Speaking Fluency Activity: 3 Steps to Having Better Speaking Flow
Being a fluent speaker is every language learner’s dream. Fluency is defined in different ways depending on who you ask, it definitely has a connection to the word ‘flow’. For me, I believe speaking fluency is the ability to link you thoughts together using connective words and phrases the way native speakers do. This allows you time to think about grammar rules or words while you are still ‘speaking’. Fluency is about being able to connect spontaneous thoughts together in a way that ‘flows’ and it’s not as difficult as it sounds to achieve that.
Believe me, this activity will help you to speak better and you can complete it within the next 30 minutes. I’m going to show you how you can achieve better speaking fluency today or at least a better speaking flow than you have ever felt before.
This speaking exercise is very effective in helping you to develop your speaking skills. It’s a perfect exercise if you do not have much time or if you need to improve quickly.
Often the activities to help you improve quickly can feel hard in the beginning and it takes a certain amount of discipline to choose to do these types of challenging activities. It’s normal that most students prefer to do things that are easy and comfortable… but those students don’t want to improve their English as bad as you do, right?
You want to be better at speaking English?
But you hate doing speaking exercises….
The fact is that most students would rather read, write, study grammar, review vocabulary…. Or do anything else they can think of to avoid speaking. Speaking is hard, it is uncomfortable at the beginning and it doesn’t get any easier until you start speaking more often.
The good news is that this technique I am going to share with you can be practiced in the privacy of your own home. You can practice giving your opinion, doing a summary or telling a story with no one around to hear your horrible speaking efforts.
I’m sure your speaking isn’t as horrible as you think it is BUT it can be really uncomfortable talking with someone you don’t know and having a difficult time expressing your thoughts when you are not used to speaking.
Speak, Learn & Repeat: Say it 3 Times
Choose a topic that you can talk about for a few minutes. I like to use an interesting article or news story I have read, a television show, a movie or even a podcast that you listened to.
If you are at an intermediate level, you are going to have a shorter answer than an advanced learner. Even beginners can do this activity using the materials that are appropriate for their level. The great thing is that this activity can be done until you reach your speaking fluency goals. As you advance you start talking about the more advanced topics you are studying and using more advanced vocabulary.
Step 1: Start trying to explain what the topic is about. Tell the story as if it is something interesting that you are explaining to someone in a conversation.
Step 2: Write down the words or phrases that you do not know as you are trying to speak. Look up these new words you recognize that you need to know in order to tell the story.
Step 3: Repeat step 1 and 2 until you feel confident with your ability to express your idea clearly and with a good speaking flow.
Be sure to read the next section where I explain what ‘conversational connectors’ are and how they are essential to speaking fluency.
Let me tell you a story about how I know this technique works…
This story will explain to you how I use this technique. You will also see the quality of the techniques we share on the website. I only share the best and most effective exercises that really helped me to overcome problems with my speaking and listening skills.
One day I decided that I was going to tell my language partner that I was practicing with regularly, about the book I was reading in Spanish. I wanted to be able to explain what the book was about based on what I had read.
This is a picture of me, Amy from Real English Conversations, the person writing the article. I just wanted you to be able to see a picture of me so you could imagine me driving down the road and struggling to speak in a foreign language 🙂
So, as I was driving around in my car, I decided to try to explain it to myself using the words I knew. Let me tell you, the first version was a disaster. I had NO speaking flow, I was lacking basic verbs and I didn’t know how to connect the sentences well. I did not feel very good about being able to explain the story line of the book to my language partner in just a few hours…
I wrote down the words I needed to learn and realized I also need to know the ‘conversational connector words’. Examples of simple conversational connectors are: so, then, and, now, but, you know, anyways, after, later, etc. However; when these words are used, they sound extended. The word ‘so’ sounds like ‘soooooooooo’. Or ‘and’ is said like aaaaaaannnnnnnd.
If you listen to a conversation, you will hear how often these words are used and how they ‘buy time’ for the speaker to organize their thoughts. Conversational English is different from written English in the way it is communicated. These words make you sound like you are telling a story to a real person, rather than reading something that is written.
