How to Speak English Fluently
Everyone who is learning English wants to know how to speak English fluently. But what does this actually mean? The website www.dictionary.com defines "fluent" as able to speak or write smoothly, easily or readily. ("Readily" means quickly and without difficulty).
Click Here for Step-by-Step Rules, Stories and Exercises to Practice All English Tenses
Most people think that fluently means perfectly but this is not true. If you think about it, you will realize that even most native English speakers don't speak perfect English; most people make mistakes with their grammar, their choice of words, or even their pronunciation.
What we will look at here are some tips to help you speak smoothly, easily or readily. Not how to speak perfectly.
I am asked this question a lot. My first question to the student, after I've discussed with them what fluent actually means, is how much English they speak every day. Often they will answer, "Only in my lessons", or "When I'm at school". The first thing I will say is, "That is not enough!"
"I want to know how to speak English fluently.
What can I do?"
If you want to do anything well, you have to practice. It is the same with speaking English. The most important thing you can do to improve your fluency is to practice. Speak to friends, co-workers, classmates, people on Skype or the web, people in stores, even complete strangers. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be.
I usually ask the student how they feel about speaking English, and they often say "nervous," "scared," or something similar. The second most important piece of advice I can give is to relax. Don't worry about making mistakes. Fluency does not equal perfection! If you can't think of the right word or tense to use, don't worry about it. Just say anything that communicates the point you want to make.
Speaking English fluently isn't just about practicing your speaking. It is also important to listen to as much English as possible. This is easy with access to the web, movies, TV and radio. If you listen, even if you are not concentrating on what you are listening to, you will start to absorb the language and will start using phrases and sentence constructions without thinking about them.
If you are with a group of people, there is a game you can play to help improve your fluency. It is called 'Just a Minute'.
Write some different subjects on pieces of paper (for example, holidays, Michael Jackson, being rich, dogs, my favorite movie, the politics of Outer Mongolia – anything you want). Each person takes a piece of paper and has to talk for one minute about the subject without hesitation.
They are not allowed to repeat what they say, and they are not allowed to change the subject. It isn't easy, but if you practice it becomes much easier. Even native English speakers find this hard, so you don't have to be with other learners to play it. It can be good fun, and will be great practice for you.
So if someone asks your help on how to speak English fluently, you will now know exactly what advice to give them.
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Many people struggle with writing in English and it can seem like a real challenge to improve. Don’t worry, though. Here are some simple steps that you can take to improve your written English and impress people with your writing skills.
Expand your vocabulary
To express yourself clearly, you need a good active vocabulary. That’s not just being able to recognise lots of words – it means actually being able to use them correctly. Do this by learning new words with example sentences, not just word lists.
Tip: When you learn a new word, try learn all the forms of that word and the prepositions that are usually used with it. (For example, rather than just the word ‘depend’, make a note of: to depend on, to be dependent on, a dependant.)
Master English spelling
You must know how to spell those words correctly. Incorrect spelling changes the meaning of your sentence. For example: ‘bare’ and ‘bear’ sound the same but ‘bare’ means naked and ‘bear’ is a large animal. Additionally, incorrect spelling makes it difficult for the reader to understand what you’ve written.
Tip: Practice your spelling using flash cards and test yourself whenever you have some spare time.
People often say that we learn to write best by reading. Reading in English is useful in many ways. It is a great way to get an idea of the different styles of writing and see how to use words appropriately.
Tip: Choose books or articles with topics that interest you.Learning shouldn’t be boring. Read each text several times to make sure you understand how to use new words and expressions in the text.
Improve your grammar
Grammar is very important because it improves the quality of your writing. Always use the appropriate tense and remember to use punctuation. Punctuation is a great way to make your writing clear and fluent.
Tip: Always proof-read your writing twice. The first time, look for general mistakes and the second time look for mistakes with the particular grammar point your are studying at the moment.
Just do it!
Writing can be daunting. However, the best way to improve is get a pen and paper or sit in front of your computer and actually write. Be prepared to write several versions of each text because even for professional writers, the first draft is never perfect. Remember, practice makes perfect, so now is the best time to sit down and get started with our free English quizzes!