Want to be Fluent in English? Here’s the Secret Recipe.
Have you been studying English for years but still can’t speak fluently?
If so, this blog post should answer a lot of questions (and frustrations) you have.
The only way to improve English speaking fast is to practice speaking with real native English speakers.
This is a fact.
There is no alternatives to this.
You cannot improve English speaking by just memorizing grammar and vocabulary.
You may be able to pass basic English exams but you will never become fluent.
Interested in learning more. Keep reading.
Improving English or any language for that matter is all about practice.
You cannot just learn grammar rules and memorize word lists and expect to be fluent in English.
Fluency in English will come to those who can think in a language, without doing any mental translations.
The most important aspect of your practice should be to practice English speaking with real native speakers.
To be Fluent, you must Immerse in English
Let’s test this hypothesis on a little focus group.
Out of all the people you know who speaks English as a second language, who speaks English the best?
Mark down these names in a piece of paper.
How did they get to where they are?
You will find that some of them spoke English at their homes.
Some studied in schools where English was taught and spoken from a young age.
There would be others who studied or worked in an English speaking country for a few years.
Almost everyone who speaks fluent English has got opportunities to immerse in conversational English.
What does this tell you?
Most people who are fluent in English become fluent not by *studying English*
Most English students knew how to write and use proper grammar and communicate on a fairly structured and systematic level.
However, when it comes to speaking, students were either shy or not confident to make mistakes.
Encouraging students to speak without inhibition would immensely improve their verbal communicating ability.
(This is the essence of the Spoken English Practice method)
But what about Grammar?
Spending too much time trying to master grammar is a common mistake that most ESL students make. English as most other languages have complex and often times counter-intuitive grammar rules.
Go back to the previous focus group. Did your friends who spent time in an English speaking country learn any new grammar rules in order to become more fluent in English?
The reason they became fluent is because they got opportunities to have real conversations with real native speakers.
It is said that, only 20% of native English speakers know all the grammar rules of English.
So if your goal is to master oral English, stop wasting time on grammar before you can speak. Learn to speak first and the correct grammar will follow.
Also, think of how you learnt your first language. Did you learn all the grammar rules first or did you just start speaking with whatever grammar you knew? The same rule applies to speaking any language.
Fact – It is Impossible to be fluent in a language by just studying basic grammar and vocabulary.
What about vocabulary? Sometimes I get “stuck” in the middle of conversations…
The same rule applies to learning vocabulary. If you are like most ESL students, your vocabulary is more than enough for you to start speaking.
Think of every time you get stuck in the middle of a conversation.
Was it because you did not know the word you were searching for? In most cases you will find that you just did not find the word you were looking for although it was a word you knew very well.
In the science of language learning, this falls under the concept of active vocabulary. You have your vocabulary and then you have an active vocabulary, which is a subset of your vocabulary. Your goal should be to develop your active vocabulary to be of equal size to your vocabulary.
The fact of the matter is, this is extremely hard unless you practice speaking continuously and get to a state where you think in English.
The only way to get to this level is by practice conversational English with native speakers. There is no alternative to this.
The Best Way to Be Fluent in English
But what if I make mistakes when speaking English?
Understand that you will make mistakes at times:
The first thing you need to know is that you won’t start off speaking English perfectly.
People that have been speaking it their entire lives still make simple mistakes at times.
Do not let the idea of making a mistake slow you down or scare you.
Always speak confidently, even if you are prone to making a few mistakes.
Practicing is the only way you will master the language, and people will be much more willing to help you along the way if you are willing to put yourself out there, flaws and all.
So what actions should I take to become fluent in English?
First, stop studying English through memorization and start speaking.
Find English conversation partners who share your interests.
Struggling through a boring conversation in a non-native language is not fun or rewarding at all.
You’ll feel much more motivated to improve your English when you stop talking about the weather and start discussing topics that are interesting to you.
Whether you’re taking Spoken English lessons, attending language exchanges or practicing your English online, be sure to find a conversation partner that you actually enjoy talking to.
If you want to be fluent in English, you must speak.
Whether you’re discussing politics, hobbies, art or anything else, if it’s a topic that you care about, you’ll find yourself improving much more quickly,.
Second, increase the “inputs” in English
In other words, actively listen to Native English speakers.
Listen to English music and try and watch English programs.
Watch your favorite television shows in English with English subtitles if you have trouble understanding.
The television can be one of the greatest English learning tools we have.
It can allow you to completely immerse yourself in an endless stream of conversations without the daunting task of being asked to respond back.
Being able to see the sentences in writing as they are spoken is a great way to enhance your understanding on real life sentence structure instead of the random sentences used to teach English in text books.
Also, a lot of the vernacular used in society comes from pop culture and television shows, so it is also a great way to keep up with the current trends.
English can be difficult because of the amount of slang words and phrases used so commonly in different areas, and it can be a bit overwhelming.
However, if you want to be fluent in English, you must be able to at least understand basic slang phrases.
Also, don’t forget audiobook
Have you tried listening to pre-recorded books in English? You can find them in your library, online book stores or writers’ websites.
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.
Free eBook – How to Improve English Speaking in 7 Days
This Free 32 page eBook is based on our Conversational study method.
This is the fastest way to be fluent in English.
Outline of the eBook:
The Science behind improving English Speaking
15 Idioms make you sound like a Native Speaker
Essential Slang: 22 Commonly used Slag words you must know
Improve Pronunciation with these 12 Tongue Twisters
Speak more naturally using Phrasal Verbs
7 Advanced Grammar Concepts that confuse even Native Speakers!
55 Conversational Practice Topics