Does your English speaking need some work?
Not quite ready to meet with a native speaker face to face?
And are online speaking lessons not for you?
I have just the solution for you.
You can learn to speak English at home—in your PJs if you want—while having tons of fun!
But before we get to these 10 easy ideas, let’s take a look at the benefits of learning from home.
Why Learn English from Home?
One way to start fun learning is to do it right in the comfort of your own home. Your own home is a peaceful place where you can learn the way you want to.
Further, there are five other reasons why learning to speak English from home is much more fun:
- It’s comfortable. There’s no place in the world where you can just completely relax. You don’t need to worry about how you dress, if you’re late to class or answering questions correctly. If you are comfortable, it produces successful learning.
- It’s convenient. There’s no need to leave the house and travel to a different place. You can study at any time you want.
- It makes you productive. Instead of not doing anything at home, you can use your free time to be productive. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you will learn with all that free time on your hands.
- It’s pressure-free. You study without any pressure from home. You get to follow your own learning pace without worrying if you’ll keep up with your classmates or not. If there is no pressure, you’ll feel more at ease with learning.
- It’s enjoyable. It is actually surprising to know that there are tons of things you can do from home to learn to speak in English, and you will have a blast doing them. Not to mention, you’ll also love the fact that you don’t have to pay a cent.
- It’s just as good as taking a course. While taking an English course or moving to an English-speaking country is a great way to learn English, don’t underestimate how much English you can learn at home. It’s no surprise that many people claim to have learned English completely by themselves: there are just so many options for learning at home as seen in the following video from FluentU’s YouTube channel.
Check out many more videos about learning English on FluentU’s YouTube channel.
As you can see, fun learning is indeed possible. And now, you can start feeling better knowing that you can learn through your own efforts.
So are you excited to get speaking in English? Here we go:
10 Fun and Easy Ways to Learn English by Speaking at Home
1. Sing Karaoke
Singing karaoke is when you sing along to a song that doesn’t have the vocal track, only the background music—so you’re the only one singing. It’s really fun, but sometimes if you’re with other people you can feel nervous and shy.
But at home, you can just relax and sing your favorite songs as loudly as you want! It doesn’t matter if you prefer Frank Sinatra, Lady Gaga or One Direction—as long as you sing in English, you’ll improve your speaking skills while having a good time.
Before you can sing karaoke, though, you will need to learn the lyrics and practice. Break down the song and learn the lyrics in an exciting way with FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.Search through FluentU’s music videos to find a song you enjoy at your level, and use its unique “learn mode” to understand the lyrics and learn new words.
Then, quiz yourself with the game Lyrics Training, where you fill in the missing words from the lyrics as the song plays. Next, sing along with the singer several times, and then finally you’re ready for the ultimate test (and perhaps the most fun part): singing karaoke!
Luckily, you don’t need an expensive karaoke machine to sing karaoke. You can easily find karaoke songs on YouTube. Simply type the name of the song and artist, plus the word “karaoke” into the search field. For example, if you want to sing the classic song “One Way or Another” by Blondie, just type “One way or another blondie karaoke” into the YouTube search bar, and you’ll successfully find this video as the top result.
Try Adele’s “Someone Like You,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Summer Nights” from the musical “Grease” for some popular karaoke songs to start with.
2. Read Out Loud
Reading silently can help train your mind in the English language. However, reading out loud will train your tongue to speak English properly. You can pick any book, poem or short story you want and start reading the words out loud.
Start with easy English reading materials before moving on to these great must-read English books.
In the process of practicing to speak English, you should also know if you’re saying the words correctly. At home, you can check if your pronunciation is correct by simply downloading apps from Google’s Play Store.
You can try English Pronunciation by Kepham. Once the app is installed, type in the word you want to hear pronounced.
You can also try Sounds: Pronunciation App, where you can check the words in both British and American English pronunciation. Plus, this app has a practice and quiz tester too. Both of these apps are free to download.
3. Exercise with Workout Videos
How can that help you, you ask? If you choose to exercise, use English workout videos instead. It will be best if you have DVDs or Blu-Ray discs because these videos always have subtitles. When you work out, try and read those subtitles.
Among the best exercise videos are those from exercise expert Shaun T. You can try his classic “Hip Hop Abs” or “Insanity.” Buy these videos on DVD or rent them from the library so you can use the subtitles.
Once the video starts, copy his movements and his words. So if he’s counting, count along with him! Not only will your body get a good workout, your tongue will experience great English exercise too.
4. Host an English Night Dinner
Get your friends to join your English-speaking journey by hosting an English Night dinner. Well, it could also be a breakfast or lunch, as long as the whole point is for everyone to speak English the entire time.
Be sure to plan some games in addition to the meal. What are some of the games you can try?
First, play Continue the Story. To play the game, someone should start a story by saying “Once upon a time.” Then, the next person will continue the story, perhaps saying, “There lived a princess and a prince.”
To make the game more exciting, you can add a specific number of words per answer. If a friend picks five, he or she should only say five words. If he or she uses the wrong number, the player is out of the game.
Another game you can try is Question and Answer. Have all your friends, including yourself, write a question on an index card. After all the questions are written, put them in a box or bowl and mix them up. Then just take turns picking a question and answering it.
5. Play Monopoly in English
Another fun thing you can do is to play games that require you to read or speak in English. A good example is Monopoly. The board and cards are all written in English, so read them out loud when you’re playing.
Monopoly is easily available in all toy stores. This board game will let you move around the board, buying, selling and renting out properties. The game concept is easy, but for non-English speakers, reading the text on the cards can be a challenge. So if you’re playing, reading the text out loud should prove to be helpful.
Just for added fun, read the text with some emotion. If you are the landlord, express a dominating tone when speaking. Maybe you’re a very nice banker, or perhaps the banker is mean. You decide!
6. Chat with Friends Online
What better way to learn to speak in English than learning with friends? Instead of chatting with them through your keyboard, why not just do a voice or video call instead? This way, you can practice speaking in English in a conversational way. This will be good practice for you both.
One of the most useful video and voice chat apps is Skype. After downloading the free software, sign up for an account and start adding your friends to your contacts.
Another app you can use is Viber. Install the application, and then you can start talking to your friends in your phonebook.
Both apps can be used on desktop and mobile. You call a friend like how you usually make a call on your mobile phone.
7. Call a Customer Support Hotline
You don’t need to have a real question or complaint in order to call customer service. But for the sake of learning to speak in English, pretend you have one. Most big, international companies will have English-speaking representatives. Think of it as a free English lesson.
One way to do this is to ask questions about their products. If you’re calling a beauty product manufacturer, try Avon’s Hotline at 1-800-FOR-AVON. Pretend that you bought a product, and tell them your problem with it. You might say:
Hi, I recently bought your anti-aging skin cream. I like it, but I find it too oily for my skin, would you recommend anything else?
Later, you can continue asking about the other products they have, and you can continue to share what products you are looking for.
For men, you can try calling Nordstrom’s Hotline at 1-888-282-6060. If you don’t feel like asking about products, you can always ask about their refund or return policy. In that case, you might start with:
I recently bought a shirt, but it doesn’t fit right. What’s your return policy?
From there, you have already started a conversation with the customer support representative.
8. Record Yourself
Recording yourself will help you know your pronunciation mistakes. To record yourself, you can use your smartphone, tablet or even your laptop.
Simply start by finding a piece that you’d like to read, and then open up your device’s Audio Recorder and start recording yourself.
Now, recording your own voice is just the first step. The more important step is to check if you’ve pronounced the words correctly. Use the apps mentioned in #2 to check if you are pronouncing the words correctly.
Keep recording your English speaking sessions at home until you perfect the piece you are reading. After that, you can move on to a different piece and also challenge yourself with more advanced vocabulary.
9. Memorize Your Favorite Movie Lines
You probably have a couple of favorite movies that you like to watch over and over again. This time around, you can enjoy them better by speaking like you’re a part of the movie too. Speak alongside the actors and don’t forget to talk with emotion.
We suggest these classic American movies that you can watch later on if you have nothing else in mind. Also, if you’re having a hard time identifying the words they are saying, you can always Google a movie’s transcript.
A transcript is the entire script of a movie, so you can follow the dialogues from there. For example, if you want to say Tom Cruise’s lines in “A Few Good Men,” simply type “A Few Good Men transcript” into Google’s search box.
10. Make an Audio Blog
An audioblog is kind of like a blog of podcasts, where you record yourself for other people to hear. You can talk about whatever you want: movie reviews, share stories, give your opinion, etc. After you record them, you can upload it to your blog and let other people hear what you have to say.
If you have native English speaking friends, ask them for constructive feedback. This means they’ll give you pronunciation tips, praise and ways to improve.
To make an audioblog, start by making a free blog (Try Blogger or Tumblr). Then, use any Audio Recorder you have and record files of yourself speaking. Upload them to your blog and publish the post. Ta-da!
Any combination of these 10 ideas will guarantee an entertaining time with results. But there’s one final tool that you will need to be successful.
A Positive Mind Will Help You Learn to Speak English at Home
If you want to speak English well, physical action alone is not enough.
You should have your eyes on the goal and stay positive when learning.
If you start feeling doubtful or feel like you won’t be able to do it, chances are, that is exactly what will happen. So be positive and believe in yourself. Tell yourself encouraging things: You can do it! You’re getting better! Great job!
In addition to being positive, you need to be persistent, dedicated and most of all, committed. These characteristics will bring you many learning successes.
As you can see, to be able to speak English, you’ll need the physical, mental and emotional aspects. You need to practice with your tongue, but also keep the right mindset.
And most of all, you need to have fun. If you can do all of these things, you will surely be an awesome and fluent English speaker sooner than you thought!
Azalea Pena is a lover of the English language. She has taught non-native English speakers to learn written and verbal English. She enjoys using the language through her writing and hopes to be able to help out more people who have the same interest and love for the language as she does.
And One More Thing...
If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials, as you can see here:
The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.