Achieving native English fluency can be extremely hard but there are a lot of smart things you can do to take your English conversation skills to the next level. Fluent Spoken English has 3 main components – a wide vocabulary, good grammar and clear pronunciation. When you improve all 3 aspects, your English sounds more natural.
In this post, we discuss 5 things you can do on your own time to improve your English Conversation skills. These are all FREE things that will not cost you any money. Also, these are practical and logical ways that will allow you to immerse in English.
Lot of English language courses teach writing and reading first. They spend a lot of time teaching grammar and vocabulary. This method makes it extremely hard for students to improve English conversation skills.
If you want to improve Spoken English fast, start with speaking and listening. Start practicing English early, ideally with a native English speaker. Start listening to native English speakers without sub titles and try to understand what they are saying. It will be hard at first but after the first few days your fluency level will improve significantly.
There is a big gap between English that is taught in textbooks and real English spoken in daily conversations. For example, a conversation you will have with your doctor in real life is very different from how it is illustrated in English language textbooks.
The best way to solve this problem is to integrate Real English in to your daily conversations. Talk about a wide variety of topics when you practice English speaking — it could be about politics, culture, restaurants, movies, gardening etc. This technique will allow you to develop your English conversation skills across multiple subjects without having to memorize sentences about each subject.
Learning to much grammar will negatively affect your English fluency. Research shows that students who spend too much time memorizing grammar struggle to speak English fluently more than students who don’t learn grammar. The reason is studying grammar in too much detail will make your brain process grammar rules when you speak.
There are some basic grammar concepts that every English student should know to speak English. After that, just learning grammar will not help you to improve your English conversation skills. In fact, this will slow you down.
Also remember most native English speakers only know about 20% of English grammar rules!
If you want to be fluent in English you HAVE to practice English speaking with a native conversation partner.
There are a few important benefits of practicing with a native English speaker. First, you will be forced to use English only. This is extremely important because it forces your brain to “think” in English. Native English speakers will use vocabulary, specially slang and informal language that you will not use as a non native. This will help you expand your vocabulary in areas that you otherwise would not. Finally, your goal will be to speak in English as much as possible, instead of trying to be as accurate as possible with grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. This will help you actually focus more on your English conversation skills.
When Native English speakers speak English naturally the pronunciation of words is a lot different from how they are spelled out. Sometimes you would hear native English speakers combining two words and saying it as one word. For example the word “green apple” might be pronounced as “gree-napple”. Paying attention to little things like these is important if you want to take your English conversation skills to the next level.
Also, remember that pronunciation differs across various types of English. For example, the pronunciation of the word “dance” is very different in British English versus American English. Even within the US, English spoken in the east coast has different pronunciation patterns compared to the west coast.
A good way to improve pronunciation FREE is to listen to audio-books. If you have a local library, you would probably be able to borrow audio-books free.