Being fluent in English is a useful tool that opens up a whole world of opportunities. From understanding English-taught university courses to finding employment in an English-speaking company, a grasp of the language can open up many doors for your future.
However, it can be tricky to become fluent in the language when you don’t live in an English-speaking country. While you can learn grammar and practice with your friends, becoming genuinely competent in the language – enough to power through job interviews, for example – isn’t so easy.
If you’re committed to becoming fluent, but you’re struggling to take your language skills to the next level, check out our tips on how to master the art of fluency…
1) Change your electronics to English
Think about how often you check your phone, laptop and other electronics. Imagine if you thought about speaking English as often as you did this.
By changing your apps to English, you will be reminded of the vocab throughout the day, and get into the habit of thinking in English without translating it first.
It might be tricky to navigate your devices at first, but once you get used to it, you’ll find the language is second nature.
2) Think in English as often as possible
Even if you can’t speak English all the time, this doesn’t stop you from thinking in English. Whenever you’re daydreaming or having an internal monologue, try and switch from your mother tongue to English.
This will allow you to practice your skills without fear of getting it wrong to others, and encourage fluent flow.
Practice makes perfect, and soon enough, you’re likely to be dreaming in English and slipping into dialogue with yourself without even realising it.
3) Watch all films and television in English
By watching all your TV and movies in English, you will begin to develop your listening skills and learn colloquial phrases you won’t find in textbooks.
Just like living in English-speaking countries, English-speaking movies and TV often speak faster than educational listening exercises and often use more informal language.
While it’s important to learn grammar rules and correct vocab, being able to use colloquial terms is also useful for speaking fluently.
4) Stop thinking of yourself as a student
Stop thinking you’re ‘learning’ English, and accept that you’re improving your skills – this simple change in mindset can give you the confidence you need.
A bit of self-belief might be all you need. Source: Giphy
If you’re reading this, then chances are you already have a good grasp of the language. The only thing stopping you from being good and being great is your own perception of your skills. Acknowledge how much you already know, and focus on the next steps.
Repeating grammar rules you’re struggling to remember is never going to help you as much as practicing as often as possible.
5) Never stop learning
Becoming fluent in English is not an end destination, it’s a life choice. You never stop learning new words and meanings in your mother tongue, so why should English be any different?
There are always new vocab and context to add to your skills, so constantly challenge yourself to improve. This will stop you from becoming complacent and losing your fluency over time. It might seem daunting to know you will always be learning, but take your time and tackle the language at a pace that suits you.
Even when you’ve mastered conversations, there will always be room for improvement, so just take it one step at a time.
Becoming fluent in English is a valuable skill both for education and beyond no matter where you live in the world. Once you’re fluent in the language, the world will become your oyster as you can study, work and communicate almost anywhere.
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