Conversational English: How Can I Practice My Speaking and Grammar?
Learning conversational English is the usual reason people start learning English at all. And, when you think about it, it’s understandable. People want to communicate, they want to talk to other people and, English being the most used language around the world, it’s easy to explain why so many people want to speak it.
However, conversational English consists of several aspects. You have to learn how to think in English, improve the range of your vocabulary and, for the more advanced of learners, master the fluency of the English language.
Enrolling in an English language school in Los Angeles is certainly the best thing to do, but, rule of thumb is that, as much time you spend studying at a language school, as much time you should dedicate to it at home. So, here are our tips for improving your grammar, practicing speaking, and learning through unorthodox methods.
How can I improve my grammar?
Improving grammar can be tricky. If you want to become a speaker of international English, mastery of grammar is not high on the list of priorities. However, if you want to become truly fluent, you cannot do so without in-depth knowledge of grammar. If you could, there wouldn’t be institutions like California Department of Education.
For those learners who are struggling with the grammar of the English language, there are several problems that arise during their quest to become reach grammar competence. Their first problem is finding proper resources, while their most frequent desire is to stop making those pesky common mistakes.
How do I find reliable learning resources?
Not all course books are interesting, and not all grammar books are well-written and mindfully composed. The simple fact of the matter is that there are many books out there, and most of them won’t serve your needs. So, how to do it?
Tip 1 - Consult a teacher. Yes, you could’ve seen this one coming. But honestly, teachers are professionals, it’s what they do, and you can easily visit a school for English in Los Angeles, visit a couple of lessons, and ask just how exactly you should tackle your grammar-learning endeavors and what books you should use.
Tip 2 - Search online. There are many great things the expansion of the Internet has brought into our lives, and user reviews are one of them. If you’re unsure about what grammar book to choose, Google it, and see what the others say. Again, nothing can substitute advice from an experienced teacher, but this is a useful tool nonetheless.
How can I avoid common mistakes?
In order to become really proficient at English grammar, you have to start from the beginning. And the beginning is to stop making the same common mistakes over and over again. How can you do so?
Master confusing words - Words that sound similar, but are not the same, words that differ in one or two letters, homophones, heteronyms… You need to differentiate between all of those things, and only then will you be on your way towards eliminating frequent mistakes.
Use active voice - Yes, it’s more basic and doesn’t sound as posh, but passive sentences are something that comes naturally later on in the course of language learning. Say “She bought a car.”, not “The car was bought by her.”. It will make your life a lot easier.
KIS - Or, Keep It Simple! No better way to avoid making the same mistakes than to simplify your speech patterns until you’ve mastered them
How can I practice speaking?
When it comes to practicing your speaking skills, there are many ways to do so, some better than others. Some require the presence of other people, while some you can do on your own. We’re here to present the best methods to you.
Find a speaking partner
The best way to practice speaking is to find a person with roughly the same level of language as you, and schedule weekly meetings for practicing English. If you can’t find a person in your vicinity, you can always try online or, even better, attend a course at a language school in Los Angeles.
Do tongue twisters
No better exercise for your tongue than tongue twisters. They seem silly, they seem juvenile, and you certainly wouldn’t want anyone listening in while you’re doing them. But, they’re an amazing tool to improve pronunciation, while having some fun along the way.
Learn a new word every day
Sounds simple, but is actually a bit more complicated. We don’t mean just reading a new word every day, but really learning it. Know what it means and when it is used. Know what it collocates with, and what other words it is a basis for. And then, practice pronouncing it, and incorporating it into your active vocabulary.
How to learn English through songs and music?
One of the best ways to learn English, without even realizing you’re actually learning it, is by listening to music. It’s easy, it’s fun, and, most importantly, it works! Not only will you learn new words and sentence patterns, but you will also practice your pronunciation.
However, in order for your learning-through-music attempts to be truly worthwhile, we’re here to give you some pointers as to how to structure your endeavors when trying to learn English by listening to music.
Choose the right songs
Now, when we say “the right songs”, we don’t mean songs with complex sentences, idiomatic expressions, phrasal and modal verbs, and so on. No. We mean choose songs you like, songs that work for you, nevermind their language structure.
In the beginning, sing along with the song. Try to imitate the pronunciation, the rhythm, the tempo… Try to sound as natural as possible. The next stage of singing along is singing from memory. Now, you only have yourself to rely on, so try to replicate the speech patterns you remember from the song. This way, you’ll remember the patterns better once you find yourself in an English-speaking situation.
Study and review the vocabulary
Hear a song a couple of times, sing along to it, and then find the lyrics and study them. See how the language functions, adopt new words and expressions, and try to use them in your speech. And, after a week or so, come back to the song, listen to it a couple more times, and see just how well you remember the language from it.
Who are the best English teachers in Los Angeles that can help me improve my language?
Let us put it like this - the College of English Language is the finest of all the English language schools in Los Angeles, and the teachers that work here are some of the best professionals we’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.
If you want to improve your English quickly, easily, and, most importantly, in an interesting way, our school is the perfect place for you. Our methods are modern, and so is our equipment, while our locations and atmosphere are exactly what you desire. So, if you’re ever walking down the Santa Monica Pier, stop by our school and see what we’re all about. It’s not far, and you won’t regret it!