How to learn Spoken English on your own, at home (8 step action plan) (+ Free PDF & Quiz)

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2021-05-05・ 18125

English with Lucy channel


This video will teach you 8 key steps to learning spoken English alone at home. Busuu: Sign up for free or get 30% off here: http://bit.ly/lucy30_busuu (code LUCY30). Ad - Thank you to Busuu for sponsoring today's video. Links mentioned: British Humour Video: http://bit.ly/BritishHumourVid Chatty Podcasts: - Peter Crouch: http://bit.ly/PeterCrouchPod - No Such Thing as a Fish: https://www.nosuchthingasafish.com/ - My dad wrote a *****: http://bit.ly/DadWrotePod Happy News: http://bit.ly/TheHappyNewss Positive News: http://bit.ly/LucyPosNews DO YOU WANT TO RECEIVE EMAILS FROM LUCY? Sign up here: https://bit.ly/EmailsFromLucy Don't forget to turn on subtitles if you need them! This is how I generate my subtitles (you can get a $10 subtitle coupon too): https://www.rev.com/blog/coupon/?ref=lucy (affiliate) Visit my website for free PDFs and an interactive pronunciation tool! https://englishwithlucy.co.uk​ MY SOCIAL MEDIA: Personal Channel: http://bit.ly/LucyBella​​​ (I post subtitled vlogs of my life in the English countryside! Perfect for listening practice!) Instagram: @Lucy http://bit.ly/lucyinsta​​​​​​​​​​ My British English Pronunciation Course is now LIVE: https://englishwithlucy.co.uk/pronunciationcourse (use code YOUTUBE10 for a 10% discount!) Do you want to improve your pronunciation? I have launched my British English (Modern RP) pronunciation course! I’ll train you to read phonetic transcriptions, and produce each sound that comprises modern received pronunciation. I’ll also teach you how to implement the correct use of intonation, stress, rhythm, connected speech, and much more. We’ll compare similar sounds, and look at tricky topics like the glottal stop and the dark L. Technically, I need to mark this as an AD even though it is my own company so - AD :) Want to get a copy of my English Vocabulary Planners? Click here: https://shop.englishwithlucy.co.uk - The best offer is the 4-book bundle where you get 4 planners for the price of 3. This product is very limited - don't miss out. The English Plan will be shipped from early August, from me here in England to you across the world! We ship internationally! Watch my explainer video here: https://bit.ly/TheEnglishPlanVideo Practice speaking: Earn $10 free italki credit: https://go.italki.com/englishwithlucy... (ad affiliate) Improve listening! Free Audible audiobook: https://goo.gl/LshaPp If you like my lessons, and would like to support me, you can buy me a coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/englishwithlucy FREE £26 Airbnb credit: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/c/lcondesa (ad - affiliate) Email for business enquiries ONLY: [email protected] Edited by La Ferpection: https://www.laferpection.com/​​

Instruction

Double-click on the English captions to play the video from there.

00:10
Hello everyone.
00:11
And welcome back to English With Lucy.
00:13
Today, I am going to teach you how you can improve your spoken English at home on your
00:21
own.
00:22
Whenever you look online to find out top tips for improving your spoken English, the number
00:27
one tip is always talk to native speakers, talk to speakers of English, practise conversation.
00:35
And that just isn't a realistic possibility for all of us.
00:39
I know that so many of you will find yourselves in situations where conversing with native
00:45
speakers or speakers of English in general just isn't an option.
00:49
It's not widely available.
00:52
Sometimes it's to do with money.
00:53
You don't have the finances available to do that.
00:56
It could be a confidence thing where actually you don't feel ready to speak to people yet.
01:01
You want to practise a little bit on your own first.
01:04
It could just be that you don't know where to start.
01:06
So I've got lots of tips in today's video, and I hope to help each and every one of you.
01:12
As always, I have created a free PDF for you that goes along with this lesson, it contains
01:17
the full transcript, everything I say, and I have highlighted key vocabulary.
01:22
So you can use that to improve your understanding even further.
01:27
If you'd like to download the PDF, all you've got to do is click on the link in the description
01:31
box and your name and your email address.
01:33
You sign up to my mailing list.
01:35
This is completely free.
01:37
I will send the PDF directly to your inbox.
01:40
And then every week after you will automatically receive all lesson PDFs, plus all my news,
01:47
offers and updates.
01:48
Right.
