9 years of my life experience in English > several hours to write it > less than 10 minutes to read it.

If you read this entire article, it'll definitely make you a better speaker. Consider this as your golden key to open doors of success throughout your life.

It's obvious that excellent written and oral communication skills in English will definitely put you at forefront of the world. Today we are focusing on spoken English. When we're talking about spoken English, we have to mention characteristics like, pronunciation, accent, intonation, stress, syllables and speed.

Are you good at spoken English? Well let me assume some potential answers..

1 Yes, I am 10/10

This person is confident about English, it doesn't mean he is fluent in English, he might fluent in English.

2 I can manage 8/10

This person can handle a conversation without many problems.

3 Sometimes I get stuck, I can't continuously speak 6/10

This person should consider expanding his or her vocabulary. Collocations will definitely help this person. May be this person is good at English, but can't endure the tension.

4 I'm afraid of speaking, Someone will laugh at me 4/10

This person is undergoing speaking and presentation anxiety.

5 If someone speaks with me then I'll speak 2/10

This person isn't trying to find out what's his or her real level in English, often because of ego or doesn't know the importance of improving spoken English.

6 I'm practicing writing(listening,reading) at the moment, I'll learn to speak later +/10

This person doesn't know, that all major skills should practice together not one after another.

NOTE: This red note is for people who answered as 'Yes I am'. Hello friend!, Do you remember the time that you could've given the answer 6 for this question in the past? then 5 as the answer?, then 4 as the answer?, then 3 as the answer?, then 2 as the answer? I can memorize those stages one by one, how about you?

What would be your answer? and which one is your preferable answer? If you have different answers for those two questions, then let's find out how to move from current answer to your preferable answer.

Have you ever wondered what causes your answer? Actually, it depends on the person's personality. May be because of poor vocabulary, lack of practice, some people can't stay calm while speaking with strangers, Also it could happen due to lack of preparation or worrying about reputation getting damaged(stupid), some people can lose their memory while they're talking and it's also possible that you can't understand others.

How to achieve your favorable answer? If I have to answer that question with a single word, I'll select the word 'practice'. Let's figure out what does this 'practice' mean..

I can come up with numerous ideas.. let's talk about some of them.

I know you've been learning English for ages, by now you should have a good vocabulary. If you don't have a good vocabulary, don't worry about it you are in the process of learning. Even though you've memorized an entire monolingual dictionary it is useless if you're not using those words in real life, in that case, a person who knows few words but using them accordingly will be better than you in spoken English. If you're wondering what is a monolingual dictionary, it is the dictionary which has words and their respective definitions in the same language where as bilingual dictionary has words and definitions in two languages.

When you see an opportunity where you can use a word that you know which is perfect for the situation, use that word confidently. That way you'll be able to reduce your speaking anxiety.
Believe me you will feel good when you know that you're accurate. That will make you do it again and again, which is good.

Whenever you're using a dictionary, put a check mark in front of the word that you've just checked(if dictionary belongs to you). And when you're trying to find another word in the future, check those checked words are available on that page. If there are previously checked words, then you should try to memorize the definition of that word, and it's good if you can use a monolingual English dictionary than a bilingual dictionary, that way you can memorize the definition in English. You can easily download and install a dictionary on your mobile phone as well.

Collocations, so called word partners have an important place in spoken English, choosing the right word for the right place is important. Otherwise you have to tell a long sentence to express the idea which could have mentioned in few words. I use http://www.ozdic.com/ for collocations.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes. if you get to fail now, eventually you'll succeed. I tell you what, people get to lose because they've never failed or they've failed so big as a public failure. That's the last thing you want my friend! Obviously there are places that cost of failing is greater than cost of trying, as an example, what if a pilot tries to experiment what happens if I click all these buttons and nobs at once while flying a jumbo jet. but in our case it is not like that, in here cost of failing is lower than cost of trying.

Talk to yourself in English whenever you get a chance, Why don't you try making sentences from any word you learn. You can use your mobile phone to record them and then you can listen to those sentences while you are traveling. That way you can quickly use that sentence where it is appropriate, that saves sentence preparation time. Think of your mother tongue, you don't recollect word by word to prepare a sentence right, Do you know why? that's because we've practiced saying the same sentences for ages, same goes with other languages too mate.

Once we had this activity at British Council, our teacher told us to ask questions from other students which they can easily answer with 'yes' or 'no', But the student who is answering should not use the words 'yes'(yes,yeah,yea,ya) or 'no'(no,nope,na) as answers. He or she should give a long answer without saying 'yes' or 'no'. Then on we've avoided using same words again and again. Are you familiar with pronouns, synonymsantonyms and homonyms(word that looks and/or sounds like another word with a different meaning eg. heir : air check this link)? If not, you should be.

