Find your words in English!
How to express yourself better in English 🙊 [VIDEO]
Misha explains why speaking is so hard and what you can do in order to make progress in your speaking IMMEDIATELY!
If you can understand English more or less well but are having a hard time REPLYING or SPEAKING, then you should watch this video!
👇 Here's our step-by-step guide to improving your speaking skills in English!
🌎 Don't forget to choose the language of the subtitles by clicking on the video's settings.
0:00 - Intro
0:20 - How to improve your listening comprehension in English (Recap)
1:58 - Why is speaking English so HARD?
3:31 - How to better EXPRESS yourself in English — write more!
4:30 - Learn words in context so you can use them in context
6:14 - Learn entire sentences as opposed to single words
7:47 - Practice English anywhere, anytime, for FREE
10:39 - How to become fluent in English, step by step
14:54 - How to improve your pronunciation in English?
📝 Full transcript:
Hello, this is Misha from Click & Speak. And this is part two of our video series to help you better communicate in English. That means understand spoken English better, but also express yourself better with a better accent. In this video, I'll show you what you can do in order to better speak English. In the last video, we talked about why understanding spoken English is so hard, what the problems are, and what you can do in order to solve them. We saw that the lack of practice is the main problem and in order to fix that, you need to surround yourself with audio in English. You need to expose yourself to the English language as much as possible.
Problem number two. There's a big contrast between the spoken and the written language. We're used to reading English, but the spelling in English does not represent the way words are pronounced in reality. So in order to fix that, you need to learn with phonetic transcriptions and audio recordings.
Problem number three. The lack of vocabulary. It's hard to understand or to guess the meaning of words that you don't know. In order to understand as much as possible as quickly as possible, you should learn the most important words first. You can do that by using a frequency list or a course or a method that is based on frequency list. In order to be sure to always recognize a word and to always be able to use it in context, you should learn that word in all of its forms.
The final issue and one of the most serious ones is being bored with the resources that you're using. And the biggest advantage we have as independent learners, as adult learners is that we're free to choose the materials ourselves. So tailor your English studies according to your hobbies, to your interests.
Now that you know how to improve your listening comprehension, it's time to focus on speaking. Because communicating consist in two parts, listening and replying, speaking to the other person. And I believe that speaking English is really hard because actually you're doing two things at the same time. Number one, finding your words, choosing the correct words and building sentences which are grammatically correct and comprehensible. And number two, pronouncing them correctly so the other person understands us. You need to think about two things at the same time and that's mentally draining. The problem is that usually we need to do both at the same time and it's hard to separate them if you're practicing your expression in English, speaking, finding your words, building sentences, you also need to pronounce them correctly. And if you're practicing your pronunciation, you also need words in order to practice your accent and your pronunciation in context. So the two go hand in hand and it's hard to separate them. So in this video, I'd like to focus on one thing at a time.
And in this video, I'll show you what you can do in order to better express yourself in English in order to better express your ideas in English without worrying about pronunciation for now. How do you better express yourself in English? The first thing you can do is to write. The problem is not always speaking English per se, but rather finding your words, expressing your ideas, building your sentences. And if you think about it, writing and speaking are not that different. You have the same goal of conveying a message and you also have a conversation partner, even though you're not talking to them one-on-one. The difference is that when you speak, you also need to think about the pronunciation, the accent, et cetera. Whereas while you write, you can only focus on your expression. So if you write a lot, you can get used to finding your words quickly and you can learn to think in English, and then you can add pronunciation to that and start speaking with the correct pronunciation.
Number two is to always learn new words in context so you can better understand them as we saw in the previous video, but also so you can be able to use them once you need them. So each time you learn a new word, find an example sentence to go with it. Don't learn isolated words, learn them in context. Three great resources you can use in order to learn words in context are number one is which Wiktionary which is a free online dictionary where you can find the definition of a word with an audio recording with a phonetic transcription so you can learn to pronounce it well too. And you have a bunch of examples sentences as well.
Number two is another online dictionary, which is called Your Dictionary. You can look up a word and you'll get a bunch of example sentences. Number three is a website called YouGlish which lets you look up a word and you'll get a bunch of examples sentences from YouTube videos. And this is amazing because you can see in here how a word is used in context by native speakers.
The truth is that if you want to learn a word well, you need to spend time with it. It's not enough to learn the word in English and its translation in your native language. No. You to spend time with it. You need to see a few examples. You need to listen to a few examples. You need to learn the word in context, learn an example sentence so you can really be able to use it yourself. This leads me to my next step, which is to learn entire sentences as opposed to isolated words. When we speak, we rarely use isolated words. It's very rare that I would reply with a single word. So why would you learn words individually if you rarely use them individually? Makes sense. So why not learn entire sentences instead. You can learn the example sentences you've used to remember the word or you can also learn proverbs and idioms, which are entire sentences which have a specific meaning and they're ready to use.
