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  • Hi everyone, welcome back to English with Max. In this video I'm going to give you

  • some advice on how you can improve your English speaking skills all by yourself.

  • I get lots of messages from people asking me how they can improve their

  • speaking, because they don't have anyone to talk with in English. Well, don't worry,

  • because there are several things you can do. In this video I'll talk about four

  • easy and free ways you can practise speaking alone, and of course you can use

  • these techniques to practise any language. Before I go on, remember that

  • you can also follow me on social media, and if you would like to watch this with

  • English subtitles, you just need to turn on captions.

  • Now obviously the best way to improve your speaking is to talk with another

  • person, preferably a native speaker. But as everybody knows, it's not always easy

  • to find a native speaker to talk to. That's why it's good to know other ways

  • to practise your speaking. I also want to say that there are other more difficult

  • exercises you can do that I'm not going to talk about much in this video.

  • For example, you can choose a topic and then record yourself talking about it for one

  • or two minutes. Then you listen to yourself and you basically do a

  • self-evaluation. If you have the motivation to do that type of thing and

  • you can do it on a regular basis, that's wonderful. Honestly, hats off to you, you

  • have my respect. Those types of exercises are very effective, but they tend to be

  • quite difficult. And let's be honest, not many people, no matter how interested

  • they are in the language, find the motivation or the energy to do that.

  • I know that might sound a bit pessimistic, but I think I'm a realist. So today I'm

  • going to explain four easy ways you can work on your

  • English by yourself. Now when I say "easy", I don't mean that they don't require any

  • effort. We're still learning a language here, we're not just sitting down and

  • watching reality TV. You still need to work a little bit, but I don't think that

  • these exercises are very difficult.

  • The first exercise is simply reading aloud.

  • What does that mean? It just means taking an English text and reading it out loud.

  • It might be a book, a magazine or something online, like a news article or

  • a text from a website for learning English, such as BBC Learning English.

  • Just to show you, this is me reading aloud in English.

  • (reading) That worked well enough

  • for flavour, but there were many older people who couldn't manage the walk into

  • town or haul heavy buckets home. No one had much strength left for such chores.

  • This is me reading aloud in Spanish.

  • (reading) Sobre la mesa quedó una caja de bombones

  • mucho menos inocente de lo que su apariencia insinuaba. La abrí con una

  • mano, mientras con la otra me secaba las últimasgrimas.

  • I know this might sound

  • really basic and you might be thinking: "How is that going to help me?"

  • Well, one of the difficulties when you learn a new language is getting used to moving your

  • mouth in different ways. A foreign language will feel different in your

  • mouth, and the more you practise saying words

  • and sentences aloud, the more natural and comfortable it will become. Speaking a

  • foreign language can also feel quite unnatural if you haven't done it in a

  • long time. I remember about two years ago I had to give a speech in German,

  • and although I was reading the speech, it was quite difficult because I had barely

  • spoken German in about eight years. My mouth just wasn't used to saying German

  • words anymore, so it felt quite strange. There are two things that are important

  • to remember if you do this exercise. Firstly, you really have to SAY the words.

  • Don't whisper them. This is an example of what you should NOT do.

  • (whispering)

  • Similarly, you shouldn't just vocalise the words inside your head while you move your lips.

  • Something like this.

  • (moving lips)

  • That is not the same. I've often done it myself.

  • I've often imagined saying something in a foreign language, or I practised it

  • inside my head, but then when I actually said it, it didn't sound how I had

  • imagined it. Let me know if you can relate to that. Let me know in the

  • comments if you've had a similar experience. The problem is that if you're

  • just whispering the words or saying them inside your head, you're just imagining

  • how you sound, but you don't actually know how you sound. And you're not

  • exercising all of the muscles in the mouth and the throat that you need for

  • speech. Secondly, when you do this exercise, you shouldn't choose texts that

  • are too difficult for you. For example, if you have an intermediate level, don't try

  • read The Economist. This isn't a vocabulary exercise. It's best if you

  • already know all or most of the words in the text, and you already know how to

  • pronounce them. Particularly if you're practising English. If it's a language

  • like German or Spanish that has very regular spelling, it's not so important.

