How to be fluent in English fast
If you are wondering how to become fluent in English you need first to understand that learning the basics of a foreign language is difficult, especially English with its strange rules and irregularities. However, the next stage is to become fluent and this might feel impossible. There are issues of grammar and pronunciation that can feel mountainous. How can you work to improve your English to a point that those living in the English-speaking world might mistake you as a native?
Here are eight hints and tips for how to improve and perfect your English. You will find some of them will work and some of them won’t – but keep trying and you will achieve your goal.
One of the most successful strategies for perfecting a language is to live amongst people who speak the language every day. Immersion, which is the name of this strategy, gives you the opportunity to speak the language and hear the language with people who speak it fluently. You will hear sentence constructions that you may be getting wrong – small things such as the use of articles – which are easy to miss. You will be able to match your use of English with those around you – perfecting particularly your accent.
You can interact with native speakers without living within a country that speaks English. Social media and online culture means you can interact with native speakers over the internet. You can set up conversations online or take up with a social media pen pal – so you write and speak regularly with a native!
One of the great benefits of interacting with native speakers is hearing the variations in dialect and idiomatic language that makes someone fluent. More formal learning of language tends to miss these aspects and tutors will preference formalised and standardised English. If you really want to become fluent in English then you are going to have to introduce some of the idiosyncrasies of the language.
This last point, that you will face a variety of English use depending on where you visit or live, is maybe also an argument for taking lessons. If you visit England you will find that English changes depending on where you visit – not in a major way but enough to cause confusion – a bread roll can be called a bap, a cob, a roll, a bun, for instance. More likely, if you learn in the US, you will find huge differences in vocabulary. Sidewalk is pavement; pants are trousers, a trunk is a boot, a diner is a café – and many more variations.
Therefore, even if you are living in an English-speaking country, speaking to natives every day, you might find formal lessons beneficial. A professional tutor will be able to gauge your level of language – whether it is intermediate upper or advanced lower – or some other such rating. They can then test you and listen to you speak and assess the areas that need attention. They will then be able to put remedial lessons in place that will address your specific needs.
It might be unrealistic to expect that you can move to the country that speaks English and then seek professional tuition from a native speaker. Instead, you might want to take advantage of formal lessons online. Applications such as Skype mean that you can speak to anyone anywhere in the world. You can speak face to face with video conferencing and your tutor will be able to share their screen, so you can see teaching resources as they use them. This is still learning from a native speaker, with all the advantages of accent and remedial grammar work, but without having to move countries to access it.
Another way to use the internet to access native speakers and attempt to immerse yourself in the language is through online videos. There are many teachers online who have recorded videos to help you learn English. These video span basic to advanced and can help you to perfect your English.
Alternatively, you can just watch videos on topics that you enjoy that are spoken in English or watch TV shows or films. These videos will give you the opportunity to bathe yourself in the language, whilst enjoying what you are watching. It is often much easier to learn when you are having fun – well, at least you will stay committed to the learning if you are enjoying yourself.
Another way to perfect your English is to read lots. Learning any language, even the one you have spoken since a child, is improved by the act of reading and seeing language used again and again. You can read newspapers in English. If you are going to use the British press then you should maybe use the quality newspapers rather than the “red-tops” or tabloid papers. Tabloid papers have a low reading age – somewhere close to single digits – therefore, you are unlikely to stretch your English language skills by reading these papers.
It might be better to commit to reading novels in English – remember you can always seek support from a translation service if you struggle with the vocabulary or sentence construction. The more language you are exposed to and the more often this happens, the better your English will become. You could always mix this strategy with speaking with native English speakers by joining a book club.
There are language learning apps available for download, which can help you to learn English wherever you are and whenever you want. There are many you can choose from and a lot of them are free. Some of these free apps include: Duolingo, HelloTalk, Mindsnacks, Busuu, Babbel, Memrise, Leaf and Lingua.ly.
Duolingo is an excellent app for learning, as it makes the whole process into a game. This is good for someone looking to perfect their English because the sense of progress in the app will be that much greater. The app breaks language learning down into subjects and into aspects of grammar. The main approach is say and repeat – but this is excellent for pronunciation in particular – which is usually the last aspect of English fluency to be mastered. What is also clever is that the app will increase the sophistication of the questions asked depending on how good you are at language.
Busuu breaks up language learning into competency levels – and it stops at upper intermediate – so a step before advanced. However, there are quizzes that help test your proficiency and help you drill and perfect your language.
Memrise deserves a mention because it cleverly places key words and phrases into sentences with similar sounding words from your native language. This added association helps you to recognise patterns in language and plays on the strengths of the memory at recognising the familiar. The best things is that you can skip all the way to advanced, which means you can perfect English rather than just learn the basics. Plus – the number of languages supported is impressive – with more than 150 languages offered.
Another app option is to download a translator that will help support you in your adventurous use of the English language. One of the best things about an app like Google Translate is that the app will speak the words out loud for you. This is an imaginative way to learn language – and one that supports independent learning. You can throw yourself into complex situations and you will have a solution if your English is not strong enough to cope. Setting yourself high goals will push your learning forward – and a translator will give you the confidence to commit to higher level English. Don’t think it is just for people that cannot understand anything – you can adapt the use of these tools to your needs.
Realistically, the best approach to becoming fluent in English is to be in a situation where you must speak English all the time. Finding yourself a group of native speakers and keeping up will improve your English the most. This can be done in person or it can be done online – but the pressure to keep up will necessitate improvement in your language ability.
However, it is also true that the best strategy for learning is variety – using all the suggestions will be effective in improving fluency. Taking on independent learning activities such as reading and watching films in English will support the formal learning that you undertake with a tutor.
There are so many ways that you can improve the fluency of your English, and now you surely know more on how to become fluent in English. You may never fully master the language – most native speakers are still learning English to its full potential. You must commit to speaking out loud and making errors and you should read lots and lots of texts with ever-increasing complexity. With practice you will get better – as with everything in life.