You know, one question I am asked all too often is “How can I speak English fluently?”, and I have to say there is no easy answer to this question; learning any skill takes time.
However, there are some things you can do to help yourself progress faster. The best way of all is to learn with a qualified native teacher such as here at MyEnglishTeacher.eu. But if you cannot take this option at the moment, then you can try these tips I am about to reveal.
1. Forget grammar!
That’s right. This may seem strange to you, but it is very important.
If you want to pass examinations, then study grammar. However, if you want to become fluent in English, then you should try to learn English without thinking about grammar too much.
The reason why I say this is that to become fluent, you need to be able to speak without pausing to think of the correct words and sentence construction.
If you try to translate what you want to say from your own language into English, and try to think of the changes of grammar, you will become bogged down, hesitant, and fail in your fluency goal.
2. Learn natural phrases or “chunks” you can adapt for any situation!
What you need to do is to learn and study phrases instead of trying to speak in sentences.
You may have a large vocabulary, but you cannot create a natural sounding spoken sentence because you fail to recognise the differences between spoken and written English, one of which is that when speaking, people use phrases instead of sentences.
The most important thing for you is to learn your English in phrases or “chunks” of language, instead of memorising grammar rules and so on.
To explain what I mean, think of these “chunks” of language as ready-made phrases you can remember by using them often.
These include collocations (words that commonly go together) such as ‘rich and famous, densely populated’ etc; phrasal verbs such as ‘get up, log on, run out of'; idioms like ‘part and parcel, make ends meet’, and social formulas such as ‘see you later, have a nice day’ etc.
It is easy to see why many students are not fluent. In traditional classroom-teaching methods, grammar is taught as a priority, not these language ‘chunks’ which students can use almost immediately while speaking. If speaking is taught in the classroom, it’s usually just to practice the grammar!
So what can you do? The best thing is to find natives to speak with, either in person or on the net. Preferably who is qualified to help English learners, such as at MyEnglishTeacher.eu or Kaplan English language courses in an English speaking country. But if not, then there are many websites where you can find natives to practice with.
What you then need to do is not to ask them to explain grammar rules, but to listen and take note of the many phrases they will use to speak to you. Listen and repeat, it’s that simple….good luck!