With many people around the World being asked to stay at home to curb the spread of infection from coronavirus, now is a great opportunity to spend some time practising and improving your English speaking skills. For many of us, the daily commute to work or school has been cut from our daily schedules which frees up time to focus on other things….practising and improving English is a great way to use some of this extra time.
You can dedicate some time each day and progress at your own pace, pressure-free.
Here are 7 fun and effective ways to improve your English-speaking skills at home:
1. Read aloud
One of the best ways to improve your English speaking at home is to read aloud from your favourite book.
When you read aloud instead of reading in your mind, you can hear what you are saying and take note of which words are tricky to pronounce or simply sound wrong.
Download mobile apps from the British Council and Macmillan Education such as Sound Pronunciation App and Learn English Sounds Right http://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/apps/learnenglish-sounds-right and type in the words that you find challenging to pronounce. Listen to the pronunciation on the app and try to replicate it when you are saying the words aloud.
So, go pick up your favourite Harry Potter story or any other good English language book and read it aloud every day for just 20 minutes to practice and improve your English-speaking skills. You can record yourself using your phone's recording app to playback and listen to your own speaking and notice tricky sounds to work on and improve.
2. Listen to podcasts
Many good media websites now also host podcasts where they hold interviews or talk about various things happening around the world. You can check out the top podcasts but be sure to listen to something that you are interested in. When you are interested in listening to something you really do listen.
Not only will you get to know about what is going on around the world during the Covid-19 lockdown but you’ll also improve your English listening skills.
3. Play games with English instructions
Since you are spending so much time at home during the Covid-19 lockdown, you can pick up your old board games with English instructions and play them with your family/friends online. You can also go for computer games or mobile phone games that you play alone which are text-based. Just make sure you keep the English instructions switched on and think in English to practise and improve your skills.
4. Indulge in some karaoke
You don't need to stick to books and podcasts to practise English at home. You can even improve your English speaking while having fun singing karaoke!
Download a karaoke app on your phone such as Karaoke, Smule, and WeSing and sing away. The lyrics of the song will appear on your phone and you can sing along to your favourite English music songs.
Note down the difficult words in your notebook so you can check out how to say them correctly using the pronunciation apps.
5. Call a customer support hotline
While we do not encourage unnecessarily disturbing customer service staff to improve your English speaking skills, this is still a good way to practise and improve your English.
If there is anything you want to know about a new home appliance or beauty product or even new services being offered by your mobile network provider during this Covid-19 lockdown, call up their English language customer service line and have a chat with a customer service representative in English.
6. Listen to audiobooks and audio drama
One of the most exciting ways to learn English speaking at home is to listen to great audiobooks and audio drama.
You can download free audiobooks here.
You can pop in your headphones and lose yourself in a virtual world of fiction. Listen closely to how the narrators are speaking to improve your own English speaking skills.
BBC also hosts some very engaging radio drama series. You can find some amazing collections online to download or stream on YouTube or other websites. Save them all on your phone to create your own collection and enjoy!
7. Check out British movies/TV series and act out the lines
Now is a time when many of us are watching a lot of TV series and movies at home.
You can read aloud the subtitles in the same way the actors are speaking them onscreen to improve your English speaking skills while also enjoying a good show and having a bit of fun.
Founder and Managing Director of Warm Welcome Homestays - Birmingham born and bred, English Language Teacher and long track-record of working with students, homestay hosts and language schools in the UK and overseas, including living and working in Asia for a number of years.