Lucy Earl's Top Speaking Etiquette Tips

YouTube creator and English language expert Lucy Earl offers her top tips on how to speak beautifully ahead of English Language Day...

As a linguist, I celebrate the beauty of language all year around. Now on English Language Day on 23rd April, everyone can embrace its splendour and worldwide use. 

When I first started teaching, I noticed a lack of videos that taught language in an inviting and accessible way. As a solution, I set up English With Lucy in 2016 in a bid to encourage anyone, in any country, and at any age, to improve their English Language skills. Offering engaging, easy to follow and (most importantly!) enjoyable language lessons, my videos are now viewed by over one million subscribers around the world. 

Whilst much of English Language Day is about encouraging children to learn correct grammar and spelling, the day has relevance to adults alike and is an opportunity for everyone to brush up on their English Language skills. Whether you are looking to write a job application, start a blog, handwrite a thank you note or impress at work, my top tips for speaking beautiful English are:

  • Don't agonise over your accent - everyone has an accent. Embrace it! However, if you are looking to speak more clearly, you can focus on improving pronunciation rather than reducing your accent. Accents are beautiful and add to our cultural identity and heritage.
  • The minute you have a doubt - find it out! I went years without knowing how to properly use apostrophes. One day I decided 'enough is enough' and finally researched their proper use. If I'd done that sooner I would have avoided years of umming and ahhing! Now, I keep a little list on my phone of all the random things I want to find out that pop into my head throughout the day (not just grammar related!). It has included everything from 'research Oxford comma' to 'learn how to oil a hinge'. With the internet, most solutions to our ongoing problems are just a google search away.
  • Avoid the word 'very'. I think it's the most boring word in the English language. Why say 'very big' if we can say 'enormous'? If we have wonderful words like 'tedious' and 'exquisite', why do we need to say 'very boring' or ‘very good'?
  • Practise your best stories and anecdotes. Deliver your words with pizzazz, conviction and confidence. If you've got a couple of stories that you think are particularly good icebreakers, do a bit of practice on your delivery. 

YouTube allows you to learn anywhere at anytime -- whether you’re on the move, at your desk or from the comfort of your living room. Quick how-to videos can help you nip bad practises in the bud and embrace the foundations of our beautiful language.

I love hearing from viewers -- whether it’s because I’ve inspired you to learn a new language or if you’d like me to feature a particular lesson. If you leave me a comment, I’ll be sure to get back to you. 

Happy English Language Day! To embark on your educational journey, view my tutorials below: