Have you been studying English for years but still not fluent? The good news is this is not uncommon for most English language learners. The biggest obstacle to learn English is the wrong, illogical methods used by most English courses around the world – methods that are in fact counterproductive and will destroy your confidence! Here are some simple tips that help you be fluent in English faster, smarter and at no cost!
Audio books are a great tool to improve English speaking. Firstly, improving your listening skills is the fastest way to improve your English speaking. Secondly, audio books allow you to listen to the English language in a very convenient way. For example, if you have a long commute, what better way to spend that time inside the car than to listen to an audio book and improve your English!
Tip – don’t know where to start? Try the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson
This sounds like a no brainer, right? The trick is not to get too greedy – if you aim to learn and memorize a lot of words within one day, you will not learn any. Instead, keep a more modest goal and learn 1-2 new English words everyday. Then, use these words, whether you are speaking with a foreign-based client or you are presenting to an audience.
Tip – There are tons of free “word of the day” apps/programs on the internet. A good starting point is this.
Watching TV is a great way to learn language patterns. If you wish to learn American English watch some episodes from Jimmy Kimmel or the Ellen show. If you want to learn British English, BBC news is wonderful. Challenge yourself to understand every word that is being said. You might not get every word, but trying so will making TV part of your deliberate English practice.
Tip – If you are watching a movie, keep the sub titles off and try to follow every dialogue. Train your ears to capture subtle difference in the English language.
Reading out loud is a critical part of getting your voice acclimatized to the demands of the English language. Pick a book or a magazine and just read a few paragraphs out loud everyday. Record each of these sessions and think of where your pronunciation needs improvement. Compare your pronunciation to native English speakers from the Internet or TV.
Tip – Again, the key to learning a language or any skill for that matter is deliberate practice. Hence, recording your voice and making improvements is extremely important. Good news is, there are tons of free apps to do this straight from your smartphone.
Just like you can’t learn to swim without actually getting on the swimming pool or can’t learn to ride a bike without actually getting on a bike, you can’t be fluent in English without practicing with native English speakers. The experience you get from having real conversations with native English speakers is a lot different and a lot more powerful than any other method of learning to speak English. You will learn the right pace to speak the English language, where to pause, which sounds to stress, what prepositions to use, subtle differences in pronunciation etc. by practicing English with native speakers.
Tip – Checkout websites like www.spokenenglishpractice.com to get a dedicated native English speaker to practice with 3-4 times a week.