I Want to Learn to Speak English
People keep asking me, "What can I do to learn to speak English quickly?" Most of them have studied English in the past but never got beyond being able to decipher a written text. When they listen to English, they can distinguish a few words but cannot understand whole sentences. Trying to respond, they come up with a couple of expressions or words they string together—knowing perfectly well this is not correct English. They feel embarrassed and lose confidence. Here is what they can do.
English is like a sport
Learning English is like learning a sport. Decide you will do exercises every day—oral drills—that make you speak and give you immediately the right answer. This way you can check all the time if you are saying the sentences correctly or not. You can put the "QualityTime-ESL Podcasts" drills on your iPod or other MP3 player and practice, if you are waiting in line, jogging or just at home relaxing.
I have written oral exercises—drills—of this kind to help people do mental gymnastics with expressions, verbs, phrases, sentences. If you go to "QualityTime-ESL Podcasts" (also called "Better speaking Skills" on iTunes), you will find the complete list of topics for Season One. You need not follow a specific order, but it is best to do them all. There is a second series called "Your English" Podcasts where the emphasis is more on memorizing vocabulary. Do at least one podcast from each of these series each week.
All the podcasts are challenging
Do not think these podcasts are too easy for you. Of course, I start off with the verb "to be" followed by the verb "to have", but after podcast number 5 the course accelerates and the level is more like "higher intermediate" than "pre-intermediate". People with a very good level—capable of writing a long e-mail with practically no mistakes—have told me these podcasts are challenging and effective even for advanced speakers! The point is: if you have never actually spoken English, you will find all these podcasts difficult but useful. If you can already express yourself quite well, these podcasts will make you far more fluent.
Give them a try
To try these oral drills, go to "QualityTime-ESL Podcasts"
for free downloads of podcasts 1 to 5 and the complete list,
For free weekly downloads see "Podcast of the Week",
For the complete list for Season One of QT-ESL podcasts see "QualityTime-ESL Podcasts"
To for complete list for Season One of "Your English", including free downloads, see "Your English"