AE 302 – Q&A: How can I practice English alone?

In this short episode of question and answer episode of Aussie English I answer Abdul’s question, “How can I practice English alone?”.

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AE 302 – Q&A: How Can I Practice Speaking English Alone?

“How can I practice speaking by myself?” asks Abdul.

Abdul, I’d recommend chatting to yourself.

So, for instance, if I started learning some vocabulary right now, say I was wanting to learn the pronunciation of beer, bird, and beard.

I would start saying them aloud.

There’s no one here. I would just be like beer, beer, beer, beer, bird, bird, bird, bird.

And then, so you get used to saying it, beer, bird, beer, bird, and switching between them.

So, you practice the different pronunciation side by side.

Beer, bird, bear, beer, bird, bear. Practice that.

And then, use them in sentences. I drink a beer. I see a bird. I have a beard.

I want to eat a bird. I like birds. Birds are nice. Is…there’s a bird in my beard.

You know? You just keep using it. Keep practicing. And that applies to anything.

If you’re learning pronunciation, if you’re learning grammar, say you want to learn how to use the word “go”, and you want to conjugate in the present tense.

I go home, you go home, he goes home, she goes home, we go home, they go home, it goes home.

I would sit there and be practicing it like that.

I might go home later. I might go to the beach. He might go home later. He might go to the beach.

So, I would play around with it like that where I try and use it as much as possible.

If I’ve got no one to talk to, your mouth and your brain don’t really know, at least with respect to learning and practicing the language, if someone else is there.

They don’t know. Your mouth doesn’t know.

So, if you’re using it on your own you can practice these things and trick your mouth, and part of your brain, at least, into thinking there’s someone else there, because you’re still using the language.

So, I think that’s a way that you guys can really hack language learning.

You can do this on your own as much or as little as you like.

But, you can practice all the things you find difficult that you’re not comfortable saying in front of other people.

So, for instance, if you’re not sure how to use words like “awful” and “awfully”, or “awful” and “awesome”, look up the definitions, find some example sentences, start saying them allowed to practice your pronunciation, look up the pronunciation of those words on dictionaries.

A lot of dictionaries now have the pronunciation where you can click a button to hear it.

Forvo is one. Forvo.com. You can search anywhere and you can find how to pronounce it.

Forvo. That’s my suggestion. I would also then conjugate through the sentences.

So, if you have a sentence that’s like, “I might go to the beach”. I might go to the beach. I’d say it well enunciated first. I might go to the beach.

So, I pronounce all the words well.

And then, I might say, “I might go to the beach”, like, I’ll link the words. I might go to the beach.

I might go to the beach. I might go to the beach. That takes practice.

But you’ll get the feeling in your mouth of what’s easy, how it flows. I do this in Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

One thing to mention here is you might get things wrong. You might get habits that aren’t perfect.

But, you’re going to be able to speak fluidly and more confidently, and say what you’re trying to say with people when you go and see them.

So that’s… it’s a long-winded answer, but that’s how I would practice speaking on my own and build confidence.

It’s like doing push ups to get stronger, right. You know, sometimes… I might be a weightlifter.

When I compete that’s when it matters.

But when I’m not competing I still need to practice on my own like crazy to build up that muscle memory and the muscle strength.

It’s the same for your mouth. It’s the same for your brain.

Do it as much as you can on your own. Practice as much as you can.

And then, when you do it in person with someone else it’s just going to flow out.

And then look for the mistakes.

If there are errors, if there are mispronunciations, write them down, go home.

Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat. So. I hope that helps, mate.

Hey guys. Thanks for watching the video.

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