It is, as they often say, languages can open new doorways you never even knew existed. They will take you on a journey, make you see the world like you never thought it could be seen. Of course, that’s not an easy journey to pack for.
Learning a language other than your mother tongue can be tough. Even more challenging, perhaps, is the art of mastering that language, having it roll off of your tongue effortlessly. Take English, for instance. Knowing the rules of grammar isn’t the same thing as being able to speak or converse smoothly. You can still stammer, get under-confident, make errors.
So, how to make sure you speak in fluent English? We have some hand-picked tips for you. Read on!
A starting point is to establish and accept the fact that knowing a language, and knowing how to speak it are two different things. The first one can be done soon enough, while the latter might take years to get a hang of. Simple reasoning: while speaking, you have to collectively put down all you know about the language and present it, that too, in real time. The vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation- everything has to be put on the table, together.
This is not to be a spoilsport and say the task is impossible. Of course, not, merely challenging. However, there are a few tricks and tips you can use to ensure you speak English fluently.
a. Speaking (as much as you can)
This is one of the “old, but gold” rules of learning how to speak any language, including English. It will work best if you are conversing with somebody in English. But, if that’s not possible, stand in front of a mirror and practice. Try to include English in more and more of your daily life interactions.
If you want to learn how to speak in English, you must first learn how to listen to it. That’s right, be a good listener. Be it English songs, movies, the evening news or even, somebody talking to you in English. The more and better you listen, the greater your own grip over the language. This simple trick will teach you more about how English is spoken than any instruction manual ever will.
c. Fluency matters more than grammar, at times
Do you think a native English speaker never makes any grammatical error, even while they’re speaking? They do. Being fluent in a language is not the same thing as being correct in it to the last dot. The essence is to be able to communicate confidently, flawlessly. So, while you’re practising, do not process every single sentence in your head, trying to analyse if it was grammatically correct. Focus more on your flow, the rest will come naturally with time.
d. The answer is often in the question
Many learners end up making basic grammatical errors while speaking, especially in a conversation. The reason can be a lack of confidence or even plain confusion. In times like these, there is a very easy trick to remember:
The answers are a mirror image of the respective questions. Here’s how this works:
Is it….? Yes, it is.
Will he do that? Yes, he will.
Can she…? Yes, she can.
e. Practice makes perfect
Again, a bit of cliche advice, but it goes a long way. No matter how skilled you become with a language, it is always essential to stay in constant touch. Your grip over it can and will get rusted otherwise. Talk in English as much, and as often as you can, even after you think you have got it well.
A golden rule at the end: Don’t be afraid of making errors. You will have slips of the tongue, you might mess up the grammar more than once, but that’s okay. Give yourself credit for the willingness to learn, and for the effort, you’re putting in. And, of course, don’t forget to binge on some English movies while you’re at it.