Learning spoken English on your own


  • Levels of knowledge
  • How to learn spoken English on your own?
  • Materials for learning spoken English
  • Conversational English courses
  • Phrases for speaking in English. Exercises

Writing, reading and speech lie on different planes of knowledge and skills, so it is not surprising that a person who is versed in grammar may be confused when asked how to get to the museum. In the first two cases, we are working with textual information, but is it possible to learn abstract spoken English on your own? Good tutorial writers use all the resources provided, even if it's plain text without audio, but the student needs to follow certain approaches in order to achieve the result that we'll talk about in a moment.

Levels of knowledge

When it comes to the spoken form of a language, most of the time it means primary communication skills, not deep understanding, although this is not entirely true. In accordance with the requirements of the student, the following conditional categories of knowledge can be distinguished:

  • The tourist does not think about becoming the new Shakespeare. He wants to quickly learn the language from a Russian-English phrase book and go on vacation abroad. He can rent a hotel room, order drinks, ask for directions, all communication being reduced to the pure exchange of primitive facts.
  • An employee who cooperates with foreign companies or customers is obliged to navigate the topic professionally, although the very idea of limited information exchange remains the same. He easily interacts with colleagues on professional issues, and can prepare solid documentation for his development, however, moving on to topics far from work, he is lost and cannot meaningfully conduct a dialogue.
  • A connoisseur is a worker who is going to live in an English-speaking country for a long time. Not only will he not get lost at a conference, but he will also gladly support an English conversation in the company of friends, nevertheless, an undemanding environment or his own reluctance limits his conversational potential, whether it be vocabulary or an accent.
  • A spy must be an insider among strangers, even more than is required. His pronunciation is the envy of many residents of Foggy Albion, he is able to lead any conversation in English with an interesting and consistent presentation and easily expresses his thoughts about certain events thanks to an extensive vocabulary.

How to learn spoken English on your own?

Depending on your goals, you can selectively include the following steps in your conversational English for beginners program:

  1. Practice listening comprehension . Create transcripts from audio without looking at transcripts. Take an adapted book with a recitation of the appropriate level of difficulty, listen to the latest and try to recreate what you heard, and then fill in what you could not make out with the help of text. Watch films in English, highlight familiar words among foreign speech and try to imagine how unfamiliar ones are spelled. We also recommend including cartoons in the learning process. You can first view them with your child in Russian, and then launch the English version of the same series.
  2. Work on top topics . Regardless of your preferred level of language proficiency, you are primarily interested in something specific. For example, in a friendly conversation you want to talk about music, for which you need to replenish your vocabulary with the appropriate terminology, the same goes for specialized areas such as medicine or law, which are necessary for work.
  3. Compose dialogues , invent scenes yourself, playing different characters. Do not get attached to current knowledge, form ideas in English as much as possible, and supplement the missing points with translation from Russian. If you do not know how to describe the weather, do it in your native language and look up the appropriate word in the dictionary, then play the dialogue again without peeping. Gradually introducing unknown words and expressions, you will expand the verbal piggy bank.
  4. Practice your communication . Usually we learn English on our own only up to a certain point (in the field of theory), while 80% of the time must be devoted to live communication, which cannot be compensated by written classes. The same students will help develop the initial skills, who will not rush you with an answer or the selection of a suitable word, allowing you to look into the dictionary. Then meet a native speaker on the Internet, talk with him at least 2-3 hours a week, practice the learned material, respond to the interlocutor's remarks and get used to his manner of speech.
  5. Practice your pronunciation. Understanding should be mutual, so start adjusting the speech apparatus to the foreign sound immediately, repeating the words until the English speaks through your mouth. You don't have to drop your accent completely to explain, although it will definitely present you in a favorable light.
  6. Spoken English for children makes sense only after mastering the elementary rules of phonetics and grammar, that is, already at school age, since preschool courses, despite the abundance of dialogues and video materials, do not guarantee the proper level of knowledge without regular classes and the help of parents. In the practice of speech, students can focus on “Spoken English. A guide to colloquial speech "Golitsinsky , equipped with audio materials, audio phrase books, as well as the previously mentioned courses.

