Hello! Talk English

Get in the extra practice now, and conversations with other English speakers will get easier daily!

Talking with other people is a great way to practice speaking. But sometimes, you are studying and practicing English by yourself. Even then, you can still practice speaking with Hello! Talk English App.

 

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Minimal Pairs /ð/ and /z/

In a previous post, we introduced pronunciation practice with minimal pairs l and r. Here’s another quick list of minimal pairs th and z. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced vocabulary you can repeat out loud. Remember, it’s especially useful to try these words in real conversation or with a practice partner so you can check if people understand your pronunciation.


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Minimal Pairs /l/ and /r/

Do you have trouble pronouncing l and r words, especially if they sound similar? For example, can you pronounce lane and rain clearly? These kinds of words are known as pair words.

English Club has a list of /l/ and /r/ minimal pairs that you can practice repeating out loud. There are beginner, intermediate, and advanced vocabulary. It’s quick practice that you can do regularly, and then use the words in real conversation. Check with your friends or teachers to see if your pronunciation is clear or not.


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Small Talk with English Club

Winter quarter is just starting, and many of you are meeting new classmates and teachers. Now is the perfect time for making “small talk.” Small talk is pleasant conversation about general topics and common interests. It’s a good way to begin making friends. English Club has a great page for learning small talk (recommended for Levels 300+). As they explain,

In most English-speaking countries, it is normal and necessary to make “small talk” in certain situations. Small talk is a casual form of conversation that “breaks the ice” or fills an awkward silence between people. Even though you may feel shy using your second language, it is sometimes considered rude to say nothing. Just as there are certain times when small talk is appropriate, there are also certain topics that people often discuss during these moments.

Read through English Club‘s lesson on small talk, do their practice exercises, and take the quiz here:


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The Good and the Bad

For many English learners who study in the U.S., it may be difficult adapt to an American classroom because the teaching and learning styles are different. One difference may be in how mistakes are corrected. Specifically, American teachers may not correct all of your speaking mistakes. You’re probably wondering, why not? Doesn’t correcting all your mistakes help you? Actually, that’s not always the case. Everyone makes mistakes, even native speakers. These mistakes don’t always mean that you don’t understand certain grammar points, and sometimes they even help your learning process.

Here’s a great article on why some teachers don’t correct all your speaking mistakes for good and bad reasons. If your teacher is an example of the good reasons, then great! You’re in good hands. But if you notice your teacher is an example of the bad reasons, try talking to your teacher and work out a better learning approach together; clear communication is an important way to work through these problems and improve your learning. This article is recommended for intermediate to advanced learners (Levels 400-800/EAP).

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Daily Conversation Starters

Speaking with people in a foreign language can be very difficult for learners, but that’s also one of the best ways to become fluent. A study group or partner in particular is useful for speaking practice. At Daily ESL, there are a lot of conversation starter exercises designed for a study group or class. Choose your topic, then listen to and read the script. Study the vocabulary, follow the discussion topics and exercises with your study group. These interactive conversation starters are great opportunities to practice speaking! Be sure to use the vocabulary, phrases, and conversation starter topics in your own daily life. Recommended for intermediate learners (Levels 300-400).

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American Idioms 5 with Dana

Summer quarter is done soon, but it’s not too late to start learning new things. Here are some idioms about new beginnings you can try. Dana explains what they mean in her video lesson below.

Recommended for intermediate and advanced learners (Levels 400+). You can also review Dana’s previous idiom lessons:

Dana’s American Idioms, Lesson 5 – New Beginning

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Interrupting in English

Are you comfortable joining or changing a conversation in English? If not, this article Interrupting in English has very useful phrases and tips to help you. Try them in different situations like class, at work, or with friends.

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Be a More Confident Public Speaker

Glossophobia (n) – fear of public speaking

Does this word apply to you? If so, you’ve probably often avoided speaking in front of people. But as English learners, that’s one of the best ways to learn. I’m sure you’ve done something like group or individual presentations in your English classes. You were probably anxious and nervous and had a more difficult time speaking. So how can you improve and reduce glossophobia? Check out WatchWellCast’s video below for tips on how to be a more confident public speaker. Recommended for intermediate to advanced students (Levels 400+).

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American Idioms 4 with Dana

Spring quarter is almost over. Of course, it means final exams. But once school is over, it also feels like the holidays have come! You can enjoy break time. With that on your mind, try out these holiday-related idioms that Dana shares in her fourth video lesson.

Recommended for intermediate and advanced learners (Levels 400+). You can also review Dana’s previous idiom lessons:

Dana’s American Idioms, Lesson 4 – Holidays

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