How Do I Improve My Speaking?

I was asked once by a Japanese ELL (English Language Learner) how she could improve her speaking.  I told her that if you want to improve then you need to speak!  Talk to everyone.  Don't worry if you screw up or if your pronunciation isn't perfect.  The only way to become better at speaking a language, and to gain confidence, is to practice.
How does an ELL improve their speaking when they are living in a peripherary country?  A country where the language is not spoken as an official language?
That can be a bit more tricky, but immersion is not a guarantee that an ELL will gain proficiency in a language either.  I recommend finding an app or make an online friend that will give you opportunities to practice speaking.
I myself am a language learner.  I would like to go back to Japan and teach, but I would like to improve my speaking skills before I go.  I like using an app called Mango Languages.  It is not available everywhere and it may or may not be available for free through a library or university.
It is not a perfect solution, nothing is, but it can allow a student to practice speaking when there are no other speakers to practice with.  It can also alleviate any anxiety speaking to people can cause.  If I screw up on a sentence, then I can repeat it as often as necessary which is not something I would get in a conversation with a person.  


I think that the techniques you mentioned are helpful. However, some other things that could help include reading books aloud, listening to songs and radio shows, and watching tv shows in the language you desire to learn. The aforementioned can help the language to become more familiar through what you say and hear.


Erika H.

MS Office Expert/Proofreader/English

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