One of the biggest challenges for English learners is learning to be fluent in speaking. It is a common and frustrating obstacle, but one that can be overcome if the right techniques are adopted. To be fluent it is necessary to have a good vocabulary, some basic grammar and correct pronunciation. It is not necessary to excel in each of these aspects. The key to getting better is to constantly train on each of them, to get the right balance.
English learners often find it difficult to improve their spoken English because they don't have a person to practice with. Above all, they don't have someone able to tell where they are wrong and to make the right suggestions. The ideal would be to have a native speaker to talk to, but obviously that's not something that happens every day.
That's why summer English courses with a native teacher are an effective way to learn fluency.
The same can be said of a holiday in English, which allows you to be in contact only with people who speak the foreign language.
However, for everyday practice, students can adopt a technique that is as simple as it is effective: registering. It is one of the best ways to make progress with your pronunciation and to learn to speak fluently.
Initially this method of learning might seem a little awkward, especially when you really notice how you speak. But only by becoming aware of your level of English can you improve.
There are so many reasons why it is useful to register. First, just so you know what voice you have. If you try to record yourself, you will understand that the sound of your voice is different from what you perceive while you are speaking. And if you don't know what your voice is like, it's hard for you to figure out what your accent is.
In fact, when learning to speak English for the first time, it is typical to use the sounds of your own language. This is a natural tendency and often leads to speaking with an accent. Getting rid of this defect takes time and practice, and above all you need to know which is the right way to pronounce the words. But the first thing to do is understand where you are going wrong.
If you can't detect this flaw, you can't fix it either. This is why registration is important. Because it allows you to become aware of how you speak.
Continually repeating mistakes without correcting them is in fact a useless effort.
Another benefit of registering is that you don't need to find a person to speak English with. A course with a native teacher could be an alternative. But the lessons have a limited duration and not all the time is devoted to conversation. Summer English courses are definitely an option to consider, but if you want to practice continuously, even without a partner, registering is the best solution.
Furthermore, this method is also suitable for the most shy students, who are embarrassed to speak in public. It allows everyone to express themselves freely without the fear of being judged. It is a technique that can be adopted in any place and at any time. This way, more reserved people will be more comfortable and will make more progress.
Registering while speaking in English is very simple. First you need to find a reference material. This can be an audio file or a video of a native speaker speaking. If you can find something with subtitles, even better. These will help you understand each word and associate it with the right pronunciation.
If you have attended summer English courses, you probably also have some audio files with exact pronunciation. You can start with these by repeating the speech and recording yourself. You don't need professional equipment to do this. All you need is your smartphone.
Both Android and iOS have pre-installed apps for recording voice. If you want to download another app with more features, that's fine too. But don't complicate your life with tools that are too difficult. All you need is something that allows you to record, save and rename the file.
Secondly, it is necessary to find a quiet environment, free from noise and distractions. The same goes for the time of day. The ideal is to practice without haste when you have free time available.
When you're ready, you can run your reference file. At this point, take your smartphone and press the red button, try to naturally repeat what you hear, as it comes to you. The first registration will help you understand what your level of English is. You can listen to it in the future to see if you are improving.
It is important to rename the recording by entering a date and the file name, repeating this operation for each attempt.
After each session it is good to listen to what you have recorded by comparing your pronunciation with that of the audio or video file. You will immediately get feedback to understand if you are doing well or if there is something you need to improve. If you find imperfections, try to imitate the sounds you hear in the reference material, and repeat them until they are more natural to pronounce.
It is recommended to do short daily sessions and even if you don't practice every day, be constant anyway. If you are tired of listening to the same file, you can replace it. This will also allow you to have more references and improve your understanding of English. The important thing is to compare each recording with the previous ones. Only then will you know if you are making progress.
An English homestay is the most effective and proven way to become fluent in English, especially if organized with a local family.
This way, you will solve the problem of finding a native speaker to talk to. You will have several, near you, to talk to at any time of the day.
If you have already thought of Ireland as your destination, Hebe will help you find the host family that best suits your needs. You will be able to communicate with them even before departure and exchange all the necessary information.
Of course, the longer your stay in English, the greater the benefits for your learning. At first you will understand your limits, but day by day you will become more and more fluent.
And when you go home to your recordings, you'll find that both hearing, understanding and reproducing conversations with the right accent will be easier.