Better Speaking – Part 1

Hi, this is Scott.

My students have a variety of different objectives. Some want to participate more in their meetings at work. Others wants to give better presentations, write better e-mails, enjoy their vacations more! But almost all of my students also just want to speak better English.

So today, I’m going to give you six points to keep in mind, to make sure you’re doing what you can to improve your speaking faster. Many students know some of these points, but most don’t know all of them. And often it’s just by adding the one or two points that you don’t know, that can really make a difference and help you improve your speaking faster. So here goes.

Number one is increasing your vocabulary. Now of course you need vocabulary that’s specific for your work or any situations that you might be in, like if you’re going on vacation, for example. And then after that, you need highly frequent vocabulary, and especially verbs, but anything that is highly frequent.

Now, the best way to do this, to learn vocabulary, is by focusing on the contexts in which they occur, by understanding the situations. So you need to be reading a story, or watching a video, or listening to something, or looking at a picture, understanding the situation, and that will help. Now, my courses online all have some vocabulary component included in them.

The second point is to improve your pronunciation and intonation. For intonation, it’s important to keep in mind when you need to use a rising intonation, and when you need to use a falling intonation. Now this is important in all of spoken English, and especially for giving presentations.

Regarding pronunciation, I’ve noticed that most of my students have difficulty pronouncing all words ending in the letters “-ed”, and all words ending in the letter “-s”. And so I’m going to prepare a special video in which I explain and try to clarify these points, but for my current students, they can already go right now to the Grammar Corner course, Unit 13, and find some material explaining this.

OK, I will continue with points three and four in the next video. In the meantime, what do you think? What has helped you improve your vocabulary, and improve your pronunciation and intonation?

Please leave your comments below, and I’ll see you next time. Thank you very much.