01:49
Let's start with tip number one.
01:52
This tip is learn full phrases, not just individual vocabulary words.
02:00
Now there is a place for studying individual vocabulary words.
02:04
That helped me a lot with my own learning journey when I was learning Spanish.
02:07
But if you are particularly focused on improving your spoken English, then try learning entire
02:14
phrases.
02:16
When we say a word on its own, we say it in a very flat way.
02:20
Amazed, amazed.
02:23
When I say that word as part of a sentence, I was amazed.
02:28
I had a different tone, some inflexion, some emphasis, more stress.
02:34
Listen to speakers of English.
02:36
When you're watching the TV or watching a YouTube video or listening to the radio, whatever
02:41
you're doing to try and immerse yourself in English, try and pick up on those individual
02:45
phrases and work out where in the phrase they're pushing the pitch up, or they're saying it
02:51
slightly more loudly.
02:53
Pause it if you can imitate it, it's going to help you sound really natural when you
02:57
speak English.
02:59
Another part of this is if you do pick up on an individual vocabulary word that you
03:04
want to remember, make sure you also include an example of it used in a sentence as well.
03:10
That's why with the majority of my vocabulary videos, I always include an example.
03:15
If you write it down, make little notes and dashes to try and remember how the speaker
03:20
said that sentence or phrase.
03:22
Tip number two.
03:24
This tip actually comes as thanks to the sponsor of today's video: Busuu.
03:28
Now in general, my students mention two key problems when it comes to improving their
03:34
spoken English on their own at home.
03:37
Motivation and access to feedback.
03:39
And that last one especially.
03:41
It all links in to not having the opportunity that I mentioned at the beginning.
03:46
That's where Busuu comes in because they have a solution to both of these problems.
03:50
If you haven't heard of Busuu before, it's a global language learning community and it's
03:54
available on both mobile and desktop.
03:55
And I know that's very important to many of you.
04:00
They have loads of language courses that you can take to improve your spoken English and
04:06
your reading and listening, and writing, and many other languages like Spanish and Japanese.
04:12
Here's the best bit.
04:14
On the Busuu platform, you can connect with speakers of the language that you're learning
04:19
and receive feedback.
04:20
It's like gold dust.
04:23
Feedback is one of the most valuable tools when it comes to learning a language.
04:28
But it's so hard to find.
04:30
Why is it always that way?
04:32
It's especially hard to find if you're learning a popular language like English, there are
04:37
so many people across the world who would love to receive feedback, but there's a shortage
04:42
of people willing to give that feedback.
04:45
Busuu also has this amazing study plan tool, which you can use to keep you motivated.
04:50
I love this.
04:51
I love having everything planned out and organised.
04:54
It really does keep me on track.
04:56
I do it with planning my videos, planning my work life and with planning language learning
05:00
as well.
05:01
The study plan tool breaks the language down.
05:04
It reminds you what to study and when, and this allows you to set realistic goals, which
05:09
are so important.
05:10
To sign up to Busuu and explore what they have to offer, just click on the link in the
05:15
description box.
05:16
You can sign up for free, or you can choose to get a premium membership, which has lots
05:22
of additional features.
05:23
They are offering my students an extra 30% off all memberships.
05:28
Just use code Lucy 30.
05:31
Right.
05:32
Tip number three.
05:33
Let's go back to analysing and listening to what speakers of English say and how they
05:39
say it.
05:40
But I'm not talking about pronunciation and tone of voice this time.
05:43
This time, I want to look at what they say grammatically.
05:47
I know that grammar and spoken English don't tend to go hand in hand, but I think it's
05:52
important here.
05:53
Now, let me make this clear.
05:54
I do not think that learning grammar is the most important part of learning a language
05:59
at all.
06:00
Now you would never teach a baby grammar ye.
06:03
They grow up to be fluent in a language.
06:06
But you need to bear in mind.
06:07
A baby is immersed the entire time.
06:10
Lots of people say, learn English like a baby.
06:14
But what they don't bear in mind is that babies are immersed in English or their mother tongue
06:20
the entire time.
06:22
They have the most wonderful opportunity to pick up on all the spoken English and all
06:27
the grammar and all the vocabulary without even realising it.
06:31
Bless them.
06:32
Even then it takes them a couple of years to speak fluently.
06:35
Yes, of course their brains are still developing.
06:38
But the point I want to make is there is a place for grammar, but it's not the be-all
06:42
and end-all.
