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Speaking in an Additional Language

Want to know the secret to gaining confidence while speaking in another language? It's all about making errors--lots of errors--and getting corrective feedback. Before you know it, you will be the expert at correcting your own errors and speaking with precision, clarity, and ease in your field. Practice makes progress.

Read Aloud

Reading aloud is a great starting point to practice vocabulary, pronunciation, and internalize grammatical structures and patterns. Take your practice to the next level by reading aloud from your course content and drafts of your assignments, as well as real-world disciplinary texts from journal articles, news stories, textbooks, and transcripts of real-world interactions.


Anxious about making a mistake when the stakes are high? Internalizing the specialized jargon and communicative conventions in a particular discipline takes time and practice, and getting started is easy. Start small speaking the answers to your homework assignments and practice scenarios before you write them. From there, try recording yourself and listening to your speech to correct the errors you notice.


Spoken interactions in and out of the classroom are crucial. Participate in class, and look for opportunities to immerse yourself in speaking in your discipline. Professional organizations, clubs, and volunteering are great opportunities for authentic speaking practice. Meet online with a tutor for feedback in the focus area of your choice (grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation, colloquialisms, etc.).  

Speaking in an Additional Language Toolkit