To most people, speaking is the most difficult part when learning a foreign language. Although everyone knows that the best way to speak a language fluently is to practice speaking as much as possible, not many people can do this. Language centers often create courses focusing on speaking skills, but besides the help of these courses, you should make some effort to improve your skills on your own.
Learners often hesitate to speak because they are afraid of pronouncing the words wrongly. In fact it is very difficult to correct a mistake in pronunciation later if you don’t pay attention to it from the start. The advice is that you should try to pronounce the words right from the very first lessons. Be patient when pronouncing new words. If you make a constant mistake in pronunciation, you should record the right pronunciation of that word and listen over and over again so that you will be familiar with it.
You can find short stories in the language you are learning, in books or on the internet and read them aloud at home. In this way you can roughly judge how good your pronunciation is and gain more confidence when speaking to others later. You can also try to think in the language you are learning. It may sound crazy but speaking to yourself in a foreign language is very effective for your learning.
Of course the best way to improve your speaking skills is to talk with a native speaker. That also means the best language class is the one which has a native speaker as the teacher. The foreign teacher usually uses only the language being learnt in the class and refuses to speak in any other. Therefore you can become more familiar with the language you are studying because you are forced to speak in it.
Talking to a native speaker in your country is good, however, talking to a native in his own country is far better. If you can afford to travel to the country where the language that you are learning is spoken and stay there for some time, it’s the fastest way to improve your speaking skills. When you are surrounded by a new language everyday and no one talks to you in your mother tongue, you have to try your best to speak in that language to survive! Besides being able to learn how people really talk in their daily lives, you can also enlarge your vision with new views and enrich your knowledge about a different culture.