You don't need to think about the words and you don't need to think about the grammar. They're ready to use in a conversation. For example, if you want to say never, you can just say "When pigs fly". You don't need to think about the grammar or the words. If you agree completely with someone, you can say, "Oh, you can say that again". You can say that again. It means I agree with you completely. A popular proverb in English that is often used is better late than never. That means that it's better to do something late than not do it at all. The advantage of learning entire sentences is that they're ready to use and you no longer need to think about the word order or the grammar.
My next big tip is to start thinking in English. Now this is an amazing exercise you can do and it has many advantages. First and foremost, you can do it anywhere and any time and as much as you want. And it's free too. This is the perfect way to review vocabulary and grammar. A lot of our students say that they cannot practice their English or they don't have anyone to practice with. But the reality is that half of the time or even more, you don't even need anyone else to practice with. You can just think in English. You can imagine conversations. You can describe what you're seeing around yourself for example. This is a tall tree with green leaves on the side of the street. I see a lot of people walking. I see tall people, short people, people with long hair, people with short hair.
This is a valuable practice because it's through repetition that we remember things. And through repetition, through practice, our passive knowledge, the words we know but can't use, turn into active knowledge. Turn into words that we can use. The next big advantage is that thinking in English lets you identify gaps in your knowledge. So if you think about something then chances are that you will speak about it. You will talk about it with someone else at some point, and thinking about it on your own first gives you an advantage because you can identify words that you don't yet know in order to express yourself in that situation. So let's say that I'm thinking about what I need to buy from the store. I need to buy milk. I need to buy bread and I need to buy, oh, I actually don't know how to say that word in English.
Let's say you need to buy cucumbers, the vegetable. And once you think about it, you realize that you don't know the word in English. What do you do? You look it up on your smartphone and you learn it in context. And next time when you need that word in order to describe what you do in an ordinary day, then you will have learned it. As I said, you can think as much as you want. You can do it anywhere at any time for free, which is hundreds of hours of extra practice. And the more you practice, the more confident you'll feel because you'll have more experience. So give it a thought. As we say in English, little streams make big rivers. A lot of our students come with us with the goal, "I want to be fluent in English." That's a great goal to have. It's ambitious.
The problem is that it's not specific because what does it mean to be fluent in a language? Not clear. Everyone has a different opinion on that. And if you have a goal that's not specific, then you will not know how to reach that goal. A much better approach is to focus on specific topics. So, "I want to be able to talk about my hobby fluently in English." That's a much better goal because you know what your hobby is. Let's say scuba diving and you know what words you need, what expressions you need in order to express yourself in that situation. Another example of a better goal is, "I want to be able to order my favorite drink at a restaurant without hesitating in English." Again, it's specific and that helps you know what you need to do in order to achieve that. So in order to gain fluency in English, in order to be fluent in English, you need to do this exercise of choosing a specific topic and learning how to express yourself fluently on that specific topic 100 or 1,000 times.
At the beginning, I would advise you to choose your battles. Choose the topics that are most important to you, that are the most relevant to you that you will talk about the most. Similarly to the frequency list, there is no use learning words that you will not use and there is no use learning to express yourself on topics that you don't talk about in your native language. Why would you learn to talk about them in English or at least, why would you do that at the beginning? So choose the topics that you talk about the most. It can be your job, your hobby, your family, your favorite TV show, your favorite books, anything as long as it's personalized and it's something that you talk about a lot. What you can do is then practice expressing yourself on that topic. You can write, as we saw. You can think about it. You can imagine the conversation. I cannot stress the value of imagining conversations enough because this once again, lets you practice the conversation, identify gaps in your knowledge, spend more time with that topic and gain confidence, gain fluency on that topic.
So how do you do this exercise of imagining the conversation? Here's a few questions you need to ask yourself. What would you like to say on that topic? Say you want to talk about scuba diving. What would you like to say? Maybe how long you've been practicing that sport. Maybe why you like it because it's good exercise and because you can see a lot of beautiful wildlife. What would you like to ask the other person? Maybe, have you ever tried scuba diving? Or, have you heard about scuba diving? Would you like to try it at some point? What might they ask you? They might ask you what kind of gear you need in order to do scuba diving. And that's a lot of specific vocabulary that you need to learn only if it's a topic that's important to you.
If you want to talk about scuba diving in English, then you need to learn the words for the specific equipment so you can explain to the other person what they need. Once you imagine the conversation, look up all the unknown words, all the unknown expressions, practice expressing yourself through writing, through thinking. You can practice on your own, with a teacher, or with a conversation partner as well. In this video, we saw how you can express yourself better in English. What you can do in order to better express yourself in English. But we saw that that's only one part of speaking in English. The other part is pronunciation. And in the next video, we'll see what you can do in order to improve your pronunciation in English and to speak English with more confidence. Thank you for watching.