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  1. #1
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    How can I improve my English speaking skills? Tips please

    Hello guys, I am a mbbs graduate from India. I graduated from medical school two years back and have been working in a govt hospital since then.My English speaking skills are poor and I would like your tips to improve it, since this forum consists of many people with good command over English.Should I join any English speaking classes? Recently I had to talk with a person from another state and really embarrassed myself. thanks in advance

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    By reading your message, I don't get the impression that your English is weak . The inferiority complex and desire of Desis to improve their English Language Skills would not stop at anything short of speaking it like a " White Man ".

    Why not talk with the person belonging to other state in Hindi instead ? Are you dealing with some Tamils?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    Hello guys, I am a mbbs graduate from India. I graduated from medical school two years back and have been working in a govt hospital since then.My English speaking skills are poor and I would like your tips to improve it, since this forum consists of many people with good command over English.Should I join any English speaking classes? Recently I had to talk with a person from another state and really embarrassed myself. thanks in advance
    Yes you should. Plenty of classes available online (one of my family member taught it)

  4. #4
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    Bro , he was my patient and he didn't knw Malayalam ( my mother tongue). He is working as a software engineer in Kerala. So can I speak to him in my own language?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    Bro , he was my patient and he didn't knw Malayalam ( my mother tongue). He is working as a software engineer in Kerala. So can I speak to him in my own language?
    Do you think it will be helpful? Or should I try to practise speaking English with someone?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    Do you think it will be helpful? Or should I try to practise speaking English with someone?
    Your English doesn't seem poor as you say, grammar is also fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by javiersuka View Post
    By reading your message, I don't get the impression that your English is weak . The inferiority complex and desire of Desis to improve their English Language Skills would not stop at anything short of speaking it like a " White Man ".

    Why not talk with the person belonging to other state in Hindi instead ? Are you dealing with some Tamils?
    A lot of people are good at writing but struggle with speaking. It is nothing unusual. Secondly, it doesn't have anything to do with 'inferiority complex'. In today's world, a professional is handicapped if he is not able to converse fluently in English. No need to patronize a person because he wants to get better at something.

    All in all, a waste of a post.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    A lot of people are good at writing but struggle with speaking. It is nothing unusual. Secondly, it doesn't have anything to do with 'inferiority complex'. In today's world, a professional is handicapped if he is not able to converse fluently in English. No need to patronize a person because he wants to get better at something.

    All in all, a waste of a post.
    Tbh my first post was written after too much thinking about words etc lol

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    Hello guys, I am a mbbs graduate from India. I graduated from medical school two years back and have been working in a govt hospital since then.My English speaking skills are poor and I would like your tips to improve it, since this forum consists of many people with good command over English.Should I join any English speaking classes? Recently I had to talk with a person from another state and really embarrassed myself. thanks in advance
    Each case is different so it is difficult to help without evaluating your ability to converse in English individually, but generally speaking, a lot of people don't speak well because they are to slow (in terms of volume) and/or are too fast (in terms of speed). This happens because of the lack of confidence - people are not loud enough because they arent comfortable with their accent and they speak too fast because they are nervous and think that they are not structuring their sentences properly.

    Considering the fact that your writing skills are pretty decent, it is safe to assume that you have a similar problem. Try to speak English with the same pace and volume as your native language, and you will get better quickly.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    Each case is different so it is difficult to help without evaluating your ability to converse in English individually, but generally speaking, a lot of people don't speak well because they are to slow (in terms of volume) and/or are too fast (in terms of speed). This happens because of the lack of confidence - people are not loud enough because they arent comfortable with their accent and they speak too fast because they are nervous and think that they are not structuring their sentences properly.

    Considering the fact that your writing skills are pretty decent, it is safe to assume that you have a similar problem. Try to speak English with the same pace and volume as your native language, and you will get better quickly.
    Very much appreciated.You made some good suggestions

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamoon View Post
    A lot of people are good at writing but struggle with speaking. It is nothing unusual. Secondly, it doesn't have anything to do with 'inferiority complex'. In today's world, a professional is handicapped if he is not able to converse fluently in English. No need to patronize a person because he wants to get better at something.

    All in all, a waste of a post.
    This, this and This !!!!!!!!!!!! I sincerely urge people put off their biases and look at the message this post is conveying.......

  12. #12
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    Subcontinent would be the only place in the world where professionals as intelligent as the Doctors of a country would be upset over not being able to speak so called perfect English.

