We often come across advertisement boards about “Learning to speak English” in our neighborhood. In India, the motivation to learn speaking English is among all age groups. Hence, a country with Hindi as its national language is struggling hard to create a better environment for speaking English. India now claims to be the world’s second largest English speaking country. But only close to 10% of our population is English speaking and there is a huge scope of progression in the same.
Create an atmosphere in which you want to learn, not because you have to. You’ll learn more when you’re learning because you want to.
The list below mentions a few ways to change the environment for better English speaking.
- Start from your own Home: Dedicate fixed hours, when all the family members communicate with each other only in English. This will help the elders to improve and younger members to practice speaking English away from schools/colleges.
- Read, Read and Read: “Reading is to mind what exercise is to the body,” said Joseph Addison. Start your day with an English Newspaper at least twice a week. Reading English novels or books will also help you in getting familiar with grammar and learning new words. It also further adds to the way we have conversations. Instead of listening to music or playing games, you can listen to audiobooks in English or listen to some English skills podcasts. You can now find most books in an audio format. If you don’t like books, you probably do read daily news or articles. What’s really good is that you can look at the text while you listen to the audio.
- Internet: The easiest way to have a better environment for speaking English is through the Internet. Participate in conversations through online forums related to your interests. There are various websites with tutorials, reading the material and interactive sessions to improve in your speaking English. Start practicing today!
- You probably use the computer on a daily basis. Switch everything to English. Choose English as your default language for the operating system, office programs, all applications you use etc. Do the same with your mobile phone and any other device. It’s not a revolutionary idea, but it will help you be in daily touch with English speaking. And you will be forced to improve your knowledge when you won’t understand something or will search for some function you know your computer has but you can’t find.
- Subscribe to at least one English newspaper or magazine or news site about one topic of your interest. Don’t just scan it, really read it. Slowly. If you don’t understand something, look it up in the dictionary or google it. As a matter of fact, you should google everything in English. Thus you will slowly start using English more and more.Equip yourself with all the modern gadgets, especially a good smartphone. Subscribe to blogs, newsletters, buy books only in the English language.
- Movies and Music: This comes with a bonus of entertainment. Take a break from Bollywood and watch an English movie this week. Watching English movies, series, a documentary or listening to English music, enhances your pronunciation. It will also ease the mother tongue influence on the language.Subtitles will help you understand everything, especially in TV shows where they use more complex language or speak more quietly. When you master that, start watching everything in English without subtitles. You can do the same when listening to music. Don’t just listen to the melody, try to understand the lyrics.
- At Workplace: Many workplaces have eLearning programs or sessions on the importance of business communications these days. It should become mandatory for colleagues and superiors to communicate only in English. Engage with a colleague or a group willing to improve speaking English and help each other.
- You can take speaking practice even a step further. What you can do is to make an agreement with some of your best friends to speak and only in English, although you could communicate in your native language much more easily. It may be weird at the beginning, but who likes normal and easy anyway.
Also, Online courses for English speaking are really helpful.They’re a very good and effective way to learn, but only under one condition. If you’re really disciplined. It works only if you’re able to schedule a few hours a couple of times per week just for English speaking and forget everything else.
With the expansion of massive online courses, you have a lot of options to learn English speaking or any other skill online, but only if you take things seriously.
Compiled and Written by Aditi Sharma.