There’s no short cut to improving your general proficiency in English as measured by your use of grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and fluency. Your English is currently at a particular level and this will only improve over time depending on the amount of practice you put in. This is why you need to take every opportunity both in class and during self-study to improve your English Speaking skills. This will come about by practising ALL skills, not just speaking. Your vocabulary will grow the more you read in English, the more you listen to spoken English the better your pronunciation will become.
But what other steps can you take to improve your spoken English in preparation for the exam?
Start by looking at your own habits when speaking English. For example, do you worry a lot about making mistakes and therefore speak slowly and deliberately? Do you wait to be asked for your opinion before saying anything during a
discussion? Do you find yourself hesitating a lot when speaking at length? Habits like these mean you’re not making the most of your opportunities to speak English.
Read the statements below, some of which appeared in the earlier assessment quiz. Grade yourself from 1 to 5 on each one. (1 = Often, 5 = Never)
A) Do you tend to focus too much on speaking accurately at the expense of your fluency skills?
B) Do you speak very quickly with little concern for accuracy?
C) Do you often answer questions briefly with little detail?
D) Do you find it difficult to deal with comments or questions you don’t understand?
E) Do you wait to be asked questions rather than initiating conversation yourself?
F) Do you spend most of the time talking and rarely ask questions?
G) Do you often repeat the same words and expressions instead of using a variety of vocabulary?
H) Do you find it difficult to find the words or grammar to explain what you mean?
I) Do you run out of things to say when making a long turn before the time’s up?
J) Are your long turns rather disorganized?
K) Do you hesitate a lot during long turns?
L) Do you find it difficult to vary your intonation?
M) Do you find it difficult pronouncing certain sounds such as vowels, dipthongs or consonant clusters?
If you scored too many 1s and 2s, set yourself the task of improving at least one grade in all areas during your exam preparation. Your English proficiency will improve when you change habits that slow down the development of your spoken