  • But if it's English, choose a text that's easy for you to read so that you're not

  • constantly stopping and stumbling over words. Even most books are a bit difficult.

  • Unless you have a very advanced level, I recommend that you

  • choose articles in English textbooks or on websites that are for language

  • learning, for example BBC learning English or LingQ. I've already spoken

  • about LingQ in this video here. Basically you need to choose texts that are

  • appropriate for your level.

  • The second exercise I want to recommend is talking to yourself.

  • If there's no one to speak to in English, then speak to yourself.

  • "Hello Max, how are you today?" "I'm very well. How are you?" "Not too bad, thanks."

  • No. I don't actually mean like that. That would be fake and strange. But there are many

  • other things that you can say to yourself on a daily basis. And maybe you

  • already do it in your own language. So just take some of the things that you

  • think normally, and say them aloud in English. For example, in the morning you

  • might say to yourself: "I'm going to brush my teeth.

  • Ooh, it's getting late. I'd better hurry up."

  • We as humans have some very deep and interesting thoughts sometimes.

  • At lunchtime you might say: "What am I going to have for lunch?"

  • "I think I'll have pasta. Even though I had it yesterday. And the day before that.

  • How do people go gluten-free?"

  • It's just little things like that.

  • Obviously it's a little easier if you live by yourself. It can be a little

  • strange and embarrassing saying these things when there are other people in

  • the vicinity, but if they love you, then they should support you.

  • The third exercise is imitation (or mimicking). This is when you listen to a piece of audio

  • and you pause it every few seconds to repeat what the speaker said.

  • This is particularly good for pronunciation practice. I don't think I need to talk

  • about it very much, because I think it's quite self-explanatory, but in any case,

  • here is an example of me doing this.

  • (demonstrating imitation)

  • The fourth exercise is very similar to the last one, but it's a little more difficult.

  • This exercise is called shadowing. When I was studying interpreting,

  • we were repeatedly told to practise shadowing. So how does shadowing work?

  • Shadowing is when you listen to a language (it's much easier if you use

  • earphones or headphones) and you repeat exactly what the person is saying

  • without pausing the audio. So if you do it well, you will be saying exactly what

  • the speaker is saying, but with a slight delay. Normally about a second.

  • This is me demonstrating shadowing.

  • (demonstrating shadowing)

  • Like I said, it's normally easier if you use headphones,

  • but I showed it to you this way so that you could also hear the

  • original audio. Just like for the reading aloud exercise, it's important that you

  • don't choose material that's too difficult for you. For example, if you

  • have an intermediate level, don't use podcasts or TV shows that are aimed at

  • native speakers. If you do that, you'll just get lost and frustrated and we

  • don't want that. In this video I talk about websites where you can get free

  • audio for beginner and intermediate levels. I'll put the link in the description.

  • I think the benefits of shadowing are pretty obvious. It's good

  • for pronunciation, intonation, sentence structure and speed.

  • Those are the four exercises, guys.

  • The last thing I want to say is that you will only notice the

  • benefits of these if you do them on a regular basis. That doesn't mean that you

  • have to do all of them every single day, but I recommend doing one or two of them

  • (whichever ones you prefer) for a few minutes at least every second day.

  • If you can do more than that, that's great. The more you can do the better.

  • But even just doing a tiny bit on a regular basis will help you.

  • You can put reminders in your phone in case you forget.

  • I hope you found this useful. Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of

  • these exercises, or let me know what you do to practise your speaking.

  • See you next time!

  • Frank fell down... Frank fell down.

  • (burps) Burped.

  • ... mouth and the throat... th th th.

  • ... well enough... shit.

  • That was a good example.

  • ... strength left for...

Hi everyone, welcome back to English with Max. In this video I'm going to give you

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4 FREE & Easy Ways to Improve Your English Speaking Skills Alone

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    Emily posted on 2018/09/30
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