Grammar is an important aspect of any language. Even though many learners know its significance, its complexity leaves them confused often. This challenge is mainly faced by non-native speakers. Native speakers grow up listening to English and thus its syntax and grammatical and phonetic patterns are ingrained in their minds. When it comes to the case of your native language, you don’t learn grammar. You just know it. This is because you have been listening to people speaking accurately around you and being corrected in your childhood. This knowledge is what a person learning English as a second language tries to build with a voluntary effort.
Many students complain that even though they understand grammar in theory and even can complete practice test worksheets with a hundred per cent accuracy, everything they know abandons them when it comes to the case of speaking. this is because speech is a dynamic action. There is no time to ponder on the rules and meanings like in the case of reading and writing.
When you are unsure about the grammatical accuracy of your speech, it affects your confidence in speech and fluency severely. Such a speaker pauses and stammers during their speech. This is because they take pauses between the phrases to make sure that the grammar is correct. This is one of the reasons why spoken English teachers discourage their students from getting too much concerned about grammar. Paying too much focus on grammar can slow down their progress in learning spoken English and also have a negative impact on their fluency. But a certain amount of grammatical accuracy is essential in speech as it makes the conversation more comprehensible. This article aims to give a few pointers to help you achieve this aim.
How to Correct Grammar While Speaking
The techniques given below can be used to better the grammar in your spoken English.
- Have a clear knowledge of the basics. Grammar, vocabulary and correct usage of phrases and idioms are essential for good speaking skills. Learning rules and the exceptions when it comes to their application is a good start. But you should make sure that this learning does not stay within the academic background. Our ultimate aim is not to pass a test but to speak better. The best way to achieve this is to practice. While learning grammar rules try framing and practicing sentences applying them. Instead of passively reading your lessons and forgetting them, you should write a few sentences like the example of the rule being discussed and practice it among your peers.
- Cultivate a wide reading habit. You might wonder what reading has to do with improving ones speaking skills. What you have to understand is that the skills in the field of language are not mutually exclusive. When you read, your mind captures and stores the patterns and spelling it sees the mind and this in turn will come out as good grammar during the writing and speaking. when you read, you are familiarizing your brain with the syntax and structures of the language you are trying to acquire. It will also help you understand more culturally significant usages and idioms. You can include these as you seem appropriate in the conversations.
- Listen to conversations. Be it a dialogue between two characters in the movie, a song sung by your favorite singer, a podcast, an educational video or a conversation in real life between two individuals. Most people see listening as a trivial skill. If you are a learner of the language and have similar opinions then it’s a gross mistake on your part. Like it was discussed in the previous paragraph, the development of each language skill is not mutually exclusive. Listening has its importance. It helps you to understand how real-life conversations are started and held. This is because when we listen to the above-said conversations, we develop an idea of how conversations in each scenario will proceed. Be it an interview scene in a movie or a call made by your friend to book a doctor’s appointment, listening to them will help you understand the format they follow and this knowledge will act as a foundation when you prepare yourself to start a conversation in similar occasions. It will help you to understand how to make small talk or how to make an order at a food court. Having a set of well-versed phrases in hand that can be used in a variety of situations will put your grammar-related reluctance to ease. You can use these phrases freely without doubting whether they are grammatically incorrect. Listening also will help you gather knowledge of slang words and even pop culture references made by people. This is not a small feat when it comes to fitting into a friend’s group. Listening will also help you understand accents better.
- Whatever you learn, attempt to put it into practice. Use the words and rules you learned in conversations. But make sure that you do so in a space where you can take your time to voluntarily use correct grammar during speech. This could be in a speech practice group or even amongst friends. Here you could abandon the fluency for a moment and strive patiently to employ better grammar in your speech even though this might make you hesitate and pause a lot during the conversation. This will be like muscle training your language skills, hurting them a little so that they will grow stronger and better eventually with daily practice.
When trying to improve the grammar in speech, a student should remember the warning stated in the introduction of the article. Being too bothered about accurate grammar will hurt the fluency and confidence in your speech. On the other hand, we could not deny the fact that having better grammar while speaking will help you sound more refined, polished and professional. A student should find an adequate balance between the grammatical accuracy and fluency of speech for better results.
Mistakes and inadequacies should be noticed and corrected as you go. Download the Entri app to learn more tips and tricks to improve the grammar in your speaking.