Oh I got so many ideas flowing through my mind now, I'm just wondering, will someone read all these? Well if someone is reading, he or she will definitely gain something out of this, It took me years to practice and do all these things. I know this is too much to remember or you may not like them all but these are proven facts to improve spoken English. I think reader(you) should have a break now, I'm not trying to deviate your attention from the article. (Could you please tell me, how do you feel about this strategy?, did it keep you awake? or I should've kept on writing?) Watch this video and continue reading...



At the beginning you might not able to speak for a long time, so what you should do is, ask questions from the listener while your talking, then he will try to answer those questions, meanwhile you can prepare for your turn. That is a good strategy to take some time off if you feel like you are in jeopardy or out of words. you should be a good listener and a fast thinker.

Some people think that speaking fast make you better, but in my opinion we should think about the listeners ability of comprehension as well. I personally have this problem, even once my teacher told me speaking fast is good, but speaking slow and accurately is better. If you've listened to Hip Hop music for ages, You'll used to speak fast, but you'll be in jeopardy when talking(at the early stage of learning), because you don't have enough time to think and make beautiful sentences if you talk fast. nevertheless, talking somehow is better than being silent. Now I'm listening to Pop music than Hip hop music, but still I like Hip Hip music the most, even though I can't understand each and every word. You know what, even some native speakers can't understand each and every word in a Rap song, but they are good at guessing, they hear same expressions over and over again, so it is easier for them to guess the whole sentence even small part of it is clearly audible. It's like reading.. we don't read word by word, we guess(if you're reading books) and read on. Our brain tells us what must have been said or written even if we don't really hear or read all of it. The more familiar you become with collocations, more you able to guess correctly even it is obscure with interfering sounds.

Make sure you stop or slow down at punctuation marks. Try to accurately pronounce words and phrases. Reading out loud will help you in this matter. If you make a mistake, you will notice it instantly and remember the mistake. You can do the same thing with songs and movies as well. There are plenty of video songs and movies with subtitles. Read them while watching.

If you read a lot of English books or newspapers you will be able to easily correct your grammar mistakes, It is not important to be 100% grammatically correct when it comes to speaking.. it will develop with time, so don't wait till you finish learning all grammar rules. Just start and speak what you know so far. Talk to a friend and tell him or her about your progress, share your views with your friend, that is a very good way to overcome shyness. Don't be shy to ask for help, instead of that you should give yourselves some credits for keep on trying.

Let me tell you a trick to improve your confidence, it doesn't matter what you are going to talk, make sure that you memorize how to start it and finish it nicely and remember main points that you should mention during the conversation. If you try once, you'll embrace that formula for sure.

Before having a conversation you can anticipate the questions that might be asked and be prepared for those questions, so you can be confident through out the conversation. Take some time to smile or smile while you're speaking. There is a Chinese saying that 'person who doesn't smile shouldn't start a business'. Be yourself don't try to act like someone else, no matter how hard you try you will end up being you. Question yourself, Where is your originality? Why should you follow someone's footsteps when you can make your own path? That's absurd isn't it?

Don't be upset when someone tells you 'you failed', you should tell your self 'oh yeah, I failed but I've tried' don't be mad at that person but thank him, because we need people like them to succeed, consider them as vital tools to improve your English. When it comes to me I love those kind of people than people who just say good about me, because haters trying so hard to find out mistakes and show them to us without a payment. Even you are right and haters are wrong bear it, but don't scold them, let them help us to succeed, we need haters a lot. Jump out and take the risk, willing to fail my friend.

Some people got an ego like the sky, don't worry about them. If you have a big ego, then kindly try to understand this. Your ego is for you not for others, others don't give a damn about your ego, if you being rude to people, they will oppose your presence or company. And eventually you will end up being all along with your ego. Go to main chat room and see how fast they're learning while having fun.

If you still feel afraid or shy, then go somewhere you've never been before, go to a different city if you have to and talk with unknown people in English, even you make mistakes it will stay as a secret, then comeback and apply what you've learned, people who tend to do it often find new things about themselves and how to approach others.

Try new things like a chef, he try new recipes, try different ingredients and make new food. Why can't we do the same? If you are not curious about this, you are not going to learn, that's the bottom line. No pain no gain my friend.

Don't wait for someone to tell you what to do, go ahead and do what you want to do, else you will end up wondering "oh I should have done that" for the rest of your life.

