When you start learning English or if you want to improve your English, one of the best things to do is to connect and get chatting with a native speaker. Most people have good resources when it comes to reading and writing, although many people lack authentic and regular conversation with native speakers. Of course, any conversation in English is good, although it is necessary to be cautious when practicing English with non-native speakers as they may potentially make mistakes (often in pronunciation) which you could also adopt. Both methods have their pros and cons, but keep reading to find out why practicing English with Native Speakers could be perfect for you.
As you will be practicing English with Native Speakers, you will be exposed to more idioms, dialect, slang and a generally more extensive vocabulary than with a non-native speaker. Too much slang is, of course, not a good thing, but exposure to this side of the language is always useful to understand what people really mean.
As you hear your native English partner use different vocabulary depending on what topics you discuss and what opinions they have, you can ask about and highlight new words to use yourself. Also, if you are struggling to find the word for something you can try and describe what you mean to your native conversation partner and they can identify the correct word for you.
Naturally, as you practicing English with Native Speakers more, you will begin to hear and understand their opinions and feelings about certain topics, just like they will with you. Most people are very eager to share their thoughts and feelings towards various issues, so it will definitely give you some insight to the people and their culture.
If you are practicing English with the intention of moving or travelling often, you could always ask specifically about that place and those people to find out more. Understanding etiquette, manners and appropriate language is especially useful and actually crucial if you use English for business – any extra information could certainly help to impress your peers.
The key benefit of speaking with and listening to a native English speaker is the impact it will make on your accent! If you struggle with pronouncing certain words, or if you struggle to understand native speakers when they speak (we do tend to mumble) then the best way to combat this issue is to take a deep breath and get talking with someone who knows what they’re talking about! You probably feel like you are much worse than you are when speaking, and gaining confidence is key. Fortunately, so many people are patient and understanding with non-native English speakers, so don’t be scared to just start talking and you might be surprised!
Being able to speak English with a native speaker means you will be able to adopt many rules and quirks of the language in the same way that they did as children. Talking often and about a range of topics will expand your vocabulary, improve your pronunciation and expose you to grammar rules in a completely natural way. Plus, no boring text books or verbiage so you will most likely feel refreshed rather than tired after your lessons!
Aside from being motivated to speak English on the same level as your native English partner, the fact that English will, more often than not, be the only language that person knows means that you can only communicate in English, no matter your level. If you try to learn English with someone from your country who knows English at a higher level than you, then you have the advantage that they will understand which areas you may struggle with because they had to overcome those same problems.
However, it is very common that – when you both have a mutual language aside from English – it will be very difficult to avoid. Very often, it will be very natural and easy for both you and your non-native English teacher to discuss and explain things in your native language, rather than in English. It is rare that a native English speaker will know your language (or even another language) well enough to explain things to you so, although it may be frustrating at times, very soon you will be speaking fluently!
What is your main motivation for learning English? Do you find speaking with native English speakers intimidating or inspiring? Learning a language is never easy and will never be as simple as you would hope, but to be outside of your comfort zone and challenging yourself will reward you for years to come! Your skills, ability to adapt, your confidence and your understanding of other cultures will flourish, so what are you waiting for?