Learning how to improve English speaking skills is no secret.
The problem is, most of us don’t have the time to take action. We get caught up with family events, work projects, and other distractions that keep us busy.
No need to worry, because we’re going to show you how to improve your English speaking skills in 30 minutes a day.
Why you need to spread out your learning
You’ve probably heard the infamous act of ‘cramming’ before an important exam. Let’s face it, we’ve all done it one time or another.
There has been numerous research down on the effects of cramming, and how impactful it is. The most notable one is the research done in 1885 by Hermann Ebbinghaus.
What they found was: humans are naturally inclined to binge learn because spaced-out learning feels like we’re forgetting information we learned in the short-term. But research shows that we shouldn’t trust our instinct, because most of the information is retrievable.
The bottom line was: “studying right before an exam is always a good idea. But cramming–that is, ONLY studying right before an exam — is never a good idea.”
Another study studied the probability of recall compared to the time between presentations. The result was, the longer the lag time, the higher the probability of recall was.
So how do these research findings help you improve your English speaking skills?
It helps us address one important point: learning in small chunks is not only more sustainable for your lifestyle, but it’s scientifically proven to be more effective.
How to Improve English Speaking Skills in 30 Minutes a Day
Now that we recognize the power of bite-sized learning, we’ll show you some tips on how to improve your English speaking skills in 30 minutes a day.
1. Master your schedule
The real secret answer on how to improve English speaking skills is not a learning hack, but mastering your schedule.
Bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell, popularized the 10,000 hour rule stating that to master a new skill, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice.
This is another way of saying that work ethic will prevail natural talent in the long term. Applying this back to improving your English skills, the best step you can take today is to learn the power of scheduling.
i) Set up your digital calendar
The first thing you want is a calendar that you can use to manage your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule. We recommend using a free, digital calendar like Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar, or iCalendar.
ii) Fill in your daily activities
If you already know you’ll be busy on certain times of the day, such as classes, meetings, family time, etc., fill these in. To give you an example, here’s what my schedule look like for Monday.
iii) Add a 30-minute slot in between your busy slots
This is your English learning time. Ideally, you’ll have 45-60 minute slots in case you want to extend your learning time or if you need to commute to your next meeting.
For example, I could add a 30-minute learning time in between my ‘Blog/Guest’ and ‘Email onboarding’ time on Monday.
iv) Create notifications and reminders
The last step is to create reminders for yourself, so you don’t forget it.
To do this on Google Calendar, all you have to do is click the arrow next to your calendar, and click ‘Edit notifications’.
Then you can decide how much time in advance you want your notifications, and what type of notification you want.
Now we’ll get into the specifics of learning tactics that will take you less than 30 minutes a day to improve your English skills.
2. Learn 1,000 most common words (10 a day)
With any foreign language, studies show that most of us only use a fraction (roughly 1,000-2,000) of the words we know in our vocabulary.
This is because we tend to use the same, common words in our everyday conversations with the people around us. Think about the last time you used a complicated word like idiosyncratic or machiavellian in your native language.
3. Leverage podcasts to learn on-the-go
We can listen to it while we’re driving to work, exercising at the gym, or walking our dog. Since a lot of podcasts are near the thirty minute mark, it’s an easy way to fit learning English into your schedule.
Here are some popular podcasts that we recommend checking out:
a. Better at English – Gain useful insights from top English teachers and tips to maintain a regular learning ritual.
b. 6 Minute English – Learn the English basics in 6 minutes on-the-go, such as new vocabulary words, conversation starters, and questions to ask.
c. Coffee Break English – This is one of the most popular language podcasts for not just English, but Spanish and other languages as well.
4. Work with a professional language teacher
If you’ve been reading our blog, it shouldn’t be a surprise when we tell you that the best way to learn a language is with a teacher.
Research from the National Training Laboratories shows that humans remember:
5% of what they learn when they’ve learned from a lecture.
10% of what they learn when they’ve learned from reading.
20% of what they learn from audio-visual.
30% of what they learn when they see a demonstration.
50% of what they learn when engaged in a group discussion.
75% of what they learn when they practice what they learned.
90% of what they learn when they teach someone else/use immediately.
Based on this data, gaining immediate feedback and using what you’ve learned with a teacher can be 18x more effective compared to a language classroom.
The other major benefit of working with a professional teacher is accountability. At the end of the day, sheer willpower is not enough to rely on. There will be major ups and downs as you learn anything new. Having someone that can keep you motivated and accountable can be the difference between giving up too early, or achieving your end goal successfully.
If you’re looking for a reliable way to find the best English teachers who are available when you’re free, look no further. Rype connects you with pre-vetted, handpicked professional teachers who are available 24/7.
More importantly, it takes less than 30 seconds to book your English lessons, and you can book multiple lessons ahead of time to sync with your schedule. If you want to see for yourself, get started today with Rype’s free trial offer.
Quick review: How to improve English speaking skills?
Congratulations for making it all the way to the end. We hope this was useful for helping you improve your English skills around your busy schedule. As a quick review, here are the steps you need to take:
1. Master your schedule – Find free slots in your day, and schedule 30 minute times to practice English
2. Learn the most common words in English – Learn 10 of the most common words a day in 100 days = 1,000 most common words
3. Use English podcasts – Learn English on-the-go by leveraging the power of podcasts
What’s your favorite strategy on how to improve English speaking skills? Share it with us below! 🙂
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