A. Speaking

1. Record yourself to develop your fluency, eg giving a spontaneous talk about yourself, what you have done this week or speak about a topic. Then replay it and analyse the recording for mistakes in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. Make another recording of the same topic, but try to speak with more confidence and less hesitation.

2. Reading aloud is a great way to practise your pronunciation. Choose a text you understand. If there‘s a recording – listen first. Photocopy the text, highlight words with difficult pronunciation and mark where you need to pause. Read and record aloud SEVERAL TIMES!!!

3. Talk to yourself a little every day in English, aloud (or in your head J ). Describe a person or place, introduce yourself, say some prices, tell yourself the directions you’re taking to get somewhere, talk about what you’re doing as you do it.

4. Learn a song in the target language – transcribe the lyrics or find them online. Choose a song you understand so it will be easier to remember – try translating it. Read the lyrics out slowly first, then faster and faster. Once you can sing the song well, memorise it.

5. Work with another student: review a book or film that interested you both, or retell a story you have read to each other.

6. Work with another student: without looking at each other (no hand gestures or facial expressions), have a conversation, a ‘phone call’, or give descriptions for your partner to draw

7. do a role play—decide a topic eg in a restaurant, and ask questions of each other.

8. Shadowing an audio or a video clip: Listen to an audio or watch a video clip, and then repeat after the speaker. Try to copy the speaker’s intonation, sentence stress, and accent.

9. Join an English Speaking club/community.

B. Listening

1. Watch movies on DVD or TV programmes, and practise listening for the gist or the main idea. You’ll gain greater familiarity with pronunciation and the grammar structures, as well as expand your vocabulary range. Great to pick up colloquial language too! Write a summary or review.

2. Discuss—listen to a recording with someone else. After each listening, discuss what you both understood. Set yourselves questions for subsequent listening.

3. Use transcripts (audio scripts)—these are written versions of listening passages, often at the back of the book or in a separate book. If the resource you’re using has these, try: listening first without looking at the transcript, and then listen again – this time following the text by reading the transcript.

4. Transcribing (writing down) the whole passage as you listen. Then check your work against the transcript for correct punctuation, spelling and accents. Try this even if there’s no transcript – more of a challenge!

5. Prepare for listening tasks. Think about the subject—what ideas will be introduced? What vocabulary do you already know on the subject?

6. Listen several times to the same passage. Start by trying to understand the general meaning or the main idea. In this stage it helps to listen for key words and to stop the audio frequently and predict what is going to come next. Later, practise listening intensively for specific information and take notes. Try to guess new words from context and build up your understanding by listening several times.

7. Summarise—after listening, briefly summarise what you’ve understood, to recap and recall new vocabulary.

8. Details—listen to short dialogues to practise listening for detail. Take notes.

9. Variety—aim to listen to a variety of authentic material and challenge yourself by listening to native speakers who speak at normal speed and with different accents.

                                                                                                                                           Nguyễn Thị Hoài (Sưu tầm)