How To Improve Your Speaking Skills

Na vsako manjkajoče mesto v besedilu vstavi ustrezno besedo iz spodnjega nabora. / Fill in each gap with a suitable word from the box.

speaking-skillsYou are unlikely to learn to speak a new language perfectly, but perfection should not be your goal. Your main goal should be effective communication. I am not perfect in any of the languages that I speak, but I can communicate. And whenever I communicate in _______________ (1) language I’m satisfied. I also know from experience that my ability to speak and to pronounce well will only improve with time, as long as I remain alert to what I hear and read, and how I use the language.

Here are the steps I take when trying to improve my oral skills:

Listen a lot

I mean more than one hour a day, just about every day. Find items that interest you and download them. Transfer them to your phone or MP3 player and study _______________(2) the go, wherever you are, and whenever you have the time. Just listen and listen. You will start with short, easier content and graduate to longer more interesting content. Ideally listen to material where you also have the transcript so that you have a better chance of understanding it.

Read a lot

Reading is the best way to increase your vocabulary. To express yourself you need words. To communicate you need to understand what the other person is saying, and this requires even more words. Reading will give you the vocabulary you need to become a _______________ (3) speaker. The combination of reading and speaking will enable your brain to become used to the new language, and this will build up your potential to speak _______________(4).


Listening when combined with reading will fill your brain with phrases you recognize, and eventually will be _______________(5) to use. You may want to imitate out loud the odd word or phrase, even as you are listening. This is sometimes referred to as shadowing. But you need even more practice at getting the words out. Listen a few minutes to content for which you have the transcript, and where you like the voice and the way the person speaks. After listening, read the same text out loud trying to imitate the way the person speaks. Focus on the rhythm and intonation. Don’t worry about words that you _______________(6), get the rhythm and flow. Do this over and over.


Writing is a great way to start producing the language. You may not really feel like writing much at first. Dictation is a great way to get into the writing habit. Hopefully that will give you the confidence to write more. Submit your writing for correction if you want. The main thing, _______________(7), is to write to get used to expressing things in the language, without the pressure of speaking with someone.


If you _______________(8) find someone to speak to where you live, that is great. However, there are many online sites where it is possible to find _______________(9) speakers to speak with online. Don’t worry about your mistakes, even encourage your partner not to correct you while you speak. The main thing is to speak more and more, ideally _______________(10) subjects of mutual interest to you and your speaker partner.

(Adapted from on 13 October 2016)

1 other a nother an other another
2 of off on in
3 confident confidant confidential self-conscious
4 good well bad worse
5 willing applied able allowed
6 mispronounce dispronounce unpronounce inpronounce
7 despite in addition however although
8 will have to must can
9 original native true born
10 in for on with

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