When people evaluate someone’s capability in a foreign language, they pay attention to how well he or she speaks the language. So, we can say that the ability to speak a language is equal to proficiency. But is that all?
To communicate effectively various skills are needed. Of course, being able to articulate words in a sentence is an important one. It also requires adequate use of expressions chosen according to the circumstances that generate them. For instance, you would not use the terms you employ in a conversation with your friends in a business meeting or use medical jargon while explaining an illness to your partner.
When learning a new tongue, you should also learn the language used in interaction in diverse settings. Foreign language students should be taught in a similar way that native speakers are educated for public speaking.
What should you do to improve your speaking skills?
Listen to native speakers.
If you want to learn how to speak in different situations like ordering food at a restaurant or paying for goods at the supermarket, first get hold of recordings by native speakers interacting in the same circumstances. Most of these use a repeatable pattern that you can follow. This will help you have a structure for the dialogues that you will create as a practice session.
Find different ways to describe the same concepts.
Even though you might ignore a specific word when involved in a conversation, find another way to express your idea. This is called circumlocution. For example, when visiting a doctor, you might not know the technical term of an ailment that you have but you use other words to describe it so that your doctor understands what is wrong with you. Same thing applies when speaking in a foreign language that you do not fully master yet. Practice it as often as necessary and you will see how useful it can be.
If you are in a classroom environment it will be easier for you to work with a peer, or you can also do it when having private 1 on 1 lessons. When not possible, you may find a language partner online and practice free speaking.
How does it work? Choose a topic and write down a typical conversation in that situation. Decide which role you will play and assign a role to your partner, he/she might be at first your boss and later a young child, for example, and try to explain to both the same situation. This will outline the different approach that you will have when talking to one or the other; your speech will certainly be different.
You can also practice restricted speaking.
You are given an audio or a video to listen to, and at the end you will be handed over a dialogue where you are asked to fill the gap. There are two alternatives either from the top of your head or choosing the best alternative from a list provided.
Try different genres of speaking.
When you try different genres, you give yourself the chance to practice diverse language features. You learn how to develop different ideas using strategic and linguistic processing, as well as regulate the length of your participation.
Your tutor might ask you to do a presentation or for you to engage in a discussion about a specific topic or narrate an anecdote.
For the presentation you will organise your ideas accordingly, give example, explain difficult concepts, describing data, summarising. You will use topic-specific vocabulary.
Presentation is a genre of speaking practice
When engaged in a discussion, you will have to take turns, give your opinion, agree, or disagree and develop ideas. You will also practice topic-based vocabulary.
When narrating an anecdote, you must engage the listener and organise events in a timeline while using emotional language. You will also use context-specific vocabulary, convey emotions by using vivid adjectives and adverbs.
Take conversation classes with a tutor.
There is nothing better than conversations with native speakers. If you do not live in the country where the language is spoken, the next best thing is to take conversational lessons with a tutor online. This regular one-on-one or group speech practice will give you the targeted approach you need to make fast progress with your speaking skills.
Take Conversation Classes with a Coach or Tutor
In your language speaking practice, you should pay special attention in developing your range of abilities by focusing on the way you speak to different people in diverse situations, as well as the kind of sentences you produce to suit every circumstance. This will without doubt Influence the way you assemble what you are saying. As you can see this is not exclusively related to the way you use grammar and vocabulary.