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    Start thinking in English or force your mind to think in English when you are alone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by czar View Post
    Subcontinent would be the only place in the world where professionals as intelligent as the Doctors of a country would be upset over not being able to speak so called perfect English.
    Another poor post, and being a doctor has little to do with intelligence. MBBS is a test of your memory, not intelligence. However, Subcontinent is clearly the most judgmental place in the world, where a person gets bullied because he wants to improve at something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    Very much appreciated.You made some good suggestions
    No problem. Being audible is the key - as long as the listener is not struggling with understanding you and doesn't have to ask you to repeat yourself after every 2-3 sentences, you don't have to worry about anything else. Not everyone will judge you because of your accent and because you don't have have very good grammar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by czar View Post
    Subcontinent would be the only place in the world where professionals as intelligent as the Doctors of a country would be upset over not being able to speak so called perfect English.
    I am not looking to speak prefect English.I just want to speak English confidently without thinking too much about what to say next.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    I am not looking to speak prefect English.I just want to speak English confidently without thinking too much about what to say next.
    Sir that will only come by speaking more and more in a language. Watch American TV shows and read plenty of books to build up your vocabulary and then converse in the language with whoever you feel the most confident with.


    Demons run when a good man goes to war

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    Try to think in English while reading English books or watching English movies etc. While talking in a 2nd language if the words you need come to you in the 1st language which you translate in your head it leads to the hesitation in your speech. For some people this comes naturally others have to train their brains to do it.

  19. #19
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    Even for someone born in England my grasp for the English language has never been the best coming from a ghetto but reading fiction improved my writing and speaking skills immensely, just can't emphasise it enough. And as it has been mentioned already, movies/TV-shows will help you as well brother.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Even for someone born in England my grasp for the English language has never been the best coming from a ghetto but reading fiction improved my writing and speaking skills immensely, just can't emphasise it enough. And as it has been mentioned already, movies/TV-shows will help you as well brother.
    Thanks mate really appreciated. I can see that your English is too good

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    Try not to speak too quickly. I don't know how true this is for you but from my experience the people who struggle to speak English are usually the ones who try to speak as quickly as possible. Practicing in front of the mirror helps a lot too.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by shaz619 View Post
    Even for someone born in England my grasp for the English language has never been the best coming from a ghetto but reading fiction improved my writing and speaking skills immensely, just can't emphasise it enough. And as it has been mentioned already, movies/TV-shows will help you as well brother.
    By far the best advice in this thread!

    I would also suggest reading as much as possible, make it a hobby if possible. And watching English movies and TV shows will also help you expand your vocabulary and improve your communication skills.

  23. #23
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    Make non Indian friends.

    Since my gf isn't Indian, we talk in English. And it helped me a great.

  24. #24
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    Thanks guys

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    Watch American tv shows and just converse in english more with random folks in low consequence environments. lets say in cafes or restaurants or on calls with helplines prefer to speak in english. In these instances if you mess it up big time or speak poorly there is no major negative consequence but the confidence an practise you get is immense


    #MPGA

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    Quote Originally Posted by javiersuka View Post
    By reading your message, I don't get the impression that your English is weak . The inferiority complex and desire of Desis to improve their English Language Skills would not stop at anything short of speaking it like a " White Man ".

    Why not talk with the person belonging to other state in Hindi instead ? Are you dealing with some Tamils?
    Everything does not have to be about an inferiority complex. There is no shame in accepting the fact that English is the universal language. If it would not have been English, it would have been something else. Maybe German or Japanese. You should in fact consider yourself lucky to have been born in a former British Colony because this gives mostly everyone a basic understanding of the language. The main reason why Desi's are so successful in the West.

    Also, I hope you're aware that India is a HUGE country and not everyone speaks Hindi.

  27. #27
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    Most of the times when you write better than you speak, it is probably because you are speaking too fast. Learn to be comfortable with pauses. A lot of Indians I know speak in a single breath, and listening to that is just painful.

  28. #28
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    I think if you just speak English whether right or wrong will help you. Just speak more. Like a kid doesn't know how to speak words but when he keeps on speaking, from words to sentences and then sentences to paragraphs he gets fluent

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    @kukkad kamaal

    I believe that it's a non-issue and I present two arguments to back my belief:

    1- 93% of communication is non-verbal type.
    2- No one got time to listen to others.

    instead of spending on language courses, i would suggest that you buy good suits.


    Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

  30. #30
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    Its great that you want to improve. Coming from an English medium school, I personally didnt encounter too much of this problem but i think it also has to do with how often you speak in the language. I also think the learning process is never over. We keep picking up new words and phrases and new styles of speaking so basically we are all constantly learning.

    I have two tips for you :

    1) when ever you type something, be it here on PP or while chatting with someone online or even when writing something on paper, recite what you are writing as you write it. I know it might look awkward if u do it in front of someone but you can do it when you are alone. Make it a habit.

    2) Listen to english cricket commentary and concentrate on what they are saying, how they are saying, what phrases they are using etc. I myself have picked up a lot of interesting words and phrases from cricket commentary and use them in daily parlance.

    Dont try to learn everything in one day. Just take it easy. All the best.

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    Don't worry my friend. Njanum oru malayali doctor aanu ninte same prashnangalokke ulla oraal but i know hindi..ellam sariyayikolum...

    I had a vietnamese patient who was having vomiting and diarrhoe for 1 day. His bystander didn't know any history about his illness..it was full of sign language lol...

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaayal View Post
    Don't worry my friend. Njanum oru malayali doctor aanu ninte same prashnangalokke ulla oraal but i know hindi..ellam sariyayikolum...

    I had a vietnamese patient who was having vomiting and diarrhoe for 1 day. His bystander didn't know any history about his illness..it was full of sign language lol...
    Haha evide poyalum malayalees kaanum ennu parayanunnathu chummathalla

  33. #33
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    Why do you feel embarrassed? Did you have to repeat yourself or you couldn't use the right words during the communication? It's best to take classes but if you can't do that you should get some English books. If your Wife, Daughter or Son speak English, read the books out loud to them. They will correct you if you mispronounce words. Otherwise just download some app to improve your speaking skills. You can also try speaking with Siri.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saeed View Post
    Why do you feel embarrassed? Did you have to repeat yourself or you couldn't use the right words during the communication? It's best to take classes but if you can't do that you should get some English books. If your Wife, Daughter or Son speak English, read the books out loud to them. They will correct you if you mispronounce words. Otherwise just download some app to improve your speaking skills. You can also try speaking with Siri.
    I am having difficulty using the right words.Also I am using lots of words like "mm ", so etc while trying to speak English

  35. #35
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    join toastmaster in your area if you want to become a good speaker
    https://www.toastmasters.org/


    Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.

  36. #36
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    Recently I was asked to give a small awareness talk about communicable diseases in a nearby English medium school. I have seen children from this school and they all speak English better than me lol. So at the day of speech I faked illness and ran away
    Last edited by kukkad kamaal; 15th March 2017 at 18:18. Reason: Spelling mistake

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Zero View Post
    join toastmaster in your area if you want to become a good speaker
    https://www.toastmasters.org/
    What is this? I have this in my school, I always thought it was just a bunch of organized dudes doing speeches but it looks like something much bigger than that.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by kukkad kamaal View Post
    I am having difficulty using the right words.Also I am using lots of words like "mm ", so etc while trying to speak English
    You should keep the conversation simple and don't use too many fancy words. As your confidence in your speaking skills builds up you can use more words. Even native speakers of English say mm or ah during the conversation. It's probably because as you said "having difficulty using the right words", so you probably use "mm" to keep conversation going. You should read everything in English out loud and speak English with other people.

  39. #39
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    Read the newspaper in English, listen to English songs, watch English movies/tv shows, read books and converse in English with the people you are comfortable with, like your family.


    Pakistan is that kid who never studies for his exams but is surprised when he fails.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moiza View Post
    What is this? I have this in my school, I always thought it was just a bunch of organized dudes doing speeches but it looks like something much bigger than that.
    It a globally structured organization with only focus to improve public speaking skills in friendly environment. Basically it requires few willing persons to start a club that would be part of bigger global organization.

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    Although my English isnt that good too but from my experience the more you speak the better it gets.

    Speak speak speak.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

  42. #42
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    The best part is that you came here for advice. As long as you want to improve, and you try to improve, you will improve.

    My recommendation is similar to others, speak English with other people and watch English TV shows/movies (with subtitles if you want).

    Books can help too, but I'm pretty sure you already read those.

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    Im no expert but i think a better way of doing is by reading more novels and joining talking groups.

