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A unique strategy to improve your Speaking

By DET Practice - TADE Hub
April 14,2023 | 08:30 AM

English proficiency tests are developed to test non-native English speakers' ability to Read, Listen, Write, and Speak. In other words, the English foundation is our priority to focus on before studying how to do a specific test, such as the Duolingo English Test. When we build a strong English foundation, it’s super easy to do the test because we only need to learn its format, and how to utilise our skills based on specific question types and follow its rules to get our certified results.

Therefore, this article shares a 03-step strategy to boost your English Speaking to the next level. Let’s get started.

Step 1: Master pronunciation

Pronunciation is a prerequisite before focusing on improving our Speaking as others will not understand us if we pronounce words incorrectly. To illustrate, the Duolingo English Test evaluates test-takers' pronunciation in all Speaking questions, which means test-takers get high scores if they pronounce correctly.

Moreover, mastering pronunciation helps test-takers improve their Listening skills as well. When we learn a new word, we need to listen to its sound through phonemes to imitate how the word is pronounced in order to speak correctly. As a result, the more we listen and practice, the better we get. 

The International Phonetic Alphabet has a total of 44 sounds, including Short, Long, Diphthong, Voiced, and Unvoiced sounds as follows.

English IPA, Improve English Speaking, DET Practice Platform, DET Ready, Duolingo English Test
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There are free YouTube sources teaching students how to master American and British sounds.

  • Sounds American: A perfect source guides students on how to master all sounds in detail if you want to sound like an American.
Sounds American, Improve English Speaking, DET Practice Platform, DET Ready, Duolingo English Test
cre: DET Practice
  • BBC Learning English: A course named “The Sounds of English” shared by BBC Learning English will be a perfect fit if you want to sound like a British.
BBC Learning English, Improve English Speaking, DET Practice Platform, DET Ready, Duolingo English Test
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No matter what source you prefer studying, please always keep in mind to shape your mouth exactly the same as what they guide you. The shape of your mouth is the major element affecting your result.

Step 2: Input every single day

Pronunciation is one part, and vocabulary is another. If students have already mastered pronunciation but their vocabulary bank is low, it will be a huge problem to express themselves properly, especially when it comes to uncommon topics. Imagine that you just have around 200 basic words in mind, it’s easy to discuss common topics such as Family, Friends, and Movies. But when it comes to uncommon topics such as Climate Change, Procrastination, Terminal Diseases, and so on, we will probably not be able to share thorough answers. Thus, it’s genuinely important to learn new words (collocations, phrasal verbs, idioms, etc.) on a daily basis to widen our vocabulary bank. 

While improving their Listening and Reading skills, students also advance their vocabulary bank during the process. Therefore, we strongly recommend students read the following articles thoroughly to improve their skills and vocabulary bank at the same time.

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Step 3: Seven ways to Practice Speaking

There are seven ways that students can practice on a daily basis to ace their English Speaking skills. Let’s explore them one by one. 

  • Chat with your friends:

If we are able to immerse ourselves in an English-speaking environment every day, it’s the perfect way to improve our Speaking. Suppose we have friends who are available to talk to us on a daily basis for just 30 or 15 minutes a day, we will definitely improve our skills and confidence in Speaking. Therefore, let’s go ask your friends and get started. 

Talk to your friends, Improve English Speaking, DET Practice Platform, DET Ready, Duolingo English Test
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  • Do shadowing technique:

We basically imitate or copy someone else speaking, meaning we are repeating what they are saying simultaneously. When we do this, we should copy the speaker's intonation, pauses, pronunciation, and rhythm for the best results. For more information, please kindly refer to our A 05-step strategy to improve Listening skills

  • Record yourself:

This’s another great way to do it ourselves for feedback and improvement. We should combine it with Chatting with our friends, shadowing techniques, or any way to practice Speaking because it helps us identify Speaking mistakes and learn from them later because most of the time, it’s almost impossible to spot mistakes while speaking.  

  • Utilise language apps:

There are tons of great Language learning apps that offer students a 24/7 environment to practice. To name a few, we have Duolingo, Rosetta Stone, Memrise, and so on. Each Language learning app has its pros and cons, and surely it’s suitable to a specific type of audience. For example, if students love animated characters, Duolingo is the best choice. Or if students like real-life people, then Rosetta Stone would be a better fit. Each Learning language app guides English learners in a unique way to experience their services. Thus, students should download their favorite apps and experience their Free versions before committing to the Premium ones. 

  • Join English Speaking communities:

This’s considered the greatest way in non-English speaking countries. It’s a well-known fact that to improve our Speaking, we need to immerse ourselves in a Speaking environment. In non-English speaking countries, people rarely find a 100% English-speaking environment to practice. Therefore, English Speaking clubs or communities are perfect choices to get practiced regularly with other English learners. Can you find any Speaking clubs in your country? If you cannot find any and want to organise it yourself, please send us a message at support@detpractice-tadehub.com, we’re happy to share some content to help you organise. 

  • Talk to yourself:

Sounds weird, right? How could someone talk to themselves? No matter how weird it is, we will be getting used to it by the time we practice as it’s another great way to practice alone, meaning we don’t depend on anything, anyone like Joining English Speaking communities. We simply need to prepare some questions about a particular topic and answer them in front of a mirror. And always remember to record yourself while speaking to identify your mistakes and improve them later.

Talk to yourself, Improve English Speaking, DET Practice Platform, DET Ready, Duolingo English Test
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  • Use an inanimate object:

This method is not much different from Talking to yourself as we need to find an inanimate object. Whether it’s a rubber Dog, a Monkey, or a Dragon, everything’s just fine. We combine it with the Talking to yourself method and do role-play. For example, we already have some prepared questions about a specific topic from Talking to yourself, so English learners can ask questions and the inanimate object answers. Or do the opposite if you like. 

Again, improving your Speaking skill plays a critical role in increasing your Speaking scores in the IELTS, TOEFL, or PTE. While in the Duolingo English Test, students can far way increase their Production and Conversation sub-scores. So never underestimate your Speaking foundation, with this skill, preparing for any English proficiency test is a piece of cake.

To students who want to prepare for the DET, we are some helpful sources to crack your nerve and win the contest.

  • 05 Preparation steps for Beginner: A detailed 05 Preparation-step strategy helps DET takers prepare in the beginning and aim for any desired scores.
  • DET Practice Platform: Thousands of questions are available in addition to Instant feedback for all question types, especially Open-response question types that we evaluate students’ practice answers based on Fluency, Lexical Sophistication, Lexical Diversity, Grammatical Accuracy, and Acoustic Features (Pronunciation). All free accounts can access 20 questions Level 3, 01 Interactive Reading set, and 01 FREE Full Test daily.
  • DET Preparation Course: A total of 23 on-demand lessons, quiz tests, and the DET Practice Platform Premium account to increase the probability to achieve students’ desired scores.

Speaking is usually the most challenging skill to advance for most students. If DET takers want to improve this skill, there is no other way but to immerse themselves in speaking environments. Make sure that you follow our guides, and try your best to find suitable environments for practice.