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How Important is Speaking as an English Skill?

To speak another language is to truly live in that other language. It’s one thing to be able to read and understand it, or hear it from others and understand it, but without speaking, you really don’t have any meaningful ability in that language, and English is no exception.

Speaking is a vital English skill as it enables direct communication and expression of ideas. Compared to other skills, speaking provides immediate feedback, enhancing learning. Proficiency in speaking English ensures relationship building, active participation in global conversations and access to opportunities.

Many people would likely agree with this assessment of speaking as an English language skill, and any language really, but is it really accurate? How important is speaking as an English skill? Is it as much the be-all and end-all that our introduction implies? we take a look below. and don’t forget our other English language skills articles linked below as well.

How Important is Speaking as an English Skill?

It’s impossible to deny just how important speaking is as a fundamental skill in English. Without ability in speaking, you can’t meaningfully share the experience of the language with other people.

To speak a language is to use it to communicate directly with others. Our spoken language conveys our thoughts and feelings to others, as well as making clear our needs or demands. If we can’t articulate our thoughts in that way, then we have really learned English for nothing.

Even if we remove this more emotional connection between humans, speaking as a practical skill cannot be ignored.

As a learner, you will better master vocabulary and grammar when you actively use it when speaking. In addition, speaking in English helps to improve fluency, confidence, and one’s ability to communicate increasingly complex ideas in English. For these reasons alone, it is truly the most inseparable part of any English language learning process.

What Are the Benefits of English Speaking Skills?

Now let’s take a closer look at some of the particular benefits of learning and practicing English speaking, all of which help to reflect and prove its importance in the overall process.

Mastery of Vocabulary and GrammarActively using vocabulary and grammar in conversations helps with long-term retention.
Improving Fluency and PronunciationSpeaking practice helps improve natural speech flow and accurate pronunciation.
Making Friends and Building RelationshipsSpeaking enables more profound connections and friendships with English speakers.
A Stronger Ability to Retain Learned EnglishSpeaking helps to reinforce and retain other aspects of English learning.
Gaining a Boost in Wider Communication SkillsSpeaking in a second language can enhance communication skills in your native language.
Improving Listening Skills Through SpeakingEngaging in conversations exposes you to different accents and expressions, improving listening.
Building Cultural CompetenceInteracting with native speakers helps develop understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures.
Expanding Your Social CircleMastering English speaking skills allows you to connect with people from different backgrounds.

English Speaking Skills: Mastering Vocabulary and Grammar

As we mentioned before, speaking is arguably the most effective way for learners to gain mastery over the reams of vocabulary and grammatical structures they have been learning either in classes or through self-study.

When you learn and memorize a word on paper, you might retain it for a day or two, but what will help you retain those words in your mind, is using them in real conversations with others.

A single conversation with a native speaker might offer the chance to use dozens of vocabulary words that you’ve recently learned, and all in different tenses and within different sentence structures.

As you use them and see them acknowledged and understood by others, your mind will better retain them. The more you converse, the more opportunities you have to use all of your vocabulary, and thus the better you retain things you have learned in the past.

Those with experience learning a foreign language will know this is true. You might have stopped learning a language years before, but words that you commonly used in conversation are likely still there in your mind, as if you’d just learned them that day.

English Speaking Skills: Improving Fluency and Pronunciation

Speaking English is the only practical way one can improve both fluency and pronunciation. One can read aloud from books or other materials, of course, but the limitation there is that one can only read what one has in front of them.

With speaking, you can practice fluency in a more natural and constructive way, learning to think fast, adapt your language, modify your tone and conjugate those verbs.

With greater fluency invariably comes better pronunciation, too. Those who are learning English in order to pass a test such as the IELTS or TOEFL test will know just how important that is, since pronunciation accounts for about 25 percent of one’s score in speaking — and fluency another 25 percent.

Only by speaking aloud can you improve both of these elements, because while you may think you speak English fluently and beautifully in your head, the proof of that is only seen when you open your mouth for the words to come out.

