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Are you someone who can write English well but can’t speak English fluently?

This is very common challenge for most English learners.

It is frustrating challenge because you know you know English – even though you can’t speak with fluency

Long term Fluency in English comes only through continuous practice.



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If you have been studying grammar and vocabulary for years and still not fluent in speaking, this is why.

The solution is a change in your mindset in how to improve English speaking.

You cannot improve English speaking fluency the same way you learn English writing. You need a new approach.

Here are 3 tips to build an approach that makes you a fluent and confident English speaker.



Don’t focus on Grammar

Have you ever get stuck when you are speaking English as you are thinking is your grammar right or not?

Have you ever afraid to chat in English as you scare of wrong grammar?

Everyone have these experiences!

With no doubt, grammar is essential and helps us to express English in a logical and understandable way. But it hinders English beginners to speak it out as we all afraid to make mistakes.

In fact, in the world of English Learning, practical use is the most important. It is the key to speaking English confidently.

When it comes to English fluency , practical use is more important than grammar. So, if you wish to bring your English speaking to the next level, try to put less attention on grammar. JUST SPEAK IT OUT!



You need to practice with a Conversation Partner

Find someone to practice with you!

When you are learning beginner level English , you need a traditional teacher to help you. This is how you can learn the first 200-300 words in English.

Find a Native Speaker to Practice with

However, after you learned the basics of English, you need to practice speaking in a completely different way.

You need to learn how to speak fluently and that is only possible if you practice speaking with a Conversation partner.



Why is learning to speak English different from learning to read or write?

Sometimes you would like to express a specific idea and you cannot find the exact word that suits your meaning.

With no doubt, this is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to learning English speaking.

Try to communicate in the way you feel comfortable. Start by speaking English with a conversation partner who will correct you but in a natural way.

It is very difficult for everyone to improve without frequent regular speaking opportunities. This is why you need to enroll in a service like Spoken English Practice where conversation practice is the key component.

How to Improve English Fluency Fast



Native English Teacher - Liam - YouTube


Find interesting topics to speak about

To be honest, it is boring to learn nouns, adjectives and irregular verbs everyday.

However it is fun to talk about gun control, culture, Tennis and travel.

So why waste time learning English speaking in a boring, traditional way when you can have so much fun while doing so?

Immersing yourself into the information you are not particularly interested in is a painful process. So, why force yourself to absorb lots of boring material!

Learn English talking about things you love! If you are a foodie, subscribe Jamie Oliver’s channel.

How to Cook Fried Chicken | "JFC" | Jamie Oliver - YouTube

If you are a fan of basketball, watch NBA games every day. If you love watching movie, Netflix would be your English goldmine!

This is why our English lessons are 100% conversation based and we use things like TED Talks to stimulate conversations.

This way, you will also make English as part of your life.

You immerse.

You learn naturally, not forcefully.

Hence you remember more without more effort.

Using more and more English makes you more confident and comfortable in English. This would improve your English fluency rapidly.

The post How to develop Fluency in English without memorization appeared first on .

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Do you get confused when native English speakers use slang language?

You are not alone.

Slang is one of the most confusing areas of English for English learners whether you are a beginner or an advanced level student.

The problem is there are so many slang words in the English language.

Learning English slang is almost an impossible task.

However, it is essential if you want to speak and understand English at a native level.

Learn Real English Slang

Spoken English Course What are Slang Words?

We can define slang as informal words, phrases and expressions that originate from groups of people or different regions.

Slang is more common in conversational English than in written English.

Why is Slang confusing?

One of the reasons slang is so confusing is because there are so many variations regionally.

For example, slang used in Boston is very different from slang used in Texas.

And , of course, there are slang commonly used in American English that is very different from what you find in British English.

If you want to become a proficient communicator in English, an understanding of slang is essential.

Even if you are at an beginner or lower intermediate level, a knowledge of English slang will allow you to understand and follow conversations better.

Don’t memorize English! 

Native English Teacher - Liam - YouTube
 

Learn More About English Speaking Course Learning Slang

In this post we will give you a list of 65 of the most commonly used Slang expressions in English.

We have broken this lesson in to 2 parts.

In the first part, you have 35 slang phrases that are commonly used by younger generations of English speakers. (with a strong focus on American English speakers)

These are the English slang you will see everyday on social media and sites like Buzzfeed.

The second part of this English lesson is to refresh your knowledge on more traditional slang English expressions.

These are commonly used by native English speakers of all ages in both the US and the UK.

Remember, the goal is to absorb this list, not to memorize or cram this.

And to start using these when you practice English speaking.

Learn Modern English Slang – Part 1

Ghosted: To discontinue contact, friendship, and association without warning. “I don’t know what happened to him, he ghosted me after two dates.”

 

Bougie: A term that originated from the word bourgeois; now it is associated with upper-class wealth and/or sophistication. “I’m not so bougie that I won’t eat a hotdog.”

 

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Thirst trap: A sexy photo posted on social media. “Her Instagram feed is one big thirst trap.”

Thirsty: A feeling a strong desire or need for something, often times sexual in nature. “That girl is so thirsty for attention, she will flirt with anyone.”

Dissing: A disparaging and unkind remark. Originates from the word disrespect. “I’m not dissing you, I genuinely like your shirt.”

 

Nailed it: When something is done perfectly, although this expression is occasionally used with sarcasm. “Look at her gymnastic routine! She nailed it.”

Douche(bag): An unkind term for a male individual subjectively seen to lack politeness and other respectful social etiquette. “The owner of the club is such a douche, he yelled at me in front of everyone.”

Knocked up: When a female is with child, pregnant. “Jami got knocked up and that’s why she’s getting married so quickly.”

Pushy: Being forceful or aggressive about a subject. “Stop being so pushy, I’m going to do it.”

Redneck: Unkind terminology for working-class caucasian individuals from the rural south (United States). “You might be a redneck if you have a confederate flag tattoo on your neck.”

86: When you plan to omit a person, place, or thing from an event, list, or place. “Let’s 86 Bill from the invite list, he would probably start a fight anyway.”

Trashed: Exceptionally inebriated on alcohol or drugs. “He was trashed that night, he barely remembers anything.”

Tacky: Unkind description for ostentatious individuals or their behaviors. Additionally, can be used in relation to showcases of wealth or a lack thereof. “Wearing a full-length fur coat is already tacky enough, but it’s even worse to wear it in the summer.”

 

Stuck-up: An unkind expression for an individual or individuals that are displaying snobbish behavior(s). “My boyfriend’s friends are so stuck-up, I hate eating dinner with them.”

Nosy: Intense curiosity about another person’s private matters. “She doesn’t like talking to her in-laws because they are too nosy.”

Spaced out: Taking an unconscious or conscious break from listening and/or paying attention to the present situation. “I was so tired that I spaced out and accidentally drove off of the road.”

Shoot: Send an item of correspondence via technology. “Shoot him an email or text first and then I will call you later.”

Sucks: Terminology for a person, place, or thing that is lacking in overall appeal. “Traveling by bus sucks, I’m not going to do it.”

Buzzed: Description for light alcohol impairment. “I’m pretty buzzed off of those two drinks, I shouldn’t drive my car yet.”

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I spoke ‘ok’ English but I wanted to polish my accent and be better in pronunciation. Spoken English Practice helped me with both. My advice to other students – have lessons with with your teacher 3 times a week, speak in English as much as you can with friends/colleagues, learn 2-3 new words every day, watch some TV… you will see a clear improvement in 4 weeks

Boo: Boyfriend, girlfriend, or significant other. “That’s his boo, you shouldn’t ask for her number.”

Bitching: Complaining and/or speaking out of anger or contempt. “Stop bitching at her! It’s not her fault you’re late.”

Red-handed: To be caught in an illicit or immoral act. “They caught the murderer red-handed, he literally had blood on his hands.”

Hot: Term used for the attractiveness of a fellow individual, male or female. “All of the people that work there are really hot, they only hire models.”

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This is the fastest way to be fluent in English.

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Lawyer up: Obtain legal counsel; typically utilized when anticipating a legal battle. “If you want to lawyer up then we can, but I would rather we discuss this in person first.”

Literally: A commonly used term that is used figuratively. “I literally died when I saw Obama in person.”

Dox: The act of finding and then publicly exposing an individual’s real name and address, via the internet. Originates from the word document. “Doxxing is a new form of bullying, you have to be careful.”

Making out: Kissing intimately for a prolonged period of time. “I don’t want to go to a movie with her and her boyfriend because she is just going to be making out with him the whole time.”

Pissed off: Angry. “You pissed off our parents when you showed up to Christmas dinner late and wearing last night’s clothes.”

