Tuesday, 3 May 2011


Are you wondering how to do a good test? Here's some advice:


  • Do not get too hung up on trying to sound like a native speaker. Would you start learning the piano in an attempt to sound like Mozart? Just try to speak clearly and correctly.Avoid basic mistakes and use some "nice structures" and specific vocbulary. Short sentences are just as good (if not better) than long rambling explanations. Remember that you have to stop and breathe!
  • Get over any fear you might have of making mistakes. You will make mistakes, so be patient with yourself. Learning any language can be frustrating, but frustration won't help you, so let it go.
  • Grasp every opportunity you have to speak with people in English. Read short stories out loud and try to see, say and hear the words to reinforce your memory. Record yourself and play it back later, how does it sound?  
  • Don't worry about your accent too much. That said, people need to be able to understand you, so pronunciation and enunciation are important. Don't worry about sounding like a native, it is more important to speak clearly and pleasantly than it is to sound like the Queen of England - Even the Queen of England doesn't sound like she used to!
  • Record yourself, keep the tape and record yourself later, have you improved? Don't be shy - ask a friend to listen to the tape too. 
  • If you make a constant mistake in pronunciation, you should record the right pronunciation of that word and listen over and over again so that you will be familiar with it, or write down the pronunciation. Remember you can always check the pronunciation in an online dicitonary like
  • Try singing along to English songs. Lots of the major games consoles have karaoke games nowadays, like Sing Star on the Playstation. You can find some karaoke resources and ideas on the learn English through songs page.

3) SPEAK! Find English speaking friends:-
  • You might not be able to find any friendly native speakers where you live, but you can find English speaking people on the Internet! 
  • There are several internet based voice chat programmes out there: iVisit | Pal Talk | MSN Web Messenger | Yahoo! Messenger | Google Talk | Skype, etc.
  • Look for people with the same interests as you. It's no good asking everyone you meet to help you with your English, rather develop natural friendships based on your hobbies etc. Eventually you will make friends and they will be much more likely to give you correction / guidance.
  • Join an English club or conversation group. If you can't find one, talk to friends who are also learning English. Go out together for coffee and only speak English to each other!
  • If you can travel to an English speaking country, do it.
You will also find excellent advice in Dulce's advanced blog here.

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