Proficiency in conversational English is the dream of every student. But how can reading help in this matter? We believe that an interesting text is an excellent help for practicing colloquial speech. To make the most of it, it is desirable to involve a friend or a teacher in this process, but if this is not possible, do it alone, it is not boring at all with a good book or an article.
How Can Reading Help Us?
- Try to predict the text
As you pick up a book or open an article, try to guess what it is about with the help of the annotation, introduction or title. If you have an interlocutor or a teacher by your side, speak out loud your assumptions, tell what they are based on.
- Read aloud
This is an excellent test of the spoken language. Try to pronounce each word correctly, with the correct accent. Watch out for the intonation – try to convey emotions of each hero with the help of articulation. You can use audio. Find an audiobook and read the text in parallel with the announcer, imitating all his or her intonations.
- Retell the text
Tell your friend or teacher what you learned from the article or the book, what it is about, what you think the author wanted to say. It is best to retell the text on behalf of one of the characters. You can add your new text, change the plot at your own pleasure. The main thing for you is to use new words and phrases.
- Express your point of view
After retelling, express your opinion about the text: whether it impressed you, whether the situation described above is close to you, whether something like this ever happened to you, whether you agree with the author's point of view or not, etc.
- Answer questions and do exercises
If you are learning English with a friend, read the text together, and then ask your friend to ask you questions on understanding the meaning of the passage. Do your best to give a full answer, try to use new words that you encountered in the text. If you do not have an interlocutor to speak to you, we advise you to purchase the adapted literature for your level. These books have many merits. One of the main advantages is the availability of questions and various exercises for each chapter of the book. Answer questions and perform tasks aloud to improve your spoken English.
- Write your questions to the text
Ask your interlocutor questions about what you read. If you are working alone, just write questions to the text. Try to come up with as many interesting questions as possible, and then you can answer them by yourself, retelling some fragments of the text.
- Arrange a discussion
If you are dealing with a teacher or a friend, arrange a debate. Choose 2 articles in which the authors give the opposite opinion, and discuss them. Formulate the arguments "for" and "against" each point of view.
If you are not afraid of the prospect of holding the discussion alone, this will also be a wonderful exercise. You will embody each of the disputing parties and will be able to consider the issue from different points of view since you will not have a single opportunity to limit yourself to just one opinion. If it is hard for you to introduce a companion, try talking to your reflection, a friend's photo or even a pet. Note that this has nothing to do with schizophrenia, it is one of the specific learning methods, the correct use of which sometimes gives more results than other approaches.
- Continue the narrative
Read a short story, an anecdote and try to continue the narration. Tell us what is likely to happen to the heroes of the story in the future, how events developed, etc. Thus, you will repeat at the same time the construction of conditional sentences of the second type.
If you are not satisfied with the end of the story, where someone died, left or lost something, create an alternative ending. So you will smooth out your own impression of the read and satisfy the need for a positive end. And although the author of the book does not know what you did with his/her work, it will be an excellent exercise for you anyway.
- Play a scene
For this exercise, you will need a partner who is also interested in learning how to improve his or her spoken English. Take some dialogue, read it aloud in roles, and then, continue the conversation with the interlocutor, imagine what the dialogue heroes could tell about further events, improvise and sharpen conversation skills.
In some exceptional cases, you can do it by yourself, as in the case of a discussion. Here, perhaps, the scene will be even more vivid, because you will not be shy.
- Study biographies
You probably have a favorite writer, actor or musician. Read his or her biography or some facts from his/her life in English, and then try to talk about the idol to your interlocutor or to yourself.
There is a well-known case when the pupil would constantly retell the biographies of famous musicians in the classroom, because no one else was ready, and eventually became the best rhetorician in the class. Subsequently, no one could compare with him in terms of eloquence.
Now you know how to improve spoken English for those who like to read. Use these simple tricks daily and you’ll notice the progress in your speaking soon.