When you live in a country where English is not the most commonly spoken language, you can struggle to find ways to practice English speaking.
I have many students who are really good at listening to and writing English but they struggle when it comes time for them to speak in English.
In this article, I will explore 7 practical ways to get more English speaking practice to improve your speaking skills.
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Now let’s get into the tips.
Tip #1: Join an English book club
First up on the list of ways to practice English speaking, is definitely this one. Join an English book club. I always say that learning English is much, much easier when you’re having fun doing so.
A book club is an excellent way to practice English speaking online, free. If you enjoy reading and discussing the books you read with other like-minded individuals, why not do it in English. You’d be killing two birds with one stone. Actually, you’d be killing three birds with one stone.
- having fun doing something you love,
- networking and connecting with other like-minded individuals and to top it all off,
- you’d be expanding your vocabulary, improving your English reading, speaking, and listening skills.
Naturally, I do expect you to do your own research, and please, please, please protect yourself and your private information on the internet. In the future, I will be hosting my own book club where my students and others learning English can join, so keep an eye out for that.
In the meantime…
Here are a list of virtual book clubs you can check out
- Silent Book Club. They have a Facebook group you can join as well
- Rebel Book Club. This one is a paid one but you can give it a shot.
- Between Two Books. They host live discussions on their Instagram page. It’s worth looking into.
- Insiders Book Riot. They offer different subscription plans. Each subscription comes with a free two-week trial so you can always cancel before they charge if you don’t like it.
- The Rumpus Book Club. This one is also paid but they offer live discussions where you can practice your English skills.
Tip #2: Film discussion club
If you love watching movies for fun and as a way to improve your English then a film discussion club would be perfect for you. They work in a similar fashion to book clubs. You watch a movie – one is usually recommended by the group – then you meet up to discuss that movie.
You talk about the plot, the characters, the soundtrack, the cinematography, your impression of the movie, and so on. It’s a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals, find speaking partners, and be held accountable. Most importantly, it’s a great way to get some well-needed English speaking practice.
How to find a film discussion club
- You can search in your local area. You might be surprised how many you find in your area
- You can search online. Just do a quick Google search for “film discussion clubs”.
- You can try social media platforms like Facebook or Meetup.
Tip #3: Join an English speaking society/club
Here’s why these are great: you will be speaking to other learners just like yourself. So you’ll know you’re not alone. It’s a great way to learn how to speak fluent English without hesitation. You’ll build up your confidence by being a part of a group where speaking in English is the only option. You’ll be drawing more on your passive vocabulary so you can make them into your active vocabulary.
A lot of my students understand many words, phrases, and expressions in English when others are using them. Unfortunately, my students tend to forget these same vocabulary words and expressions when it comes time for them to speak in English.
What ends up happening is that they use the same set of words over and over. Does this sound like you? Don’t worry. You are not alone and it’s a natural part of the process. Now you just need to speak more often to turn your passive vocabulary into your active vocabulary.
Where to find English speaking clubs
- Search in your local area
- Do a quick Google search for “English speaking clubs near me”
- Search for Facebook groups
- Search online for clubs. You can check out these two paid options
Tip #4: Join a speaking course
If you are serious about learning English and if you really want to practice your speaking skills, then joining or purchasing a speaking course is definitely worth the investment. There are many online language schools that offer high-quality language courses as ways to practice English speaking.
Be sure to invest some time and effort into finding a course that fits your needs.
Things to consider:
- Targeted level of the course
- Goal of the course
- Language the course is offered in
- Tutor access
- Customer service
- Reputation of the course provider
Courses to check out:
- EF English Live language course. I like that they allow you to personalize the course to your needs, set your own goals, choose your level, and interact directly with TEFL certified and native English-speaking teachers. There are many more important features so give it a look to see if it fits your needs.
- Coursera.org. Okay, first of all, Coursera is an amazing place to find all kinds of courses and opportunities to improve your skillset. So even if you don’t like the language courses, their platform is still worth a shot. You can check out some of their English courses here, or you can try out this one: Speak English Professionally: In-Person, Online & On the Phone. I like that it has a 4.7-star rating and over 700, 000 students have already enrolled. That’s a promising sign in my eyes.
