People often say that practice makes perfect, but when it comes to speaking English, how do you get enough practice? It can be difficult if you live somewhere without many native speakers. When I lived in China, there were very few English-speakers around, and my students didn’t know how to get enough practice.
I had to think of some good techniques to help them, and I have gathered a few of those ideas here.
1. Find a Speaking Partner
Practice is obviously very important for language, and to improve you need to speak English every day. However, if you don’t have anyone to speak with, you’ll just talk to yourself aloud. This is not particularly helpful, as you are repeating things and getting no feedback.
A good speaking partner will be able to help you by maintaining a natural conversation that continually challenges you. They will hopefully be able to give you some sort of feedback, too.
You can find a speaking partner in your English class, among your friends, or even online. I have a guide on how to find a speaking partner and if you want to make it super easy, check out our awesome Facebook group. Right now we have more than 6,500 people looking for speaking partners!!!
2. Practice at Home
Above, I mentioned that it can be difficult to practice alone, and in fact it is often not very helpful because you are just repeating yourself and getting no feedback.
While this is true, there are some ways you can practice by yourself to get real value out of it. Just follow this video guide that I made last year:
While it is always best to practice with other people, you can really make the most of your time alone by following the advice in that video.
3. Book an IELTS Practice Speaking Test
If you have followed the advice above, you should be able to get lots of valuable speaking practice. This will help your English levels improve day after day.
However, it can be difficult to know what you are doing wrong. For example, let’s say you struggle with a particular part of pronunciation. How do you know what you are doing wrong? A speaking partner may not be able to tell you, and you will be unlikely to find out by practicing alone.
What you need is a practice speaking test. This will help you to find out your strengths and weaknesses. Once you know these, you can begin to improve much faster!
Doing a regular IELTS exam will help you to know your overall speaking score. For example, maybe you get a band 6. But a practice speaking test will let you know exactly what’s right and wrong.
A mock test will end with you being given a report that lets you know your performance for each of the criteria, and the teacher will give you specific advice on how to improve.
You can book a practice test here.
What are your favourite ways to get speaking practice for IELTS?