Tips: Oral Fluency

G’day, what are you up to mate? Today, I am going to discuss how to boost your oral fluency in English. Before this, it is prerequisite that you’ve already mastered or at least refined every weaker sounds that you tended to mispronounce. Usually, it’s difficult to improve your oral fluency without having a proper pronunciation. Ok, let’s begin!

The beginning and the ending of sentences are critical to boosting your oral fluency

What you should practise is to start enunciating the very first word crystal clear without having any odd pause, or non-native phonological simplification. I mean, you don’t want to repeat the same word in the beginning, or self-correction. To boost your oral fluency, you should try to reduce self-correction. Of course, when you are talking to yourself, you can and should do self-correct anytime, but when you are talking to someone, try to reduce as much as you possibly can. And, the ending of sentences is also crucially important to say smoothly and clearly. Of course no one wants to strain to understand you.

Phrasing or a kind of slash reading is very important to keep a good English rhythm throughout

If you talk in rapid-fire, staccato sentences, people can hardly understand you clearly. It means that you talk as if you are a robot or something. English consists of not just words, but also phrases, connected devices as well as punctuations. So, you can’t just read word by word, which seems to be strange. I might reckon you just memorised the sentence, but you don’t know any phrase because you’re just enunciating word by word, instead of saying phrase by phrase. For instance, ‘Jobless rate expected to rise in this week’s figures’. You should’ve said like, ‘Jobless rate/expected to rise/in this week’s figures. You know what I mean?

Analysing wavy lines of your voice every time is a must-do task for you if you want to boost your oral fluency

Your voice wavy lines has to be nearly consistent, not too highs and lows very often. Simply because, if the lines are too high, you’re presumably nervous. Too low is also not good, either. But, a bit lower wavy lines are ideal. Here is a sample ideal wavy lines:

This image does not exist, but feel free to use the above sentences for your read-aloud practice! My point is that if you have a closer look at the wavy lines, you can now understand why I think it’s important to check the lines as to how you’re speaking. There is no too highs and lows, right? It seems ok, because the voice wavy lines are consistently moderate one throughout.

Minimising your hesitations is an another important aspect of what you have to think about

Everyone hesitates to say sometimes, which is the nature of human being. But, if you really want to improve oral fluency, then you should try to reduce the number of hesitations within a sentence. Hesitations are fine unless you are mulling over something relating to ideas, not how to formulate English sentences like grammar rules. Hesitations caused by lack of grammar rules or vocabularies are not ideal if you want to improve oral fluency. How do you deal with that? It’s dead simple mate. If you think I still lack grammar rules or basic words, you simply go back to grammar study. And then, come back to speaking practice. Without having basic but proper grammar rules, there’ll be almost no way of boosting oral fluency, and of course, it’s hard to improve it if you can’t articulate too many phonetic sounds. The best situation is that you don’t have any weaker sound, and have mastered basic grammar rules, in order to lessen the chance of hesitating things you want to say.

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

Have a good one!

Published by Masato Kawaguchi

I am an English entrepreneur here in Australia. I've been teaching the PTE exam for the last 2 years or so, now mainly general English online.

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