If you’re like many other English learners, your ultimate goal is to speak English fluently.
The opportunities that would open up to you are immense: you could understand every movie, TV show, song, and interview you see in English; more companies would want to hire you; you could express yourself fully; and the list goes on.
But attaining fluency isn’t easy: it takes a lot of time and a lot of work. Don’t believe the websites and ads that say you can learn English well in 30 days – you can learn some, maybe even a lot, but you certainly won’t become fluent. So how can you learn to speak English fluently? Here are some helpful tips.
How to Speak English Fluently
1. Accept There Is No Magic Solution
Like becoming rich or learning how to play the guitar, becoming fluent in English doesn’t happen overnight.
OK, to be fair, you COULD win the lottery and become rich overnight, but there is no English-learning lottery – as far as we know.
There are many different methods for learning a language, and the right method depends on your learning style, your educational background, your personality, your needs, and more.
Every method, however, requires you to put in work, and this work won’t always be easy or fun. Some people learn well through memorization; others hate it. Some can pick up a language fairly easily through conversation with native speakers; for others it’s much harder.
Accept that what works for others may not work for you, and that you’ll have to work hard and be diligent. But you can get there!
2. Surround Yourself with Real English as Often as Possible
It’s crucial that you immerse yourself in the language frequently. This doesn’t mean studying from a book five or six hours a day. It means doing things like listening to authentic audio in English such as English music, news, or podcasts.
It also means trying to think in English when you’re going about your day, and reading blog articles online about topics you like, children’s books, or even recipes.
The more you surround yourself with English, the more it seeps into your brain and becomes a part of your life. You’ll simply learn English better this way.
3. Change Your Perspective
Stop thinking of yourself as a student of the language; rather, think of yourself as an English speaker. This shift in your mindset can help you see your English ability in a glass-half-full way. You’ll feel more confident and focus on the English you already know.
Moreover, like an English speaker, you should try to think in English, as well. This takes time and effort but it can be a very effective tool in language learning.
For example, if you want to say the word laundry in English, instead of thinking of the word in your native language and then thinking of the correct word in English – which is a natural thing to do – try to picture a pile of dirty clothes and then think of the word laundry.
You achieve fluency when you can stop mentally translating from your native language.
These three steps may be small, but they are powerful tools that can help you speak English fluently. Remember, there is no English-learning secret, immerse yourself in real English as often as you can, and start thinking of yourself as an English speaker, not an English learner.