Should I prefer plays or composition? Is there some benefit of one over the other for learning spoken English?

I live in India and will be talking to only Indians. It is supposed to be a daily conversation about day to day life.

Update --__-----------_------------

I am 32 years old and do have a fluency in written English.

  • Do you only want reading materials?
    – Catija
    Mar 28, 2015 at 15:40
  • @Catija please give me whatever you have. Mar 28, 2015 at 16:53
  • I mean instead of the recommendations below for tv.
    – Catija
    Mar 28, 2015 at 16:54
  • 1
    For spoken English, read something that has a lot of dialog in it. Or better, listen to such works as audiobooks. Or listen to podcasts and even old radio shows. That seems more practical than trying to learn about spoken English by reading about it.
    – user6951
    Apr 1, 2015 at 18:15
  • @ δοῦλος thanks for the useful advice. I request you to put that as a detailed answer with some examples of american accent shows so that I can get an idea. Apr 3, 2015 at 18:43

6 Answers 6


To become a fluent English speaker, you must study and master reading, listening, and speaking.

Some methods :-

1.Don't study grammar too much- Studying grammar will slow you down and confuse you. You will think about the rules when creating sentences instead of naturally saying a sentence like a native.

2.Learn and study phrases and collocation- These are essential part of spoken English.If you know thousand words, you might not be able to say one correct sentence. But if you know one phrase, you can make hundreds of correct sentences and similarly a collocation shows your level and knowledge of the language.

3.Practice speaking- In order to speak English fluently, you need to practice speaking.Practice speaking until your mouth and brain can do it without any effort. By doing so, you will be able to speak English fluently.

NOTE-->When you want to create an English sentence, do not translate the words from your Mother tongue. The order of words is probably completely different and you will be both slow and incorrect by doing this. Instead, learn phrases and sentences so you don't have to think about the words you are saying. It should be automatic.

4.Study correct material- You should read a newspaper daily (English). You can read novels,classical works and articles on different topics on internet. You can also read magazines and comics.

5.Watch English news channels-As you are from India and you will be talking to Indians only,the Hollywood movies will not benefit you much as they are American(generally) and this will cause problem due to difference in accent.So it's better to watch English news channels as they use the same dialect as used in India and it will also help in increasing your knowledge and you will stay updated about current affairs.
You should also watch English Talk shows as they help in quickly developing communication skills,improve non-verbal skills and up-to some extent in grooming body language.

List of some books which will help you in improving:-

1.Cambridge - English Vocabulary in Use(upper-intermediate & advanced) by McCarthy and felicity O'Dell

2.Word Power Made Easy by Norman Lewis

3.Cambridge International Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs

4.Wings of Fire by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

5.I, Robot by Isaac Asimov

  • 1
    I would recommend NOT to watch English news channels (especially the ones like Times NOW as these days the content on these channels is not very good). I would rather urge you to watch English TV shows (such as House of Cards, Empire and so on. Though the accent would be tough to catch in the beginning, you can soon pick it up).
    – Mamta D
    Mar 31, 2015 at 6:14
  • 1
    Indian English is fairly different from British English, not only in terms of pronunciation but in terms of grammar and vocabulary as well.
    – user230
    Mar 31, 2015 at 7:01
  • @MamtaD Arnab's English is not good? You mean grammar and vocabulary both? Really? (Note: I'm not concerned with the 'topics' they choose)
    – Maulik V
    Apr 2, 2015 at 5:14
  • 1
    His English is good, I was referring to the content.
    – Mamta D
    Apr 2, 2015 at 5:58
  • What do you mean by "practice"? If you know only three words in German, for example, you could spend years by yourself in a room "practicing" it, but how would it improve? Aug 22, 2018 at 3:57
  1. Reading that you select for the most enjoyment.

  2. Reading that you can easily understand.

This guidance is supported by research in language acquisition.

Applying the Comprehension Hypothesis: Some ... - Stephen Krashen


The Case for Non-Targeted, Comprehensible Input



I Always try to listen to English movie and TV show which really helps me improve my speaking.The more you listen, the better you get


Try to learn: pronunciation. When you know it, you can hear more exactly.
There are some rules to learn:

  • Word Stress.
  • What type of word.
  • ...

I recommend some Study English Series of australianetwork

This series introduce IELTS Preparation. Videos are easy to hear.


Ok, the best way to learn spoken English is to practise speaking English either with other learners of spoken English or yourself. Try to imagine different situations (e.g. you the man of the match and you are being interviewed by journalists; you have won a film fare award; how you have prepared a particular dish, etc.) and express yourself. If you do not get the English words refer to a dictionary (from your mother tongue to English).

About books to improve your spoken English :

  1. The most important component of spoken English is vocabulary. Read books to improve your vocabulary. The books that may be read are short story books written by English writers, Aesop's Fables, English books prescribed in school curriculum, English Grammar book for school students.
  2. Study poetry and read them aloud to improve your sense of rhythm, stress and intonation.
  3. Watch English news channels (of India).
  4. Read English Novels. You can also read the 'abridged versions' of the novels of Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy, Jane Austen, etc.
  5. Try to learn by heart the English proverbs and idioms, and use them often. The best source is a Dictionary having a list of proverbs as appendix or supplementary material.
  6. You can also learn by heart the sayings and quotations of the famous people. This will help you learn good sentence construction and you will be able to imitate these sentences in the long run.

English Plays are also very good source of learning how the native speakers use English in different situations and moods.

Composition will help you build up a strong vocabulary.

But the most important thing is to practise it; better if practised in front of a person who can point out your mistakes.


Children's books are meant to be read aloud. Children's poetry is meant to be recited by English language learners to each other (usually in a "sing-songy" voice). If you have children, consider reading bed-time stories to them. Here are a few great books for reading aloud:

  • The Princess Bride.
  • Alice in Wonderland; Through the Looking Glass.
  • The Hobbit.
  • The Jungle Books. (Kipling was a colonialist, but he lived in India. His writing is very vivid.)
  • Nursery rhymes, including Mother Goose.
  • Most of Shel Silverstein's children's books. (But skip The Giving Tree.)

Most of these examples include lots of poetry, and their prose is very poetic.

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