The simple answer is: speak, speak, speak! The muscles of your mouth and the pathways in your brain need practice. Talk to kids that you meet. Ask questions, even if you think you know the answer. Repeat what you hear on the radio, TV, or YouTube. Speed it up or slow it down.
An excellent way to improve your speaking is to narrate what you are doing throughout the day. Describe what you’re doing and what’s happening. This technique helped me bring my French to a very high level of fluency. There’s no embarrassment because you’re talking to yourself, but you’re practicing. Here are three ways to do that.
Go for the traditional first person (I or we) and articulate your interior monologue …
“What should I cook for lunch? I guess I need to know what’s in the house first. Let me go over to the fridge, open the door, and take a look. Oh, sad situation. There is only ketchup, mayonnaise, some hot dogs and a few carrots. I really should have gone to the grocery store yesterday but I was too busy studying English.”
Use second person (you). Look at the people around you, and pretend you’re speaking to them, like this …
“You are absolutely the worst driver I’ve ever seen. Do you even have a driver’s license? You have to pay attention when you’re changing lanes. You can’t act like you’re the only one on the road. Oh, and now you’re going to go through that red light. You’re unbelievable. And you’re dangerous.”
Use third person (he, she, they) to narrate. Pretend you’re giving the commentary for your life, the way a soccer announcer describes a match, like this …
“Lisa gets out of bed and walks to the bathroom. She picks up her blue toothbrush and looks around for the toothpaste. Oh, no, her kids used all the toothpaste and they didn’t bother to tell her. This is bad news for Lisa. Wait, Lisa looks under the sink, and amazingly, she finds a small travel tube of toothpaste. It’s a surprise win for Lisa.”
Every time you do this, look up the words that you need but don’t know. This is a sure way to build your vocabulary and increase your fluency. The next step is to say the same things using different words.
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