I’ve been thinking about some quick ways in which you can practise English as you go about your daily life. I realise that not everybody is in a position where they are surrounded by English every day. (Although, if you can swing it, an immersion programme is an excellent way to skyrocket your English progress, and we have the perfect immersion programme waiting for you!) For others, they have very limited time to practise and need ‘quick fixes’ to keep their language skills moving. One area which poses a particular problem here is speaking.
I thought back to my early days of learning French. I was in a similar position with no French around me and without handy things like internet access that are available today! I invented little tricks and tasks to do in French to keep the momentum going. I’ll share these with you here and I’ve added a few more that I have observed from other people.
So, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, you can do a little effective practice to boost your speaking skills!
These will work with any language you are learning.
Warning – you might want to do some of these behind closed doors!
All the activities require a little imagination, and a little creativity. Don’t be afraid to let loose a little! These will all really help you grow in your language skills. Do them while you are performing routine tasks.
I love to sing and do these quite often. Great for practising in the shower, while washing the dishes, cleaning, or driving.
- Choose a song you like and make up English lyrics – anything will do, wild and wacky or sad and sentimental.
- Invent a ‘jingle’ to advertise your favourite chocolate bar, car, band etc… let your imagination go wild!
- Make up a rap about what you are doing.
OK, so how do these help anything, you may be asking. There’s spontaneity, which is something you also need when speaking – when you’re in a conversation you don’t know what’s coming next! You can be totally uninhibited and try anything – true freedom of expression! It will help you drag out vocabulary from your boots, you’ll be surprised at what you know. You’ll also find out what you don’t know and – no worries – you can look these words up in your dictionary later on.
Present a TV show:
- Cooking is GREAT for this! As you prepare your dish or meal imagine you are on TV and show your audience how to make it. You can either pretend, or you can actually film it and put your video up on YouTube for a real audience!
- Choose another task you are doing, or a favourite hobby, and make a video to show others how to do it.
This is great practice for giving instructions and describing a process. Conjure up a team to help you and soon you’ll have your own TV studio! Get into the part. You could even invite your friends to join in too!
Recite a poem:
- Learn a poem or verse by heart and then practise it while you go about your daily tasks. You can, alternatively, base it on a poem in your own language or even make one up. Writing poetry is a great way to get pronunciation down and will expand your vocabulary.
When I was learning French at school we used to memorise poems and ‘perform’ them in class – great for pronunciation!
Conversing with pets:
- Converse with your dog or cat! You have a real live partner for your conversation even if you get very quizzical looks (I always did). It adds an extra dimension to your creativity and is great for pronunciation.
- OK, you need a microphone for this, so grab that washing-up brush, wooden spoon or shower gel bottle and give a rousing speech to your invisible audience.
Become a tour guide:
- Grab your ‘microphone’ again and pretend you are a tour guide and give a guided tour of your home, city, town, or village.
- Download a word of the day app on your mobile phone. An effortless way to improve your vocabulary!
Make your language practice a part of your life!