Speaking Fluency Activity: 3 Steps to Having Better Speaking Flow
Being a fluent speaker is every language learner’s dream. Fluency is defined in different ways depending on who you ask, it definitely has a connection to the word ‘flow’. For me, I believe speaking fluency is the ability to link you thoughts together using connective words and phrases the way native speakers do. This allows you time to think about grammar rules or words while you are still ‘speaking’. Fluency is about being able to connect spontaneous thoughts together in a way that ‘flows’ and it’s not as difficult as it sounds to achieve that.
Believe me, this activity will help you to speak better and you can complete it within the next 30 minutes. I’m going to show you how you can achieve better speaking fluency today or at least a better speaking flow than you have ever felt before.
This speaking exercise is very effective in helping you to develop your speaking skills. It’s a perfect exercise if you do not have much time or if you need to improve quickly.
Often the activities to help you improve quickly can feel hard in the beginning and it takes a certain amount of discipline to choose to do these types of challenging activities. It’s normal that most students prefer to do things that are easy and comfortable… but those students don’t want to improve their English as bad as you do, right?
You want to be better at speaking English?
But you hate doing speaking exercises….
The fact is that most students would rather read, write, study grammar, review vocabulary…. Or do anything else they can think of to avoid speaking. Speaking is hard, it is uncomfortable at the beginning and it doesn’t get any easier until you start speaking more often.
The good news is that this technique I am going to share with you can be practiced in the privacy of your own home. You can practice giving your opinion, doing a summary or telling a story with no one around to hear your horrible speaking efforts.
I’m sure your speaking isn’t as horrible as you think it is BUT it can be really uncomfortable talking with someone you don’t know and having a difficult time expressing your thoughts when you are not used to speaking.
Speak, Learn & Repeat: Say it 3 Times
Choose a topic that you can talk about for a few minutes. I like to use an interesting article or news story I have read, a television show, a movie or even a podcast that you listened to.
If you are at an intermediate level, you are going to have a shorter answer than an advanced learner. Even beginners can do this activity using the materials that are appropriate for their level. The great thing is that this activity can be done until you reach your speaking fluency goals. As you advance you start talking about the more advanced topics you are studying and using more advanced vocabulary.
Step 1: Start trying to explain what the topic is about. Tell the story as if it is something interesting that you are explaining to someone in a conversation.
Step 2: Write down the words or phrases that you do not know as you are trying to speak. Look up these new words you recognize that you need to know in order to tell the story.
Step 3: Repeat step 1 and 2 until you feel confident with your ability to express your idea clearly and with a good speaking flow.
Be sure to read the next section where I explain what ‘conversational connectors’ are and how they are essential to speaking fluency.
Let me tell you a story about how I know this technique works…
This story will explain to you how I use this technique. You will also see the quality of the techniques we share on the website. I only share the best and most effective exercises that really helped me to overcome problems with my speaking and listening skills.
One day I decided that I was going to tell my language partner that I was practicing with regularly, about the book I was reading in Spanish. I wanted to be able to explain what the book was about based on what I had read.
So, as I was driving around in my car, I decided to try to explain it to myself using the words I knew. Let me tell you, the first version was a disaster. I had NO speaking flow, I was lacking basic verbs and I didn’t know how to connect the sentences well. I did not feel very good about being able to explain the story line of the book to my language partner in just a few hours…
I wrote down the words I needed to learn and realized I also need to know the ‘conversational connector words’. Examples of simple conversational connectors are: so, then, and, now, but, you know, anyways, after, later, etc. However; when these words are used, they sound extended. The word ‘so’ sounds like ‘soooooooooo’. Or ‘and’ is said like aaaaaaannnnnnnd.
If you listen to a conversation, you will hear how often these words are used and how they ‘buy time’ for the speaker to organize their thoughts. Conversational English is different from written English in the way it is communicated. These words make you sound like you are telling a story to a real person, rather than reading something that is written.
Now that I knew the words I needed and they were fresh in my mind, I tried to explain the story again. It was easier this time but I changed how I was explaining it a bit. This changed the verb tenses I was using, gave me new ‘grammar structures’ to think about and of course, new words. What was happening was I was describing things in greater detail. I looked up any new words and phrases I discovered that I didn’t know.
On the third attempt, I felt like a champion! The words seemed like they were flowing out of my mouth, the grammar was already organized in my head and I was able to remember the new vocabulary.
The next day, I tried the summary again. To my surprise, I was able to remember the new words even though I had not studied them AND I was able to explain the story in even more detail with the best speaking flow I have ever experienced.
Try this Activity… Right Now!
Okay, so now you have a choice. You can either close this article and only think about doing this activity. Or you can try to do it.
Once you do this activity, you will see the way you are using English and how it feels different in your mind than other activities. Below are a few ideas that you can use to practice this exercise right now without needing to leave this page.
- What is the technique discussed in this article and how do you do it?
- Why did you decide to learn English?
- When you are able to speak English fluently, how will it change your life?
- What was the last television show you watched about?
- What is the plot of your favorite movie?
- How do you cook your favorite recipe?
- What makes you love your favorite sport?
- Tell me what your favorite song is about, what the idea is behind the lyrics.
- Describe in as much detail as you can in a story, what you do for work or what your responsibilities are as a student.
- What is your favorite season of the year and how that affects the type of activities you do?
As you can see, you can talk about anything using this technique. Your speaking is going to improve REALLY FAST, if you do activities that put all the English skills you have into action. Start using the words that are in your study lists, the grammar you have spent so much time learning and start using the language.
Do you want more advice, techniques and practice activities like this one? Join our speaking course for as little as $20/month. Access to new lessons each week, our WhatsApp speaking practice group and more. Learn more here.
Leave a comment below to tell me if this is a new technique for you and if it has been useful!