Hello there! It’s konkaz (@konkazuk) here.
With this blog post, I’m going to explain how to proceed the “soliloquy in English”.
Although “soliloquy in English” is said to be one of the best ways to learn to speak by yourself, I presume there are some people who are wondering like…
“Is there specific way to carry out the practice?“
“Where can you do it without getting what you are doing heard by other people?“
So, here I am going to explain the actual procedure of it with three phases…
- Phase ① Carrying out the practice situation by situation!
- Phase ② Spending a certain period of time a day only with English
- Phase ③ Talking to an imaginary person
Phase ① Carrying out the practice situation by situation!
Essentially, the practice will be the indoor one. (With no surprise as you might have guessed!)
I can say that for those who live by themselves have an ideal environment for practicing since there is no one there to eavesdrop on your soliloquy.
If you live with some other people, then you are going to have to find the time and spot where you don’t bump into them, or if you know your housemates long enough, you can simply explain them what you are going to do in advance.
How do we start?
Making a habit of doing things is often said to be the quickest way to achieve your goal,
however, if you overload at the outset, you won’t last long! w
Therefore, rather than committing yourself to practice certain minutes a day,
I recommend you setting some specific spots/situations for yourself to carry out practicing.
These spots could be…
- When you wake up in the morning.
- When you look at the clock.
- Just before opening the door of the fridge.
- When you eat food.
- When you look through the window to check the weather.
- When you defecate.
- When you unpack the box of delivery.
- When you set the alarm before you going to sleep, etc.
I suppose these are the good opportunities to say some short phrases aloud.
Yes, saying some “short phrases” aloud is actually very important to start with!
Looking outside your window and you might say…
“Damn, it’s raining again!”
Or after finding out the condition of the contents inside the box of delivery, you might say…
“Oh no! It’s broken, isn’t it?”
While you are having some food…
“Oh my god, this tastes so yummy!”
Or simply saying the time of the present aloud each time you check the clock on the wall.
“It’s quarter to eleven, now.”
(There are several ways to express the time, so… this is worth doing it!)
Anyway, figuring out what short phrases you can say at the spots like examples above and repeating this procedure with regular basis is absolutely rewarding.
There is no need for you to try to construct a long sentence!
Therefore, if you could set some points where you can say some short phrases aloud in English within your everyday life and carry out practicing, you will have seen a great deal of difference with your speaking skill some months later.
Stick with using a subjective sentence (starting from “I” )
There is a method of practicing which is to talk to imaginative person within the “soliloquy in English”, however, I wouldn’t recommend this to the beginners at this stage.
It’s rather for advanced levels, and besides it’s a bit like outside the parameter of “soliloquy” to begin with, since you are practically talking to someone.
If you are a beginner, only use “I” (or possibly “we”) as a subject to start your sentence for the time being.
You need to feel comfortable at the beginning of doing something, or you won’t last.
”Frequency” rather than “hours you spend at a time”!
How many times you have let your shot phrases go out of your mouth a day will be the “key” to develop your speaking skill efficiently.
This is because your brain will eventually start recognising some sort of “patterns” like… “This form of phrase can be applied to such and such occasion, in proportion to the number of times you have said them aloud.
And as the patterns getting glued to your brain, the frequency of following the procedure of translating “Japanese” into “English” will drop off, and the new procedure which is “Thinking in English” will be gradually established.
Doesn’t it sound exciting?
Focusing on phrase rather than vocabulary
You don’t need to have a lot of vocabularies to start working on “soliloquy in English”.
Rather than wasting your time and energy accumulating vocabularies which you rarely use from the wordbook, picking up the ones which are frequently used in our everyday life and try to memorise them. This way is much more efficient.
While you are trying to construct a sentence in your head, in order to describe your activities within your daily life, you often stumble like… “Hey, how do I say this in English?”
The words you are going to check each time this thing happens are the ones you should memorise.
Hence, I don’t personally recommend you investing your money in some wordbooks however, I do think it’s a good idea to invest in the books with phrases.
