4 Tips To Improve English Speech Fluency
Hi from Speak More Clearly!
In this video I’d like to talk about how to improve your speaking fluency. It doesn’t matter which accent you’re practicing, here are 4 tips to help you sound more natural and fluent when you speak English.
You need to learn the building blocks or components
It’s like any skill where you have to train up your coordination, sequencing and muscle memory.
For example, when you first learn to drive a car you learn how to handle the steering wheel, how to change gears, how to use the pedals etc, and then you practice over and over till the sequences become automatic.
If you want to speak English more naturally, you need to make sure you can use the components properly before putting them together. If you can’t say ‘th’ easily and try to say it correctly in a sentence, then you will stop, and not be flowing. It’s the same for other speech elements including intonation and rhythm.
What to do about this?
When you want to put your new pronunciation skills together for fluency, first make sure your mouth can make the sound easily by practicing over and over.
Then, practice the same sentences, or a passage from our course, or a script over and over for 5 days. Make sure you’re still moving your mouth properly for your target speech element.
You’re allowing your mouth to get used to making those movements in sequence, so they become natural and flowing. Only take 3-4 sentences from a passage or script, and repeat the same thing for 5 days. Then do the same again with the next 3-4 sentences.
Learn some of the native language speaker hacks.
For example, have a look at the videos on this speak more clearly channel to see what native speakers do to make thr, tr and dr words easier to say and to be more flowing when they speak. There are shortcuts native speakers make with their mouth movements to sound more flowing.
Learn how to de-stress non – stressed words in sentences for greater speech fluency
He went to the shop/store for some apples.
The to and for become de-stressed so the sentence has English rhythm and is more flowing.
I de stress the words ‘to’ and ‘for’. ‘To’ becomes ‘t’ -like you’re just saying the sound /t/ – “t the”.
‘For’ in British and Australian English becomes /f/ – like you’re just saying the sound plus a very, very short ‘u’- schwa vowel. ‘f some’
He went t the shop f some apples.
In American English the ‘for’ becomes a de-stressed ‘fer’ fer some
He went t the store fer some apples.
If I say, ‘It was full of paint.’ I don’t say It wos full of paint.
The ‘o’ in was becomes a schwa – ‘wus’, and the ‘o’ in ‘of’ becomes de-stressed a schwa – ‘uv’ . It was full of paint.
You need to learn to link words. If a word ends with a consonant and the next word begins with a vowel.
We have lots of video and audio training on linking in our Australian, American, and British pronunciation courses. If you don’t use linking you tend to sound staccato or choppy and not flowing.
Can I come on a bike?
If I don’t use linking it sounds like this: Can I come on a bike? (the speech sounds very choppy and staccato – not natural, like a native English speaker sounds)
With linking and de-stressing the unstressed words in the sentence, like in tip 3, it sounds like this: CanI comona bike?
Another example is: She put on a coat.
Not flowing: she put on a coat.
Flowing; She putona coat.
When you link you just keep going like one long word. You need to practice this so your jaw and mouth gets used to just keeping on going.
Because we have hundreds of sentences to practice with in our online courses, you can practice all of these fluency elements while you’re saying the sentences so you sound much more flowing and fluent in English.
Also, for more tips and practise materials, check out this video lesson on clear English speech practise.
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Bye for now.