Everyone wants to speak English more fluently and confidently, but that means you need to do a lot of practice. How can you do that if there is no one around you to practice with? Today, I will show you some techniques you can use to practice English speaking, even if you are on your own. 

Easy MOde: Shadowing

Shadowing is a technique that lots of language learners use to improve things like intonation, pronunciation, and word stress. It will also help you recognise correct sentence structure and grammar usage. 

The other main reason that it is popular is because it is very easy to do and you can do it from anywhere. You basically need to follow these simple steps:

  • Find a video of a native speaker talking (YouTube is perfect for this)
  • Listen to a sentence and then pause the video.
  • Repeat what they said – try to copy the intonation, pronunciation and word stress as much as you can.
  • Do this until you get to the end of the video.

That’s all there is to it. If you want to learn more about the shadowing technique and some pro tips to help you make the most of it, check out this post: How to Improve your English Speaking by Shadowing!

Intermediate mode: Reformulation

This technique is very similar to the shadowing technique above, which is good because you get all the same benefits. There is one big difference though. 

When we do the shadowing technique, we are trying to copy what the speaker said exactly. When we do reformulation, we are trying to express the same idea in our own way. Imagine that you are re-telling the story to a friend. To do this technique, follow these steps:

  • Find a video of a native speaker talking
  • Listen to a sentence and then pause the video.
  • Try to express the same idea in a different way or as many different ways as possible. 
  • Do this until you get to the end of the video.

This technique has the added benefit of you being able to practice using different grammar patterns, sentence structures, and vocabulary, as well as improving your storytelling skills. 

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EXPERT MODE: YOUR OWN VERSION

So far, we have focused on copying or expressing the same idea as what we are listening to. The next stage is to try to talk about yourself in a similar way. 

This technique is all about listening to a native speaker talk about something, and then talk about the same thing from your own perspective. You can use some of the same words and structures used in the audio, but you can modify it to fit what you want to express about yourself. Once again, the steps are pretty simple:

  • Find a video of a native speaker talking
  • Listen to a sentence and then pause the video.
  • Talk about the same idea from your own perspective 
  • Do this until you get to the end of the video.

You will still get the same benefits as the other two techniques we have looked at so far as well as improving your communication skills when it comes to expressing and talking about yourself.

BONUS STAGE: FinD PARTNERS ONLINE

It is not a problem if there is no one around you who you can practice with. This is because the internet has solved this problem for us. You can use the internet to find other people who you can practice English with. This can be online lessons, group courses, language exchange partners, and communication groups.

All of these things will give you chance to practice your speaking and conversational skills, and you don’t even need to leave your house. If you are interested in finding other people to practice your English with, I recommend my Study Squad community. It’s a group of people who are working together to improve their English skills. You can become a part of this group on my Patreon Page. You can join for as little as $5 per month and you will get:

  • Access to the discord server where you can use text and voice to chat with other learners.
  • A weekly zoom meeting where we get together and chat in English
  • Bonus videos, podcasts and shadowing practice
  • and much more!

If you are interested, check out my patreon page: Join The Study Squad on Patreon – Click Here

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