Bounce: To leave or depart a location or relationship. “I had two drinks and bounced.” / “He bounced after she got pregnant.”

Bologna: An expression for an untruth or a lie. “That boy is not 21. That’s bologna!”

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Improve Spoken English Part 2 – Learn traditional English Slang (Part 2)

Hood = rough neighborhood

Easy as pie = very easy

In your face = aggressive

Perfecto = perfect or wonderful

Slouch = lazy; non performer

Gig = Job or task

Perk = additional benefit given with job (E.g. gym membership)

Straight shooter = a person who is direct and truthful

Pesky = Annoying

Show and tell = public display and explanation

Gung-ho = spirited

Dude = young man or young male

Mashup = creative mixing

Cavalry = Help (E.g. send in cavalry means to send in help)

Sucker = a person who can be tricked easily

Dig = room or flat

Glass ceiling = barrier for personal advancement (E.g for women)

Gusty = courageous

Stud = manly man

Sloppy = lack of neatness; untidy

Gut feeling = intuition

Dud = useless; worthless

Ghetto = bad neighborhood; slum

Cuckoo = crazy

Glam up = dress up glamorously

Buddy = friend; pal

Looking for more free articles on English slang? Check this.

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40 American English Idioms That You Need To Learn

Learning English idioms is an important aspect of mastering English speaking. Native English speakers use a lot of idioms and slang during speech and without an understanding of these, it is hard to understand native speakers completely.

So if you already know about 500 words in English, it is time for you to start dive in to more advanced vocabulary areas such as Idioms and Slang.In this post, we are discussing some popular American English idioms.

If you are an International student who arrived in the US for the first time or someone who speaks with US clients for business, you will hear these idioms thrown around by native speakers.

Knowing these phrases and expressions will improve your English comprehension making it easier for you to understand what native English speakers are saying.

In the long run, with practice, you will also learn how to use these idioms when you speak in English.

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Join Our English Classes Learn English Free – 40 Essential American English Idioms Bring down the house

– make an audience respond with applause, energy and enthusiasm

E.g. The contestant’s performance of the Celine Dion song brought down the house .

The squeaky wheel gets the grease

-The person who complains the loudest and attracts the highest attention gets the service

E.g. Harry could not stand Ryan’s complaining all day so he gave him the corner office space. I guess the the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Jump on the bandwagon

-Join the movement or a group

E.g. Steve Job’s charismatic product launches caused a lot of young people to jump on the Apple bandwagon

Chip off the old block

-Meaning that a child is a lot like the parents, typically referring to the similarities between a son and father.

E.g. Look at Sam playing drums. He is definitely a chip off the old block

Low hanging fruit

-An action that can be carried out quickly and easily

E.g. The company knew that translating their website to Spanish was a low hanging fruit.

Grain of salt

–to understand that something is likely to be incorrect

Political analysts always take poll numbers with a grain of salt.

 

Jump the gun

-to do something too soon, without much thinking

The organizers jumped the gun and announce winners creating a lot of confusion.

Like a Dutch uncle

-A person who criticizes openly and  severely

I got angry and spoke like a dutch uncle. I feel bad…

To come out flat footed

-Unprepared

The whole team was partying till late so it was not surprising that they all came out flat footed to the game.

By hook or by crook

-by any means necessary

The mayor wanted to win the election by hook or by crook

Did you find these American English Idioms useful? We have over 3,000 American English Teachers in our network who can help you learn American English Idioms. Sign up for a trial lesson below.

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Someone else’s shoes

– Figurative expression for understanding the experiences and daily tribulations of another individual.

“If I could spend a day in someone else’s shoes then I would choose Barack Obama, because then I want to know what his life is like.”

Peas in a pod

When two people act and behave similarly.

“The twin girls do everything together, they are two peas in a pod.”

Tied down

Bound to a person, duty, or obligation.

“I’m not ready to get married or buy a house, I don’t want to be tied down.”

Pain in the ass

Expression for when a person, animal, or task is creating great difficulty.

“Have you made gyoza before? It looks like it would be a pain in the ass, but it’s actually really easy!”

 

Spread too thin

A term utilized when an individual has more tasks than they have time and/or energy.

“I can’t do that assignment and help out with the volunteer group tomorrow night, I’m already spread too thin.”

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Learn English Speaking Pulling my leg

When someone is having lighthearted fun at another person’s expense.

“I know you’re the one that tapped me on my shoulder, stop pulling my leg.”

Toe the line

Meaning to perform one’s tasks at a certain base level, typically a standardized general level applicable to a group as a whole.

“Jeremy was fired at work because he couldn’t toe the line.”

Pull his/her own weight

Meaning to perform one’s tasks at a level of accomplishment that requires little or no outside assistance.

“We can’t take our son on the hiking expedition because it’s very rigorous and he will not be able to pull his own weight.”

 

The bottom line

An expression for a central concept or point that other related concepts can be summarized by. Also, a term used in business English for a company’s net profits.

“The bottom line is simple: You lost fair and square and you have to do better next time.”

Make a scene

A term utilized when an individual or group has become loud and disruptive in a public place.

”Jason didn’t tell his wife in the restaurant because he was afraid she would make a scene.”

Put in their place

The act of making an individual feel less-than and/or inferior; a term typically reserved for individuals that were acting with a sense of superiority but were then reprimanded.

“I’m so glad you put her in her place, maybe she will stop being rude to everyone now.”

Black and white

Meaning a topic or subject is either one way or the other way with no in-between.

“Drugs are not a black and white issue.”

Bring home the bacon

Earn a sufficient income, typically enough to support oneself and one’s family.

“My mother is a doctor, she is the one that brings home the bacon.”

Irish goodbye

Leaving a group of people without saying goodbye.

“Marcela was looking for you at the bar but then we realized you had done an Irish goodbye.)

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Skype English Lessons See the light

Find clarity regarding an issue.

“I hope she sees the light and leaves her boyfriend after he did that to her.”

Open your eyes

Figurative expression that means to allow oneself to see a situation realistically. “Open your eyes! She isn’t going to end that relationship to be with you.”

The shoe is on the other foot

A term for being in a situation that is the reversal of a prior situation or circumstances.

“Oliver used to boss me around but now that I am his manager, the shoe is on the other foot.”

Gray area

Expression for when an issue is ambiguous in meaning or morality.

“I don’t know whether capital punishment should be legal or not, there is a lot of gray area.”

 

Small world

Figurative expression that declares that the world is highly connected interpersonally and through technology.

“I can’t believe you ran into your elementary school friend in Thailand! It’s a small world.”

Hair of the dog

To wake up and drink again after a night of drinking.

“If you have a hangover, the best cure is the hair of the dog.”

Couch potato 

An individual that is lazy and prone to sitting on a sofa/couch.

“Mary is a couch potato, she eats a lot and watches a lot of television.”

Black sheep

An individual that is an outcast or fundamentally different from the others in his/her family or social group.

“Jessica doesn’t get along with her siblings, she’s the black sheep in the family.”

 

Feeling blue

An expression for feelings of sadness, despondence, or depression.

“I’m going to skip the event, I am feeling blue today.” 

Long face

A sullen appearance or demeanor.

“Why the long face?”

On a tear

A period of time marked by heightened emotion, energy, or reactivity. Can also refer to prolonged inebriation or drug use.

“You should avoid talking to your dad this evening, he is on a tear.”

The post 40 American English Idioms – Learn English Free appeared first on .

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Looking for an English fluency course that will help you improve Spoken English?

There are a few things you should consider if you goal is to truly be fluent in English.

Speaking English is all about practice. Learning theory is not enough!

We have 4 important tips to share with you before you join the English course. Considering these 4 factors will save you a lot of money and time!

4 Questions to ask before joining an English Fluency Course Question # 1 – Is the English Fluency Course Immersion based?

If you are looking for an English fluency course that works, you must check whether it uses immersion based learning methods.

You may not be able to move to an English speaking country to immerse yourself fully in English, but an effective English fluency course will bring English to where you are.

Practice for English Speaking

Find a English Teacher What is language immersion?

So what is immersion based learning? And how does it apply to learning English?

Think about how you can make English a part of your daily life without changing your schedule to add another hour to study every day.

For example, if you are going to listen to music on the subway or dance in the kitchen while cooking, choose some English songs.

If you watch a movie every Friday night to relax, why not choose one in English?

Or do you like reading? If reading is your hobby, try something interesting in English that is at your English level during your normal reading time.

Even cooking works! If you are cooking in the kitchen, make sure you follow cooking recipes in English. These are some ways you can immerse fully in English.

When picking an English fluency course, look for an English course that is 100% conversational.

Good English speaking courses are like conversation clubs. Students only speak in English in class. This is extremely important when it comes to immersing in English fully.

