5. Overuse of will for future
This brings me to another common mistake. A lot of students when faced with the problem of composing a sentence in the future immediately look to will. It’s easy! Just slap on the base form of the verb you need and you’re on your way. The problem is that the more complicated form with going to + base form is much more versatile; we can use it in far more situations.
Will is limited to things like promises, spontaneous decisions, predictions (especially with I think, I’m afraid, I’m sure, I hope and probably) and future actions that are out of the speaker’s control. Normally when we talk about the future, though, we’re talking about our plans. Native speakers use going to far more often, and although we understand what you’re saying, when you say “Tomorrow I will go to the bank” it sounds wrong to us and we don’t know how to tell you why.
If you’re not sure, just stick with going to and practice using it more often. For example, “Now, I’m going to tell you about another common spoken mistake.”
4. Pronouncing sounds that aren’t there
It’s so easy to focus on grammar when we think about mistakes that learners are making, but the best thing you can do to make yourself better understood is to improve your pronunciation. When we’re listening to another person talking, our brain is actually always predicting what that person is going to say next. So, if a person says an unexpected sound that we don’t think should be there, it can cause major miscommunication.
When you’re learning new words, make sure you always pay close attention to the pronunciation. Online dictionaries very often have a sound file of someone pronouncing the word. Take note of any silent letters and of how many syllables are in the word. There are almost always fewer than you think.
Familiarise yourself with the English Phonemic Chart. It’s not nearly as scary as it looks.