Tips to Speak English Fluently
English is one of the most difficult languages in the world. Even native speakers are regularly confounded by rules of grammar and regional dialects. For example, in the United States it would not be unusual for those born and raised in different parts of the country to find it difficult to understand each other because the local cultures use distinct phrases and pronunciations to express themselves. It comes as no surprise, then, to find many people who are in the process of learning English as a second language struggling to speak fluently.
1. The most important thing an English student can to do improve their speaking ability is to practice. Approaching a native English speaker and attempting to have a conversation with them can be scary for a person who is still in the process of learning the language. You may fear being made fun of or accidentally saying something insulting. It is necessary to overcome this sort of fear if you genuinely want to improve. Look for someone with a friendly, smiling face and simply start by greeting them and asking if they mind helping you practice for a little while.
2. Once you have started a conversation with a native speaker, pay attention to their pronunciation. Listen to the order of the words they use when responding. Collect as many useful phrases from each conversation as you can. If you find they are speaking too fast or if you are having difficulty understanding what is being said, ask them to slow down. Many native English speakers will openly admit to speaking at a very rapid rate. No matter what topic the conversation turns to, ask questions. If questions are asked of you do your best to respond quickly, without worrying about the answer being ‘right’.
3. Many people who are studying English find their reading ability to be much higher than their speaking ability. This is primarily because the reader is able to control the speed of the flow of words, pausing when necessary to process new words or phrases. Choose material that you find interesting and be sure to keep a dictionary nearby. For those who do not enjoy reading, movies in English are widely available. Movies serve a similar purpose as they allow the person watching to gain a feel for the natural tones and flow of a conversation. Like books, movies can be paused, if necessary, while the viewer consults a dictionary.
4. Once you have surrounded yourself with English resources and are using them on a daily basis, you must try to stop thinking in your native tongue. In the early stages of learning English, people think of what they want to say in their first language, translate the thought into English and then speak. This is time consuming, mentally exhausting, and frequently incorrect. With practice, many responses will become automatic, such as saying, "I'm fine, thank you," in response to the common question, "How are you today?"
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