2013-08-20      How to improve your spoken English


People sometimes ask me "How can I speak better English? I've studied English for many years. I can read and write ok, but I'm not very good at spoken English. What can I do?"

My usual reply is to tell this story: when I was teaching English in Zhaoqing some years ago, I used to help run an English Corner on Saturday nights. Each week about 20 to 40 people would come - older students, workers and professional people.

One night a visitor came from Beijing, a girl aged 17. She spoke really good English, which surprised and pleased me. So I asked her "How come your English is so good? Have you been overseas?"

She replied "Ever since I was 12 years old, almost every day, I have watched a DVD, the same DVD, 5-10 minutes each time, often during meals. I've seen it more than 100 times! I enjoy speaking and singing along with the words and songs. I now know most of the script by heart and I often use it in conversation with friends ....and even sing the songs as I walk along the street!"

Name of DVD? Mulan! So, if you'd like to speak better English, get a DVD which has good, clear English, and let it be your special companion in the coming academic year!