Free ways to improve your conversational English

How to improve your spoken English: 10 tips

How to Improve Your English Speaking for Free?

English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and learning it, especially conversational skills, is crucial. Why? Because if you write text, you can use translators, dictionaries, and AI-based technologies that will help you improve your writing. However, when you meet people who only speak English, you need to first understand them, and second, be able to converse with them. To improve your comprehension, you can practice by watching videos, listening to podcasts, and reading news in English. But to improve your speaking, you need practice. In this article, we will discuss how to enhance your English conversational skills regardless of your current level. These tips will help you communicate more confidently and effectively in English.

To begin, let’s clarify the confusing terminology for those learning English. What’s the Difference between “Conversational English” and “Spoken English”?

“Conversational English” refers to the English used for informal or casual conversation, while “spoken English” refers to English used for any verbal communication, which can be either informal or formal.

“Conversational English” typically has shorter sentences, phrases, slang, and abbreviations, whereas “spoken English” may have longer sentences, proper grammar, and more detailed information. Conversational English is also more flexible and stylistic, while spoken English can be more strict and standardized.

For example, if you are talking to your friend on the phone, you would use “conversational English.” You might say:

  • Hey, what’s up?
  • I’m good, how about you?
  • Not much, just chillin’.
  • Wanna hang out later?

But if you are speaking at a conference or in an interview, you would use “spoken English.” You might say:

  • Hello, thank you for having me.
  • I’m fine, thank you. How are you?
  • Nothing much, just relaxing.
  • Do you have any plans for later?

As you can see, “conversational English” uses more informal words and expressions, while “spoken English” uses more formal words and expressions.

Now we can move on to exploring ways to improve your conversational English (conversational English or spoken English), and how to do it for free.

Also read the article: How to learn English by yourself? Effective methods and advices

Difficulties in Learning Conversational English

For many people, learning to speak English fluently can be challenging. Difficulties may arise due to a lack of practice, a fear of making mistakes, a lack of confidence in one’s skills, or the complexity of learning new words and expressions. Some of the most common challenges in learning conversational English include:

  • Pronunciation. English has many sounds that don’t exist in other languages or are pronounced differently. English also has numerous irregular words that don’t follow standard spelling and pronunciation rules. This can make comprehension and expression more difficult.
  • Comprehension. English has a great deal of slang, idioms, phrases, proverbs, etc., which can have different meanings in different contexts. English also has many accents, dialects, styles, etc., which can affect how people speak and understand each other.
  • Grammar. English grammar is complex, requiring knowledge of many rules and exceptions. For example, English has numerous tenses that express different actions in the past, present, future, etc. English also has many irregular verbs that don’t follow standard conjugation rules.
  • Confidence. Many people feel fear, shame, or nervousness when speaking English. They may be afraid of making mistakes, unsure of what to say, or unable to understand their conversation partner. This can hinder their ability to converse or express their thoughts and feelings.

Ways to Overcome Difficulties in Improving Conversational English

In-Depth Vocabulary Learning

In-depth vocabulary learning is key to improving conversational skills in English. Below, we’ll look at some effective approaches to learning new words and phrases, as well as resources that can be used to build vocabulary, and the importance of context in acquiring new lexicon.

  1. Approaches to Learning New Words and Phrases:

    • Systematic Approach: Allocate time for regular short sessions to learn new words and phrases. For example, learn a certain number of new words each day.
    • Associations and Associative Imagery: Try to create associations or associative imagery for new words. This will help you remember them more effectively.
    • Using in Context: Learn words and phrases in sentences or texts to understand their proper context and usage.
  2. Using Dictionaries, Apps and Other Resources to Build Vocabulary:

    • Online Dictionaries: Use websites and apps with dictionaries that provide definitions, usage examples, and synonyms for new words.
    • Language Learning Mobile Apps: Use dedicated apps that offer various exercises and quizzes for learning vocabulary.
    • Reading and Listening: Read books, articles, watch movies or listen to audio lessons to encounter new words in natural contexts.
  3. The Role of Context in Acquiring New Vocabulary:

    • Understanding Situational Context: Learn words and phrases that correspond to specific situations or contexts in which you frequently communicate.
    • Using in Real Conversation: Try using the new vocabulary in your daily conversations to reinforce it in your memory and understand it in the proper context.

