If you're here reading this, then you are probably learning to speak English. The problem most new English language learners suffer is not how to read English it’s how to speak it. So let’s cut right to the main question. How do you improve your spoken English?
At Adept English we see this all the time, learning to read and write in English is a pain, but it's just a matter of time and effort. Most people who learn English as a second language just start at the reading, spelling and grammar part of English and make good progress. This part of the language learning process is simple you just have to remember the patterns of letters and words and humans are amazing with visual patterns so it happens reasonably quickly.
Then you open your mouth and expect to speak an English word and its just plain hard. It’s so hard that most people learning to speak English struggle and spend a lot more time learning pronunciation and spoken English than they want to.
Why is English so hard to speak? It’s because most of the worlds spoken languages are sound based. The sound made is important to the meaning of what’s being said. In English sound is not that important is where you place stress in your pronunciation of a word.
Think before you speak. Read before you think.
⭐ Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader
This is a summary so I can’t explain it all here, just know that listening to native English speakers will improve your spoken English. Listening will program your brain to remember where English speakers place the stress in a word. Getting this stress correct in the context of a sentence will mean you are understood by most native English speakers.
stickler amas sticklers
Hi and welcome to this short podcast from Adept English.
I’ve had a particular interest in languages for many years. My first degree is in Latin – do you know ‘amo, amas, amat, amamus, amatis, amant’? Maybe you did Latin too, in school. So I understand grammar very well. Of course, English grammar is different in many respects to Latin grammar, but I think that studying Latin means that you understand the mechanics of language. I’m also what’s known as a ‘stickler’ for English grammar – someone who is a ‘stickler’, that’s S-T-I-C-K-L-E-R likes to be correct! I have friends who’ve gone even further than I have in their study of Latin and they’re even more sticklers for correct grammar than I am! But the problem with learning Latin is, that it’s a ‘dead language’. ‘A dead language’ means that no one speaks it any more and actually, we don’t really know how it was spoken. So Latin is taught as a kind of theoretical, an intellectual exercise, focusing on grammar.
It’s taught ‘as a dead language’ but it seems to me that many courses which teach modern languages – they do it as though those are ‘dead languages’ too! The method of teaching languages when you start to learn is very classroom-based. It’s based on written material, reading and writing and some speaking. It’s necessary to start learning a language like this – you have to learn the basics. You have to learn basic vocabulary and grammar. So teaching a living language as though you were teaching Latin, as though you were teaching a ‘dead language’, works well to start with. But once you gain a good vocabulary and you can read and write in the language, usually you want to be able to speak it fluently. The challenge is first of all in understanding that language being spoken by native-speakers. And the second challenge is in being able to speak it yourself, to have the words come to you quickly enough, to be fluent.
The problem is, that the traditional way of teaching languages, which is often quite theoretical, which focuses on correct grammar, well, it doesn’t really help you with fluency very much. So you might find you do well in the classroom, you pass your college exams. But when you visit the country and try to speak the language – aaaah! It’s too fast and it’s too difficult and you lose confidence. So when it comes to understanding and speaking – the traditional method of teaching doesn’t work that well. Consequently, like you, I‘ve struggled to become fluent in a foreign language.
But I discovered a method of learning language, which we call "Listen & Learn", and which has made an enormous difference to me. This method uses the way your brain naturally learns. You’re much more likely to become fluent in a language, if you use this method. I liked it so much that I decided to design the "Listen & Learn" system and found Adept English, so that others could benefit from this system too. So I hope you’re finding that listening to our podcasts makes a difference to your English fluency? I think that if you’re using our method, you may already have noticed an improvement? Certainly in your understanding.
A photograph of a man holding a baby you cannot tell the gender of the baby. Used to help explain English grammar she, he and they.
As well as being a language student, I have also worked as a psychotherapist for nearly twenty years. So understanding how our minds, how our brains work, is my normal day job. And so the psychology of how we learn is of great interest to me. Understanding how your brain learns language can really make a difference and it could help you too! We naturally acquire our own languages when we’re children. We learn to speak our own language perfectly. So our method of learning tries to make use of this process – we try to use the way that your brain already works.
And this is why I made our course, the most common 500 English words.
One of the problems in learning English is that there are over 225,000 words in use in English today. If you’ve listened to our Monday podcast this week, I was talking there about different names for roads, which we use in our postal addresses in English speaking countries. I covered quite a few words in that podcast, but there are still more words for road or street. I think that having a lot of words is what makes English an expressive language – words can be close in meaning, but they’re not quite the same. This is very difficult if you’re learning English. But don’t be sad! Don’t despair! There is something which you do, which can really help with this! We don’t use all these words all the time. And actually, most English conversations use a tiny number of words by comparison. So if you want to start speaking in English, joining in English conversation, you certainly don’t need 225,000 words. In fact, you don’t need that many words at all. Remember, if you’re learning any language, you’ll always be able to understand more words than you can speak. So supposing you were fluent in the 500 words most common words in English? I think you would have enough words to make yourself understood most of the time.
Just imagine being fluent in those 500 Most Common Words? Do you think that might make a difference? I’m sure it would. If you knew the 500 Most Common Words really well, then that might be a really big step forward in what you could say. 500 words? Well, that’s enough to make yourself understood in most situations in simple sentences.
So what about the 500 words course? Well….
It’s not expensive compared to many courses – go to our website and have a look at the price.
The course isn’t long or complicated. It doesn’t consist of many modules. The idea is that you listen to the modules a number of times, so that the 500 words become absolutely familiar, well known to you.
And the course comes with a FREE lifetime update guarantee – so if we change anything about the course, or we update it at all, you’ll automatically be given the new version.
We are also so confident that most people will like our course, that we give you a 30 day money-back guarantee. So if you don’t like the course, and you don’t get on with it and you tell us within 30 days, you can have your money back. We give this guarantee because we’re confident that most people will find our courses helpful and good value for money.
OK, so you’ve got two choices here. You could continue with your traditional language learning, with your traditional language courses where
- Lessons are expensive
- It’s slow to make progress with English speaking
- You’re possibly translating words and phrases in your head and you’ll not be fluent if you do this
- You focus on grammar and books
- You have to travel to a classroom
- You share your teacher, there’s little or no one-to-one time
- You have to schedule your valuable time around lessons
- You perhaps have to read dull and boring English textbooks
- You spend 80% of your time on reading and writing in English and only 20% of your time on learning to speak it
If you go with The Adept English learning method, it’s more like this….
- You start ‘thinking in English’ first, so speaking is much quicker
- The method of learning stops you translating
- Our courses cost less
- You can start immediately
- You can do our English learning on the bus, driving your car or in the bath.
- You don’t have to go to college – you don’t need to travel anywhere to do your learning
- You’ve got me one-to-one whenever you like!
- Our system helps you build on your basic knowledge of the English language, but you become fluent more quickly
- This approach to learning - it’s not hard work – and in fact, it’s enjoyable!
- This method uses the functioning of the brain, so it works with your brain, not against it! No trying to cram in long lists of vocabularly, which your1) brain just doesn’t want to learn because it would rather be doing something else!
- It works for everyone. You learn English like a child learning their first language
- Discover a new, fun way to learn how to speak English that is simple, fast and it works
- If you buy the 500 Most Common Word Course, when you pay, it will arrive immediately in your email inbox. You can download the course and start straight away
So if you’d like to know more, if you’d like to read up about the Most Common 500 Words Course, why not go to adeptenglish.com and have a look at our courses page. You can discover exactly what you’ll receive. There are links to example course content. And if you’re in the EU, the price is now the same for EU and non-EU citizens – we even pay your VAT! What more could you want? Anyway enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.