How to improve your spoken English

How to improve spoken EnglishPeople often ask me how they can improve their spoken English. Whether you’re doing your PSC language exam, or you just want to improve generally here are a few tips with, “how to improve your spoken English.”

Have conversations with people

Many people are shy when it comes to practising a new language. You should give that extra effort to practice talking. Also, ask the person you chat with to correct you. This will help reduce the number of mistakes you repeat.

Listen to the news

This is  a great way to listen to how to pronounce words. People who do the news tend to speak very clearly and pronounce their words carefully. This is great if you are a second language learner because you really get to hear the words pronounced correctly. Once you hear the words used in the news, you can practice them on your own.  As a side note, if you are looking for a great way to find out how to pronounce words, you can check out I recommend this site because it has both British and American pronunciations.


First of all what is a podcast. A podcast is, “A multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc”  Podcasts are great because they are many  topics. They aren’t always the best of quality and the level of speech changes with each one, but they are entertaining. If we can make learning fun, why not? A great place to look for podcasts is Itunes.

Those are some tips for people who are looking to improve their spoken English.

If you have any other suggestions about “how to improve your spoken English”, leave me a suggestion.

Reported Speech

Reported Speech or Indirect Speech

What is reported speech?

Reported speech is paraphrasing what people said. It is also known as indirect speech.

  • e.g. Paul said, “I study law.”
    • Reported speech =  Paul said (that) he studied law.
    • In English the ‘that’ is optional. Most French people might prefer to use ‘that’ because it resembles indirect speech in French.

The words within the quotations marks ” ” are direct speech. In reported speech we don’t use any quotation marks because we are paraphrasing (or reporting) what the person said.

Reported Speech Chart

Reported speech changes based on what verb tense the person uses. The following is a reported speech explanation chart. It shows what verb tense you need to use when you report it. The chart also provides a direct speech example,and a reported speech example.

Direct Speech Direct Speech Example Reported Speech Reported Speech Example
Simple present “I study English.” Simple past He said he studied English.
Present continuous “I am studying English.” Past continuous He said he was studying English.
Simple past “I studied English.” Simple past


Past perfect

He said he studied English.


He said that he had studied English.

Past continuous “I was studying English.” Past perfect continuous He said he had been studying English.
Simple future “I will study English.” Will changes to Would He said he would study English.
Future continuous “I will be studying English.” Will changes to would He said he would be studying English.
Present perfect “I have studied English.” Past perfect He said he had studied English.
Present perfect continuous “I have been studying English.” Past perfect continuous He said he had been studying English.
Past perfect “I had studied English.” Past perfect He said he had studied English.
Past perfect continuous “I had been studying English.” Past perfect continuous He said he had been studying English.

Why do you need to know reported speech?

You need to use reported speech for some oral exams. In the  listening component, you might have to explain to the examiner what happened in an audio conversation. That is the part where you will need to use reported speech.

Here is an example of an audio clip you could hear in an exam.

After you heard the audio the assessor would ask you to report what happened in the sound clip.

How have you used reported speech?


Fixed Expression List

Here is a list of fixed expressions that I have encountered in practice test exams

Expression Example
As a result of As a result of poor management we will have to hire new mangers.
I am pleased I am pleased to announce my son’s wedding will proceed.
A bit Just give me a bit of apple pie.
Regret to inform I regret to inform you that your son has died.
Spend time I should spend time with my girlfriend, so I can’t go out.
Most grateful I would most grateful if you could sing at our wedding.
With respect to Would you look over this document with respect to punctuation?
In your possession While my watch is in your possession please be very careful.
In light of In light of the recent events, we will be asking everyone to check in at the office.
As of this date As of this date we will be taking attendance for all classes.
Be it Be it rain or be it snow I will still go outside.
It is advisable It is advisable to assume responsibility when in a managerial position.
Pertaining to You will have to check with your department about information pertaining to the statistics.
To take into account You need to take into account the variables before you calculate the answer.
On the other hand Well on one hand you have red and on the other hand you have green, so which one?
Not always Do you always go to the movies? No not always.
As well as As well as dogs we also have cats on the set today.
As good as This cup is as good as that glass.
I am pleased to announce I am pleased to announce that John and Marial are getting married.
Take this opportunity Take this opportunity to tell your family about your situation.
Please refrain Please refrain from making loud noises in the church.
A lot I always eat a lot of chocolate when I am sad.
Lots I need lots of coffee when I study for exams.
In view of In view of the late hour, we’ll have to put off that topic until our next meeting.
Take advantage of You can take advantage of the situation if you act now.
It would be to your advantage It would be to your advantage to take this promotion now instead of waiting years.
Be interested We are very interested in acquiring your estate Mr. Orswells.
It is essential that It is essential that you give these orders to my boss.
In the face of I laugh in the face of competition.
It is the intent that It is the intent that you follow the instructions closely.
Full airing The debate will be a full airing of all your concerns.
Downstairs Would you take that blanket downstairs to the basement please?
Bear (something) in mind Bear the evidence in mind when you make your decision about the defendant’s innocence.
At all times You must be available at all times for your staff.
All the time You must be available all the time to answer questions.
For all time You will be married for all time.
It is essential It is essential that you read the documents carefully, before signing them.
Responsible for You are responsible for all of your staff.
Smooth the way After the first person smoothes the way we can proceed much easier.
With reference to or in reference to This memo is with reference to the recent complaints about the lunch room.
In that The conference was encouraging in that we realized we share a variety of concerns.
On account of On account of recent events we are asking people to be careful when you go outside at night.
To account for Last night we did inventory to account for any missing items.
In line with My opinion is in line with my husband’s.
By virtue of By virtue of the reoccurring problems we are asking you to be careful.
In for trouble Jane if you come home late you will be in for trouble, said her father.
To do away with We need to do away with pollution on our planet.
Every effort We are making every effort to rescue your son ma’am.
Get back to you I will get back to you about that memo Jill.
I would like to inform you I would like to inform you that we have all had our loans cleared.
Do one’s best I can only do one’s best when I am performing.
In time for Great! I am in time for dinner.
Come into effect The new policies come into effect January 1, 2009.
In the meantime Would you like to grab a sandwich in the meantime?
As most of you know As most of you know, we are having network issues today.
In response to In response to your email I have included the details about vacation time.
The attached document In the attached document you will find all the relevant information about dogs.
As such I do no want to discuss the document as such, but rather the importance of it.
Have potential They have potential to contribute to the conversation.
Public interest If there is enough public interest, we can start a campaign to get a new community center.
Never before Never before has there been a more ridiculous idea.