06:43
I really don't see the value in going through a grammar book cover to cover.
06:48
I really don't see the value in that.
06:50
And it's something that I have never done in my own language learning journey.
06:54
What I did do was essentially fill in the gaps.
06:57
I was constantly on the lookout for holes or gaps in my grammar knowledge.
07:02
I think you should go through time filling those gaps bit by bit, rather than approaching
07:08
grammar as this big textbook that you have to work through.
07:12
It goes back to looking at full phrases again, look at those phrases.
07:16
Is there something that you can't explain or that doesn't sound right to you in your
07:20
head?
07:21
That should be the topic that you research.
07:23
That should be the topic that you bring to the table with your conversation partner or
07:27
your English teacher, or you search on an online forum.
07:30
There are some amazing language forums with some really, really enthusiastic teachers
07:35
who seem to give up their time for free.
07:37
I can't believe the quality of answers that I get from language forums.
07:41
I doubt grammar all the time.
07:42
I'm constantly looking it up.
07:44
This brings me on to tip number four, which is don't let anything go.
07:48
Don't drop anything.
07:50
I know the feeling.
07:52
You hear a word or a phrase that you don't understand and you think, ugh, I can't be
07:57
bothered.
07:58
I'll remember it.
08:00
I'll remember it and do it later.
08:01
You won't.
08:03
9 times out of 10, you will not remember it.
08:06
It's like when you come up with a really good tune in your head and you think, oh, I'll
08:10
remember that tomorrow.
08:11
How could I ever forget something like this?
08:14
And then you just can't the next day.
08:16
It's gone.
08:17
It's lost potentially forever.
08:19
Every time you have a doubt, don't let it escape you.
08:22
Just don't let it escape.
08:24
Write it down immediately.
08:26
If you can't write it down because you don't know how it's spelled use the recording voice
08:30
notes function on your phone.
08:32
If it's not possible for you to see a teacher every single week, save up all of these doubts
08:37
and book in one hour a month and see how many of those doubts you can clear up with them
08:42
in that session.
08:43
But please look into my eyes and tell me, Lucy, I will not let my next doubt go.
08:51
But don't stress yourself out at the same time.
08:55
Obviously you have to take everything with a pinch of salt.
08:57
You've got to make it work for you.
08:58
But I find if I come up with a fantastic video idea and I don't write it down immediately,
09:04
that video will never be made.
09:05
And it's the same with your grammar and vocabulary doubts.
09:08
Let's move on to number five.
09:10
The previous tips were more about theory.
09:12
Now I'm going to talk about putting it into practise.
09:15
When I was learning Spanish, living in Spain and conversing with lots of Spaniards, there
09:20
was one topic that at first caused me a lot of anxiety.
09:24
And then over time it caused me a lot of joy and excitement, and I just loved it.
09:30
And that is telling anecdotes and telling stories, especially funny ones.
09:36
I really think there is no better feeling than making someone laugh in the language
09:42
that you're learning, it's such a good feeling.
09:45
There are very few people in this world that can just launch into a story and have everyone
09:50
engaged and interested.
09:53
Some people are blessed with this skill.
09:55
I am not one of them.
09:58
If I want to tell a good story, I have to prepare it in advance and have it up my sleeve,
10:03
have it ready.
10:04
I have to do this in English, let alone in another language.
10:09
If you want to feel funny, interesting, and engaging, I really urge you to practise and
10:15
sort of perfect, but I'll talk about that more, your anecdotes and your personal stories,
10:21
things that you are going to want to tell to lots of different people.
10:25
I have maybe five or six entertaining stories that I have ready in case there's a gap in
10:30
conversation.
10:31
And if I meet someone new.
10:32
My poor friends and my poor, poor fiance have probably heard these stories 20 times each.
10:40
I encourage you to write your stories down, to try and do as best a job you can of correcting
10:46
the grammar, of making sure it flows and then potentially bringing it to a speaker of English
10:52
to correct for you.
10:54
Stories don't have to be perfect when you tell them.
10:56
In fact, it looks weird and sounds weird when you read it out like a robot.
11:01
On your own at home, practise the story, read it aloud a couple of times, then have a go
11:07
reading it with no prompts.
11:09
If you have this preparation, you'll feel so much better when you finally talk to another
11:13
speaker of English.
11:14
Great topics you could use are funny mistakes that you've made in English.
11:18
I know that I always love hearing my students laugh about the mistakes they've made.