Question # 2 – Are the English teachers Native English Speakers?

The very best way to take your English speaking skill to the next level is to spend as much time as possible conversing with native

There is no alternative to this.

If this is not possible, at least try listening to native English speakers.

So if your English fluency course has native English speaking teachers you will improve faster and learn perfect pronunciation and grammar.

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The Spoken English Practice Method Why Speaking English with natives is the best method

Speaking in English with native English speakers is the best method for improving your ability to learn the correct pronunciation.

This will also increase your ability to understand individual words spoken in English at the natural speed of native speakers.

Native English speaking teachers will also use slang and idioms that are commonly used by native speakers.

As you will learn, real English spoken by native speakers is very different from English found in textbooks.

The more you speak English and hear it spoken by native English speakers, the faster you will begin to get a feel for the rhythm of native English speech, a very important element of learning the language.

If you English fluency course has only non-native English teachers, you should consider additional practice with native English speakers.

Non-native English teachers are good to teach basic grammar and vocabulary but after you have covered the basics you really must practice with native English speaking teachers.

Try our unique method. Sign up for trial lesson below

Question # 3 – Is the English course just theory or conversation based?

Students need the confidence to use what their second language so it isn’t just a theory.

This transition from textbook English classes to an English speaker comes from them actually practicing speaking English, and not being afraid to make mistakes.

At Spoken English Practice, what we have noticed that many people, even from professional backgrounds are scared to make mistakes in public, when speaking the English language.

We therefore try and help the students realize that practice is integral and mistakes aren’t as important as they think they are.

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Grammar and vocabulary are things you can learn in your own time, at your own pace. You don’t need to pay money to improve your grammar or vocabulary. And most of the time, people will still understand what you are saying even if you make a small grammatical error. However, speaking English clearly, confidently and fluently is something you can’t master on your own. You need opportunities to practice with native English teachers, and that’s what Spoken English Practice provides
Context is everything

Also, find an English course that teaches English is context.

This is specially important with learning idioms.

Students who have been studying English since a young age understand the rules of grammar very well but that they have problems understanding the context and the meaning of sayings or idioms in general conversation.

The literal translation does not always make complete sense to them so therefore they need examples to understand what is being said.

For example ” hit the nail on the head”, you have to use examples to explain where this expression would be used in conversation.

Question # 4 – Are you working with teachers or speaking partners?

Most students are nervous in communicating in English.

While their grammar and vocabulary may be very good, they need to be encouraged just as with any new skill.

Speaking a new language gets easier the more often you have the opportunity to do so!

This is why finding an English Conversation Partner is more important than finding a teacher.

We believe that by encouraging easy and relaxed conversation, it becomes easier to help students with pronunciation and expanding a vocabulary.

Pick an English course that treats lessons as conversations/discussions. You will get more confident in speaking even if your grammar/vocabulary skills remains the same.

A note about teaching grammar

Teaching grammar will not make students fluent in English.

No English fluency course should only teach grammar.

Even if it is a beginner level Spoken English course.

However, if you are a beginner situational conversations with an eye towards extension of vocabulary but with primary focus on guidance related to usage is helpful.

For example, discussing a specific topic and including occurrences from the past and present, then moving to those that are ongoing and some which will occur in the future.

These discussions are elicited through questioning the learner and asking them to tell a story and/or speak about their everyday personal experiences, i.e. shopping for food, driving to the store, paying a bill, etc.

If and when pronunciation is an issue during the conversation, the focus would then move to practice of specific sounds required for proper pronunciation.

Use of the target/issue word(s) across various contexts and ongoing feedback as the learner progresses.

Don’t worry about correct mouth positions and all kinds of technical things related to accent training.

Instead, practice speaking English more often.

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Do you have a thick accent that makes it hard for Native English speakers to understand you quickly?

Spoken English Practice specializes in getting rid of thick accents through our unique Skype Conversation Lessons.

The best way to get a perfect accent is conversational practice with Native English Speakers.

The more you practice English speaking, the better your accent will get.

Learn more about our Spoken English Classes 

Learn More

Why Accents matter when Speaking English

English is an international language and there is no one correct way of speaking English.

So having an accent is not something to be ashamed or embarrassed of.

However, if your accent makes you hard to understand, it could make it challenging for you to communicate effectively with native English speakers.

For example, let’s say you are an international student studying in the US looking for an internship opportunity or a job.

Your prospective employer will give you a phone interview first and only bring you in for an in-person interview if you get through the phone interview.

Chances are that if you have a thick accent in this situation , the recruiter might find it hard to understand you over the phone, without any body language cues.

This becomes even more challenging if the interview involves technical questions and the recruiter comes from a non technical background.

Having a clear accent is specially important in situations like phone interviews where the two parties involved are not in the same room.

So how can you get rid of a think accent and speak more clearly? Do you want to get rid of those awkward “R” sounds? There are a five things you can do to make you accent sound more native:

You don’t need an Accent Reduction Specialist to get rid of your thick accent

A lot of accent reduction courses talk about fancy concepts such as identifying where in your mouth English vowels are pronounced,  fossilization, phonetic spellings, homophones etc etc.

While it is cool to have an understanding of these concepts, most of these are of zero value for student trying to get rid of a thick accent.

No body really knows how to control the parts of your mouth where vowels or consonants are pronounced!

Rather than wasting time mastering accent reduction concepts, start practicing English speaking with a native teacher 2-3 times a week.

This will help you adjust and improve your pronunciation through real conversations.

Improving Accent through Conversational Practice

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Join Spoken English Course Sounds that are most challenging for non native English speakers “Th” Sound

“TH” can be very difficult for non-native English speakers to learn how to pronounce correctly as the pronunciation can vary.

Th in words like this, that, they and then when the sound is more of a vibrating sound

Th in words like thought, theater and three when the sound is not a vibrating sound.

“SH” Sound

The difference between the ‘sh’ sounds (for example share, sharp, ship) is a different sound to ‘ch’ sounds (for example church, chapel, charge).

Note – The difference in these sounds relates to how we move our mouths as we pronounce each of these sounds.

“S” sound

Making words plural by adding ‘s’ on the ends of words.

A common mistake made by non native English speakers do when learning English is that when they make plurals of nouns and these plurals end in the letters ‘es’ (for examples churches, or houses or lunches) the foreigner makes the ‘es’ sound more like ‘is’ rather than ‘es’.

“Ed” sound

‘Ed’ at the end of words can be difficult as there are different ways to pronounce ‘ed’ when at the end of verbs in the past tense.

For example, when a verb ends with the letter ‘d’ or ‘t’ when ‘ed’ is added to form the past tense it sounds more like an ‘id’ sound than an ‘ed’ sound in some words for example divided or wanted or fainted or rated.

Verbs that end with ‘f’, ‘p’, ‘s’, ‘ch’ or ‘sh’ when ‘ed’ is added to form the past tense it sounds more like a ‘t’ sound for example, laughed, watched, stopped, washed or mashed.

V/W Sounds

The sounds ‘v’ and ‘w’ can be mixed up by English learners as some languages do not have the ‘w’ sound.  Examples of difficult words are wow, west, vest and very.

These sounds are made by how we move our mouth with the ‘v’ sound being made by our top teeth touching our lower lips compared to the ‘w’ sound being made with our lips not touching the teeth.

Silent Sounds

The ‘e’ at ends of words is silent in the following words:

Date, late, rate, mate where the ‘a’ sounds more like ‘ay’, the ‘t’ is a hard sound and the ‘e’ sound is silent. 

‘b’ in words: climb, thumb, lamb, debt and subtle

‘c’ in words:  descend, conscious, scene and scissors

‘g’ in words: foreign, reign and sign

‘k’ in words: knowledge, knife, knee, knowledge, knock and knot

‘n’ in words: Autumn and column

‘t’ in words: listen, hasten, fasten and Christmas

‘w’ in words: write, wrote, written, wrist and wrong

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Learn More About Our Method Learn the rhythm of speaking English

Every language has a rhythm or a sound unique to it; The DNA of speech.

This is what makes language learning so beautiful. There is an fascinating study done on the pace at which different languages (English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish and Vietnamese) are spoken done by the Université de Lyon. Here’s a link to the Times article on this study.

So if your native language is Spanish or Tamil or Urdu, you might speak English too fast.

If you are a native French or Chinese speaker, you might English too slow.

The speed in which you speak English has a direct impact on how your accent is heard.

In most cases, if you speak English too fast, your accent sounds more thick or heavy.

The only way to understand the rhythm of English is by immersing yourself in English.