Almost all of the above steps, not related to communication as such, can be completed on our website. The Lim-English method offers a variety of short texts and dialogues, on the basis of which you will create a basis for competent colloquial speech. By doing the suggested exercises, listening and repeating the phrases after the speaker, you will be able to replenish your vocabulary on the main conversational topics, work out the basic grammar rules in practice and memorize the basic structures that will later be useful to you to build your own statements.

This is business

The Dad says: I want you to marry a girl of my choice.
The Son says: No!
The Dad says: The girl is Bill Gates's daughter.
The Son says: Then okay.
The Dad goes to Bill Gates.
The Dad says: I want your daughter to marry my son.
Bill Gates says: No!
The Dad says: My son is the CEO of World Bank.
Bill Gates says: Then okay.
The Dad goes to the President of the World Bank.
The Dad says: Appoint my son as CEO.
The President says: No!
The Dad says: He is the son-in-law of Bill Gates.
The President says: Hmmm, OK!

This is business

Father says: I want you to marry the girl of my choice.
The son says: No!
Father says: The girl is the daughter of Bill Gates.
Son says: OK then.
Father goes to Bill Gates.
Father says: I want your daughter to marry my son.
Bill Gates says: No!
The father says: My son is the Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank.
Bill Gates says: OK then
Father goes to the President of the World Bank
Father says: Appoint my son as CEO.
The President says: No!
Father says: He is Bill Gates' son-in-law.
The President says: Hmmm, OK!

Materials for learning spoken English

As an introduction, Book2 - English audio course from Goethe Verlag is suitable. The course is focused on the initial levels of knowledge of the language, accompanied by a text phrasebook, Russian-English and English text recordings at a slow and normal pace.

Pimsleur English is suitable for those familiar with colloquial speech, which makes learning spoken English on your own as intuitive as possible thanks to the original memorization technique. With its help, you will not just memorize words, but delve into the very structure of the language, studying the principles of constructing a sentence and template constructions using real life situations as an example. Also in the development of conversational skills will help "Rosetta Stone - English" , which is based on dynamic immersion in the environment, that is, through natural gradual adaptation to a foreign language climate.

Conversational English courses

An alternative option for learning a language is classes with a teacher, including conversational courses and clubs.

How it works? You go to a specialized center, where they offer you a test to determine the level of knowledge. After passing it, you join a suitable group and begin to train your speech skills.

Usually the gradation of levels is as follows: beginners, continuing, improving. The first group includes those who can write, read and communicate in English on general topics, understand the main content (A1, A2). The second group (B1, B2) includes students with an extensive vocabulary, good knowledge of grammar and good listening skills. The third group (C1, C2) includes those who know the language at the level of a native speaker / close to a native speaker. Students on this bar typically have good pronunciation, excellent listening comprehension of different timbres and accents, they are not averse to speaking English on any topic, and they do it fluently.

In conversation centers, classes are held in which students learn new vocabulary, train all kinds of aspects for mastering the language. The teacher is usually a native speaker.

Among these establishments, the most popular can be distinguished:

  • Easy Speak in Moscow, offering to learn how to speak English using the ESL method;
  • BKC with a variety of courses in various fields - theatrical, cinematographic and literary;
  • English Isle in St. Petersburg with a convenient location and the ability to create an individual program.

Want to start improving your English speaking right now? Then memorize the phrases below.

Phrases for speaking in English. Exercises

It will be useful to remember the introductory words - they will smooth out unnecessary pauses and make it clear that you know how to build a narration logically:

“As far / as to” is translated as “as for”, helps to draw the attention of the interlocutor to a specific aspect of the situation.

The expressions “in short / in brief” and “in a word” (“in a nutshell” and “in a nutshell”) are relevant when you need to briefly talk about a case / phenomenon / act.

"What's more" ("besides") is used if you need to add something to what has already been said.

Remember to say "After all" (after all, in the end), summing up the conversation or situation.

We also recommend using courtesy phrases:

"I'm so sorry!" ("I'm sorry!") - use if you have been told sad news, as an expression of sympathy and regret.

If you see that the person needs help, ask "May I help you?", offering to help.

Entering the premises, be sure to let the ladies and higher-status people go ahead. Then those who miss say "After you!" ("After you!").