It’s Dan here, your friendly Academic Year Coordinator.
When I speak to students about how their studies are progressing, they often tell me that they would like to improve their speaking. No surprise, really – speaking English well is important for careers, studies, and of course, living in London.
So, what advice do I give? Well, here’s a quick run down:
1. Practice all day, every day – if you only speak English in class, that’s only a few hours a day. Speak English from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed
2. Try to engage others in conversation – speak to classmates, other students, teachers, shop assistants and anyone that doesn’t look dangerous. Try using tag questions to start a conversation – ‘It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?’
3. Listen and copy – watch TV, watch movies, listen to the radio and listen to native speakers. Try to copy the phrases and intonation used.
4. Perhaps most importantly, try to have confidence in yourself. Making mistakes is a great way to learn – if you only say a few words because you’re scared of making mistakes, people can’t correct you and help you improve.
Finally, if you live with people who speak the same language as you, or if you don’t know many people, try the fabulous Social Programme here at EC London – find out what’s happening from your teacher or outside the cafe.
Speak to you soon!
Look at the phrases in bold above – what’s the difference between TRY + INFINITIVE and TRY + -ING? Here’s a clue – which one is an experiment – the first time you’ve tried it – and which one is an attempt – something that might be a little difficult?