Your Spoken English is a reflection of the English you interact with. If you want to get rid of your thick accent and improve your pronunciation to a native level proficiency, spend more time practicing with native English speakers.

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Speak slower

Sometimes speaking a little slower makes your accent sound a lot more clearer. Rushing through sentences makes you sound nervous and uncomfortable. Also, speaking too fast makes your accent sound more thick that it is.

So if you want to get rid of your thick accent one of the first thinks you should do is pay attention to the pace you speak.

A good way to do this is to record yourself speaking English and compare that to a native English speaker.

Please remember that speaking slower does not mean speaking really slow. There is balance that you need to achieve. If you talk very slow, native English speakers will find that hard to understand too.

Find a Conversation Partner who is a native English speaker

If you want a perfect accent and pronounce word like a native speaker, you have to start practicing with a native English speaker. Studies show that people imitate the speech patterns of those around them. This is why children absorb accents so fast and so accurately when they move to an English speaking country and start interacting with native English speaking children.

A non native English teacher can help you with grammar and vocabulary but if you want to get rid of a thick accent, the best option is to practice with a native.

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Listen to audio books read by native English speakers

A great way to improve your pronunciation and enunciation is by listening to native English speakers. A great resource you can use for this is audio-books read by native English speakers.

Unlike movies where you get a visual cue, audio-books are harder to follow and will train your brain to listen more carefully. This process will help your brain memorize pronunciation patterns,  highs and lows in speech and various sounds that are harder to pronounce.

Looking for a good audio book to use to get rid of your thick accent? Start with this

Some strategies you use to Practice Pronunciation and Improve Accent Tongue twisters

Here are some examples of tongue twisters which help English speaking learners improve certain letters and sounds.

She sells seashells by the seashore (good for practicing sh sounds)

Annie ate eight Arctic apples (good for practicing the ‘a’ vowel sounds)

I thought a thought of thinking of thanking you (good for th sounds)

He threw three free throws (good for th sounds)

Which wristwatches are Swiss wristwatches? (good for practicing silent w words)

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers.

A peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers

Where’s the peck of pickled peppers Peter Piper picked?

(good for practicing -ed words and ‘p’ sounds)

Odd one out

This activity helps ESL students to learn and practice new vocabulary and this helps them with their speaking by saying the word aloud.

Four, five or six words can be included in each group of words and then I ask which is the odd one out.  For example:

Cat        Dog       Rabbit                Car        Donkey                                 (all are animals except for car)

Banana              Apple                 Peach   Strawberry       Carrot          (all are fruit except carrot)

London              Paris                   New York          Tokyo  Australia                (towns except Australia)

Train                   Plane                  Car        Bike      Lorry             (bike as it does not have an engine)

Finger                 Thumb               Knee    ankle    Heel    Smell                   (smell which is a sense)

Reading out loud and talking in general conversation

Reading out loud and talking with a native English tutor enables the tutor to help the person whether child or adult with their accent, their pronunciation, the correct word order and the tenses.

The more English learners practice the more confident they become.

I encourage discussion on many different topics (often with the learners choosing the topic) to help build their confidence.

FACT  – The more an English learner talks with native English speakers the faster they learn English Improve Accent – Speak Fluent English

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The teacher should find you ways to practice outside of class.

For example, they can suggest listening to radio, YouTube clips and songs for example and mixing with as many native speakers as regularly as possible to help improve their accent and to help with pronunciation.

Within the Skype English class, the teacher should use the chat box in Skype to phonetically spell the words so that the learners can see how each new word sounds and then ask students to repeat all new words until they can pronounce each new words perfectly.

I try to get English speaking learners to immerse themselves in talking English on each week to help them pronounce each word correctly.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Get the Perfect Accent appeared first on .

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Learning vocabulary and grammar rules is easy.

However, to learn to use English fluidly with confidence requires regular practice with native speakers.

At Spoken English Practice, we believe that immersion is the best way to learn and improve English speaking.

As a result, our Spoken English lessons are 100% conversational and immersion based.

We know that the best way to become fluent in English is through consistent and persistent practice.

We also believe that people only learn when they are motivated to do so.

In order to maintain motivation among students it is important to get to know them and their likes and dislikes to fuel an interesting and stimulating conversation.

This is another reason why Spoken English Practice’s award winning English Speaking Courses are 100% Conversational.

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A question that comes up often is, what kind of conversation topics do you use during class.

In this blog post, we will share list of sample conversation topics we use.

Depending on your  Spoken English skill level, you can go as deep as you want in these topics.

Remember, your teacher will ask a lot of question and get you to speak as much as possible (because you are one who needs practice speaking). Also, the teacher will give you corrections in grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation.

Here is a list of 150 sample topics we use for Spoken English lessons:

What can governments do to eradicate drugs?

When do people “retire” in your country?

Are you right brained or left brained?

What can governments do to eradicate poverty?

Is globalization dead?

What do you think of affirmative action?

Should you travel the world when you are young?

Is abortion ethical in your country?

Should exams be abolished?

Is creativity more important than knowledge?

Do you believe in Astrology?

Is the Afghanistan invasion justifiable?

What should African countries do to develop faster?

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What is the biggest problem in the world today?

Are outside intervention needed?

What do we need to do to cure cancer?

Should alcohol be banned?

Does violence in the media (TV, movies, video games) cause violent behavior in kids?

Should animals have rights?

Is imagination more important than knowledge?

Are we controlled by the internet?

Is American the “policeman of the world”?

Are we slaves of technology?

Is the American immigration policy working?

What would you do we a million dollars?

Is peace a reality in a capitalistic world where war is a business?

Should farmers get subsidies?

Is it unethical to eat meat?

Are you born with certain talents?

Should parents avoid encouraging their children in playing with guns?

Cats or dogs?

Should students wear school uniforms?

Is the super bowl a waste of money?

Are the Olympic Games a waste of money?

Is homeschooling good or bad?

What are the gun control policies in your country?

Is your country prepared for disasters?

What should governments do to promote art?

Are Apple products overrated?

Can stocks be predicted correctly?

Should skateboards be prohibited on sidewalks?

How do we create racial harmony?

Should minorities be treated differently?

How to eat healthy everyday?

Should schools ban junk food or not?

What is the best sport to watch?

Should 16 year olds be allowed to get a tattoo?

Fast food restaurants do more harm than good. Agree or not?

Is global warming a real threat?

Should marijuana be legalized?

Do you think healthcare should be free for all?

Should prostitution be legalized?

Is there life after death?

Should gambling be legalized?

How long should a President be allowed to serve?

Is democracy the best way to govern?

Do we need religions?

Should the use of animals in sports and entertainment be banned?

How hard is it to get a gun in your country?

How hard is it to get a driver’s license in your country?

Should there be a curfew for people under 18 years to reduce crime?

Should the Internet be censored?

Hollywood movies have a good influence on the world or not?

What is your favorite moment from history?

Is homework good or bad?

Socialism vs. capitalism? What do you believe in?

Is assassination of a dictator justifiable?

Climate change – is it man made?

Is assisted suicide ok?

What can we do to protect biodiversity and endangered species?

Is globalization a boon or a bane?

What should governments do to child offenders?

Is Facebook ruining our lives?

Should education be free?

Is capital punishment justifiable?

Should art be censored?

Should school children play high impact sports like football?

Are cell phone ruining our lives?

Should cell phone usage be banned when driving?

Is bullying a problem in your country?

Should children be punished?

Is corruption a problem in your country?

Should taxes be flat?

Is online bullying a problem in your country?

Should there be restriction to free speech?

How are marriages conducted in your culture?

Is China a threat to the world?

Should there be a database for terrorist DNA?

Creationism?

Should smoking be banned?

Are economic sanctions needed?

Should education be free for all?

Was Lance Armstrong a cheat?

Should health be free for all?

Drugs in sports, how can we control it?

Should government be centralized?

Is organic food really organic?

Should Gay Adoption be made legal?

Are GMO’s good or bad?

Do we need Zoos?

Does god exist?

Are aliens real?

Should hate speech be controlled?

Is healthcare free in your country?

Human cloning. Good or bad?

Should human organ be on sale?

Does developed countries manipulate poor countries?

Should nuclear power be used?

How important are human rights in your country?

Are academics doing productive research?

How important are consumer rights in your country?

Is the World Bank doing a good job?

How should we handle war criminals?

Is space travel a waste of money?

How should we eradicate terrorism?

Are CEOs over paid?

How should we create a greener planet?

What is your dream job?

Is obesity a problem in your country?

Nuclear vs. Renewable Energy

Outsourcing? Good or bad?

Is overpopulation a problem in your country?

How can we stop lobbying?

Should pornography be banned?

Is the UN going a good job?

Pacifism? What can we do about it?