11:24
It shows that you're a really chilled and funny person.
11:28
And it's entertaining for me to hear.
11:30
In the UK, we love self-deprecating humour, which shows that you can laugh at yourself.
11:35
You could almost mock yourself, put yourself down.
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We love that.
11:38
We also love irony.
11:39
I've actually created an entire video on British humour.
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I'll put it in the description box.
11:45
It's called British humour explained with examples, which sounds like the least fun
11:51
video ever, but I think it might be able to help you.
11:54
So I hope that's clear.
11:55
Practise your anecdotes, practise your stories.
11:58
And even if your goal is to not be funny, practise, the things that you know you will
12:02
have to repeat again and again and again.
12:06
How did you end up in your job?
12:08
What were your school days?
12:09
Like?
12:10
How did you meet your partner?
12:11
Practise those stories so that they just roll off the tongue.
12:14
It might seem like cheating, but if it is then I'm a cheat because that's what I do.
12:20
Number six is listen to chatty podcasts.
12:24
There has been a podcast revolution all across the world, especially in the UK.
12:32
We absolutely love podcasts.
12:34
And there are a lot of people who aren't necessarily famous already starting podcasts with their
12:40
friends and they just chat.
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This is the perfect spoken English improvement opportunity.
12:47
Finally, you get to eavesdrop, you get to listen in on other people's conversations.
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This is something that I absolutely love.
12:55
You might not have the opportunity to be in a conversation with lots of English speakers.
13:00
Even if you did, it might be too nuanced or fast paced for you to understand and participate
13:05
in.
13:06
Well, loads of lovely people have recorded their chatty conversations and you can pause
13:09
them.
13:10
You can check their transcripts if they have one.
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People who add transcripts to podcasts, they are the best.
13:18
These chatty podcasts really fill a void.
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Even for me, I don't have a big group of female friends.
13:24
So I feel that I miss out sometimes on the gossip and talking about girls stuff, but
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I've got a couple of podcasts that I listen to and they fill that gap for me.
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As sad as that might sound, I hope you can relate with that when it comes to learning,
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spoken English and practising your conversation.
13:42
Stop them, start them, slow them down, replay them.
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You can do whatever you want with them, but they are a fantastic learning tool for you.
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There are so many with so many different niches.
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One really good place to start is to look at the UK charts for podcasts, especially
13:59
for episodes.
14:00
That gives a really good vibe on what's good and what's not.
14:03
If you're interested in football, the Peter Crouch Podcast is meant to be absolutely fantastic,
14:09
wide variety of accents.
14:10
There are lots of comedy podcasts, like No Such Thing As A Fish.
14:14
There are quite a few with rude names that I don't want to put on my channel.
14:17
Do you know what?
14:18
I'm going to list them in the description box.
14:22
If you have any other chatty podcast recommendations, please do put them in the comment section.
14:27
We can all learn from each other and hopefully you can recommend me a good way to procrastinate.
14:33
Number seven, make sure you always have good topics to talk about.
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When we talk to people, we often talk about current affairs.
14:45
A lot of the current affairs are very depressing and most people don't want to talk about how
14:50
terrible the year has been.
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So I have some solutions for you.
14:56
I was feeling really down last year from about June onwards, and I actually got to the point
15:03
of despair where I thought the world was just an awful place.
15:06
And one of my friends sent me a newspaper and it's called The Happy Newspaper.
15:11
This wonderful girl called Emily Coxhead writes it, and this opened my eyes to the world of
15:17
positive news.
15:18
I absolutely love these and they are the most amazing tools for creating really good positive
15:25
conversation.
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Newspapers have always been teachers' favourite tools for learning English and for creating
15:31
dialogue, inciting conversation.
15:33
And what better than to have a newspaper that is just full of the best stories of the quarter.
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I now have two happy news subscriptions.
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One is called Positive News.
15:45
One is called Happy News.
15:46
They're both written in different ways, so there's not too much overlap.
15:50
They both come out every three months and I like to get a physical copy.
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Although there are websites as well, which I will leave in the description box.
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They're very inexpensive.
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I highly recommend them for a fantastic mood boost, something you can pick up and then
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use to talk about with people.
16:07
I've checked for you and they do both offer worldwide delivery.
16:11
I think the most wonderful English speaking club idea would be the happy new speaking
16:16
club or something like that.
