You'll have to move beyond the basics if you want to speak impressive English. If you speak English as a second language (ESL), you may be embarrassed about your English. You may wish that you didn't have such a strong accent or that you didn't make so many grammatical mistakes. Improving your English skills is a lofty goal that you can achieve through dedicated study.
Boost your vocabulary. Use vocabulary lists from high-level American exams, like the SAT or GRE. Create flash cards with the word on one side and the definition on the other. Review these at least once a day. Try to use the words in a sentence and use them regularly in your everyday speaking.
Work on reducing your accent. When speaking English, you'll naturally have an accent because the sounds of English are different than the sounds of your native language. You can learn proper pronunciation by using a phonetic guide or by listening to native speakers. Repeat the words out loud regularly.
Develop an interest in the news. By reading newspapers or watching the news on television, you'll not only expose yourself to a wide variety of vocabulary words, you'll also stay up to date on the issues that people might talk about. You'll be prepared for a healthy debate.
Refer to a grammar style guide. Purchase a grammar book that native English speakers use. Refer to this book when writing papers, which will help you to improve your grammar when speaking as well. In fact, you may start to have better grammar than some native English speakers.
Slow down and enunciate. When you try to talk too fast, people may not be able to understand what you're saying. By properly enunciating the words that you say, people will realize how impressive your English skills are.
Maggie McCormick is a freelance writer. She lived in Japan for three years teaching preschool to young children and currently lives in Honolulu with her family. She received a B.A. in women's studies from Wellesley College.