- British Council’s language course. They offer both in-person and online classes. I like that they allow you to choose the option that works best for you. And of course, the courses are conducted by highly qualified and native English speaking teachers.
- Perfectly Spoken. They offer paid plans for you to choose from but I like that they offer a free option as well. Who doesn’t like free right? To support the free option, you can participate in their Facebook lives or join their Instagram live sessions. As always, I recommend that you do your own research but I think they’re worth looking into.
- Udemy. This is another one of my favorite places to find online courses on just about any topic you can think of. Naturally, you can find a host of teachers there offering English courses as well. Quite literally, if you search “English” on their website, you’ll find over 8 thousand courses! That’s a lot. Look through and see if you find any courses that you like.
- Lingoda. Do you know what I like about this site? They offer both private and small group classes, giving you multiple ways to practice English speaking. They allow you to customize your schedule, you get access to some really amazing teachers and, of course, they teach classes for students of all levels – beginner to advanced. Oh, and did I mention that the classes are offered 24/7? That means you will be able to find a class at any hour of the day regardless of where you are in the world.
Tip #5: Join Facebook groups
As you can tell, I am quite fond of Facebook groups but this is another one of my favorite ways to practice English speaking. They are so convenient and a super cool way to find a speaking partner for free. Who doesn’t like free?
There are so many Facebook groups focused on providing learners with a platform to practice their English and there are many learners, like yourself, currently searching for an English-speaking partner to practice their English skills with.
Just search English speaking practice on Facebook and you’ll instantly find tons of groups being recommended. Just remember to protect yourself and your privacy when in these groups. Do not share personal information and if you are being asked to share sensitive information or pay to speak with someone, you can report that person and leave.
Tip #6: Video game voice chats
This is another on of my favorite ways to practice English speaking. If you currently play online multiplayer video games, chances are, you’ve heard people speaking in English there.
Video game chats should be a little easier for you because you’ll be anonymous. It’s a good way to work on your confidence. Remember that you won’t learn perfect grammar here as many of the users are not native English speakers. However, the aim is to build up your confidence and this is a good way to do that.
Just keep in mind that a lot of games have people who swear a lot in their voice chats and not everyone is nice. But you can find decent games online if that’s something you’re interested in.
Tip #7: Discord servers
Discord is a free app that is used by a lot of gamers and YouTubers to connect with their community and audience. It goes without saying that there will be many people learning English that are looking for a speaking partner. This is one of those overlooked ways to practice English speaking.
There are also some Discord servers dedicated to English-speaking practice. You will have to create an account to use the app of course and it might take some getting used to. But if you have the time on your hand, it’s worth the shot
Tip #8: Hire a coach/tutor
My final tip for today is of course to hire a language coach or tutor. This is one of the absolute best ways to practice English speaking. If you are learning English, then you need to be interacting with a teacher at some point. This way you can get direct feedback and assessment of your level. The great thing about having a teacher is that you have someone there to work with you to find exactly what your weak areas are and to help you set up a plan to improve those weaknesses.
A few places to find tutors
- Instagram. I have come across so many amazing tutors on Instagram that offer many different ways to practice English speaking. Naturally, their prices vary depending on the teacher so you have to just search to find someone that fits your budget.
- Verbling. Their service is free if you just want to watch and you pay to participate.
- Preply. You can find a tutor here that uses Skype for lessons. The price depends on the specific tutor.
These tips are not only ways to practice English speaking, they are also ways to remain accountable. You are much more likely to stay motivated when you realize that you are not alone, and when you have to remain accountable.
The main takeaway – the key to being good at English – is to practice. Practice speaking in English at every opportunity you can. Even if you are only speaking to other English learners. This builds your confidence. Confidence is a key factor in being able to express yourself fluently.
Remember to stay connected on all my social media platforms to stay up to date and for more tips on how to master the English language and more ways to practice English speaking. If you haven’t already done so, join my mailing list for fluency tips delivered right to your inbox. Turn on post notification by clicking the little red bell at the bottom right of this page so you’re the first to know when I release new content.
As always, keep practicing. Millions have mastered English. You can too. It always seems impossible until it’s done.