16:18
If you could get a group of people to meet on Zoom every quarter and discuss your favourite
16:23
stories from these newspapers, I would want to join them.
16:28
Whenever I create a video about English speaking, I look at my comment section and there are
16:32
just so many people who are desperate to practise with other people.
16:36
If you want to join a conversation club and you can't find one, create one, just create
16:42
one, take something like Positive News or Happy News as a prompt.
16:46
It's not hard to run and it would be so much fun.
16:49
My last point is number eight and it is chill out.
16:53
No it's don't stress.
16:55
And in particular don't stress about your accent.
16:58
Accents can unfortunately be such a massive source of shame.
17:02
So when you're looking to improve your pronunciation, I want you to do exactly that.
17:05
Look at improving your pronunciation.
17:08
Please just don't stress yourself out with trying to reduce or get rid of your accent.
17:13
Unless it's something you really want to do, there's just no point.
17:17
I understand the charm of it when I was learning Spanish and you've got to understand I was
17:22
in a fantastic position.
17:23
I was going out with a Spanish guy living with a Spanish family.
17:26
I really had all the opportunities there for me.
17:28
And it was so amazing when I was mistaken for a native speaker from time to time.
17:33
So I do understand the charm and there are loads of options for people who do want to
17:36
achieve that, but just try and analyse why you're doing that.
17:40
But in general, the most important thing is improving your pronunciation to speak in an
17:45
understandable and clear way.
17:47
You want to speak so that other people can understand you easily.
17:50
If learning about other accidents and mimicking other accidents is something that you really
17:54
enjoy, and it brings you a lot of pleasure then by all means do that.
17:57
But if it's stressing you out or making you feel bad about yourself, don't do that.
18:02
It's a really, really hard thing to do.
18:04
An example of how unimportant accents are nowadays is my experience with Google.
18:09
I spent a lot of time with people who work at Google and YouTube.
18:12
I visited lots of Google offices in different locations, such a high percentage of the people
18:18
who work in this massive, amazing company with fantastic salaries have very strong,
18:25
very clearly non-native accents.
18:27
And has it affected them?
18:29
No.
18:30
Does it affect what I think of them?
18:32
Yes.
18:33
It makes me really impressed that they speak another language to such a high standard every
18:38
day in their workplace.
18:40
Wow.
18:41
I don't know.
18:42
That's food for thought.
18:43
I'm sure each of you will have your own individual opinion on what's important and what's right
18:47
for you.
18:48
I just wanted to put it out there because I have seen some comments that have made me
18:52
sad about people trying to lose a bit of their identity.
18:56
And that's what an accent is, it's a part of your identity.
18:59
Right.
19:00
I think that brings us to the end of this video.
19:02
I really hope you enjoyed it.
19:04
And I hope you learned something.
19:05
Don't forget to check out Busuu.
19:07
The link is in the description box and you can get 30% off all memberships with my code
19:12
Lucy 30.
19:14
You can also download the PDF of this lesson.
19:16
It's got the full transcript, plus some key vocabulary.
19:20
If you'd like to improve your listening skills and expand your vocabulary even further, I
19:24
highly recommend my vlogging channel, where I vlog our lives here on a farm in the English
19:30
countryside.
19:31
Every single vlog is fully subtitled so it's specifically designed with English learners
19:36
in mind.
19:37
Don't forget to connect with me on all of my social media.
19:40
I've got my Instagram and my website, englishwithlucy.co.uk, where I have a fantastic pronunciation tool
19:47
where you can click on all the different phonemes and you could hear me pronounce them.
19:52
I love it, even though I made it myself.
19:55
E. No.
19:59
I will see you soon for another lesson.
20:01
I feel like my voice is lower today.
20:05
Problems.
20:06
Give the feedback.
20:07
Did I say that right?
20:08
But please look into my eyes and tell me, Lucy ... Sorry.
20:13
Please look into my eyes right now and tell me ... Will, do you have the battery?
20:20
Okay.
20:21
Thank you very much.
20:24
Oh, that's perfect.
20:25
Amazing.
20:26
Okay.
20:27
Even if you did, it would probably be ... You can actually ... Peter Crouch.
20:33
Peter Crouch.
20:34
Is his name Peter Crouch?
20:35
Peter Crouch.
20:37
Yeah.
20:38
Have very strong, very ... Have very strong ... Have very strong.
20:43
There has been a podcast revelation.
20:47
Revelation?
20:49
Revolution.
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