A fun, easy way to learn a language (speaking and listening)
People often struggle with learning to speak a foreign language
I've discovered a method that makes it fun and easy. It's also likely to be more efficient than any other method. Within a few months, with just 20 minutes a day, you'll be much more fluent than you were before.
The following describes how to improve your oral English. The principle, however, would apply to any language you'd like to learn. The examples given also focus on a Chinese person learning English, but it wouldn't matter which language was your native tongue.
Here's my suggestion for improving your oral English
This very simple, fun technique will improve your English speaking and listening ability quickly and easily. If you practice this technique for just fifteen-to-thirty minutes each day for three months, your fluency in English will dramatically improve.
For this technique you will need to have available to you either
native English-speaking TV, as in CNN news, and/or
native English-speaking radio and/or
native English-speaking cassette tape or CD and/or
native English-speaking streaming videos: this option is the best.
Choose your own videos...here are some I think are great
American Beauty (Kevin Spacey)
Air Force One (Harrison Ford)
As Good As It Gets (Jack Nickelson and Helen Hunt)
Dangerous Beauty (Catherine McCormack)
Ghost (Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg)
French Kiss (Meg Ryan)
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise)
Liar Liar (Jim Carrey)
Meet Joe Black (Brad Pitt)
My Best Friends Wedding (Julia Roberts)
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
Sabrina (Harrison Ford)
Scent of a Woman (Al Pacino)
Sense and Sensibilities (Hugh Grant)
Shrek (cartoon movie)
Six Days Seven Nights (Harrison Ford)
When Harry Met Sally (Meg Ryan)
The Truman Show (Jim Carrey)
Ally McBeal TV Series
Sex and the City TV Series
Friends TV Series
Desperate Housewives TV Series
Prison Break TV Series
24 Hours TV Series
Boston Legal TV Series
Grey’s Anatomy TV Series
Dr. House TV Series
These are just suggestions. There is a lot of newer stuff that you might like better.
Just fifteen-to-thirty minutes a day
Every day for fifteen-to-thirty minutes, listen to the English speaker. You may hear all the words, only some of the words, or just a few of the words, depending on your current level of listening ability. Whatever you hear is fine. Take it easy.
As you listen to the words/sounds, remember one or more words/sounds in your mind, as many as you can. Then speak, or mimic, those words/sounds out loud and clearly, as if speaking back to the TV, the computer screen, or your mobile phone. You could even think of it as repeating back to the English speaker whose words/sounds you just heard. Special note: if you're in a public place listening over your earphones, then speak back under your breath.
If you don't know the meaning of every word you are speaking, that's fine. Just imitate the sounds as best you can.
If you miss many of the words, that will happen and that's fine. Just speak the ones you hear.
So you will listen, then speak. Listen, then speak. Listen, then speak. Over and over for a minimum of fifteen minutes or more per day.
Of course, when you are speaking, you will not be able to hear what is currently being spoken to you. That’s fine. That's just an accepted part of the process. Once you have finished speaking, return to listening for the next group of words. You don’t need to pause the video. And then speak again. Listen. Speak. Listen. Speak. Listen…
The same movie or not?
Most movies are 90-to-120 minutes long. If you watched a given movie for twenty minutes a day, it would take you roughly a week to watch the full movie. You could change movies or TV shows after that. Or you could watch the same movie again and again. Your oral English will improve either way. But, if you watched the same movie repeatedly, you will begin to notice that you are hearing, understanding, and speaking back correctly more and more words each time that you do. Perhaps, after going through the same movie for four or more months, you will be able to hear and understand all the words spoken in that movie, as well as being able to repeat them back.
What about using subtitles?
English subtitles can be used if you need help to identify an English word that you can't hear distinctly. Then, if you don't know its meaning, you can check it in the dictionary.
No more than 30 minutes a day!
Don't overdo this. You want to ensure it stays fun and easy. Regularity and making if fun is more important than the length of time you do it each day. Also, your subconscious mind needs time to process and absorb what you've done.
As you do this each day, you will be training your subconscious mind, the important part of your mind needed for fluency in a language.
How I found out about this technique
A Japanese friend, who worked as a Japanese-English interpreter in Hiroshima, Japan, explained this technique to me. She said she was able to improve her English listening/speaking ability more in three months than in her previous ten years of English training that had cost her thousands of hours and much money. Enjoy this fun, easy, effective, and free way to improve your oral English.
Here's a link to hear the pronunciation of any English word:
Feedback from a Chinese friend who used this technique to improve her oral English
It's a bit dated. Nowadays, with video streaming, that media beats almost any other learning source.