04Speak in English!

by Danny K. Howard, EAP Associate Director

At NIC, students have many opportunities to use English with their classmates and teachers. In fact, discussion is a very important part of every class at our school. Students at NIC discuss their reading topics, they discuss what they write about, and they discuss the lectures that they take notes on. Every day is filled with lots of opportunities to speak in English.

However, most students who are still in high school do not have any chance to use their English in their classes. Well…now you do have the chance if you follow my advice in this article. Here are some things that you can do at home to help improve your speaking ability.

Speaking Journal

Materials Needed:

  1. a recording device (such as a cassette recorder or MD player)
  2. a cassette tape or M
  3. a B5 notebook

What to do:

Step One

In your notebook, choose a topic below that you are interested in

  • an event in the news
  • something that troubles me
  • an interesting TV show
  • something I like to do
  • a special person in your life
  • a famous person you admire and respect
  • how to do something

Step Two

After choosing one of the topics above, freewrite about the topic. This means just write as much as you can for 30 minutes in your journal. In freewriting, you do not have to worry about grammar mistakes or organization. Just write whatever comes to your mind about the topic that you chose.

Now that you have written down your ideas about the topic, you are ready for the next important step.

Step Three

Now, you have chosen a topic that is interested to you. And you have also done some freewriting about it. Now you should feel more comfortable speaking about it.

Turn on your recording and speak as much as you can about the topic. It’s OK if you pause for long periods of time. It is also OK if you make mistakes in your speech. The important thing is that you speak about it and use the English that you have. Try to speak as long as you can without turning off the recorder.

When you finish with one topic, try another one!

By speaking in English, you discover which vocabulary is important to you. When you discover this, you begin to understand what you need to learn to express yourself. This idea is a difficult one, but it’s very fun and rewarding to do! Try speaking in English now!