How Important is Speaking as an English Skill?

English Speaking Skills: Making Friends and Building Relationships

Earlier we talked about how speaking was the chief mode through which humans connect with each other linguistically. Even in the age of the Internet and instant messaging, this is still the case, with all the closest and most meaningful relationships being built on a foundation of spoken language communication.

Therefore, if you want to make friends in the future with other English speakers, then you will need to share that common language with them audibly, and that requires you to speak aloud.

Many of us will make (sometimes embarrassing) mistakes while speaking with others and trying to make friends with them. It can feel awkward at first, even causing some to want to retreat back into themselves and never speak again.

However, it is through these mistakes that we learn most rapidly and effectively. Mistakes in reading and writing learning are rarely met with this kind of reflection and self-correction.

English Speaking Skills: A Stronger Ability to Retain Learned English

Besides just retaining vocabulary and grammar, mastering your speaking skills will better help you retain all manner of English skill and ability. Speaking can be an excellent way to review your other learning activities.

For example, you might give a presentation on a book that you recently finished reading, or you might share your opinions on a professor’s essay or published papers. While speaking on such matters, you are reviewing over and over in your mind the knowledge you acquired from these sources, reinforcing the information in your head, which will allow you to retain it for longer.

We have articles on all the four main English language skills here on the site, you can check them out anytime.

English Speaking Skills: Gaining a Boost in Wider Communication Skills

Finally, it may surprise you to learn that speaking in English can help you improve your communication skills in your own native language. The level of skill and confidence that it takes to speak in a second language can help to make your own seem simpler in many ways, and that confidence oozes naturally back into your native tongue.

He or she who is willing to make mistakes in front of others while speaking another language will have no trouble giving a presentation, making a speech, or communicating difficult ideas to other people.

How Important is Speaking as an English Skill?

Targeted English Speaking Skills.

Importance of Speaking for Professional Development:

In today’s globalized world, English has become the lingua franca in many professional fields. Possessing strong speaking skills is essential for successful career advancement. Being able to confidently articulate your ideas in meetings, presentations, and negotiations will not only earn you respect among your peers but also open doors to new opportunities.

Imagine attending international conferences or collaborating with colleagues from different countries – speaking English proficiently will undoubtedly be a valuable asset.

Overcoming the Fear of Speaking:

It’s natural to fear making mistakes when speaking a foreign language. But remember, everyone learning a language goes through this phase.

Embrace the errors as opportunities to grow and learn. Build your confidence by practicing with supportive friends, language partners, or even by talking to yourself! Focus on your progress, celebrate your improvements, and soon enough, you’ll notice the fear diminishing.

The Role of Accent and Intonation:

Mastering accent and intonation is crucial for conveying meaning accurately in spoken English. Different accents and intonation patterns can sometimes lead to confusion or misinterpretation.

By familiarizing yourself with various accents and working on your intonation, you’ll be better equipped to understand and be understood by native speakers from different regions.

Watching movies, listening to podcasts, and engaging in conversations with diverse English speakers are all great ways to develop these skills. we discuss these in our English listening skills article linked above as well.

Improving Listening Skills Through Speaking:

The importance of speaking goes beyond just expressing oneself; it also plays a significant role in enhancing listening skills. As you engage in conversations, you’ll be exposed to a variety of accents, speech patterns, and colloquial expressions.

This exposure will help train your ear to better understand spoken English, making it easier for you to follow conversations, watch movies, or listen to podcasts without constantly relying on subtitles or transcripts


Speaking is undoubtably if not the then one of the most important English Language skills, and it can be woefully over looked. Hopefully the tips and advice on why its so important and how to improve will help you, your students or your children practice and improve this vital English language skill.


I have been a teacher of English for over 15 years, in that time i made hundreds and thousands of resources and learnt so much i think its worth sharing. Hopefully to help teachers and parents around the world.

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