Speaking English can be tough at times. The rules don’t always make sense and you might feel overwhelmed trying to remember everything. You know that you need to practice speaking out loud, but might feel self-conscious about making mistakes in front of native speakers. Luckily, you already have a built-in speaking partner: yourself. There are a few ways to practice English by yourself that can help improve your fluency and confidence.
Talking to Yourself
1. Narrate what you do around the house.
Next time you’re home alone, narrate what you’re doing. Say what you’re doing as you tackle your chores or daily routine. Make it a stream of consciousness, without worrying about correct sentence structure and grammar. The point is to practice, so you feel more comfortable with English output.
- Stream of consciousness might sound something like this: “Now I’m taking out the trash. It looks cloudy, I hope it doesn’t rain. Where’s my key? Oh, there it is.”
2. Read out loud to yourself.
Read an English language book in the evening or with your morning coffee. Make sure it’s a book that you actually want to read, so it’s not a chore. As you read, say the words out loud. You’ll practice sounding like a native speaker while also absorbing new vocabulary.
3. Talk to yourself in front of a mirror.
Practice having a conversation in front of your mirror. The mirror helps create the illusion that you have a partner, without the stress of talking to a native speaker. It can also build up your confidence, so you feel ready when you do speak to others.
4. Practice sounding fluent, not having perfect grammar.
Talk to yourself so you can sound more natural. If you get too caught up in the nitty gritty grammar rules, you’ll second guess yourself and lose your confidence. After all, everyone makes grammatical mistakes—even native speakers.
- When you practice speaking, work on sounding more conversational and natural. You’ll pick up the rules over time.
5. Practice saying phrases instead of memorizing words.
Memorizing words from guidebooks doesn’t always translate to how people actually talk. For example, people tend to use contractions like “I’ll” or “can’t” instead of the more formal “I will” or “cannot.” Listen to the phrases that native speakers say in conversations, than practice repeating it yourself.