    You could read novels which have easy vocabulary and very easy for you to imagine the whole story. Like a novel based in Afghanistan. This way you will improve your grammar.

    Second, i think you could join some english speaking groups. I'm not sure if they exists in India, but look up these things, because by speaking more you will actually improve.

    Reading helps you learn the grammar, speaking helps you gain confidence and know the way to make out a sentence.

    And by joining these social groups for english, enjoy them, dont take them as they are a pain in the bum. Enjoy them


    "Life is Pain"
    ~House~

  44. #44
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    Read, a lot. I can't stress on this enough, reading books will really help you expand your vocabulary and get the hang of a word so you won't have to use fillers as often, while you're searching for the right word. Movies, TV and music will help you with the pronunciation bit and maybe familiarizing you with the language, but the reading part is vital.


    Just because my team doesn't win doesn't mean they aren't the best in the world.

  45. #45
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    dunno why most folks are asking him to read

    dont think he wants to be some literary superstar

    his written english is definitely okay and he probably wants simlar level of accomplishment as far as speaking is concerned so reading wont help a lot there, actually speaking it will


    #MPGA

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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    dunno why most folks are asking him to read

    dont think he wants to be some literary superstar

    his written english is definitely okay and he probably wants simlar level of accomplishment as far as speaking is concerned so reading wont help a lot there, actually speaking it will
    A large vocabulary is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to speak fluently, and reading is easily the best way to expand your vocabulary and just familiarize yourself with the language.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red Devil View Post
    A large vocabulary is absolutely essential for anyone who wants to speak fluently, and reading is easily the best way to expand your vocabulary and just familiarize yourself with the language.
    I disagree. For daily use, you don't need that much of a big vocabulary. Even if you don't know the words, you can explain with simple words.

    In my opinion, what desis do wrong is, we think in local language and then translate it to English. And that's why, the speaking gets awkward.

    You shouldn't only try to speak but try to think in English also.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Itachi View Post
    I disagree. For daily use, you don't need that much of a big vocabulary. Even if you don't know the words, you can explain with simple words.

    In my opinion, what desis do wrong is, we think in local language and then translate it to English. And that's why, the speaking gets awkward.

    You shouldn't only try to speak but try to think in English also.
    The point is, the bigger your vocabulary, the more fluency you have to express yourself. Speaking only gets awkward when you can't come up with a word to express yourself.

    Once you learn a new word and get familiar with it, you wouldn't have any trouble using it when required.

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    I think your vocabulary will get better too once you speak a lot. If you are not sure in using the appropriate word(s) you will think about it after the conversation.


    Sarfi as captain'll lead us to glory.Babar'll be our best odi bat & Haris'll be world class in tests

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    I think it does depend on your profession too. Here the the UK i have met many doctors who's English is not the best but where I work - Civil Service - it does help as you need to do presentations, lead meetings etc.

    I think more then anything you will improve with time, or if you need coaching maybe approach this hilarious teacher.




    Last edited by Muhammad10; 16th March 2017 at 16:50.


    Afridi - "we are playing 6 genuine batsmen and 2 all rounders, what else can we do about batting?"

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    Quote Originally Posted by supersix View Post
    I think it does depend on your profession too. Here the the UK i have met many doctors who's English is not the best but where I work - Civil Service - it does help as you need to do presentations, lead meetings etc.

    I think more then anything you will improve with time, or if you need coaching maybe approach this hilarious teacher.




    Should I do practice tests of exams like TOEFL or ielts to know where I stand?
    Last edited by Muhammad10; 16th March 2017 at 16:51.

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    If you can afford to, I don't see the harm in enrolling on English courses, maybe English drama also?


    Afridi - "we are playing 6 genuine batsmen and 2 all rounders, what else can we do about batting?"

  53. #53
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    If you want to improve your English then do the following:

    1. Start talking in English with someone close to you.. It doesn't matter how much you read or listen till the time you practise speaking in English you won't get better.. So first step is start speaking in English with someone close to you..

    2. Watch some TV shows with sub titles initially and try and repeat the lines they say in your own accent..

    3. Don't think in your mother tongue in your mind and then try and convert it to English.. Try and think in English in your mind before speaking something..

    4. Practise free speech a lot, initially stand in front of mirror and try delivering free speeches.. After a while ask your friends/family to give you random topics and give 5/10 minute speeches to them.. The more you get experienced in free speeches the more confident you get..