In-depth vocabulary learning requires time, patience, and systematicity, but it is absolutely achievable for anyone determined to improve their English conversational skills.

Practicing with Native Speakers

Practicing with native speakers is an important component of improving conversational English skills. Below, we’ll look at the importance of interacting with native speakers, as well as ways to find language practice partners and use language exchange programs.

  1. The Importance of Interacting with Native Speakers for Improving Conversational Skills:

    • Interacting with native speakers helps improve comprehension of authentic speech, accents, intonation, and vocabulary.
    • Through conversations with native speakers, you can learn various language differences, dialects, and expressions that are commonly used in real life.
  2. Ways to Find Practice Partners:

    • Online Communities and Forums: Join English-speaking groups on social media platforms where you can find native speakers to converse with.
    • Language Exchanges: Sign up for language exchange platforms where you can find partners to learn English in exchange for teaching your native language.
    • Local Events and Groups: Look for language events, groups or clubs in your city where you can meet native speakers in person for conversation practice.
  3. Using Language Exchange Programs:

    • Language Apps: Use mobile apps that allow you to find language practice partners and communicate with them via text messaging, video calls, etc.
    • Online Platforms: Use online platforms like Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet for remote language sessions with native speakers from around the world.
    • Language Courses and Webinars: Join language courses or webinars that offer opportunities to converse with native speakers and other students for language learning.

Practicing with native speakers is an important part of the English learning process and can significantly boost your confidence and speaking proficiency.

Active Listening to Foreign Language

Active listening to the foreign language is an important component of learning conversational English. Below, we’ll look at the role of audio and video materials in learning English, the different types of listening materials and their advantages, as well as recommendations for enhancing listening effectiveness.

  1. The Role of Audio and Video Materials in Learning Conversational English:

    • Improving Pronunciation and Accent: Listening to audio materials helps you adapt to how English sounds (i.e. you’ll start recognizing individual words in sentences) and improve your pronunciation and accent.
    • Expanding Vocabulary: Through listening to audio and video materials, you’ll encounter new words and expressions, which will help expand your vocabulary.
    • Developing Listening Comprehension: Active listening to various materials helps you develop real-time English comprehension skills.
  2. Different Types of Listening Materials and Their Advantages:

    • Podcasts: Podcasts are one of the most popular means for listening to English. They are available on various topics and difficulty levels.
    • Audiobooks: Listening to audiobooks allows you to enjoy literary works while simultaneously developing your listening skills.
    • Music and Songs: Listening to English music and song lyrics helps you learn new words and phrases, as well as remember them better through rhythm and melody.
  3. Recommendations for Enhancing Listening Effectiveness:

    • Active Listening: Listen to audio materials attentively, focusing on the content and details.
    • Repetition and Note-Taking: Repeat or jot down important phrases and expressions to better commit them to memory.
    • Variety of Materials: Listen to a variety of materials on different topics and difficulty levels to develop various aspects of your language skills.

Active listening to the foreign language can greatly improve your English conversational skills, so it’s worth using a variety of materials and methods for maximum effect.

Using Phrasal Verbs and Idioms

Phrasal verbs and idioms play an important role in constructing natural and expressive speech in English. Below, we’ll look at the significance of phrasal verbs and idioms in speech construction, as well as ways to learn and practice them.

  1. The Importance of Phrasal Verbs and Idioms in Natural Speech Construction:

    • Expressiveness and Imagery: Phrasal verbs and idioms add expressiveness and imagery to your speech, helping you convey your thoughts and feelings more vividly.
    • Natural Communication: Using idioms and phrasal verbs allows you to convey certain emotions, such as humor, sarcasm, indignation, etc., making your speech more natural.
    • Enhancing Expression Level: Using idioms and phrasal verbs helps elevate the level of your speech, making it more diverse and interesting for the listener.
  2. Ways to Learn and Practice Phrasal Verbs and Idioms:

    • Reading and Listening: Encounter phrasal verbs and idioms in texts, books, articles, movies, and songs. Try to understand their context and usage.
    • Note-taking and Feedback: Take notes on new phrasal verbs and idioms to revisit and review them later.
    • Active Use in Speech: Try using the learned phrasal verbs and idioms in your conversations or writing to reinforce your memory and ability to use them in real situations.

