New world . . . new people. . . .new experiences. America is a land of opportunity, but opportunity only comes to those who look for it. I came to the United States in 1979 from Moscow, Russia. To this day, I remember what it was like to try to explain to a passerby that I needed a mailbox. There is nothing more frustrating than knowing what you want to say and not be able to express yourself. It is an unfortunate feeling when you are looked at as stupid or slow because you are unable to express yourself in your new language. This is especially distressing when coupled with the knowledge that you can be exquisite in your home language.Then some time passed and I learned to speak and understand. Then a new problem reared its head. People thought that because I had an accent I was stupid and slow. They would purposefully pretend not to understand me and were condescending while talking with me. I promised myself that I would become as native as natives get. I promised myself that I would learn how to improve English speaking. And I did. My English abilities, written and spoken, are on par, if not better, than those of most people born in this country.

Unfortunately when I did my learning, there was no internet. There were no helpful websites. There was no avenue for me to learn what to do. So I did the only things that I could – I worked my buns off trying to learn.

Fortunately, today, there are much more pleasant alternatives available. There are number of tools available showing how to improve English speaking.  The two main products are Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur Language Services.

As per Wikapedia, the Rosetta Stone software uses a combination of images, text, and sound, with difficulty levels increasing as the student progresses, in order to teach various vocabulary terms and grammatical functions intuitively, without drills or translation. They call this the "Dynamic Immersion method." According to the company, the software is designed to teach languages the way first languages are learned.

The Pimsleur Learning System is based on four main ideas: anticipation, graduated interval recall, core vocabulary, and organic learning.  The Pimsleur method is an audio-based system, in which the listener constructs phrases or repeats from memory along with a recording. The program literature stresses that student learns through active participation versus passive "listen and repeat only" rote memorization. A series of audiobooks based on the Pimsleur method has been developed by Pimsleur Language Programs. The system, as currently packaged, is made up of multiple thirty-minute lessons delivered on tapes, CDs, SD-Cards, and as digital downloads. The Pimsleur website claims that because the lessons repeat themselves and add new material, they do not demand 100% mastery before moving on. Pimsleur courses focus on proficiency in speaking instead of reading proficiency.