Because “learning phrases” will lead you to “getting used to patterns” in a way…
Phase ② Spending a certain period of time a day only with English
Ideally, before entering this stage, it’s better that you have reached the point where you can come up with some short phrases in a reflex manner.
However, it doesn’t really matter if what you have come up is grammatically correct or not at this stage.
The most important thing is the fact that any form of the phrase comes out of your mouth automatically.
Spending a certain period of time only with English means that you are going to have to speak out whatever comes up in your head or to explain live whatever happens during this period.
Hence, the area of learning you need to cover for your practice will be fairly expanded.
In other words, more inputting is required.
And its content includes “imagination”, “planning”, “looking back” and so on. Therefore, you need to keep your English-brain fully functioning.
…However, there is no need for you to be afraid!
What you are going to output are mainly short phrases, and even a slightly longer ones are generally a combination of short phrases.
And your speaking skill will be brushed up by learning “conjunctions”, “relative pronouns” and so on in order to connect short phrases together, as well as figuring out how “backshift of tenses” works with a bit of struggle.
…And because you are always outputting verbally during the learning process, you will be miles ahead of those who are only concentrating on inputting.
You will be certainly able to reach the level of “everyday conversation in English” if you stick to this phase of practicing for some time, however…
if you could also spare some more time checking YouTube channels of English-lessons presented by native speakers, you will be able to improve your “listening skill” and “pronunciation”, hence you will be like… Mike Tyson without referee in the match. w
And if you are willing to invest some money in yourself, you can try “Online English lessons” and bring what you have acquired from the practice of “soliloquy” into actual English conversations during the lessons, …and I guess there will be no need for you to study English abroad…
And I guess that’s why there are a good number of fluent English speakers who don’t even live abroad appearing lately.
Phase ③ Talking to an imaginary person
It is often said that if you can quarrel with somebody in English, you are at the level of proficiency.
…and I think this is true.
I confess that I have not quite reached at this level…
While I argue with my friends, they usually slow down their speed of talking for me, so I can manage to contradict them, however when it comes to having a quarrel with a total stranger, especially with some regional accent and with formidable speed of talking, I won’t be able to open my mouth. An unconditional surrender! w
To be able to have a quarrel with someone, you need to have the skills of… fast thinking, fluency with a speed of express train, immediate excuse, ability to comprehend the words coming out of fuming person’s mouth, etc. on parade.
This sounds long way to get there, however, you can train yourself to acquire these skills with the practice of “soliloquy” to some degree,
…though you need lots of imagination.
Easiest example is that when you have had an argument or something bitter at work, bombarding with the “phrases of what you should have said” with your soliloquy while the remains of frustration can be still found within yourself, after you come back home on the day. w
If you do this while you are having a shower, speed of your talking might increase… (or is it just me…? w)
Another example could be…
The reconstruction of the scene of argument in the movie or drama.
The current topic is happened to be the “argument”, but any scenes with excitement will do, to be honest.
All you have to do is to pretend to be a character from the movie, capture a part of the scene, and then make it escalated to the direction you want it to go. (A glass of wine or whiskey might help.)
Although I have never done this for myself, becoming either a detective or a criminal could be a good fun. (But probably it will be difficult to explain some abstract scenes. w)
Also… practicing to introduce yourself to someone could be demonstrated with more realistic vibe by setting an imaginary person to speak to.
Doing it to your friend’s friend and to someone at work will be the different ones, won’t they?
Anyway, I have been explaining how to implement the “soliloquy in English” by dividing it into three phases.
I have actually started doing this “soliloquy in English” for myself once again in order to develop my speaking skills further (after a long period of not having done this) since I started this blog writing.
After having kids, I don’t really go out often like how I used to do back in my 20s, and at the moment of everyday life has got a pattern of going to work, come home late, and an extra bit of whatever…
Therefore, apart from the situations where I chat with my kids or with my colleagues at work, a variety of opportunities to communicate with other people in English have been lost!
So, that is the reason why I started working on this again…
The time I can spare a day for doing this is pretty much limited, but still I can recognise myself that I am making a good progress.
Therefore, I really recommend doing this.
👉 * Japanese version of this blog post