How to improve your English speaking: 5 secrets from an ESL learner

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How to improve your English speaking: 5 secrets from an ESL learner

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With China’s economy growing fast, some might think that they must study Mandarin to excel on the job market. While speaking Mandarin may be an advantage, evidence suggests that English will continue to dominate many, if not all, areas of life, such as business, economy, and education.

English will maintain and grow its dominance, moving from a “marker of elite” in years past to “a basic skill needed for the entire workforce”. – Dorie Clark, Marketing Strategist, Professor, and Writer

According to British Council, English is spoken at a useful level by almost 1.75 billion people worldwide – that’s one in every four! 2 billion people were forecast to study English last year, with even more taking up English this year.

So, why is it important to speak English these days? Well, for one, if you speak English, you can easily integrate with international teams at work, trade with partners, and improve your chances when searching for a job in Canada and all over the world. On top of that, a recent report by the Economist Intelligence Unit states that executives in multinational companies, such as Heineken, Samsung and Renault believe that in the near future, over 50% of their workforce will need to speak English. If your goal is to live, study, and work in Canada, English is a must for you. 75.4% Canadians speak English, while only 22.8% speak French.

official languages in CanadaImage source: https://www.clo-ocol.gc.ca/en/statistics/canada

English fluency can’t be mastered overnight. But don’t get easily discouraged. We’ve all been there. I learned to speak English from scratch, too. Just like you! So, here are 5 secrets of how to improve your speaking skills fast.

If you take intensive English courses in Canada, you will also be able to practice while learning English!

Best Ways to Learn English Speaking

#1 Memorize useful words and phrases and learn to pronounce them correctly

When learning English, I often felt frustrated with the number of new words and phrases I had to learn daily. Well, you can’t really express your ideas well if your vocabulary is poor, can you? When reading or watching something, note down the new words and phrases. Try to remember them in a certain context and associate them with your experiences. If you don’t know how to pronounce the words correctly, don’t guess! There is a bunch of online dictionaries where you can easily look up the words and listen to their pronunciation. Here is a couple of our favorites:

https://dictionary.cambridge.org/

https://www.merriam-webster.com/

There are many apps you could use to learn English words daily! Our choice is Memrise app for free and learn new vocabulary with colorful flashcards. It’s also equipped with the speech recognition feature, which will allow you to practice your pronunciation, too. Fun, isn’t it?

#2 Read and listen, then reflect

When I was an ESL student, I thought that playing some English songs or movies in the background while doing something else in the meantime would actually help me improve my basic English speaking. Not really! To benefit from reading blogs, articles, as well as watching and listening to podcasts you must actively listen! By that, I mean that it’s important that you write down new words and expressions, look them up in a dictionary and, most importantly, engage with the content. You could discuss a video, an article, or a podcast with someone or simply record yourself retelling what you’ve read or heard and expressing your opinion on the matter.

Our favorite app to practice English reading, listening, and speaking for both beginner and advanced learners is EWA. You can download it for free and unlock over 1,000 books and 40,000 words that you can translate in just one tap. It is super fun and up to date. Enjoy!

#3 Practice daily conversations in English with native speakers

Studying English in Canada gives you a great advantage, as you can chat with native speakers anywhere: in stores, banks, restaurants, or coffee shops. You can speak like a real Canadian pretty soon! There is so much you can learn from them about the language and culture.

What if I don’t have English-speaking friends? No problem! There are so many apps and websites that you can use to meet them. One of our favorite language exchange apps is Tandem that you can use to meet with native speakers all over the world. You can download and use it for free! It’s only 6.99$ to upgrade to Pro if you like.

#4 Take an English course

You may feel a little awkward making a conversation with someone who speaks English way better than you, and it’s understandable. I felt more at ease practicing with other English learners and my teacher in the past. Learn more about our flexible English courses or speak to our International Team to find out more about your options.

We also built a Youtube channel only for you to start improving your English skills. Follow the button below to get a lot of English tips from our fabulous English teachers.

#5 Don’t lose momentum, keep going

At some point, you may feel like you’ve had enough, and you have very little or no progress at all. Remember that your learning journey is more of a curve rather than a straight line, so ups and downs are inevitable! Don’t quit! Spend some time learning English every day, and you’ll notice how steadily your speaking skills will be improving over time.

Speaking English is one of the most essential skills in 2021. It seems like it might take ages to speak English fluently or at least on a good level, but in fact, if you practice for some time daily independently, with a partner, or using technology, you can boost your speaking skills very fast. Don’t lose hope! Keep going.

Cornerstone College is here to help. Reach out to our International Team for support or tell us about your experience learning English in the comments section under this post (we promise we will reply to everyone!)

Written by Anastasiia Gladkovska

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Showing 12 comments
  • Abigail Yànez Haro
    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this article and it is really good to know the different applications that we can use to improve our English because nowadays it is common to use the cell phone and the Internet as a tool to learn and it is also incredible because all these applications are free, thank you very much for information.

    • Cornerstone
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your amazing feedback Abigail! Hopefully, this article helps you to get some tips to improve your English speaking skills!

      • Angel Contreras
        Reply

        Hi, my name is Angel (Peru)

        I would like download tandem app, do you get others apps similar to this?

        Regards

        • Cornerstone
          Reply

          Hi Angel! Thank you so much for contacting us. You can definitely download Tandem App to be able to improve your English speaking skills. There are also different applications like Tandem such as;

          • HelloTalk
          • Speaky – Language exchange
          • Babbel
          • Busuu
  • Rodolfo Barbeito
    Reply

    Excellent article as always by the hand of anastasiia, I did not know many of the applications, while I was reading the article, I installed one. As the article explains is important to have a good fluency in the English language, the practice makes the teacher, following the tips provided is an excellent way to progress in the know of it. Thanks for your tips

    • Cornerstone
      Reply

      We are so glad to see how helpful the article is! There are more tips that will be coming for everyone to improve their English skills! Stay tuned!

  • Ryo Saigusa
    Reply

    I really enjoyed reading this article. I didn’t know that there are many apps to improve our English. I’ll install all of them and I’d like to use them. I also think to learn English is so important to do work in the future, but I felt like quitting to study English because of many mistakes. However, through this article, I could learn that we have to keep studying English if we want to improve our skills. That’s why I keep going. Thanks for your advice.

  • Nonoka Nakamura
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing this helpful information. I understand the importance of searching new words and writing them down every time. I did not know the apps that are mentioned in this article, so I will get these apps and utilize them to improve my English skills. In my university, there are so many native English speakers, and I was talking with them many times. Because of them, my speaking skill has been improved gradually, so from my experience, I really agree that speaking with native speakers is very important to improve our speaking skill. Thank you.

    • Cornerstone
      Reply

      Our pleasure Nonoka! Always glad to help our audience with their improvement!

  • Takafumi Watanabe
    Reply

    Thank you for the information about some apps and this was very useful information. I didn’t know these apps while I was reading the article and I really glad I did!! I downloaded some apps as soon as possible! One more thing I would like to thank my wonderful teacher for giving me the opportunity to read this blog. Thank you so much!

    • Cornerstone
      Reply

      Hi Takafumi, many thanks to Anastasia to provide a very informative article for those who would like to improve their English speaking skills.

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