To those who are not brought up in an English-speaking environment, the language can be quite hard to grasp and even confusing at times with its inconsistent logic in pronunciations. Therefore those who are trying to pick up the language at a later stage in life, it can be difficult for them to practice it on their own. But there are methods and techniques developed by people to make learning a new language easier. Listening to the language is always helpful to develop the cognitive skill you need to pick up a language.
There are many podcasts available online, but of course, simply listening to the language, though helpful, can sometimes not be adequate. Listening by nature is a very one-sided thing, and therefore consequently, it does not have that engagement you need to speak fluently. That is where the Shadowing Technique comes in. The Technique of Shadowing is one of the most effective ways to improve your English speaking skills. But not a lot of people know about the Shadowing Technique!
What is The Shadowing Technique?
The Shadowing Technique is a language improving Technique where one “shadows” or repeats an audio one hears. Repeat word for word a sentence in a given context or scenario that will help you build the confidence to speak correctly in your daily life situations.
You learn perfect English for the workplace or learn business English is speaking. Possibly even get English corporate training just by listening and repeating sentences pertinent to those places. It is essential to repeat the sentence as you hear it so that the learning process is not fragmented information but feels as conversational as possible. It is almost like a “language workout,” as it is popularly referred to on the internet.
The basic benefits of using this language workout or the Shadowing Technique are:
- You do not have to depend on another person to practice your English
- The whole session does not take more than 15 minutes of your time
- It is one of the most effective ways to improve your spoken English
- There are many spoken English courses free of cost
How to Use the Shadowing Technique to Improve Your English Speaking Skills
Here is a simple step-by-step process of how to go about using this effective spoken English exercise.
There are many places to look for audio. Many audio streaming platforms have plenty of options. But you need to know what you would want to practice. If you want to get into business, you could choose audio that focuses on business English learning. If you are into simply making small talk at parties, there will be perfect audio for you to learn for a specific situation.
Give the audio a listen first.
Like with any other thing, learning is most effective when you understand what you are saying. Therefore before repeating everything you hear blindly, give the audio a listen first. Try to understand everything that is being said. If you do not comprehend everything on the audio in the first shot, give it another listen. Only after you understand everything completely can you start shadowing what you hear intelligently and get the full benefit of the exercise.
Repeat a few times.
It is best to be completely engaged with the activity with full concentration. It is best to keep the session short but intense. A good duration would be around 10 to 15 minutes max to get as much benefit as possible. Any longer than that and the brain starts to wander. In that small duration, try to repeat the audio a few times, going over the harder areas to achieve.
In conclusion, the shadowing Technique is better than enrolling in a basic spoken English course. It is a quick and super effective way of learning relevant English that helps you speak English with ease. And as you practice, you can polish your pronunciations and intonations so that you speak with the confidence of someone from an English speaking background and environment!