In this video, I'm going to teach you one simple trick that you can use to become a fluent English speaker by spending just 10 minutes a day.
The best part about this is that you don't need a partner – you can do this by yourself.
This is a technique that has worked for many of my students.
And if you do what I tell you in this video, I guarantee that you will become more fluent in English.
So what is this trick?
Well, it's a technique known as JAM.
Uh, no, not that kind of jam.
This is actually a little fluency game based on a show that airs on BBC radio.
The reason it's called JAM is because it's short for Just A Minute.
This game has three stages.
So here's how you play it.
You're going to talk about a topic for one minute.
That is, you're going to give a speech without any preparation.
So you just pick a topic - you can either take general topics like sports, hobbies, friends, books etc. or you can choose a question.
For example, what is your favorite mode of transport?
And once you have a topic, you speak.
Now when you do, there are some rules.
The first rule is that you cannot stop speaking.
You must talk for the full minute.
If you have to pause to catch your breath, it's OK, but you cannot pause for more than three seconds.
Even if you say nonsense or you say something unrelated to the topic it doesn't matter.
You're just going to keep talking.
So that's rule number one.
Rule number two is you cannot repeat the same ideas.
That means you can't just say the same things over and over and over again.
This isn't pronunciation practice – it's fluency development, so no repetition of the same ideas.
And rule number three is no writing.
You cannot make any notes while you are speaking, you must only concentrate on speaking.
These are just the three rules.
So to begin, you need a timer, this can be on your smartphone for example.
You start stage one by starting the timer and you speak until the one minute is reached.
I'm going to give you an example of how to do this.
I'm going to take this question: "What is your favorite mode of transport?" and I'm going to speak for a minute on this topic.
Now I haven't done any preparation, so let's see how I do.
OK, so what's my favorite mode of transport?
I would have to say that it's the train.
That's because um, actually, you get to see a lot of nice scenery, beautiful landscapes and things like that.
And you know, train journeys generally tend to be longer than other types of, or rather, other modes of transport.
You can see I'm really struggling for ideas but I can't stop.
I have to keep going, so I'm saying whatever comes to mind, that's no problem.
But back to the topic at hand, yeah, train journeys because they're longer, they're more relaxing.
And one last thing I want to mention is that I've had the opportunity to meet interesting people and make friends on many train journeys.
As a kid I used to ride the train a lot with my family.
We used to go to lots of places by train and it's actually something that I really enjoyed.
That was hard.
But that's OK.
That's the whole point of this exercise.
That was stage one.
Now we're going to move on to stage two.
Here's where we're really going to start building our fluency.
The first part of stage two is making notes – so you can use a paper and pen now.
And you're going to think back to the speech that you just gave, and collect ideas you came up with.
In my speech, I remember that I had three ideas.
The first was that on train journeys, you get to see a lot of beautiful scenery.
The second idea was that train journeys are longer, so they're more relaxing.
The third idea was that you get to meet interesting people and make friends.
So once you have these ideas down, you're going to repeat the exercise.
That means, you're going to set your timer for one minute and you're going to speak again on the same topic.
But now, you can use your notes to guide you.
You will notice that this time, you are actually able to speak more fluently because you have some good ideas on paper.
And you will be able to expand on your ideas and give more information.
Once the timer hits one minute, you stop.
And we move on to stage three.
Just like in stage two, you're going to go to paper and pen.
But this time, you're going to add more ideas to your notes based on your second speech.
I added some ideas like this.
So now – for one final time, you're going to speak again.
This is your final speech.
So you set your timer for one minute, you use your notes and speak.
I'm going to give you my final speech based on my notes so you can see the difference.
So here we go.
My favorite mode of transport is actually the train.
I love train travel for two or three reasons.
The first is that the journey is usually longer than when you fly on a plane, or even when you travel by car or bus.
So, as a result, it's very relaxing.
Another big advantage is that you get to see a lot of scenery when you ride a train.
Now if you're riding the subway and your train is going through a tunnel the whole time, then obviously you won't see any natural beauty.
But if you're lucky enough to ride a train through the countryside, I'll tell you, that's an incredible experience.
But for me, personally, the best part about trains is that you get to meet people and make friends, especially on some of the longer journeys.
Even if you don't take each other's phone numbers or become best buddies, you still get to have great conversations and meet some really interesting people.
So those are the three reasons why I enjoy train travel so much.
Alright, I know that was a little over a minute but that's OK.
If you are in the flow, you don't have to stop at one minute.
You can keep going.
As your fluency improves, you can challenge yourself by setting your timer for two, three or even five minutes.
But did you notice how much better my second speech was?
I actually improved my fluency on this topic over the three stages.
Now I know I said that there are three stages to this exercise but there's a bonus stage if you're really serious about improving your English.
That stage is: record yourself.
Once you have finished speaking for the third time, you can give your speech once again.
But now, you speak into your cell phone or a voice recorder.
This is fantastic for two reasons.
Because first, you can then listen back to the recording and you can identify what areas you need to improve, particularly your pronunciation.
But also, if you keep your recordings on your phone or save them to your computer, you can come back after a few weeks or a few months and listen to them and see how much you have improved since that time.
I know that many of us hate listening to our own voices – we feel really shy and embarrassed.
But trust me, this is a very powerful way to improve your speaking: recording and listening to yourself.
Of course, if you don't want to do that you can just do JAM – the three stages.
And that will help you to improve your fluency.
And it takes only ten minutes.
I suggest that you make this your daily fluency workout – do it at least once a day.
Practice doing JAM on many different topics.
And if you do, I guarantee you, you will become more fluent, just practicing by yourself.
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Happy learning and I will see you in another lesson soon.