Practising your speaking

Record yourself speaking for 2 or 3 minutes.

You can use a computer to record your voice or make a video if you have a webcam. Mobile phones, an iPod or MP3 can also be used for recording sound and video.

Step one

You are going to talk about the place where you live. Think about what you are going to say. You can make a few notes, but don’t write a complete script. For example you can talk about:

  • the location
  • how to get there
  • the surroundings (shops, buildings, countryside etc)
  • what you like and don’t like about it

Step two

Record yourself talking for 2 or 3 minutes.

Step three

Listen to the recording. You can record it again if you wish to improve it. Don’t worry if it isn’t perfect!

Step four

Create a file in your computer and save your recording.

Step Five

This is optional. Your English teacher or a friend with good English could watch/listen to your recording and give you some feedback.

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5 Responses to Practising your speaking

  1. diego says:

    I’ve never tried to record myself but I think that it’s an excellent idea! Sometimes it could be really embarrassing start a conversation in English with someone when you are not in fully confident with your pronunciation, you don’t know how the other person is gonna react. The fear of laughter or ridiculous is something really common understandable among the students so I think is a good first step losing the shame to ourselves and begin to get used to speak. And If you are too shy to make the step five, you can also used some web pages to see an example of the pronunciation of some words. So, great activity and thank you for the idea!

    • Hi Diego,
      Fear of ridicule when we speak other languages can a major problem for some people. It is common to feel stupid or childish because of an inability to express oneself. But practising a language means making mistakes and opening ourselves up to the possibility of ridicule. However, remember that there are more non-native speakers of English on this planet than native speakers. ‘Imperfect’ English is the norm, so many Brits, Americans, Australians and so on are accustomed to speaking to people who make mistakes. You may feel embarrassed by your pronunciation or poor grammar, but I’m sure a lot of people would not even notice!

    • orlando says:

      ridicule is sometimes embarrassing, but often helps people lose their afraid. Usually the people do not ask during classes because they are afraid of what others may think. In my opinion, you always have to ask, there are no stupid questions, just stupid people who do not ask. the same situation happen with the English, is more stupid who does not practice.

  2. Orlando Catalan says:

    I like singing, even though I’m not a really good singer. I have recorded myself singing before, and a few times in english. I think it is a really good way to practice accent and intonation, as long as you try to imitate the singer properly. My favorite singer to copy is Frank Sinatra (I also like Niki Minaj, but she speaks horribly). I would reccomend others who enjoy singing to record themselves while singing along to their favorite tunes. For me at least, it makes it feel a little less awkward (unless singing is really embarassing to you). If you have an english speaking friend, invite him/her to sing with you!

    • Hi Orlando,

      I quite agree that singing can do wonders for your pronunciation. I would be interested to know how music unlocks so much of our potential to learn; consider how easy it is to learn the lyrics of a song compared to a piece of music-less prose. We don’t seem to need to work to memorise long lengths of language, do we? Similarly, I think music is one key to a better accent.

      I think that the objectives of recording yourself speaking about the place where you live is quite different, however. Fluency is another difficult area of language to improve, but I think activities like this one can help.

      Thanks for your contribution, Orlando :o)

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