Now that I knew the words I needed and they were fresh in my mind, I tried to explain the story again. It was easier this time but I changed how I was explaining it a bit. This changed the verb tenses I was using, gave me new ‘grammar structures’ to think about and of course, new words. What was happening was I was describing things in greater detail. I looked up any new words and phrases I discovered that I didn’t know.
On the third attempt, I felt like a champion! The words seemed like they were flowing out of my mouth, the grammar was already organized in my head and I was able to remember the new vocabulary.
The next day, I tried the summary again. To my surprise, I was able to remember the new words even though I had not studied them AND I was able to explain the story in even more detail with the best speaking flow I have ever experienced.
Try this Activity… Right Now!
Okay, so now you have a choice. You can either close this article and only think about doing this activity. Or you can try to do it.
Once you do this activity, you will see the way you are using English and how it feels different in your mind than other activities. Below are a few ideas that you can use to practice this exercise right now without needing to leave this page.
- What is the technique discussed in this article and how do you do it?
- Why did you decide to learn English?
- When you are able to speak English fluently, how will it change your life?
- What was the last television show you watched about?
- What is the plot of your favorite movie?
- How do you cook your favorite recipe?
- What makes you love your favorite sport?
- Tell me what your favorite song is about, what the idea is behind the lyrics.
- Describe in as much detail as you can in a story, what you do for work or what your responsibilities are as a student.
- What is your favorite season of the year and how that affects the type of activities you do?
As you can see, you can talk about anything using this technique. Your speaking is going to improve REALLY FAST, if you do activities that put all the English skills you have into action. Start using the words that are in your study lists, the grammar you have spent so much time learning and start using the language.
As a premium member on our website, we have 200+ questions that are designed for this exercise or you can use one of our free conversations.
I hope you found this article useful. Please share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ if you found it helpful. Click on the icons below.
Leave a comment below to tell me if this is a new technique for you and if it has been useful!
No Dictionary? No Problem!
Do this English Speaking Exercise to Keep the Conversation Flowing
Learn how to keep talking and learn new vocabulary without a dictionary!
Everyday conversational English is spontaneous and a wide range of vocabulary is used. In this article we are going to arm you with the skills to be able to describe words you don’t know like a pro and turn it into a game you can play with a native speaker.
A skill to Master to Improve English Speaking Fluency
The key to speaking fluency and developing a good speaking flow is to learn how to keep talking without long awkward breaks. It doesn’t have to be perfect English! Native speakers use sounds and words to stall while they are thinking all the time, which is not ‘perfect English’.
As a person learning English, you will find yourself needing to describe a word or concept that you don’t know the vocabulary for. Instead of stopping to think, you can say, “I don’t know the word but….” And continue trying to describe the word.
The other person in the conversation won’t even notice the change in the topic or that you don’t know a word. The conversation will just flow from your original story into a game where they need to try to figure out what word you need to know in order to continue the story.
Here are some examples of how to do this English speaking exercise
Below you will find a few examples of what you might say to describe these words without using the word that you are trying to describe. You can always start by using the phrase, “I don’t know the word but…” then continue with your description.
I don’t know what it’s called but it’s something used for cooking that is sweet. It is usually white and it looks a lot like salt. Small, white grains that are sweet.
It’s a post that is on the street that has a light on it so that people who are walking or driving can see at night.
This is a game that is really popular in the United States, it has a ball that the players have to throw into a ring with a net. They bounce the ball with their hand as they run.
When there is a river and the height of the land changes, the water continues to flow but it drops over the edge. It can be a few feet to several hundred feet.
Speaking practice with a List of Random Words
Below, you will find a list of words that you can try to describe. DO NOT USE THE WORD that you are describing. The idea is that you need to pretend you don’t know the word.
I recommend trying to do this exercise while speaking out loud; especially if you are an intermediate student or higher. While doing this activity, write down any words that you don’t know to properly describe it, Learn those words so you know them for future situations where you will need to describe something.
Try to describe these words:
- Text Message
- Forest Fire
- Amusement Park
- Washing Machine
Mastering the ability to describe things will make you a better story teller and more interesting to have a conversation with. Native speakers love stories with lots of detail, it’s more entertaining 🙂
You can do this activity anywhere! Look around you and describe an object that is near you. If you are on the bus you could describe the hand rails, the seats, the coin collector, the emergency exit windows etc. Walking down the street it could be the sidewalk, street lamps, electrical wires, street signs, or the gutters.
