To become fluent in English, you will have to do a number of different things. For every English learner, it could be a different combination of things but there are some common things that everyone who wants to be fluent in English needs to think about doing.
The first step to becoming fluent in English is learning how to think in English even when English is not your first language. This can be challenging to do for even the brightest and most motivated students. But rest assured that until you can think in English (and especially on a subconscious level without even trying) you will never be fluent in the language. That is to say, you must get to a point where you are not translating in your head from your language to English but you are hearing and processing and thinking in English from the first moment you hear the communication or speech.
The next question is bound to be “how do I ‘think’ in English?” That is a very good question and probably should be an independent post all to itself. But there is no question that one of the key ways to speed up that process is to immerse yourself in the language by traveling, hanging around native English speakers, consuming a huge amount of English material such books, movies, YouTube videos and magazines, and always and immediately looking up any English word you encounter that you do not know (if you have a mobile smart phone this can be a huge help because you can stop wherever you are and look up the word immediately.)
Another key thing you will have to do is learn English phrases such as phrasal verbs and idiomatic phrases. These are key to becoming fluent and speaking like a native. You have to know phrasal verbs and idioms.
Another key aspect of becoming fluent in English is verb tenses and modal verbs. Without taking the time to master these, you can kiss any pipe dream you have of becoming fluent in the language.
Finally, to become fluent in English you have to talk to yourself a lot in English. You have to role play a lot by yourself and talk to yourself in English. Also try reading English books aloud when you are alone to hear yourself speaking in English. This will build your English fluency fast!
NEXT: 10 EASY AND FUN WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH ( SLIDESHOW)
Have you taken an English quiz lately to gauge how well your basic English is? No? Why not? You have to keep testing yourself! How else are you going to improve? Well, tell you what: I want to help you out so I created this little English quiz that is full of little basic grammar rules, for example:
- Make vs do?
- Say vs tell
- the proper form to ask a question
- ing vs infinitive
- modal verbs
- Did + main verb (question form)
- Have (question form)
This little English quiz should not take more than 5 minutes to complete. Just click on the answer you think is right and hit next when you are done. At the end of the quiz, your score will appear at the top.
Next up: 10 FUN AND EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR ENGLISH
There are indeed many fun ways to improve your English and these are easy steps and strategies you can implement today. What could be more fun than celebrity gossip, for example? You may think that reading about Kim Kardashian is beneath your dignity but you would be surprised how much vocabulary you pick up from a news piece about the reality starlet that improves your fluency and helps you to sound more like a native English speaker.
Obviously, there are many other easy and fun ways to improve your English other than reading about Kim Kardashian. For example, do you like poetry? Do you like to use social media? Do you like American movies? All of these are ways that you can use and employ to help you to improve your English comprehension as well as your oral and written English skills.
Why is it important to find fun ways to improve your English? Because you will be encouraged to continue to study the language if you are having fun. It is quite that simple. There is no need to be bored out of your mind anymore. You can have fun with it, even if you are learning the language in a professional capacity. Because professional people know about celebrities and professional people read poetry. And professional people do a lot of other things, like subscribe to social networks. All of these vehicles will help you improve your English skills.
But don’t take my word for it. Go through the slide show of easy and fun ways to improve your English and see if you find a method or strategy that could work for you. Then get to work and use it today!
NEXT: More tips on how to improve your English
Did You Know that you can improve Your English Fluency by Watching Movies in English?
A lot of people learn English by watching movies. Indeed, one of the easiest and most fun ways to learn English is to watch movies or even TV series in English.
For one thing, you get to hear English spoken in its most natural way and this will go a long way to helping you improve your English. Watching movies also gives you a bird’s eye view into the culture of that particular place whether it is a city, country, neighborhood or home/family. This context can also help you improve your own English skills faster.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR WHEN YOU ARE WATCHING MOVIES WITH THE OBJECTIVE OF LEARNING ENGLISH
- Make sure the movie is one you are interested in
- Choose movies that are G rated rather than “R” rated at first
- Do not use the subtitle function all the time. You could probably use it the first time you watch a particular film but after that you need to turn it off
- Watch at least two movies per week, maybe more
- Select movies with different English accents (American, Indian, Australian, British, Caribbean, etc)
- Don’t feel you have to watch “classic” you need to enjoy the movie so choose movies with actors that you already like.
- Have a book so you can copy vocabulary words you don’t know and go over your list regularly.
- Pause the film often or slow down the movie so you can re-listen if you were not clear on something.
- Consider watching the movie with other people so you can have a discussion in English about the film after.
- Focus on listening rather than reading subtitles
The English spoken in movies is not always perfect, though. There could be a lot of slang, indecent words and bad grammar so you need to be mindful and you need to choose your movies with care. Though, learning slang and indecent words are also important aspects of learning to speak the language in the most natural way.
Here are a few movies you can watch if you want to learn English by watching movies:
- The Sound of Music
- Forrest Gump
- A Few Good Men
- Endless Love
- Harry Potter
- Star Wars
- The Hunger Games
- Shakespeare in Love
- Maid in Manhattan
- The Talented Mr Ripley
NEXT UP: 10 Ways to Learn English Fast
Want to Learn English in New York City? Here are 10 Reasons Why that is a Great Idea
If you have been thinking that you want to learn English in New York City, I think you should go for it. I think New York is probably the best City to learn English in. It’s not cheap of course and so you will have to be able to spend at least $600 -$1000 US dollars for about two weeks of an intensive course, but it is totally worth it. A lot of people want to learn English in New York City (especially during the summer) because obviously, there is so much to do and see in New York during the Summer.
Well, the main reason is that the city is so vibrant and so much fun! If you don’t believe me, check out these 10 things you can do while you are there.
- Go for a picnic in Central Park
- Take in a Broadway play
- Go to a Karoake bar (where you can belt out popular tunes in English)
- Meet and hang out with New Yorkers at one of thousands of meetups the city has to offer
- Go to a famous club and dance the night away
- Attend a conference at the Javits Center
- Go to a ball game
- Buy Pizza & hot dogs to eat on the go
- Enjoy happy hour at a hot spot on the Upper West Side
- Check out the Museum of Sex on Fifth Avenue
But actually, the focus should be on your English. It is just that if you want to learn English in New York City and you are going to spend all that money to do it, you might as well have some fun while you are there. Right?
American Accent: Do you prefer to speak English like an American?
Having an American Accent when you speak English is not necessary but some people want to sound like an American when they speak in English. There is nothing wrong with that.
However, you should not feel insecure about having an accent when you speak in English. All English speakers whether they are from America or not have their own unique accents and this is very good thing.
Still, there are some learners who prefer to learn English with a native speaker from America. They prefer to have an American accent when they speak. This gives them confidence – especially when they have to give a presentation in English to an American audience. Makes sense, and this is fine. It is a personal preference and there is nothing wrong with wanting to have an American accent. Or for that matter any other accent that you prefer. Even though I am American (and I like my own accent) I personally enjoy a few different accents such as British, South African and Indian, to name a few.
At ELG, your instructor will most likely have an American accent so if that is your preference, you have come to the right place. And why? Because we are an American enterprise. It doesn’t mean we don’t fully respect and appreciate all the other accents there are for speaking English.
Again, it really is a personal preference. If that is your preference, then by all means do contact us to discuss your goals.
more tips for English learners here.