Studying English grammar rules for years but still not seeing an improvement in English speaking fluency? The truth is that most English speakers hit a wall at some point. Often, it’s because traditional classes tend to focus heavily on teaching grammar and vocabulary rather than on actually using them in normal, everyday speaking situations. If you really want to improve English speaking fluency, you need to expose yourself to native English speakers as much as possible.
Choose an English class that is focused on conversation rather than one that primarily teaches grammar and vocabulary. Role-playing, group work and one-on-one conversations will allow you to increase your confidence and provide much needed practice. That is not to say that grammar and vocabulary are unimportant but you’ll be learning as you go, in real conversations. You will have the chance to put into practice all the rules that you’ve been learning in textbooks and more structured classes while still remaining in a safe environment with a teacher available to correct and support you.
Talk silently to yourself in English during the day. This will help you start thinking in English, instead of thinking in your native language and then translating. To carry on a conversation, you need to put thoughts directly into English. You can describe what you’re doing (“I’m dressing for work now. I hope today is a good day”), comment on things that happen (“My boss can be difficult, but I can learn a lot from him”), or make plans (“I’ll finish this report tomorrow. It’s too boring, so I should spend some time thinking about it first. How can I make it more interesting?”).
The fastest method to improve English speaking fluency is simply speaking the language a lot. One of the easiest ways of forcing yourself to do this is by finding a speaking partner. Thanks to modern technology it is now very simple to find a partner with who you can practice English. If you cannot find someone in your local community to speak English with, try finding an online English language partner from a site like Spoken English Practice.
If you are a English student for sometime now you probably already listen to English music and try and watch English programs, but have you tried listening to audiobooks in English? You can find them in websites like audible.com. You can listen from your computer, a DVD in your car while in traffic or on your Ipod when you go for a walk. The levels range from easy children books to teen and adult levels. Set a timer for fifteen minutes or try to understand a chapter each time you listen.
Idioms and slang are essential to speaking English fluently. Instead of memorizing textbook lists of these expressions, try keeping a collection of the examples you come across while watching TV, reading the news or conversing with native speakers. By taking note of these unfamiliar expressions when you hear them and writing them down, you’ll learn the idioms and slang most often used by native speakers. Make it a goal to use at least one new expression everyday, and you’ll definitely be on your way to improve English speaking fluency.
The key to improving English speaking fluency is to take a risk and step outside of the safe and predictable vocabulary and grammar classes. Taking conversation classes online and practicing what you’ve learned in real-life situations and exposing yourself to authentic sources of information are three of the best ways to build confidence and fluency.