Everyone who you think better than you is reassuring themselves except native speakers. No one is going to punish you if you don't do what has to be done, but as time goes by you'll be the person who's going to punish you. Only one who's stopping you is you. you have access to information, people and other resources around you, If you really want it, EnglishClub is more than enough. we should admire and be grateful to the people who designed and maintain this website, I'm a software engineer and I know how hard it is to maintain this kind of system. Make sure you click some of their sponsors advertisements, that's the way they finance this website.

You've already known the answer for 'what to do?' now I've just given you some answers to the question 'how to do?' Just remember, only your minds resistance is stopping you from trying. Think like no one gives you initiatives, that way you will tend to initiate it. most people don't think about it like that, but that's the truth.

First you will feel like overwhelming, but from the 2nd one onwards you will feel good and confident, it's all about crossing the first step with the desire. let me tell you something from my life. When I'm preparing for my SCJP(Sun certified Java programmer,USA) exam, one of our lecturers told us that, learning is one thing that anyone can do but applying what you've learned is hard. You will feel like moving a mountain when you are doing your first program, but right after that first one, you will be eager to design another one, so try your best to do the first one. Guess what? I've followed his advice and I've designed 9 different software products so far. Believe me English is way easier than Software Engineering.

Initially you'll call 2 or 3 people a month, then 7 friends per month, then 10 good friends per month etc. Mark their names on your calender, that will improve your enthusiasm of speaking with others whenever you look at the calender. What is the cost of a skype call? but think about what will you gain? The point is that we all have a certain degree of freedom that we should give credits to ourselves,  even if you are a waitress at a cafe, you can figure out how to be the waitress that they'll miss if you're gone. We are humans, it's all about connection. Think about how you can connect with people and how you can bring them up with you, that's why I'm trying here.. someday world will thank you for doing that.

Don't consider these as some sort of tips that you can do my friend, what I'm giving you is a prescription which you will have to take immediately (if you follow these rules you might start calling me Dr. Kosala :) I sincerely believe this prescription will start working it's magic on you.. Thank you very much!

NOTE: This red note is for you. Do you remember the first red note? What do you think of that? Is it for discriminate people? No my friend, It is to show you that, we all started like that... there are no shortcuts other than practicing...

Your reward...

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Comments

  • Thank you for your article! I like it. 

  • great!! thanks

  • apprecitiate it . thank u mr.kosala!

  • it is greatful , useful ,good motivate. thank you very much kosala !!!!!!!

  • Impresssssssssssive!

  • Well said and a good reminder.
    Thank you Kosala for re-focusing us on what's important:)
  • I must begin with offering a special thank you for pointing out my flaws.

    ======================================================

    1 over selves -> ourselves : typing mistake.

    2 no one going to -> no one is going to : 'no one' is singular.

    3 grateful -> be grateful : be use as a 'to be' verb for the adjective 'grateful' and inline with collocation as well.

    4 confident -> confidence : my bad.

    5 do a mistake -> make a mistake : my bad.

    6 you're ego -> your ego : typing mistake.

    7 wonder -> wondered : my bad.

    8 what does this 'practice' means -> what does this 'practice' mean : I should have used verb root with Do, does, did.

    =====================================================

    I'm glad there are some people who can correct me when I'm wrong, I highly appreciate that.

    Lesson: Never post an article without proof reading.

  • Thanks Kosala Siribaddana. What you have written my be a good guideline for a learner. It will be very helpful for us. "Learning is one thing that anyone can do but applying what you've known is hard." It is a path of learning and it is really a worthy of praise. I must remember it. All the best.

  • oh ANELE has pointed to the same mistakes here, hey dude, why dont you edit your blog?..i'll check it later to see any edition..then i will delete my comment, ok deal?

  • amazing blog, quite useful to beginners and to those who are too much confident about their spoken skills.....keep writing and encouraging us with your new blogs, i enjoyed myself while reading this all...it took time ... you are right, i absolutely agree with you word for word and no need to distract me (the reader) with any song ...lol! . oh hey!  though i dont know you, plz dont consider me as your hater (bec i am going out to point to some mistakes)...OH HOW NICE< MY BROTHER IS ALSO A SOFTWARE ENGINEER AND I KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO DESIGN ANY SITE < HE SPEND HOURS ON WORKIN>>......anyway, plz edit your blog to correct some grammatical mistakes there, such as 

    Have you ever wonderED,  he might  BE fluent in English., Let's figure out what does this 'practice' means..

    If you do  MAKE a mistake, to improve your confident,CE,Some people got aN ego ..

    You're YOUR  ego...

     BE grateful to the people who designed and maintainED  this website,

    discriminate ING

    PS how you kow i liked this song?..thx for the reward....

This reply was deleted.