how to be fluent in english
Reading, listening, and speaking are the most important aspects of any language. The same is true for English. However, speaking is the only requirement to be fluent. It is normal for babies and children to learn speaking first, become fluent, then start reading, then writing. So the natural order is listening, speaking, reading, then writing.
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.
- Try some apps for learning English
Check out our list of the top-10 mobile apps for learning English. Some of the best focus on vocabulary and allow you to create your own lists by topic to practise anytime, anywhere. Download several apps and see which work best for you.
- Computers cannot speak like us (yet!)
Although great progress has been made over the last decade with artificial intelligence, computers still cannot understand and reproduce speech in the same way humans do. This means that apps focused on English speaking and correction are often of limited use. You need regular human interaction with native and non-native speakers.
One of the most common problems among learners of English as a foreign language is that they have been taught in a traditional classroom environment by a non-native tutor who has focused more on grammar than speaking. This is entirely understandable because a) school programmes often emphasise structure over interaction, and b) non-native teachers may lack confidence in their own spoken fluency. However, the fact is that students cannot learn how to speak English fluently unless they are given regular opportunities to practise their speaking skills. This is a failing within our national education systems, but you can choose to make speaking a priority in your own studies and learn grammar more in context.
Use the same technique described above to learn English in general while also practicing your speech. For example, let’s say that you’d like to get better at talking to waitstaff. Maybe you see a FluentU post that includes examples of English conversations to have in restaurants. Instead of just reading the post and trying to remember the examples, record yourself reading it! This will give you multiple opportunities to remember the material: when you first read it, when you read it out loud and when you listen to yourself reading it later.
While there’s a lot to choose from, a good way to start is with some of the CW network shows that are available on Netflix, like “Supergirl,” and “Black Lightning.” These shows have a lot of talking in them, and focus a lot on relationships between characters. You can keep up with them for multiple seasons and become used to the way different characters talk to each other, all while being entertained by exciting story lines.
Communicating in fluent, confident and natural English is an achievable goal. Every English learner is different, but there are a number of easy ways to improve in a reasonably short period of time.
In a hurry to learn English? Try a lesson on Busuu today – it’s fun, free and effective.
I hope you can see that you don’t need to be super advanced to learn to think in English – you can start today. Your action item is to choose one of the four levels and try it!
When you’re at lunch, think: