Muted. That’s how many people feel when they have to speak in English. We understand. We have ideas that we want to explain, opinions we want to express, and comments we want to make. But when we open our mouth… nothing seems to come out. That’s why it English speaking courses are now so popular.

Improving speaking ability is the number one goal amongst many EFL students. Many decide to take a simple conversation program, but at the end feel like they haven’t made much progress. Understanding what’s really involved in improving your English speaking ability and knowing what to look for in English Speaking Courses is important. So, what does improving your speaking ability really involve and what should you look for in an English Speaking Course?

Improving your speaking ability is like cooking a great meal; there are many important ‘ingredients’.

Ingredient 1: Exposure and Opportunity

You won’t always have a speech coach or a knowledgeable friend to help you when you have a question, need feedback, or run into ‘communication’ problems. You need to have the ability to identify areas you need to improve and access the resources to do so by yourself. This is what ‘Self Development Strategies’ are all about. A great English Speaking program will help you develop these along with the other important areas we have mentioned.

Ingredient 2: Vocabulary

Enriching your vocabulary range is essential. In English meaning is conveyed not only through single items like teacher, learn, or program but also with clusters of words used together, things like phrasal verbs, collocations, fixed expressions and idioms. Developing a healthy vocabulary means learning all of these things.

Ingredient 3 – Grammar and Structure

Grammar means the rules of a language. Grammar guides us and helps us create questions, form sentences and convey complete ideas. It is the structural foundation of our ability to express ourselves. If your ability to communicate was a house, grammar would be the foundation of the house. Without a strong foundation a house would collapse, and so it is with our ability to speak. The good news is grammar doesn’t have to be painfully difficult and boring; it can also be great fun and the most effective way to increase your usuage of grammar is by following English speaking courses with a qualified English trainer who sets up real-life stimulated role-play activities.

Ingredient 4 – Pronunciation

You have the right grammar AND the right words, but this means nothing if people can’t understand the words that come out of your mouth. That’s why pronunciation is important. You don’t need an American or British accent to have good pronunciation. You DO need to be able to pronounce phonemes (unit of sounds different letters and combinations of letters make) clearly, use your intonation appropriately, add stress to sentences and words correctly, and speak with the right volume and at the right speed.

Ingredient 5 – Discourse Management Skills

A conversation is like a game of tennis between two people, or like a game of volleyball between a group of people. The ball (opportunity to speak) bounces back and forth between players. Sometimes the game is played well and the ball moves back and forth smoothly. However, sometimes the ball drops, hits the net, or someone hits a ‘foul’. In communication ‘dropping the ball’ is when there is an interruption, disruption, or breakdown in communication. Good speakers have the ability to repair these breakdowns and get the conversation up and running again. We use discourse strategies to do this and they are important skills to learn. In simple terms discourse management means ‘communication management’.

Ingredient 6 – Register

The formality of our language changes depending on who we are talking to, where we are talking and what we are taking about. Imagine that you were talking about a football game with a group of friends at a coffee shop. Now, imagine you were talking about development ideas for a new product with a group of colleagues in a business meeting. The language that you use in both of these situations would be different. One would be informal, the other formal. This is what ‘Register’ means. Speaking at the appropriate register is important in different situations and our ability to control our register shows our professionalism and helps to create a good impression.

Ingredient 7 – Self Development Strategies

You won’t always have a speech coach or a knowledgeable friend to help you when you have a question, need feedback, or run into ‘communication’ problems. You need to have the ability to identify areas you need to improve and access the resources to do so by yourself. This is what ‘Self Development Strategies’ are all about. A great English Speaking program will help you develop these along with the other important areas we have mentioned.

Ingredient 8 – Inspiration and Knowledge

You need to develop the ability to talk on a wide range of topics in a wide range of situations with different kinds of people. It’s important for you to explore the world while developing your speaking abilities. This will help you develop your vocabulary in a lot of different areas, learn how to structure your ideas in different situations, and exercise register control.

Ingredient 9 – Confidence

Confidence isn’t instant. There’s no magic ‘pill’ you can take to help you develop it. Confidence grows over time in the right environment, with the right opportunities, and with the right support. It’s important to find a supportive environment that can help you to develop the confidence you need.

Ingredient 10 – A New Mind Set

Don’t worry about making mistakes. Mistakes are natural and actually a vital part of learning a language. Instead of viewing them as something negative, change your mind set and see them as a golden opportunity to learn and develop.

Call English Today to ask about our ‘One on One Speaking Coaches’ and ‘Specialized English Speaking Courses’.

  • Group English Speaking Classes via Skype

  • ‘Face to Face’ Group English Speaking Programs
  • ‘One on one’ English Speaking Programs

Do you need to improve your conversation skills, try English Speaking Courses over the phone or by Skype. With this method you have no choice but to speak and that’s the secret to improving your conversation skills and gaining the confidence you have always wanted. http://english-today-jakarta.com/vip-phone-english

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