I want to tell you about one of my students, a nurse from a non-English speaking country in Eastern Europe. The big difficulties she had was that she couldn’t practice her English on a day-to-day basis. Can you relate to this?
If you’re in a native English-speaking country like the UK, you can get into a conversation easily with people around you and thus improve your speaking quickly.
However, although it is great to practice your speaking with a native speaker, most likely they will not try to correct your grammar while you are talking to them. As we know, this is one of the things you really need in order to improve.
If you ask native speakers ‘is there anything that I need to do to improve my speaking’?, they will just say ‘oh, your English is perfect. You don’t make any mistakes.’ What they are really doing is just being polite and kind to you and they don’t want to upset you. Does this sound familar?
So, since the only opportunity that my Eastern European student had to practice her English was during our Swoosh English classes and speaking mock exams, she decided to read articles aloud from beginning to end in her free time.
What I mean by reading out loud is to read any book / reading material and actually read it by saying the words so that other people could potentially hear you. You can use good ones such as: British Medical Journal, Australian Medical Journal, BBC Health and ABC newsletter. By doing this, you’re exercising your mouth movements that you perform when speaking English. You can develop a consistent habit of those movements by doing them daily and they will help you to internalise them in your mind. Make sure you implement this technique and do it every day even if it’s just one to two articles a day. It shouldn’t just be past examination papers like reading texts that you’re reading aloud, it should be all kinds of texts. Not only medical texts, but also texts from fiction books such as Harry Potter – even if it has is nothing to do with medicine. Simply read anything in English aloud that you can get access to. You have to train those facial muscles before you will start to see improvements.
The best, quickest and most effective scenario is always to get an OET teacher if you can whilst you do this technique on a day to day basis.
Go to www.swooshenglish.com to see how our UK OET teachers can help you.
When practicing pronunciation, you can use your friend ‘Google’ if you think you mistakenly pronounced a word. Just type in any word and listen to how it is pronounced. Also, since this is for your OET Speaking exam, include in your practice vocabulary like: discharge, transfer, referral, empathy and reassure for example. Practice over and over and repeat those words out loud. Again, do all these and don’t mind if your family is in the next room and laughs at you because they will be celebrating with you once you pass with a grade B. I would highly recommend that you read an article aloud three times per day for emphasis and you will hear improvements each time you do this.
If you have any questions, make sure you put them in the message box below and I’ll be happy to answer them. If you want to get more OET tips for each subtest, make sure you go to www.swooshenglish.com