What is Shadowing & How it Helps in Improving English Speaking Skills?

Shadowing is a technique of learning in which you simply listen to someone speaking and do real time repetition of same words. Candidates preparing for CPE (C2 Proficiency Certificate) can practice their English-Speaking skills with shadowing. You can practice this technique anytime anywhere for spoken English fluency. Also, Shadowing is preferable to all for making your English-speaking pronunciation more natural and accurate.

Why speaking a foreign language is challengeable?

Candidates often get used to listening and reading of foreign. They are also good at understanding the high complex vocabulary of the foreign language while listening and reading. But if we talk about productive skills such as speaking and writing. With receptive skills, candidate process the language which is presented to you but while using the productive skills there is a lot more that one need to balance and speak.

Speaking is not just a single skill; brain processes multiple things every time you speak. The process starts from idea generation, processing, encoding and then it is converted into speech. 

Relax! You don’t need to understand the process. However, it makes you aware with speech complexities and why we often make mistakes.

How Netflix helps to improve English?

How shadowing is a handy tool?

With practice you can gain that perfection in your English-speaking tone. Spare some extra time for speaking practice. Your articulators such as tongue, lips and teeth need hours of practice for generating specific sounds in another foreign language.

In schools, we often get limited hours in speaking English language. However, this is the major reason of not getting fluency in spoken English, clear pronunciation, accuracy and that level of confidence. But when you are looking for certificate in fluency of speaking a foreign language then you need to focus on these aspects as well.

Shadowing proves to be a handy tool which means you can practice it anywhere be it at home, office & beach. You can do it on your own by just using a mobile phone, internet connection (not required if you have downloaded a film) and earphone (just in case you are at a public place).

Shadowing prepares for getting into conversation by any stranger in the foreign town by making your familiar with the different English-speaking accents and tone of same language.

Some additional tips for Shadowing:

  • Actively Participating

For best results we suggest you to actively engage in the learning process. More you focus on Shadowing better will be the results.

  • Short duration

This is a short time period activity which means 10-15 minutes are enough to get great results from Shadowing Technique.

  • Repeat a Few Times

Repetition for few times is suggested 2-4 times is enough. Don’t repeat it again and again.

  • Select the audio content which you like to hear

For better focus on audio we suggest your to hear what you like and the form of content which you are really curious to know about.

Is the Shadowing technique effective?

Yes, Shadowing is a super useful exercise for developing fluency in English speaking skills such as pronunciation, rhythm and prosody. Several research and studies have shown that Shadowing is a really effective technique for language learners.

According to our research, Shadowing is effective for

  • Helps in developing listening comprehension
  • Developing the ability to produce speech
  • Produces the ability to learn new words
  • Develop metacognitive monitoring skills for language

Step By Step Procedure to follow Shadowing

Shadowing is the technique of training your articulators- mouth, teeth, and tongue to produce the same sound, tone, and accent just like native speakers do. While having one to one conversation with a native speaker you must have the art of organizing your ideas and delivering it the best-formulated form in front of them. Here is the step-by-step guide on how to practice that with the help of shadowing-

1. Choose an audio piece

  • Pick an audio piece, we recommend you to select audio below 5 minutes with just one person speaking.
  • It is not necessary that the speaker must be a native speaker but yes they should be proficient in speaking English.

2. Listen to the speaker carefully

  • Now, before you get into the practice of Shadowing, start with the listening phase first. Listen to the audio carefully, special focus on the speaker’s accent, tone, rhythm, pronunciation, and intonation. It might be possible that at the start you find difficulty in understanding each and every word, look for any other substitution in case if the audio is too fast and complex.

3. Practise Shadowing

  • After listening to the audio carefully, it’s time to practice shadowing by repeating the words said by speaker with same speed and pronunciation without compromising the accuracy.
  • Start with 20 seconds of repetition, in case you get stuck and find it difficult then you can start with again.
  • Remember we are not concerned with the meaning; we are just trying to mimic the voice.

4. Record yourself

  • Once you feel confident of your speaking, start recording your audio.
  • Now listen to the recorded audio and observe the difference between what you heard and from where you have practiced. This might help in pin pointing the differences of speech and accuracy.

5. Listen Again

Again, repeat the same thing and keep on comparing your speech with the original audio till you get better and satisfactory results.

Students can also enroll now in BDS Online IELTS Preparation Course today where you will get access to anytime/anywhere IELTS classes, with 400+ detailed video lectures, sample papers, and live classes by Dr. Roma. Candidates can also sign up for IELTS Dr. Roma Writing Templates + Cue Cards Course to get ready essay templates and solutions latest IELTS essay topics. So let's get started with IELTS writing practice.

Dr. Roma 

Content Writer