fluent english speaking techniques
There are also some people who study abroad and learn very little. That is because they went to an English speaking school, but found friends from their own country and didn’t practice English.
This was achieved by being around that language at all times. In your country, you hear and speak your language constantly. You will notice that many people who are good English speakers are the ones who studied in an English speaking school. They can speak English not because they went to an English speaking school, but because they had an environment where they can be around English speaking people constantly.
Part of nervousness around speaking is the feeling of not knowing what to say. To combat this, prepare a cheat sheet. Are you going to the doctor’s? Before your appointment, research vocabulary relating to your condition and some common phrases you’ll probably need. Use the technique before going to pay a bill, eating at a restaurant, job interviews, making a complaint, or for any other situation that might make you anxious.
We know, we know – most people dislike hearing their voice recorded – but it’s actually an extremely beneficial way to improve your speaking! Hearing yourself on tape shows you things you might not realize (maybe you tend to speak quickly when nervous, swallow your “s’s” or mumble). On the other hand, you could be pleasantly surprised to hear that your speaking is far better than you thought! For bonus points, take your recording to your teacher or to a native speaker friend and have them give you feedback.
It will look funny, we know. But by practising a few minutes a day in front of the mirror you will learn when and how to use different expressions. You’ll also learn where you make most of the mistakes. Below, you can find a range of topics you could practise on.
Try the resources and suggestions above, and pay attention to how they make you feel. Which ones help your confidence? Which ones seem to help you speak English over longer periods of time? Use the methods that work for you, and your speaking will come together naturally.
For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” then you see this:
- Set time aside for your English each day and make it a priority
Any time you spend on your English should be seen as an investment in your future fluency. Many small steps will help you travel a long distance over time. Having a clear idea of exactly why you need English and what you will gain as a result of being fluent is important in order to see it as a priority in your busy life. The amount of time you choose to invest in your English is up to you, but this should be a regular commitment and it will directly affect the speed at which you gain fluency.
- Actively introduce more English into your daily routine
Make a conscious effort to inject more English into your typical day. Try the following: read one BBC news article on your iPad while you’re having breakfast each morning, listen to an English audiobook or radio station on your way to work, do a 10-word vocabulary test during your lunch break using a mobile app, write an email to a foreign colleague or friend, watch a 5-minute Youtube video from a learning English channel, study a little grammar from a textbook some evenings, attend a Skype English class a couple of times a week, organise an English film night at home once a month with a friend, etc.
- Use your native language less
If you spend 99% of your time speaking your mother tongue and only 1% is left for English, improving your fluency is always going to be an uphill struggle. Are there situations in which you could use English instead of your native language? This technique is called “replacement” and examples might include: changing the language on your mobile phone to English, watching TV in English 50% of the time or choosing to read a book in English instead of in your native language.
- Stop thinking of English as just a “textbook subject”
Try to view English more as a way of life and less as a school subject. Any contact with the language will help you to speak English more fluently over time so why limit yourself to just traditional classrooms and textbooks? Taking a broader perspective is likely to make the learning process far more interesting. Native English speakers have regular contact with the language in a wide range of contexts – so should you!
- Find some study buddies!
Involve those around you in your efforts to become more fluent in English; ask them to help you practise, to test your vocabulary or to correct your writing. Those who are close to you can play an important role in supporting and maintaining your new “English lifestyle”. However, also be aware that some could resent your time being spent on English so may try to prevent this positive change.
If you are reading this guide, it is probably safe to assume you are not fully satisfied with your English and do not consider yourself fluent. It is also likely that you have studied English at school, college, university, perhaps at private language classes or online, as well as through self-study and your own lived experiences. So why are you not yet fluent? What have been your “barriers to study” in the past? What has caused you to lose motivation? What needs to change? These are all important questions to ask if you genuinely want to improve your English. Take responsibility for your own progress, set tangible and realistic targets, and have confidence in your ability to succeed.