    5. Maintain a normal Rate of speech.. Indians generally tend to speak a lot faster compared to Brits. Try and speak at a lower rate of speech than you speak in your native tongue.

    6. Do not be embarrassed about your English, understand one thing English is NOT your first language.. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you can't speak proper English.. So speak confidently and don't let it hit you if someone criticises your English.. Take it positively and try to correct it..

  54. #54
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    Well, I personally feel that vocabulary is akin to treasure of language. It helps immensely while speaking. If you find yourself wanting for an apt word in some situation it's number of synonymous words you know would dictate your fluency.

    @Zak_Fan interesting observation, does this people who speak fast speak fluently as well?

    I, personally have noticed many Indians having emotional prosody. Their timbre spikes and pauses take awkward turn if they get excited. As a teenager, use to watch wipeout a lot and became a fan of john Henson often trying to emulate him. I speak fast albeit with fluency but seen many other trying to do the same and it seems rather awkward with umm and filler words. I think speaking English fast is often confused with speaking supposedly better English in India.


    “I came here in peace, seeking gold and slaves.” – Jack Handey

  55. #55
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    Reading/writing and speaking in a foreign language are very different. Whilst reading/writing skills can be learned/taught without ever coming into contact with native speakers of that language, learning to speak that language with a degree of fluency can only be achieved by using/speaking that language with other's who are also reasonably fluent.

    When reading/writing in a foreign language there is an opportunity to take your time, to think about the grammar and syntax, as well as the possibility of reviewing and correcting any mistakes. Not only do you not have the luxury of correcting your mistakes in a similar fashion after the words have left your mouth, but accent plays a crucial part in the way you speak, how you are understood, as well as your confidence levels.

    So the only way to improve your spoken english is to go out and speak it on a regular basis!

    (just listen to Pakistani cricketers trying to speak english, even those who should be/are reasonably well educated)


    “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule”

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by big_gamer007 View Post
    If you want to improve your English then do the following:

    1. Start talking in English with someone close to you.. It doesn't matter how much you read or listen till the time you practise speaking in English you won't get better.. So first step is start speaking in English with someone close to you..

    2. Watch some TV shows with sub titles initially and try and repeat the lines they say in your own accent..

    3. Don't think in your mother tongue in your mind and then try and convert it to English.. Try and think in English in your mind before speaking something..

    4. Practise free speech a lot, initially stand in front of mirror and try delivering free speeches.. After a while ask your friends/family to give you random topics and give 5/10 minute speeches to them.. The more you get experienced in free speeches the more confident you get..

    5. Maintain a normal Rate of speech.. Indians generally tend to speak a lot faster compared to Brits. Try and speak at a lower rate of speech than you speak in your native tongue.

    6. Do not be embarrassed about your English, understand one thing English is NOT your first language.. There is nothing to be ashamed of if you can't speak proper English.. So speak confidently and don't let it hit you if someone criticises your English.. Take it positively and try to correct it..
    Just to add to point 2.

    Record yourself when repeating the lines from the tv shows. And then listen to the recording to see how it compares to what you heard on the tv.


    “In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule”

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    dunno why most folks are asking him to read

    dont think he wants to be some literary superstar

    his written english is definitely okay and he probably wants simlar level of accomplishment as far as speaking is concerned so reading wont help a lot there, actually speaking it will
    Because he has trouble finding words he needs to use. Listening to the word being spoken on tv or by others will help him with the usage, but to actually take in the word, reading will help, even if it's just subtitles on the screen.

    Of course, nobody's denying that he'll have to speak English more too, but to have a conversation he 'll naturally need a larger vocabulary to get his point across better (which, if I'm not wrong, is the main issue here), or his confidence will take a hit.


    Just because my team doesn't win doesn't mean they aren't the best in the world.

  58. #58
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    Thanks everyone for the help

  59. #59
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    Read books and talk to people who have better English speaking and writing skills then you. Use the dictionary to further improve your grammar and accent of awkward words. By and large your grammar and vocabulary seem fine.


    PP's own self proclaimed sharpshooter and defender of Islam and Pakistan.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slog View Post
    dunno why most folks are asking him to read

    dont think he wants to be some literary superstar

    his written english is definitely okay and he probably wants simlar level of accomplishment as far as speaking is concerned so reading wont help a lot there, actually speaking it will
    Maybe because reading is the only way to develop and enhance vocabulary?


    Demons run when a good man goes to war

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