Learning English Online: How to improve spoken English online?
In this blog post, we move to step 2 of our guideline framework to learn English online. As we discussed in our earlier article, each learner must begin with developing their English vocabulary. Most spoken English classes may not really be of help to you at this stage as vocabulary education is 100% self-learning. Learn at your pace and practice consistently. Begin with basic everyday words and phrases.
After gaining footwork in English vocabulary, the main focus should be to gradually become proficient in English grammar and slowly navigate your way to communicating if not fluently but at least basic spoken English. This is the toughest step since English word pronunciations and intonations take consistent practice.
Thus, spoken English is the next step in your online English language education.
- Step 1- Where should you start?
- Step 2- How to improve spoken English?
- Step 3- How to improve English reading, writing & listening skills?
- Step 4- Long term habits for fluent English speaking
As an online English speaking course, we daily encounter multiple students who struggle with spoken English training. Undoubetly the toughest hurdle in mastering fluency in English speaking. However, the reasons student struggle most at this stage are generally owing to the following reasons
- Speaking fluent English needs practice and this means your lessons may run longer, most online Spoken English classes now will get expensive.
- You joined “those” online English classes or others who promise that you will learn English in – a week or 10 days or 30 days & so on.
- You did not spend sufficient time on polishing your English vocabulary or the spoken English course only trained you with “Beginner English lessons”
- You enrolled to group English lessons or 1:1 English lessons or to online English speaking classes which was just not your learning style!
- Your rapport with your tutor for English lessons was not conducive to your learning needs
If you closely observe, most of the above scenarios are not really about your inability to practice spoken English consistently but due to
- Trusting misleading quick fix solutions
- Investing in courses that are just too expensive than your learning budget
- Enrolling to a course or learning from a spoken English tutor whose style simply does not match with your learning requirements
Thus, if you see, choosing the “right” English course is the one that works the best for you in terms of – tuition fees, group or private lessons and the online teacher for English. We suggest that you spend some great time doing research and then zeroing down on “the best online English speaking course” for you!
Once you finalize your course content and pattern, then begins your actual learning. Though our blog series are focused on online spoken English course, you can still apply these tips to any format and course that you may choose.
How to improve spoken English online?
In order to learn speaking in fluent English, you will need consistent and guided spoken English practice as well as a thorough knowledge of English grammar basics. Let’s discuss each at length and ways to learn them smartly.
Wikipedia defines English grammar as the way in which meanings are encoded into wordings in the English language. This includes the structure of words, phrases, clauses, sentences, and whole texts.
The primary components of English grammar are
- The word order- This is Subject+Verb+Object rule wherein the subject is the actor of the sentence, the person or thing doing the action. The verb is the ‘doing word’, the action of the sentence. The object is the element of the sentence that is acted on, that the verb is directed towards.
- Punctuation marks - Broadly speaking, there are 14 Punctuation Marks listed in English Grammar. They are: the period, question mark, exclamation point, comma, colon, semicolon, dash, hyphen, brackets, braces, parentheses, apostrophe, quotation mark, and ellipsis.
- English tenses - Verbs come in three tenses: past, present, and future which are then broken down further to simple, continuous and perfect. Thus, a total of 12 verb tenses. The past is used to describe things that have already happened, the present tense is used to describe things that are happening right now, or things that are continuous while the future tense are events that will happen in the future.
- English determiners & Connectors- In simple words these are English functions and comprise of - articles, ordinals, numbers, demonstratives, possessives, quantifiers, nouns, adverbs, adjective, pronouns, proposition and conjunctions.
Too much information right! Take a deep breath. Though it may seem tedious and a lot of grunt work, there is simply no escaping English grammar! This is the foundation of English fluency and proficiency.
The simplest way to learn is to learn each of this one at a time with as many practice lessons as possible. You need not turn nerdy and learn each and every rule, but simply strive to practice as often as you can in the manner of written lessons. We have covered quite a lot reference material that may help you begin with. For practice lessons, we recommend visiting our free study material section and the below articles.
Guided Spoken English Practice
If English grammar was not tough in itself, English pronunciations are no less difficult. But unlike English grammar, there are plenty of tips and tricks that can help you speak fluent English faster. That is, there are several ways to master English fluency through smart work.
English pronunciation simply means the manner in which a word or alphabet is said correctly or the manner in which a language is spoken. It is all about the fine balance between the vowel (alphabets a, e, I, o, u) and consonant (alphabets other than vowels) sounds.
Top 4 tips
- A better listener becomes a fluent speaker- This is the most important rule! Observe how people speak, how well they pronounce words, their slangs and word delivery (especially native English speakers) Encourage yourself to converse with them and slowly copy their speaking style.
- Learn the basic vowel sounds with perfect tongue movement- Some letters are always pronounced in a particular way, make a note of these rules. For example- For a “v” sound you will bite your lower lip, for a “sound you will round your lips, for a “th” sound your tongue will touch the base of your upper mouth palate behind your teeth etc.
- Practice as much as you can- There is simply no shortcut to success. Practice as often as you can- by yourself or with a learning buddy or in front of a mirror. The more mistakes you make, the more will you be aware!
- English is not phonetic- Two words with the same spelling may not be pronounced in the same manner. Make a note of all tricky words in advance! Familiarize yourself with phonetics and intonations, start with a small list of 5 or 10 a day.
This may all seem like a lot of work and you are bound to feel overwhelmed. But the rule to spoken English fluency is simple- consistent practice. No shortcuts! Just a right mix of hard work and smart efforts.