English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and there is no doubt that today, it is more of a necessity than a choice to speak it. Now, it is easier than ever to get all the resources you would ever need to learn and practice a language – after all, we have the Internet at our disposal. Nevertheless, what a lot of learners seem to find difficult is improving their fluency. Therefore, if you are in the same position, here are a few tips on how you can boost your English fluency.
Constant contact with the language
Especially if you don’t hear English on the street in your country, you have to make sure you dedicate more time to being in contact with the language. You can achieve this by introducing changes to your daily routine. Some things that could help you make English an integral part of your day is listening to a radio program or a podcast and switching to watching television in English instead of your native language – the same with movies, TV shows and so on. You could also try listening to audiobooks if your level allows it. All of this will familiarize you with native expressions.
Find a way to be interested and engaged
The only way to long-term motivation is actually being interested in what you are learning. Therefore, think about what you are interested in and try to connect practicing English to that particular activity. If it is following news, for instance, you can read or watch those in English and write down words that are new to you. This way, not only will you be hearing or reading authentic texts but you’ll also gain valuable vocabulary in fields that are actually useful and interesting to you.
Choose your materials wisely
Instead of outdated textbooks, make sure you go for contemporary materials written or made by native speakers. Not only might older material not be relevant anymore, but it might contain expressions and grammatical structures no longer used in daily life. Another thing to consider when choosing your materials is your level. No matter if you like a particular show, if it’s way above your current level, it’s going to be frustrating and sooner or later, you’ll give up on it. A little bit above your level would be ideal. Finally, while it is true that learning from standard English is recommended, it is important that you are in contact with a variety of dialects and accents as well because that is exactly what you are going to encounter in real life.
Enroll in a targeted course
If you feel like your written English is fine but you don’t feel confident in your speaking, opting to enroll in a targeted course could be a good idea. Institutes such as the Sydney College of English offer fluency courses that can lead to great improvement in a short time if you’re dedicated and put in enough effort. If you can’t spare the time, finding a private tutor with whom you can practice the specific things you are unsure about is also a great idea. If all else fails, even practicing with a study buddy or a friend whose native language is English is a good start, although, most likely, they won’t be able to explain you things in detail.
Practice using effective methods
You can also practice fluency by yourself if you know which methods work. For instance, to polish your pronunciation, you could try the shadowing method, where you focus on repeating sentences from some kind of native audio. Another way you can practice anytime and anywhere is by thinking in English. The obstacle before fluency tends to be that the learner is thinking in their native language and translates what they want to say into English. This is not only very difficult but it is an ineffective approach simply due to how differently languages function. So, whenever your thoughts start to wander, try to think in English and you will train your brain to assume this mindset when you’re in a situation where you have to speak in English.
There are lots of other ways in which you can practice fluency every day, and the only limit is your creativity. For a start, implement the previously mentioned methods and with a bit of effort and determination, you will start noticing results in no time.