Are children today safe?

Would there be a world war III?

Is Nepotism a problem in your country?

Religious belief: rational or irrational?

Is advertising lying?

Reparations for slavery

Is science a threat to society?

Is astrology real?

Should you live for the moment?

Sex education in schools – good or bad?

Are single-sex schools better or worse?

Is vegetarianism good or bad?

Why are so many predictions wrong?

What should we do to eradicate domestic violence?

Is Marketing art or science?

What should we do to eradicate child labor?

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How to get the maximum value out of Conversational Spoken English Lessons? The First Rule: Practice till you become comfortable speaking in English

We believe that the ultimate goal of any learner of English is to communicate ideas orally in the most appropriate way possible.

This should be your number one objective during Spoken English practice lessons.

You should disregard the importance of grammar during lessons, yet  lessons should exclusively be based on that.

Vocabulary, pronunciation and fluency are all important but the focus of communication relies on generating opportunities for students to express themselves using the tools they have.

This is why Conversation based Spoken English lessons are so effective.

Students should gain confidence in what they know and what they can do and feel comfortable to use the language.

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Learn More Speaking English The second rule: Focus on learning Real English, not textbook stuff

Even with the strongest grasp of grammar and vocabulary ESL students need to practice English speaking.

The best way to practice speaking English is to practice in real life settings as well.

If you practice regularly, it will transform theoretical knowledge into contextual knowledge and thus by applying your knowledge into every day use, we will then be able to remember the theorem better.

Transforming the virtual classroom into a safe space for students enables them to practice with confidence

This will then enable them to take the first and hardest step – which is to simply practice speaking in English.

English, and all other subjects, can’t be taught by the book. It needs practice.

To be able to write in English doesn’t mean you can speak English well.

Students also need help in becoming familiar with colloquial words and speech patterns that may not appear in their text books.

ESL students need to be more up to date with their language skills.

One of the best ways to would address this by using conversational topics to discuss real issues and provide examples of urban speech.

The post 150 Conversation Topics For Spoken English Lessons appeared first on .

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Have you been studying English for years but still struggle to speak fluently?

This is the biggest challenge faced by most English learners. Spoken English Practice focuses on solving this challenge by helping English learners discover smart ways to improve Oral English skills.

In today’s post, we are discussing a few free methods you can use to improve Oral English skills and expand linguistic muscle memory.

Try these at home and let us know whether you feel more fluent!

Watch YouTube Videos

YouTube is a great free resource to get your ear familiar to Native English accents.

If your goal is to improve Oral English skills, you need to first be able to understand Native English speakers when they talk at a normal speed. (normal speed is key).

Watching native speakers on Youtube, whether it is on a late night TV show or a standup comedy show, helps your brain get familiar with English.

This is a YouTube video we use in our Oral English classes

Obama's 2004 DNC keynote speech - YouTube

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You can learn popular phrases by listening to the hosts and their guests talk.

Additionally, you can develop an appreciation for the rhythm of the language as it is meant to be spoken.

Don’t force yourself to learn too much when watching YouTube videos.

Instead let the learning be passive.

You will be surprised how much new sounds and words your brain retains! Overall, this is a great way to improve Oral English skills at home for any English learner.

Another great tool to use immerse yourself in “Real English” is late night talk shows. For example, Jimmy Kimmel or Trevor Noah are great neutral accents to watch.

We use these videos often in our Spoken English Practice course.

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Join English Speaking Practice The trick to mastering Pronunciation

The English language is challenging to students due to the complex pronunciation, as well as the abundance of rules related to pronunciation.

Many students get flustered when it comes to silent letters in words such as, “thumb”, “flour”, “honestly”, “hourly”, as well as the ‘gh’ sound in words like “through”, “laugh”, and “cough’.

It is impossible to learn all these variations by memory.

So you have to train your ear to pick up variations in pronunciation and develop the habit of paying attention to pronunciation of native speakers.

Expand your Vocabulary everyday in small doses

Learn new words every day but don’t try to memorize big word lists at once. Get yourself a notebook and a dictionary, and write out a few words and their definitions, as well as their use in a sentence. Then be sure you understand their context by using them in conversation. This is how you form an active vocabulary.

Focus on everyday English, not just words related to a specific subject. Sometimes we get students who only want to improve Oral English skills in one area – E.g. Real Estate Business or Medicine. This is the wrong approach. If you want to truly improve Oral English skills, you need to expand vocabulary overall.

With only 2 memorized words a day, by the end of the month you will have gained more than 50 new words to include in your ever-expanding vocabulary.

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Start Speaking English early as possible

The only way to really improve Oral English skills permanently is by peaking English a lot till your brain gets used to “processing English” naturally.  You can’t improve Oral English skills just by learning grammar and memorizing vocabulary.

Many new learners of English avoid speaking because they are embarrassed to sound stupid, but speaking confidently and practicing regularly are the only tried and tested methods for getting better. Join an English Speaking Club where you have to talk or practice speaking in front of the mirror to start. If you can find native speakers to practice with, then great. Focus on pronouncing words clearly and speaking as much as you can. Slow down if you have to and use simple words. Most importantly, don’t let fears about imperfect grammar stand in your way.

Want to Improve Oral English skills? Try our unique Conversational method

How to start speaking English with an Oral English teacher?

The key is to find the right type of Oral English teacher.

Our advice is to avoid the traditional English teacher type or the elocution teacher type.

You must find an English Speaking teacher who acts more like a conversation partner or a speaking partner.

Students who are learning English speaking need the most help in gaining confidence to explore the language.

The teacher’s role is like a football coach, encourage the students to push themselves, take chances, fall over if need be and they will gain confidence needed to excel.

Most traditional Oral English teachers will try to teach you grammar rules or ask you to memorize vocabulary.

Try to avoid this style of learning because it will take years for you to start speaking English.

Work with a teacher who is your English speaking partner.

Developing confidence to speak English more often

The most common aspect of English that students struggle with is having confidence to speak and make mistakes.

We have come across many students of English that have tremendous amounts of vocabulary but are unable to transfer it into conversations.

ESL students sometimes spend years and years memorizing whole dictionaries.

For example, we had one student who had spent  two years memorizing a Chinese to English dictionary.

He often lacked the confidence to try to speak and when he would attempt an English conversation, he would struggle.

The fear of making a mistake will make him nervous.

It is this obligation to perfection that renders many students afraid to speak and make mistakes or sound silly.

That is why the Spoken English practice conversational classes put emphasis on understanding rather than perfection.

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This means, rather than correcting every small mistake, our English speaking partners will encourage continued conversation.

They will only correct when the speaker makes a large error or is difficult to understand.

Our conversational approach will build the student’s confidence and encourage more natural flowing speech.

As the student progresses or if the student is at a higher level, the teacher will alter which mistakes need to be noted and corrected.

This free talk English speaking method will allow for students who are new to speaking to not be overwhelmed and demoralized with an avalanche of corrections and present advanced students with corrections that fine-tune their speaking abilities.

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Tired of learning textbook English that you never use in real life conversations?

This is a HUGE problem with most traditional English courses.

At Spoken English Practice, our teachers (also known as Conversation Partners) focus on teaching real Spoken English.

We will spend a lot time teaching you slang and idioms as these are essential for you to speak like a native English speaker.

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No matter how dedicated you are to learning the English language, new and unfamiliar slang words will always appear in everyday conversations.

Chances are, you’ve seen these words being used in social media content or in everyday American conversations.

Here is a list of 40 popular slang words to help you master American Conversational English!

Chick- (noun) Another word meaning young female, generally referring to females the ages of 12-40 years old. ‘Chick’ is most often used between people who know each other. However, it can also be used to imply a female you have no connection with.

BAE – (noun) BAE is an acronym that stands for “before anyone else”. It could refer to your significant other or best friend. Example is Jenna is my BAE.

Boo – (noun) Boo is very similar to Bae. It usually refers to boyfriend or girlfriend (or wife/husband). Example is Love you Boo!

Poppin’- (adj) This word is used to describe a social event that is doing very well. Often used in terms of parties, gatherings, or clubs.

Lit – (adj) Lit has a very similar meaning to poppin. You can say “the club was lit” – meaning the club was fun!

Ride or Die (adj) – Originally a term that bikers used, ride or die is used in American Spoken English to refer to best friend, lover or partner. For example, you can say, “Lori and I have gone through some stuff but she is my ride or die”

Dope- (adj) A general word that describe anything or anyone as being very fun, exciting, or cool. For example, you can say “Kevin is fun to hangout with. He is dope”.

sick – (adj) You would think this word has a negative connotation, however, ‘sick’ is similar in meaning to, “very exciting!”, “amazing!”, etc.