I’ve got a game for you to play and do this English speaking practice activity…
Pretend you are in a conversation with a native speaker and you can’t remember a word or you don’t know the word. You need to explain the word or things related to the word until the other person guesses what you are trying to say.
Write a description of a word below in the comment section and see if I can guess which word you are trying to explain.
If you think this is a good idea and a helpful technique to improve English speaking skills, please share it on Facebook, Twitter or Google+ so that others can learn from it too!
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It’s time to learn one of the uses for the English phrasal verb ‘Pass On’ which has 3 different meanings. In this lesson, we talk about transferring something to someone else. Now look at the examples that are in this lesson so you can have the best idea of how to practice speaking about this topic exactly the way you should.
Podcast Listener Bonus: Free Lessons Here
Phrasal Verbs Lesson: Pass On #3
Alternative Meaning: To transfer something to someone else
- Take a candy and pass on the basket to the next person.
- Take a candy and transfer the basket to the next person.
- Sue’s house will be passed on to her daughter when she dies.
- Sue’s house will be transferred to her daughter when dies.
The English Phrasal Verbs Course
Learning phrasal verbs from a list is not the best way to do it. You need to learn the meaning of phrasal verbs through the context of a situation. In our phrasal verb course, you will get two examples using the phrasal verb in each lesson. Once you have studied 10 lessons, you can test your knowledge using the phrasal verb stories.
The phrasal verb stories are the key to helping you understand the verbs that have multiple meanings and to comprehend what the phrasal verbs mean when you hear them. To learn more about the course and see an example of the lessons you will receive Click Here.
Please share this lesson if you thought it was helpful and leave a comment below using an example if you want to receive a correction 🙂
250 Phrasal Verb Lessons with 25 Stories
Start understanding phrasal verbs that you hear in everyday conversation. Our audio lessons give you the training you need with PDF transcriptions to master English phrasal verbs.
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Getting a job should be one of the first steps to take in your future.In this free English conversation we talk about applying for a job and some of the most interesting methods we used to get one. Hear about some of our experiences applying for jobs as well as when we hired people for our own business. Please share with us some ideas that worked for you in order to get hired.
Check out a preview of the transcription and audio player near the bottom of this page.
Real English Conversation Tip:
We talk about a popular expression that we use to say you have a lead or an opportunity for a job offer.
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English Podcast Transcription Preview:
Curtis: Well, hey, guys. It’s Curtis, and I’m hanging out with Amy. We’re from RealEnglishConversations.com. Today we’re going to kind of continue our conversation about jobs, and applying for them, actually.
Amy: In the last episode we talked about resumes. And what was normal to see in a North American resume. And comparing it to a resume that we’ve recently seen from another culture or another country.
Curtis: Yeah, from Colombia, and it was 27 pages long.
Amy: Yeah. The total opposite of a North American resume, which is like a…the most concentrated summary you can possibly imagine of your work history.
Curtis: Yeah, they’re almost opposites.
Amy: Yeah. Complete opposites. So, anyway, we thought that obviously the next step, now that you have a resume.
Curtis: Yeah, you’ve created a resume.
Amy: This is the first step in applying for a job.
Amy: What do you do?
Curtis: Well, you go out there, and hand out your resume to the places that you would probably prefer to work at. Sometimes, you know, you can’t get too picky if you really need a job really bad, you apply everywhere.
Curtis: So you’ve got your stack of resumes with you, and then you go out there and you walk into businesses or places with that resume. You ask for the boss or the manager, that does the hiring, usually, that’s what I would do, that’s who I want to give my resume to.
Amy: Yeah, can I speak to the manager, please.
Curtis: Yeah, you want to make that…
Amy: That’s where you would…you’re using…
Curtis: First impression.
Amy: The most formal speech that you possibly can, but, yeah, can I speak with the manager, please is definitely, I mean, if you’re making a complaint at a restaurant, you would say the same thing, but if you’re applying for a job, it’s, oh, hi, I was wondering if the manager is around, I’d like to speak with them.
End of the English podcast transcription preview to get the full transcription join our courses from this page.
English Podcast Episode 33: Applying for Jobs
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