How Vlogging Can Increase Your Speaking Skills
Sites like YouTube are full of vlogs – videos made by people who want to talk about their hobbies or interests online. If you’ve got something to say and enjoy an audience, it’s a great way to express yourself – and it can help you improve your English language speaking skills too. The fluency you’ll gain from running a vlog in English is an excellent way to prepare for Cambridge English Qualifications like the B2 First or C1 Advanced. Here’s how to get the most out of your vlogging adventure …
Sharing your passion
It’s no good sitting in front of the camera and hoping you’ll say something interesting! Pick a subject that you are passionate about – perhaps you’ve got a lot to say about news, current events, or sports? Or maybe you would prefer to speak about your own experiences, say of travel or learning a language? You could present a tutorial on how to do something you’re good at, such as playing a song or taking photos. If you are stuck for inspiration, take a look on YouTube and see what other people are talking about. It might spark some ideas.
Even if you know your subject well, take the time to research it. Not only will this help you to be more knowledgeable and confident on camera, but it will help you learn new vocabulary and idioms. This is a great way prepare for the Reading and Use of English sections of a Cambridge English exam – which is an added bonus!
It’s important to sound confident and natural when you are vlogging. It can take a lot of practice, but don’t worry – it will get easier as you do it more often. Rather than trying to memorize what you are going to say, use a list of ideas that you can glance at to jog your memory. Know your facts and opinions, and then talk to the camera as if it were a friend.
Remember, you’ll need to talk alone for a minute in the Speaking part of your exams. A minute can feel like a really long time at first. This type of practice is an excellent way to improve your fluency and will really build your confidence.
Exploring your topic
Aim to make an informative, fun video that lasts about five minutes. Don’t try to cover too many different topics – focused stories make more interesting videos. Five minutes may not sound like much, but it’s plenty of time to dig into the detail of one or two subjects. Explaining your thoughts in depth means you will be able to use more vocabulary and develop your language skills as you practice and present. It’s really important to practice giving your opinions for part 4 of B2 First or C1 Advanced.
Remember that they don’t have to be your real opinions – the examiners are checking your language, not your opinions, so practice giving your thoughts on various topics that you are interested in or you hear about.
Getting to know your audience
Most vlogs are recorded first and uploaded to the Internet, but some of them are actually filmed live and streamed directly to viewers on platforms like Instagram and Facebook Live.
Whether you prefer to record it or do it live, people who watch your videos can give you comments and feedback. This means you can start a real conversation in English – and maybe make some international friends! You can respond to your viewers’ questions in the comment section on YouTube or Facebook.