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MERLIN Says: Speaking Tips from Merlin, the Young Warlock

Merlin on ©BBC

You fancy learning English and you really want to improve your spoken English, but you don’t know what to do.  Then you’ve come to the right place! Merlin, the young Warlock is here to give you some magic tips. If you want to be a powerful ‘knight’ of English language, just have a look and follow Merlin’s advice. You won’t believe how fast your English will get better!


Tip # 1: Merlin says “Rise and shine!”

Learning a new language is not easy, but it is cool. To taste the fun part of it, you need to start with a good move. Planning and thinking may not be enough. You need ‘action’ and it is never late for that. So why don’t you rise and shine! Yes, now, in this very moment! Stand and begin from somewhere.

Tip # 2: Merlin says “The more you listen and read, the more powerful you will be!”

If you want to speak English, you should listen and read more. Each step you take will make you more powerful. Songs, cartoons, movies and TV series are very helpful and fun. Decide on your favourite ones and ‘open’ your ears while you are listening or watching. Try to understand the words and phrases. Rewind back and follow the subtitles when you need. Join the song you are listening to and see if your pronunciation is similar with the singer’s or not.

Tip # 3: Merlin says “Sharpen your sword!”

To win a battle, you need a sharp sword and in learning a language ‘sharpening your sword’ can be considered as ‘practising’. Be brave and practise. Think about an enemy opposite, you don’t stand with your sword in your hand and think about which moves to take. You just do it. It is the same in learning a language. Don’t wait for making the ‘perfect’ sentence with the ‘perfect’ grammar. Jump in and speak. After some time, you will see that words become phrases and phrases become sentences. If you can’t find anybody to practise, you can try to record your voice. You may start with one minute and extend the time later. Talk about anything you want. Your ideas about a topic, the things you did that day, the film you watched, the people you talked to, the dream you had the night before etc.

Tip # 4: Merlin says “Take notes!”

Taking notes is very important. It helps you to learn new words and phrases. Taking notes is not writing each word you hear, so do not panic! Focus on the new things you hear, the ones you are curious about. If you see or hear a word more than once or twice, that means it is important. It is time to learn about it. You can take notes in your favourite notebook, on your smart phone or on your computer. They are all OK! Just make sure that you use them later. Without using and practising they are nothing but it’s just losing time. You can aim to learn a word a day. Writing “today’s word” on a piece of paper and posting it on your mirror, cupboard or fridge can be useful. You can even type it on your phone or computer, munch the screen and make it a wall paper. By seeing the same word there for the whole day, you will be learning it very easily.

Tip # 5: Merlin says “Never give up!”

No matter what happens, don’t quit! Don’t forget! This is a new language for you. It is very normal to make mistakes in speaking and writing. Mistakes will help you to shape your language and your English will be better day by day. You need to be patient! Keep up your practice and don’t give up!

Tip # 6: Merlin says “Use the right ingredients for your magic potion!”

You need ingredients to make a magic potion and if you don’t have the right ones, it can be a disaster. Then, you should always look for the ‘right’ ingredients. As a language learner, your ingredients are your books, notes, handouts and other resources, but they are not enough. You need some visuals and audios as well. What you have to do is to decide which ones are the best for you and your learning style. Internet is a great option for that. There are lots of links to online resources for listening, reading, vocabulary and speaking materials. You are very lucky because most of them are free.

Here are some of them:

Stories and Poems

Listen to stories and poems and do the online activities. If you have any difficulties, follow the transcript of the listening materials.

The Teacher

You will love the videos of this funny and crazy teacher! They are awesome to learn new idioms.

How to Videos

These short videos will teach you some tips about fun and cool things. You can try the activities and check the transcript when you need.

I Wanna Talk About

These audios are great examples for you to improve your speaking. Don’t miss the follow-up activities. Maybe you can record your own ones later on.

Britain is Great

Learning a language is also learning about a culture. You don’t have to fly to Britain for that. These videos are giving information about the country and they are very enjoyable. The tasks are fun, too.

Fun and Games

Whenever you want to give a break, stop by these games and have fun. There are also apps for your smart phone.

Tip # 7: Merlin says “You have magic!”

Believe in yourself! Be confident! You don’t need to compare yourself with your friends or other people. Each person has different skills and features, so the time of the learning process can be different for everyone. No matter how old you are, where you are from or where you live, you can still learn a new language! Be brave and take risks. Make mistakes and keep going. Practise, practise and practise. Give time and energy. Don’t give up your dreams because ‘you have magic’ :)

This post was first published here.