitation. Watch your favourite English movies or TV series and stop every so often and copy how they say things. Listen for the important words. Listen to the up and down in their voice. What emotion are they expressing? Can you do the same with your voice? When you copy them, don’t worry about your accent or making mistakes. Just focus on the delivery!
Have you noticed that someone becomes more animated when they speak about something they love?
Let’s face it. Speaking in language classes about a topic we don’t care about can be a little boring. In our online community, we focus on one topic at a time from real-life subjects that interest you! We talk about parenting, relationships, traveling the world, festivals, setting goals, and our careers!
Through our structured weekly lessons, you’ll be able to have meaningful conversations and expand your vocabulary. Find something you are passionate about and share it with your friends using English! Your enthusiasm will not only motivate others to learn, but it will encourage you to spend time reading, researching and speaking in English. You will feel empowered!
We give you freedom to delve as deeply as you like into our amazing topic and give you the tools to find a speaking partner who shares your interests. We provide a supportive environment for you to practise speaking about the things which are most important to you.
Well, would you look at that! You’re already on your way to improving English conversations!
We hope these tips help you to express yourself confidently in English.
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Emma shares 5 tips to improve your listening skills, so you can feel more confident understanding other people and communicating in English!