Do you find it difficult to learn fluent English, even after months of studying? If yes then this post is for you, you will find a few tips according to your situation.
According to a study, an average native English speaker knows about four thousand to five thousand words when he is in school. On the other hand, a university student knows about fifteen thousand to twenty thousand words.
Whereas a non-native English speaker knows only two thousand to four thousand words even after spending months studying. For a person to understand a sentence, he should be able to understand at least 95% of the words in that particular sentence. So where does the problem lie?
Why aren’t you fluent despite learning?
Firstly, there are two reasons why a person isn’t fluent. Let us see them one after the other.
- When one starts learning a new language they tend to concentrate mostly on advancing their vocabulary or grammar. Native speakers focus on simple grammar. They also have a large vocabulary. This helps them communicate quickly and well. In order to communicate well, you need both grammars as well as vocabulary.
Grammar and vocabulary are the main aspects of learning fluent English. Numerous online courses help you learn fluent English. There are many exercises that can help one become fluent. But fluency activities can only help you when you can understand 65% of a converstion.
If one can understand 90% of any conversation, they can easily understand TV shows, movies, or other English content. One can easily learn new vocabulary and its uses under different situations by watching movies and listening to podcasts. One can concentrate on pronunciation and building up an accent when one can understand a conversation.
2. On the other hand, many non-native speakers learn in the old school manner. Their aim should be to develop all four skills i.e., listening, reading, writing, and speaking. Rather they only concentrate on advancing their grammar.
To learn fluent English, one needs to have a good vocabulary. There are many ways to learn new vocabulary, one can make flashcards, watch movies or use the Gold list method. To keep involved try different techniques and methods to learn. Keep changing your studying pattern on weekly basis.
Consider school kids, they don’t make flashcards or play mobile games, or memorize words. They just do a lot of reading and speaking activities. The method followed by kids is called the natural method.
According to another study, a person just needs to see a word 8-12 for it to become a part of their long-term memory. Along with new words, one even needs to focus on their different uses. For instance, the word “look” has a different meaning according to the sentence it is used in. Look simply means to see but whereas “look confused” means to not have an idea about something.
A person should at least learn about 1-3 words daily. Take in as many words as you can and learn their uses and incorporate them into your daily life. Learning vocabulary doesn’t have to be just you sitting with a dictionary. One can learn new words by listening to podcasts, watching movies, or reading an article or a billboard.
Learn only useful or common words.
The next thing to keep in mind when learning new words: learn only important and common words. Avoid focusing your attention on words that are not useful and you can’t use them in your daily conversations. Reading a book is a good way to expand one’s knowledge related to vocabulary. For example, if a person reads a novel then he may come across only 80% of words that are useful. Maybe the other 20 can’t be used on daily basis. Spoken English is quite different from written English. It is best if one studies spoken content, it has an advantage as you can come across phrases and grammar is quite simple.
The best way to grasp new words that are through spoken content. So, learn vocabulary and phrasal words by listening or observing others.
You can find the most common and useful words used in British and American English on Oxford 3000. Click here to know more.
The prime thing to do if one wants to learn fluent English is to speak. It is very important that one starts speaking and works on his accent and pronunciation. Every time you learn a new word, use it in your conversation. Almost everyone will give you the same advice. Practice as much speaking as you can. Nothing else is as effective as this.
If you live in an environment where speaking English is not common, then it might be a little grinding to practice speaking. Here are a few tips:
- Make a friend who is a native English speaker. You can find someone online. There are numerous apps online where you can connect with such people.
- Start one on one classes with English Partner. At English Partner, you can join our speaking room and talk to your personal trainer on call and improve your speaking skills.
- Make the best use of your phone. You can ask your google assistant questions in English and even have some small conversations.
- One can attend webinars. Webinars are an informative online event that is hosted by an organization and are cost-effective and learner-friendly.
- Find another person who is learning. You can practice and have a healthy competition with the other person.
- Speak to yourself. A person can stand in front of a mirror and talk to himself loudly. This makes you familiar with your English accent.
You can also find more creative ideas, that will help you learn better.
Invest on a tutor
If one is serious about their goal and wants to learn fluent English, then invest in a tutor. Talking to an English tutor once a week can drastically boost your English.
You will be able to ask questions regularly to your trainer. You can even discuss new words and learn about their uses in your daily conversations. Trainers will give you feedbacks and on your English skills and will give you guidance whenever needed.
In English Partner, you can talk to your personal trainer according to your time convenience. It is cost-effective and friendly to use. We provide trainers all across the time zones, in essence, your trainer will be available during the day and the night. To know more click here.
Make English part of your day
If one desires to learn English fluency, it is important that one has enough exposure to English. One should surround oneself with English. There is no better option than making English your daily habit. Do something in English daily. Make simple changes that will help a person in the long run.
- Text your friend in English
- Listen to English podcast and music.
- Read English newspaper
- Watch Eniglish news and TV programs
This technique is used to get used to the sound of a new language and is called language immersion.
Take a level test and use appropriate resources
If one is determined to learn English fluency they might directly use the resources that are made for intermediate or advanced levels. It is important to know your level and use the correct resource. Every language learner has done this while they started learning. If one studies from resources according to their level then there is a high chance that they might learn quickly and excel in their work.
Always choose your study or practice material according to your level, if one simply uses resources from a higher level then they tend to lose interest and give up on their goal.
For instance, if a pre-intermediate student watches an English TV show, there are chances that he may not learn much. On the other hand, if he learns from a Disney cartoon or a children’s show there are chances that the person can easily pick up new vocabulary.
If you aren’t sure about your level then you can take up a level test online.
Work on your accent
Next, it is crucial that one focuses on his pronunciation and accent. If the opposite person finds your accent difficult to understand, they may misjudge your English level and English knowledge. For instance, if a person is in an interview and he doesn’t have an accent that is understood by the opposite person, then he may lose the opportunity of working in that company or getting his dream job. The employers may not give him a job even though his qualification perfectly fit the job.
It is okay to feel uncomfortable
Everyone learning a new language need to fight their fears. It is completely normal to feel stressed and nervous when talking to someone in English. Speaking in a new language may feel like using an inkless pen. You may not have words come out of your mouth or may even subconsciously start speaking in your native language. You may not seem as intelligent as you really are.
One must understand and make peace with the fact that they will not understand everything and speak perfect and fluent English, and it is completely ok.
One can only advance in their language journey when they can put aside their fear of being embarrassed and speak English in every situation possible. Allow yourself to commit mistakes. It is better to make mistakes and learn than just pretend to know everything.
Don’t focus only on grammar
Native English speakers don’t follow the rules most of the time. You can type out a conversation of a native speaker and see for yourself as to how many rules they break. This doesn’t mean that you completely neglect grammar. It is not possible for one to learn any language with its grammar.
Grammar is useful to study and to build your language foundation. Grammar should never be your topmost priority, rather speaking English should be your priority. Most of the time people will get what you have to say even if your grammar is wrong. Your aim should be to be understandable. Grammar rules will become a party eventually. Focus on speaking and build up your confidence.
English fluency is something that you can achieve river night, nor is it something that once achieved stays forever. Once you have become fluent, you will still need to practice to keep your language skills fresh. If you stop using or practicing English there are chances that you will forget what you learned so far.
No one is a perfect speaker, everyone keeps learning throughout their life. people keep learning new words and new slang. Once you start learning a language there is never an end.
Try to keep yourself focused and motivated and never stop making efforts. Celebrate the small achievements that you achieve while learning. If you understood this article then you have an impressive amount of English vocabulary already!