While it can be used to describe a person, it is most often used in American slang English to describe experiences or things that someone thinks is amazing.

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Awesome- (adj) The use of the word ‘awesome’ in American language has received a lot of attention lately. While the word actually means ‘exciting’ or ‘awe inspiring’, it is very frequently used as a sarcastic phrase to sum up just about any emotion- negative or positive.

Nada- (pronoun) Used instead of the word, “nothing”. However, it is generally used as the answer to a question rather than in the middle of a sentence.

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Brah – (pronoun) Brah is another way of saying “are you serious” in Conversational American speaking.

On point – (adj) On point is a colloquial way of saying that something or someone is attractive or  fashionable. For example, you can say, “Her makeup was on point”

On fleek – (adj) On fleek is another way of saying something or someone is attractive or  fashionable. If you are hanging out with someone who uses a lot of slang, you might hear them so “Yo brows are on fleek” – which means your eye brows look great!

Hitched- (verb, adj) In slang, ‘hitched’ means two people have married.

Goals – (verb, adj) If you see someone commenting #goals on a Facebook photo, it is a subtle way of saying they are jealous and want a similar experience.

Squad – (adj) Squad refers to your group of friends in slang English. When someone says “this is my squad” they are referring to a group of friends.

GOAT – (adj) GOAT is an acronym that stands for greatest of all time. In conversational English or in the world of social media, this is a very commonly used expression. For example, you can say “these sneakers are GOAT”

Low Key – (adj) If you see someone says “let’s keep it low-key” for now, it means they don’t want to tell everyone about it.

Another example is: “It is a low key event attended by only a few of my best friends” – means it is an event that was exclusive to a small group.

Nerd out – (verb) To ‘nerd out’ means to get so enthralled and engaged in a seemingly nerdy or geeky activity or topic.

Mood – (verb) Mood refers something that is relevant. For example, in informal English someone could say “My 2018 mood is all about self improvement and growth”

Chill- (adj, verb) Another common colloquial word in American informal vocabulary. ‘Chill’ can describe something that is relaxed, easy, and fun. It can also be used as a verb meaning you are relaxing, and being easy going.

Bombed- (verb) Usually used in an academic setting, ‘bombed’ means to completely fail something. It is also used as a verb to say you are getting very drunk.

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Fire- (adj) Saying something is ‘fire’ means it is outstanding. You can use this slang word to describe everything from food to music.

retweet (verb)- Originating from the online news and networking service Twitter, the linguistic expression, “Retweet”, in conversation means the person agrees with you.

Saying this in informal conversation is a form of validating what someone is saying.

Dime- (adj) While not as common in modern spoken English, the word ‘dime’ is sometimes used to describe a female who is sweet, good looking, and kind.

It stems from the expression, “She’s a ten!” Meaning she is given a ‘score’ of 10/10. In American money a dime is worth $0.10, hence, the word ‘dime’.

Swing- (verb) The term ‘swing’ has multiple informal meanings in the English language. One meaning is used when telling someone you will come by their house or workplace for a short period of time by saying, “I’ll swing by”.

Another informal meaning of the word ‘swing’ is to explain your sexual orientation. If someone asks if you are a homosexual, you may respond by saying, “I don’t swing that way”.

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Fly- (adj) A description word meaning, “really young and hip”. Often used while describing someone’s clothing attire.

Drop- (verb) A word used when enlightening someone with information. Often heard in the expression, “let me drop some knowledge on you”.

Also used in reference to releasing music in the expression, “I’m gonna drop this mixtape”.

Slide- (verb) This word is used for it’s literal meaning ‘glide’, but used in terms of a person becoming apart of another person’s life. Ex: “I’m going to slide into her life.”

Bestie- (noun) Meaning best friends. Ex: “She’s my bestie”.

Hot- (adj) Not to be confused with the temperature, ‘hot’ is a common word in American English to describe something as extremely beautiful or sexy.

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Jacked- (adj) A word describing someone who exercises a lot or who has large muscles. For example “Tom spends a lot of time in the gym – explains why he is so jacked up now”

gotcha – (exclamation) You would you this word on it’s own to acknowledge that you understand something someone is saying.

Swag- (noun) ‘Swag’ has two informal meanings in English. One meaning refers to the free objects you receive at promotional events.

Another is in reference to the manner in which someone carries themselves.

Slaying it – (noun) ‘Slay” or “slaying it” means doing really well. In American colloquial English, you may hear someone say ” Mark is slaying it as a

turn up- (verb) To “turn up” means to party very hard, usually with the implication of drinking alcohol.

Yolo- (phrase and expression) ‘Yolo’ is short for the phrase, “You Only Live Once”. This phrase is popular with teenagers and young adults.

It’s meaning is implying that you should live your life how you want because you only get one of them. The phrase is shortened to ‘yolo’ in verbal conversation.

Asap – This is an acronym for, “As soon as possible”. It is often just expressed verbally as ‘asap’. Ex: “How soon do you need the car?” “Asap!”.

These 40 American English slang words should help you acclimate to the changing and fluid nature of American Conversational English!

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Grammar and vocabulary are things you can learn in your own time, at your own pace. You don’t need to pay money to improve your grammar or vocabulary. And most of the time, people will still understand what you are saying even if you make a small grammatical error. However, speaking English clearly, confidently and fluently is something you can’t master on your own. You need opportunities to practice with native English teachers, and that’s what Spoken English Practice provides
How to learn to speak Real Spoken English like a Native speaker?

Learning a language is a developmental process.

There is little need to worry about grammar or pronunciation until you have some vocabulary.

Once some basic vocabulary has been learnt then the nuances of grammar and pronunciation are what distinguish someone with basic English from someone who is a fluent speaker.

People find English tricky because it does not conform to a lot of the rules that other languages use.

This is why practicing English conversation with a native English speaker is the best way to consolidate the skills you have learnt.

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Conversations held in English give students the opportunity to put into practice things they know and things they are working on.

It is a great opportunity to expand vocabulary and get comfortable speaking in English without over thinking each word.

Many students struggle to let go of thinking first in their native language before essentially translating and then speaking in English.

Conversation practice allows students to break through that mental block and speak more freely. It also gives the student a chance to work on pronunciation. The ear adjusts when listening to a language and it becomes easier to construct sentences correctly.

Without casual conversation, a student can know all of the grammar and have perfect spelling, but not be understood when speaking.

Once you get to habit of using English in conversations, then you need to expand in to areas like slang and idioms and how to incorporate those in to real conversations.

The post 40 “Cool” Slang words that are used in Real American Spoken English appeared first on .

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Want to learn American English?

If you are an international student coming to an American university or an IT professional who works with an American client, speaking and understanding American English is critical.

The reason is American English is quite different from English spoken in other parts of the world.

You might not even understand this till you start speaking with American native speakers.

American English is full of slang and idioms.

Also, American accents have a distinctive rhythm that is very different from British accents.

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How to Improve Speaking

What is American English?

American English is the variety of English that is spoken mainly in the USA.

Some versions of American English are spoken in Canada, but this is not widespread.

You will sometimes hear people from the Caribbean use certain expressions used in American English.

Also, American English differs regionally.

For example, people is New York speak English differently than people from Texas.

All these subtle nuances make American English difficult to learn, specially if you are coming from a place that taught British English at school.

Let’s quickly recap types of English before we dive deeper. American English vs British English vs Canadian English vs Australian English

For many people English is English, wherever you live in the world which in part is due to the fact that English is the most widely used language in the world.

Whether you speak American English, British English, Canadian English or Australian English, people will understand what you are saying.

If you are choosing to learn a specific English which English would you like or prefer to learn?

Sometimes this can be decided by where you live.

If you live in Europe, many people choose to learn British English.

If you live nearer America or Canada you might rather learn American or Canadian English or if you live in the Southern Hemisphere it may be easier to learn Australian English.

If you are doing specific business with America, Britain, Canada or Australia or going there to visit or work, you may well choose to learn the specific language of that particular country.

Practice American English

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Here is a brief overview of the different types of English: American English

American English is often perceived to be the easiest to understand.  Many Asians and South Americans want to learn American English.

American English spellings are different to British English spellings.  Here are some differences in spelling:

American English                   British English

Color                                               Colour

Flavor                                             Flavour

Neighbor                                       Neighbour

Theater                                          Theatre

Center                                            Centre

Apologize                                      Apologise

Recognize                                      Recognise

Analyze                                          Analyse

Defense                                          Defence

License                                           Licence

Organization                                Organisation

There are different words for the same meaning between American and British English and here are some examples:

American English                    British English

Hood                                               Bonnet

Parking lot                                     Car park

Drugstore                                      Chemist

French fries                                   Chips

Apartment                                     Flat

There is different pronunciation between American and British English.  Examples include the letter ‘r’ being stronger in American English than in British English, a different ‘a’ sound and the letter ‘t’ in the middle of words can sound more like the letter ‘d’ in American English.

