In learning any language, there are always 4 key elements to pay attention to: Speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Most people find it no problem to learn how to read and write a language, because this is something you can practice almost anywhere and anytime. However, speaking and listening pose slightly more of a challenge because it often requires having someone you can practice with.
Especially now that most of us are confined to our homes, it can be tough finding people to practice your language skills with. If you have been taking an English class in Singapore or were planning to enrol in one, you will have better luck with an online English class right now.
There are still ways you can boost your speaking and listening skills from the comfort of your home! Here are some methods to get you started:
1. Read and discuss articles or books
If you are involved in an English class online, you can still reap the benefits of a regular English class, in that you have your teacher or classmates as your practice buddies. Not too sure what to talk about to practice your conversational skills? You could start by reading some articles or books and talking about them.
Most people think of reading as a good way to improve vocabulary and reading skills. However, if you put these into practice in your speech as you share it with others, you are truly making your learning stick.
2. Watch TV shows in English and talk about them
The great thing about learning in English is that there are plenty of English media options for your enjoyment and learning. Watching English TV series and movies are also a wonderful way to brush up on your English listening skills.
It will help you get used to hearing English in action, and pick up new phrases and vocabulary. Of course, it also helps to discuss these movies with your fellow English learners, and put your speaking into good practice as well.
3. Do mini-presentations
Public speaking is one of the biggest and most common fears of many people. Having to speak in a language that’s foreign to you tends to multiply these fears. However, this difficult task is actually highly beneficial to your language learning.
You can begin by making mini-presentations to a group of friends or classmates you are comfortable with. Remember, making mistakes is normal! In fact, it will help you learn. The feedback you get from your audience will also be valuable in helping you improve your speaking skills.
Roleplaying is a fantastic way to practice your speaking and listening skills. It is almost like a rehearsal for real-world scenarios that you will face. Through roleplaying, you can practice commonly used words for different scenarios – for example, learning about food names when you roleplay going to the market.
It will also force you to be adaptable as you have to react to what your fellow actors say. This mimics real conversations where you need to think and respond in real-time using English.
There are plenty of ways you can brush up your English speaking and listening skills! If you want to improve your English, why not try them out for yourself?
When you are ready to take your English to the next level, you can also enrol in an IELTS preparation class. These lessons gear you up to take the IELTS certification, which is useful to certify your proficiency in English when you need to apply for school or jobs. Keep in mind that learning a language is a long-term pursuit – so even if you don’t feel any progress right now, keep working hard and you’ll see the rewards!