ESL classes provide a great foundation for you to speak, read and write English fluently. Still, it’s great to complement any techniques you learn in class with outside study. One of the biggest worries ESL students have is how to pronounce words the same way a native speaker would. There are many ways you can practice your speaking skills both in and outside of class.
Discuss Current Events
If you’ve seen anything interesting on the news you can talk about this with other classmates, your teacher or tutor, and with any other English-speakers you know. Current news can help you expand your vocabulary and will force you to form your own opinion. You can practice agreeing and disagreeing with others, talking about your likes and dislikes, and you may have to prove an argument about something.
Listen to Music
This can be tricky because many musicians skip words or don’t pronounce them correctly on purpose. You can start with slower music and listen to faster genres as you get more comfortable. If you sing along to certain songs, you’ll realize that many current pop songs will force you to practice your phrasal verbs, since these are more common in music than in literature.
Keep a Vocabulary List
Keep a list of words that are difficult for you so you can practice pronouncing them or using them in sentences. If you’re wondering about how to pronounce these words correctly you can look up the phonetic spelling in a dictionary or app. It’s also great to write sentences and read them out loud.
Listen to Talks
There are many resources online or in radio stations where you can listen to talks about any topic you like. What makes these talks interesting is that you may have to get used to accents you normally don’t hear every day. For example, if you live in California people there speak English with a different accent than those in the South. It’s important to understand how to listen so you can see how they’re trying to pronounce words, even if it’s different than what you’re learning in class.
Break Words Into Syllables
If a word is difficult for you, break it down into syllables. This could make it easier for you to figure out the right cadence (how loud or softly to pronounce a part of a word).
Form a Study Group
If you’re taking an ESL class, maybe you can form a study group with friends. This way you can all help each other as you keep studying English.