Stop and think.
How much money have you spent on English coursebooks?
I talked with Matt Purland about how you should be learning to improve spoken English, and the good news is you’ll never need to buy another coursebook again.
Matt is an amazing teacher working in Poland, and is the creator of EnglishBanana.com and author of the free coursebook series, Talk a Lot. You can listen to our interview here.
If you don’t have time to listen to everything now, I’ve highlighted some of the interview below.
The Last Coursebook You Will Ever Need
“Save the money you’d spend on a new English coursebook and use it for something nice, like flowers for your wife.” – Tweet This
I love this quote from Matt.
When the temptation is strong to buy a new coursebook because you feel stuck in English, remember this quote. When you finish a book and the school tells you to buy a new one, remember this quote.
Matt’s new free book, You Are the Coursebook, reveals his new method that uses real, natural English that is around us every day.
With this method, you will learn everything from spelling and grammar, to pronunciation and speaking.
Three Tips to Improve Spoken English
In the interview, Matt speaks a lot about what is important to improve spoken English. All of these tips are in the interview and explained fully in his book, Talk a Lot Foundation Course.
Tip 1 – Learn how English is really spelled
English spelling is terrible. You know this.
It no longer reflects how English is spoken. Start by learning the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) and the NEA (New English Alphabet).
Tip 2 – Learn the secrets of English pronunciation
To understand native speakers and be understood, pronunciation is very important.
Focus on the differences between spoken English and written English. This includes things like connected speech, stressed and unstressed sounds, glottal stops, and a lot of other strange things English speakers do that doesn’t appear in our writing.
The example Matt gives in the interview to show typical English speaking written in the NEA is: Application form becomes → a pl Kei shn form
Tip 3 – Practice with a lot of real, natural English samples
By real, natural English, I mean samples that are out in the wild, away from your ESL textbook.
Take samples from news articles in the paper or online, movies, podcasts, TV series, novels; whatever you enjoy!
Then, take the principles you learn in Matt’s books to practice with these samples. You’ll learn a lot of new vocabulary on topics you like, and you’ll learn about how to write and speak in a natural way.
Speaking English is all about using what you put in. Put in unnatural sounding conversations and phrases from coursebooks, and you’ll speak unnaturally.
Put in natural English along with intense pronunciation studies, and you will be able to speak more naturally in a fraction of the time spent at most schools out there.
Good luck with these tips! As always, if you have any questions, ask in the comments.
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