Okay – so the above sentence is a little exaggerated but it’s a good example of the difficulties facing those who want to know how to speak English fluently. You see, slang terms and poor grammar become embedded into a language, meaning that whilst you indeed need to study the theory of a language, once you grasp the basics then actually getting out there and talking to those whose mother tongue is English is simply the only way to become fluent.
So let’s take a look at the best ways in which you can do this.
- Study the relevant material. Many people use English study books as their core learning material. However, these give a distorted view of how ‘real’ English is spoken. Sure, they’ll be grammatically correct – but in all reality, that’s not how the language is spoken in practice. The same goes for studying news articles. Although these are good to read, they’ll be written in a formal style that doesn’t particularly show you how the language is spoken in day to day life.
- Forget the grammar. Well, not forget it completely, but when studying how to speak English fluently it’s important to understand that most people don’t talk in a grammatically correct fashion. In fact, those who learn English as a foreign language probably know more about the rules of grammar than most of those who are native English speakers. Studying grammar too in-depth will only serve to confuse you and slow down your efforts to become fluent.
- Practice speaking – reading and listening alone are not sufficient to lead you to your goal. After all, becoming fluent is all about speaking the language, not your ability to listen and read. So speak English, whenever and wherever you are, to anyone who’ll listen. And if you’re reading, say the words out loud. It’s only by doing this that the words will begin to come naturally and help you towards your goal.
- Don’t forget to learn phrases. Whilst learning individual words is great, it’s only by learning phrases that you’ll be able to easily create many different sentences. And that’s key when you’re wondering how on earth you’re ever going to speak English fluently. When children learn to speak they absorb both words and phrases, and this is the very best way to learn – so do your utmost to remember as many phrases as possible.
- Speak English with English speakers. The very best way to learn to speak English fluently is to surround yourself with fluent English speakers. Submerging yourself totally into the language is the most effective way of learning. So if you’re in the UK – talk to the locals. Don’t surround yourself by people who speak your own language as this simply won’t work. If you want to become fluent, then you need to speak to those who are English speakers as much as you possibly can.
Jacki Huntley is an HPC Paramedic who worked for the NHS for many years. She now makes her living as a writer of both non-fiction and fiction. As well as providing news articles and press releases, she is a prolific travel writer and writes many short stories for some of the UK’s most popular fiction magazines. Jacki is always happy to speak to anyone who may be in need of a writer. Her wide and varied experience along with strong creative flair makes her the ideal choice for those who require a dedicated, reliable and talented wordsmith. More of Jacki’s style and work can be read at: jackihuntley.wordpress.com