British English

British English is known as “the mother of English” due to its colonization of Australia, America and India.

It has very specific spelling and grammar rules.

The standard British  accent is also known as Received Pronunciation (otherwise known as Oxford English).  The Standard UK accent is based predominantly on the accent of Southern England.  There are different spellings, different word description and different pronunciation between British English and American English – see above.

We wrote a 2000 word free guide on how to learn British English. Check it out if you are a British English student.

The film, The King’s Speech, is well known for defining the correct British accent and pronunciation.

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How to be Fluent in English Canadian English

Canadian English contains parts of both British English and American English.

It will include the same vocabulary as American English but combines both American English and British English spellings.

For example, in English used in Canadian they will write colour, flavour or neighbour as in British English but write realize, criticize or specialize as in American English.

Pronunciation of Canadian English is a mixture of British and American English.

Australian English

Australian English was influenced by the colonization of Australia by the British.

The Gold Rush in Australia in the 1850’s brought settlers from different parts or the world and this largely influenced the change in Australian English.

There are many American English words used in Australian English and Australian English also now includes spellings and usages of American English. A good example is the word “no worries”

The broad Australian accent is well recognized as there are many well-known Australian films, for example Crocodile Dundee and Australia.

 

There are also other smaller varieties of English like Irish English, South African English and New Zealand English. For the general English language student, these are not very important. 

Decide which English you would like to learn and which English would help you the most.

Once you learn one, you will be able to understand the others.

Watch films set in America, Britain, Australia and Canada to help you understand all these accents.  Learning English will help you communicate with native speakers worldwide wherever they live.

Back to our main topic…

How to Learn American English like a Champ?

Mastering Spoken English is 80% about immersing yourself in English.

This is true whether you are learning American English or any other type of English.

There are few ways to really immerse in English but we want to touch on 2 specific areas you can get real results from.

Both are fun methods! We don’t believe re-learning boring grammar theory will make any different.

Method 1 – Find an American English Teacher who will act like a Conversation Partner.

You might have a friends who spoke poor English, migrated to the US or UK and started speaking very fluently.

If you ask them how they improved their English speaking skills you will find that they never got any formal English lessons after they migrated.

How to Improve Conversational English Fast?

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The only thing they did was have real Conversations with Native English Speakers as part of their daily lives.

This is why having English Conversation Partners is the best way to improve English speaking.

You might ask the question, do I need a native English speaker to practice with?

Speaking in English with anyone is better than not speaking in English at all. Speaking in English with anyone is better than just sitting in English lessons and taking notes.

However, if you can find a Native English Teacher to practice with 2 or 3 times a week, that is the best way to become really fluent in English. 

When you practice English with a native speaker, you improve so much faster. Practicing with native speakers is the best way to speak at the right speed with the right pronunciation.

As a leaner, you will develop an accent which is close to “Native” as possible. You will learn idioms and slang used by Native English Speakers – things that are essential when learning American English.

Finding reliable Native English speakers to practice English with you for free is almost impossible. So use a service like Spoken English Practice to find the right speaking partner for you.

Learn more about Spoken English Practice

Join English Course Some qualities of the right English Conversation Partner:

Adaptable

However good the speaking partner prepares and plans for each lesson. even on a pre-arranged agreed topic, sometimes lessons do not go to plan and the English teacher has to adapt the lessons to the requirements of the student with no notice.

Accessible

Teachers need to be accessible in case the arranged lessons need to be altered or cancelled in advance by the student.

Good communication either via the chat box for example when using Skype or via email is an excellent way to send messages if needed ahead of arranged lessons to alter the time and/or day of a lesson.

Enthusiasm and patience

A good online English teacher needs plenty of patience and plenty of enthusiasm to encourage each student to fulfill their potential in learning to speak English to the best of their ability.  The teacher must be able to communicate well.

Feedback

Online  Spoken English teachers need to be able to give advice and feedback on how the student is doing in each lesson.  This can include the correct word order, correct tense to be used, correct pronunciation and suggestions for the student to consider or do after each lesson.

Advice could be suggestions of films to watch in English, radio programs to listen to in English, YouTube clips to watch or books to read in English.

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Join Skype English Lesson Method 2 – Immerse yourself in American English

One of the best ways to learn American English is to watch TV shows that use a high percentage of American English.

Watching high quality, TV shows is a great way to not only enrich your English speaking skills but also increase the number of hours you are engaged in deliberately improving English.

Here is a list of 5 TV shows that every ESL (English as a second language) student should definitely watch if they want to learn American English:

Boston Legal

Boston Legal is an American legal dramedy series which is based around the stories of the fictitious law firm Crane, Poole & Schmidt. This TV series gives you opportunity to learn American English and can keep your English vocabulary expanding every time you sit down.

Allen Shore, probably the most articulate lawyer in TV history, and the central character in this series, can be heard using words such as “citizenry” and “schadenfreude” in his closing statements.

Mad Men

Based on the fascinating world of advertising Mad Men takes you back to the style of English speaking in corporate America in the 1960’s. Mad Men is acclaimed for its portrayal of authentic historic events and the writing style. This multi-time Emmy and Golden Globe award winning TV series is a great way for non-native English Speakers improve their English knowledge in a fun, engaging manner.

Big Bang Theory

It is a hugely popular series that belongs to the genre of Sitcom (situation comedy). Based on the chronicles of a group of scientists, the Big Bang Theory will expose you to a ton of new English words and phrases specially if you are keen to learn American English. Also, the fast paced, lively dialogues will help ESL students improve their listening skills.

 House of Cards

A Netflix exclusive, this TV show belongs to the category of Drama and political thriller. The witty conversations and pitch perfect delivery of the dialogues make this a must to watch TV program for any non-native English learner.

If you want to get immersed in modern American English in a fun filled, interesting way, give House of Cards a shot and you will not be disappointed.

Modern Family

It belongs to the genre of Sitcom and mockumentary. One of the long running TV shows in America is based on the members of a family that cannot be any more diverse.

Light, funny, witty and full of sarcasm Modern Family is a great doorway of non-native English Speakers who are trying to get from an intermediate level to an advanced level.

As we always emphasize, practicing Spoken English is a process and it starts with finding natural ways to use English more in your life. Watching TV shows where high quality English is spoken is a great way to start this process.

The post The Path to Learn American English – Free Guide and Tips appeared first on .

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If you want to English fast, you must start practicing speaking with Native English speakers. This is the ONLY way you can be truly fluent in English!

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Learn More

British English is unique.

There are lot’s of differences in English used in Britain compared to other English speaking countries like American and Canada.

There are 3 main areas of British English that make it unique and different: The accent, the vocabulary and the spelling.

Let’s explore these 3 areas deeper.

The British Accent

British people pronounce words vastly differently to Americans.

They also stress certain sounds differently than American English speakers.

However you must remember that there are multiple variations of the British accent. You cannot generalize the British accent and put it under one label.

Depending on what type of Brit you are communicating with, you will hear vastly different styles of English spoken.

The Geordie accent

The Geordie accent can be heard in and around Newcastle in the north-east of England.

This accent was influenced by Saxons and the Danes who arrived from Germany and the Peninsular of Denmark.

Many of the Geordie words used in England today are very similar to Danish words.

The accent is called Geordie based on the boy’s name George.  The word ‘bairn’ in Geordie refer to a child who lives in this part of England and sounds rather like the Danish word ‘barn’ for child.

Another example of Geordie language is “Wey aye!” which means “I’m in agreement” in English or “Howay!” in Geordie means “Come on!” in English.

The Yorkshire accent

The Yorkshire accent can be heard in and around the City of York and north of England.

This accent (or dialect as it can also be called) has connections with the Saxons and the Vikings who settled in this part of England.

Yorkshire phrases include “How do?” which means “How are you?” in English or “I’m chuffed t’bits” which means “I’m very proud of myself” in English.

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Learn More The Midlands accent

The Midlands accent is a strong accent and used in and around Birmingham and Coventry.

This Midlands accent can also include ‘The Brummie’ accent as it is spoken by people growing up and living in Birmingham which is about 80 miles north of London.  It is seen as the working-class accent originating from a highly industrialised area.

This accent uses elongated vowel sounds for example the ‘a’ sound in ‘bath’ in English sounds like ‘bahth’ when pronounced with a Brummie accent or ‘grass’ in English sounds like ‘grahss” when spoken by someone talking with this particular accent.

Another example is ‘alright’ in English but sounds like ‘olroit’ when spoken by a local from this area.

The Cockney accent

The Cockney accent was and is still used by working class people living in East London and is spoken with pride by those people living in this part of London.

The H sound is often dropped so “ospital” and “oliday” when spoken using a Cockney accent mean hospital and holiday in English.

It is well known as “Cockney rhyming slang” which started in the middle of the nineteenth century in East London and started by salesmen in this part of London.  An example of Cockney rhyming slang includes “I want to rabbit with you in the nuclear” which means “I want to talk with you in the pub” in English.

The West country accent

The West country accent can be heard in the counties of Devon and Cornwall in south-west England.

This accent can be traced back to the Middle Ages and Saxon times.  This accent has connections to jobs in farming and the sea which were and are the main industries of these counties.

Examples of a West country dialect include “Ideal” which means “very good” in English or “Alright me’ansum” which means “Hello, how are you?” in English.

Received pronunciation

Received pronunciation is based on educated speech which is used in Southern England as described in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary.

It is also known as the standard English accent as spoken in the south of England.  It used to be called “The King’s English” and is connected with people who had influence, power, money and education and was used first at the end of the 18th century.

Received pronunciation is also known as “The Queen’s English” or BBC English.

An example of Received Pronunciation

Margaret Thatcher voice before/after - YouTube
 

Here are some characteristics of received pronunciation:

Received pronunciation includes the use of elongated vowels when the ‘a’ sound becomes more like ‘ahh’ sound for example in the word bath when received pronunciation makes bath sound more like ‘bahth’ and is sounded by moving one’s lips horizontally rather than by dropping one’s jaw.

Also, received pronunciation (also know as “Posh” English), includes the use of elongated ‘o’s’ when the ‘o’ sounds more like ‘oh’ when used using received pronunciation.

The RP accent also ensures every consonant is pronounced slowly and clearly.  February is an example of how when spoken with using received pronunciation it sounds like ‘Feb-ru-air-ree’.

British Idioms and Slang

The second component of British English that makes it unique and special is some of the idiomatic expressions and slang used by Brits.

There is a lot of culture, history and sports that have influenced the formation of British English and sometimes it is hard to understand these expressions.

If you are intermediate level and want to learn British English, start with getting familiar with popular British expressions like this:

British English:             Chuffed t’bits

Meaning:                        I’m very proud of myself

British English:             Bob’s your Uncle

Meaning:                        There you go/It is that simple

British English:              Load of Cobblers

Meaning:                         A lot of nonsense/rubbish and comes from rhyming slang

British English:             By hook or by crook

Meaning:                        To use any means possible to do something

British English:             Treading on ice/swim in deep water

Meaning:                        To put yourself in danger or trouble

British English:             A waste of space

Meaning:                        A person who is not worth bothering about

British English:             Making a mountain out of a molehill

Meaning:                        Someone who makes a small problem into a big problem.

British English:              A piece of cake

Meaning:                         A job or piece of work which is easy to do and complete.

Here is a fun YouTube clip on popular British slang

Americans Guess British Slang - YouTube
 

Here are some British English expressions and their American English equivalents:

British English:              A drop in the ocean

American English:        A drop in the bucket

British English:              Can’t see the wood for the trees

American English:        Can’t see the forest for the trees

British English:              Gone pear-shaped

American English:        Gone South

British English:              Queue up

American English:        Wait in line

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British Spellings

There are many unique British spelling examples which originate from a mixture of Latin and French.

If you want to learn British English, learning some of these variations will be useful.

Here are some key illustrations on how British English uses different spelling compared to American English

In British English we use -re at the ends of words (as opposed to -er in American English) and here are examples of British English words with -re at the end.

Theatre, centre, metre, centimetre, millimetre, manoeuvre, litre, sombre and fibre

British English use -our at the ends of words (as opposed to -or in American English) and here are some examples:

Colour, harbour, behaviour, neighbour, flavour, humour, glamour, labour and endeavour

British English use -ise at the end of words (as opposed to -ize in American English) and here are some examples:

Realise, recognise, agonise, advertise, organise, criticise, capitalise and apologise.

British English use -ce at the end of words (as opposed to -se in American English) and here are some examples:

Defence, pretence, licence and offence

British English use double vowels of -ae- and -oe- (differently to American English) and here are some examples:

Manoeuvre, paediatric

How can I learn British English?

Watching films is one of the best ways to learn English, not only because they’re full of interesting vocabulary, idioms and accents but it’s also fun!

Since English-speaking films are available almost everywhere (or at least with subtitles) your choice of resources are endless. There really is something for everyone, despite your taste.

If you want to learn English fast , watching films in your spare time is one of the most effective ways to dive into the language, without being too tiring after a long day.

Here’s a list of the best films to learn British English fast – including that charming UK accent! 1: The King’s Speech, 2010

What better way to start learning a language than by watching a King do it? This film is about King George VI (Colin Firth), who famously had speech training to correct his stutter. This film includes a few swear words, so perhaps it’s not the best choice for children, but his accent is perfectly classic and his speech trainer does have some useful advice for anyone who wants to learn British English.

2: My Fair Lady, 1964

An oldie but a goodie, My Fair Lady is a musical about a snobby phonetics professor (Rex Harrison) who decides to train a flower girl (Audrey Hepburn) to speak ‘proper’ English so she can mingle with high society. Expect lots of singing, idioms and hilarious accents. This one also has some good speech techniques using candles!

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3: Mary Poppins, 1964

1964 was a good year for films! I’m sure you’ve heard of Mary Poppins – it’s a very popular children’s story about a nanny (Julie Andrews) with seemingly magical powers.

This film features scenes in both cartoon and in film so is great for all the family. However, we recommend you do not use Bert’s character as accent inspiration as Dick Van Dyke is now infamous for his terrible British accent…

4: The Italian Job, 1969

A classic Sunday afternoon film, full of quotes which you’ll often find people saying after a few pints of beer. The Italian Job is a witty and comical gangster film featuring the wonderful Michael Cane. Don’t be put-off by the title, you will learn British English!

5: Notting Hill, 1999

Who doesn’t love Hugh Grant? Gloriously nineties and ever so cute, Notting Hill is a romantic-comedy about a bookshop owner (Hugh Grant) whose life is thrown upside-down after a famous American actress (Julia Roberts) steps foot in his shop.

Naturally, as Notting Hill is a very romantic area, an affair begins to blossom. This film is especially good for hearing the difference between British English and American English whilst being pretty easy to keep up with if your listening skills still need practice.

6: City Lights, 1931

This one is definitely an oldie, so old in fact that it’s silent, so maybe it’s not the best if you need listening practice! It is perfect for reading practice, especially if you’re interested in old-time phrases, idioms and music.

Charlie Chaplin plays a tramp who falls in love with a blind flower girl does his best to help her financially. It’s very sweet, very romantic and quite slow-paced compared to more recent films, but perfect if you want to relax and swoon a little bit.

7: The Theory of Everything, 2014

Based in Cambridge, England, this film is about the life of Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) – world-renowned physicist and cosmologist. Aside from being a beautifully-shot film, The Theory of Everything is understandably emotional and inspiring and makes you want to read more of Stephen’s work.

Oxford and Cambridge are beautiful cities, and you’ll definitely want to visit after watching this. Warning: some of the language is too scientific and specific even for us native English speakers!

8: This is England, 2006

Another film which is not the best for children, but certainly worth watching anyway is This is England. This story is set in the 1980s and follows the story of a young boy (Thomas Turgoose) who lost his father in the Falklands war and finds friendship and respect amidst a group of skinheads.

There’s plenty of history, British slang, idioms and accents for you to enjoy with this one, and a great insight to working class British culture.

9: Diamonds are Forever, 1971

We couldn’t have a list of best British films for learning English without mentioning James Bond! Diamonds are Forever is another classic, with plenty of elegance and wit to entertain almost everyone.

There are many James Bond films to choose from, and they seem to be working on another one now so just be warned, you may fall into a 007 hole when you start this one!

On the plus side, James Bond films are always quite international, so there’s a range of cultures and non-native speakers speaking English alongside James (Sean Connery) and his perfectly quaint English accent, which is good practice in itself.

10: The 39 Steps, 1935

We can’t forget about Alfred Hitchcock, so here is one of his classic Thrillers to end the list. If you like foggy London scenes, spy stories and painfully British accents, then The 39 Steps is for you. Hitchcock films are appreciated worldwide for their craft, so be sure to take note of that alongside the talented actors and beautiful cinematography.

We’d love to hear if you watched any of these films and what you thought of them!

The post How to Learn British English Like a Champ – The Ultimate Guide appeared first on .

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