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The Best way to Practice English Speaking 1

The Best way to Practice English Speaking

1 – Practice Idioms

 

Continuous Practice is Key

Continuous practice is the key to learning a new task. However, when the task that is asked to be repeated is too complex for you, you may lose interest or become frustrated with the language. For example, if your reading level is at the point where you can read and comprehend “The Cat in the Hat”, and I ask you to read and comprehend Shakespeare’s Sonnets, you will have a difficult time.

 

Choose the Appropriate Level

So, if you’re just starting to learn English, start with simple greetings. Such as “hello”, “how are you” and “good bye”. If you’re a student, focus on idioms or phrases used by people in your grade level. If you’re a worker, you can find phrases or words for the day that you will use constantly at work. When you can use a phrase or a word in the correct context in the correct situation, it means that you understand the phrase or word. This can be especially helpful if you don’t know a lot of idioms.

 

Why Idioms?

As my understanding of the language grows, the biggest struggle for me is using all the idioms correctly. For instance, the difference between “like” or “as” and whether the correct form is “synonymous to “ or “synonymous for” will confuse even many native speakers.

Today, there are a variety of sources online that will provide you with idioms.  Even if you just master one idiom per day, that’s 365 idioms a year. Using idioms correctly is especially valuable because native speakers will not peg you as a foreigner if you use them correctly.

Another ESL learner may speak English with perfect grammar and sufficient accents, but if they cannot understand idioms, than native speakers will not feel that he or she is one of them. Native speakers use many idioms, and they will have to adjust their speech when you don’t understand idioms. Making folks change their words will create distance in the relationship.

 

How to Learn New Idioms

When you learn a new idiom, use it continuously, not just for that particular day and never again. As mentioned in the beginning of the article, repetition is the key to learning something. If you memorize something, you will not be able to use it on the spot, or use it later in time. If you learn something, it becomes a part of you.  Memorizing is only useful for tests, but learning will help you master English.

In my opinion, about 200 idioms would easily fool a native speaker; that would give you 165 days to reuse the 200 that you learned.

The best way to learn idioms is by practicing regularly. A reliable method is to get an idiom book or find a good website. Make sure to choose material appropriate to your level and field. If you are a beginner, start with easy 1-3 word idioms. If you are more advanced, you can work on longer phrases or sarcasm. Choose idioms related to your job or country. Once you find a suitable idiom source, try to learn 1 idioms per day. At breakfast, copy each idiom 3 times with the definition. Practice speaking the idiom 3 times aloud. When you get to school or work, keep the paper in your pocket. You MUST use the idiom at least 3 times in the day. After using the idiom, put a check mark on your paper.

This method will help you remember to practice the idiom, along with learning the definition. It is also beneficial to keep a record. You can literally watch your idiom vocabulary grow with each day. Try to use the idioms continuously. Add them to your daily vocabulary. This will be easy when you choose appropriate idioms. Around 10% of daily conversation involves idioms, so you WILL use them regularly.

If you’re not yet at the level of learning complex idioms, start with something easy. It is crucial that you make your foundation strong before you start building on it. You will soon find out that learning has a momentum to it and that as you progress, adding new knowledge about the language will become easier. Just don’t give up, because “slow and steady wins the race”.

 

More on Idioms from E-Learning English:

You need to practice English idioms

Learn American English Idioms 1: Attitude

 

 

Great Digital Books for Learning Idioms:

Speak English Like an American (Book & Audio CD set)

Speak Business English Like an American: Learn the Idioms & Expressions You Need to Succeed On The Job! (Book & Audio CD)

Knickers in a Twist: A Dictionary of British Slang

Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook

 

 

 

Eddie,

ESL Student in America

 

 

Have you reviewed all 5 methods?

The Best way to Practice English Speaking – Idioms

The Best way to Practice English Speaking – Immersion

The Best way to Practice English Speaking – Mimicking

The Best way to Practice English Speaking – Pictures

The Best way to Practice English Speaking – Singing

 

 

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