Learning and using phrasal verbs and idioms adds color and liveliness to your speech, enhancing its expressiveness and effectiveness. Practice them regularly, and they will become an integral part of your English communication.

Using Modern Technologies to Improve Conversational English

  • Mobile Language Learning Apps: An overview of popular mobile apps that offer interactive lessons, pronunciation exercises, opportunities to converse with native speakers, etc. Some apps that can help you with this include:

    • ELSA Speak: English Accent Coach (Android/iOS) – This app checks your pronunciation and provides feedback and tips on how to improve it. You can select your level, accent, and topic, and the app will offer you exercises to repeat after native speakers. You can also pronounce any word or phrase, and the app will show you how you pronounced them.
    • Duolingo (Android/iOS) – A comprehensive app with lessons to learn new words, phrases, grammar, and improve conversational English or another language.
    • Speak English Pronunciation (Android) – This app teaches you proper English pronunciation. You can listen to and repeat sentences using different sounds, and the app will assess your pronunciation. You can also record your sentences and compare them to the correct pronunciation.
    • FluentU (Android/iOS) – This app helps you learn English through videos. You can watch videos from various genres like movies, TV shows, music, news, etc. and learn new words and expressions used in real life. You can also do interactive exercises that test your comprehension and pronunciation.
    • – This AI-powered app enables conversations on interesting topics, with a free daily lesson.
  • Change the language on your phone, social media, tablet to English. This will help you get used to English in daily life and learn new words and phrases.

  • Listen to English music. Music is a great way to improve your pronunciation, rhythm, intonation, and memorize new words. You can sing along to your favorite songs or watch songs with lyrics on YouTube.

  • Read English news. News is a good source of current and useful information that can enrich your language. You can read news on various topics like politics, economics, sports, culture, etc. and learn new words and expressions used in formal style.

  • Watch English movies and TV shows. Movies and shows are an excellent way to improve your English comprehension and get exposed to various accents, slang, jokes, etc. You can watch with English subtitles or without, if you feel confident.

  • Online Virtual Conversation Platforms: Discussion of opportunities to use video conferencing platforms, chats, and forums to communicate with native speakers and practice skills in real-time.

  • Interactive Video Lessons and Courses: An overview of free resources offering video lessons with practical assignments aimed at improving pronunciation, listening comprehension, and learning about cultural aspects of speech.

  • Online Resources for Vocabulary Building: Tips on using online dictionaries, audio, and video materials to learn new words and phrases.

Self-Discipline and Regular Practice

Self-discipline and regular practice are essential components of successfully learning conversational English. Below, we’ll look at the importance of consistent practice, setting goals and commitments for skill improvement, as well as practical tips for maintaining motivation and regular practice.

  1. The Importance of Consistent Practice in Learning Conversational English:

    • Reinforcing Knowledge: Regular practice helps reinforce the knowledge and skills you’ve learned, making them more ingrained and accessible.
    • Developing Abilities: The more you practice, the more you develop your communication skills and ability to understand and use English.
    • Building Confidence: Regular practice helps boost your confidence in your abilities and reduce stress when communicating in English.
  2. Setting Goals and Commitments for Improving Skills:

    • Set a Goal: Define specific goals for improving your conversational English, such as improving pronunciation, expanding vocabulary, or developing speaking skills.
    • Action Plan: Create an action plan to achieve these goals, incorporating regular practical sessions and studying specific aspects of the language.
    • Commitment: Commit to following through on this plan and practicing English on a daily or weekly basis.
  3. Practical Tips for Maintaining Motivation and Consistent Practice:

    • Creating a Schedule: Determine the times and frequency of your practice sessions and stick to this schedule.
    • Motivational Rewards: Set small rewards or milestones for yourself upon achieving certain goals in your English learning.
    • Group Support: Join English learning groups where you can receive support and motivation from others.

Self-discipline and consistent practice are vital factors in successfully learning conversational English. Setting goals, making commitments, and following practical tips will help you make significant progress in your speaking abilities.

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