You know, one question I am asked all too often is “How can I speak English fluently?”.
Well, I have to say there is no easy answer to this question; learning any skill takes time and dedication.
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 English teacher such as here at MyEnglishTeacher.eu, but if this option is not suitable for you at the moment, then you can try the 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 are preparing for an examination, then you should study grammar. However, if you want to become fluent in English conversation, 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 are constantly trying to translate what you want to say from your own language into English, whilst thinking about all the grammar rules you’re supposed to be using, you’ll most likely 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 be familiar with a large range of vocabulary, but are probably not able to create fluid conversation (natural flowing speech). This could be 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 to improve the fluency of your speech, is to learn 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, keep a secret, break a promise or take a seat‘; 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’ and so on.
It is easy to see why it may be difficult for students to achieve fluency in English. In traditional classroom-teaching methods, grammar is generally taught as a priority, not these language ‘chunks’ which students can use almost instantly in conversation.
So what can you do? The best thing is to find native English speakers you can converse with, either in person or on the Net. Preferably someone who is qualified to help English learners, such as at MyEnglishTeacher.eu or Kaplan English language courses. 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 during your conversations. Listen and repeat, it’s that simple….good luck!