Category Archives: ENGLISH FLUENCY

WHY YOU STILL DON’T SPEAK ENGLISH FLUENTLY AND HOW YOU CAN OVERCOME THIS ISSUE

After years and years of studying English as a subject at school, you expect at the end to speak English fluently, right?

Unfortunately, many ESL students still don’t speak this language confidently. I remember that I was talking with a teacher and I asked him if after high school the students would be able to speak fluently, and he told me that the program wasn’t designed in that way, the purpose of teaching a second language at school was to help to the students to have a general knowledge of a foreign language.

Many people spend money attending to classes, but the problem is that the teacher is so busy with many students, teaching grammar, grading exams, preparing classes and he barely has time to help the students to get fluency.

Another problem is that in a classroom, the students are not able to practice their speaking skills; they usually learn grammar rules and how to translate into their native languages.

After we identified some of the common problems, let’s analyze how you can overcome these obstacles.

 

How to overcome common obstacles to improve your English skills

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My advice would be that you also need to learn English outside the classroom, learn how to teach English to yourself, enjoy the learning process doing what you like.

The traditional way of teaching English is out-of-date; we can use technology to learn a second language. Schools have been using the same methods to teach for decades, but as you know we live in a digital age, and new generations learn in a new interactive way.

Grammar books make me fall asleep; I learn languages by downloading apps like Duolingo on my phone, reading books on my tablet using digital dictionaries.

The best way to learn how to use grammar in a real conversation is watching movies and TV shows, pay attention to the way that the actors speak and learn phrases and general slang.

Another way to learn how to build your own sentences is reading comics, there are some apps that you can download and enjoy reading your favorite comics in English; and if you read a book, make sure that has a lot of dialogues, and pick up phrases that you can use in a real conversation.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Download some apps to learn the song’s lyrics.

If you are not able to practice your speaking skills at school, get a friend to practice with.

You can use these websites:

http://www.language-exchanges.org/

http://www.italki.com/

You can practice by Skype, Google Hangouts, Oovoo, etc.

If you still think that you need some direction, get an English tutor to help you to improve your skills, he’ll provide you with the right tools and guide you need.

These are just some useful tips, there are more methods for learning by yourself, if you know some of them, please comment below.

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TALK TO YOURSELF IN ENGLISH

When people outside of an English speaking country are learning English, it is kind of difficult for them to practice regularly; that’s the reason why I’d like to share some techniques to improve your speaking skills talking to yourself.

 

Why to talk to yourself

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People who learn languages know this method way too much, they usually talk to themselves every day, the purpose is to help you to speak confidently when you have an opportunity to talk to an English speaker.

When you try this approach, you learn by yourself to use the vocabulary that you’ve learned; you can prepare some topics beforehand for future conversations as well, and at the same time you are working on your pronunciation.

One of my students from China who uses this method mentioned: “Since the last month I do it every day. I’ve been doing it already for a month. It’s becoming easier and easier for me to talk. I don’t have to struggle looking for words or sentences to express myself now.”

 

How to talk to yourself

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There are different techniques that you can try, one of my favorites is to record my soliloquies or monologues. I love learning languages and I love to practice this way because I can play back my records and see how good it is my pronunciation.

Another technique is to talk to yourself in front of a mirror; I think this helps because you can work on your body language too, as you know every culture has its own body language, and you will have the sensation that you are talking to someone else.

And the last one, but not least, talk to yourself whenever you have some free time, it doesn’t matter where you are or if you have your Smartphone to record your voice.

 

What to talk about

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There’s an endless list of topics that you can use, I’d like to mention some of them:

–  You could talk about your daily routine, what you did during the day.

–  Think how you could describe people and places, just look around and you’ll find some material to talk about.

–  Express your emotions and feelings, imagine that you are talking to a close friend.

– Imagine how you would give directions to get at some place.

–  Talk about the future, what you’re going to do next week, plan your events using English.

– If there’s a topic that is not easy for you because you don’t know how to express yourself, try to practice looking for the right expressions and take your time in order to become familiar with the information.

 

As you can see there are a lot of topics, you can talk to yourself using monologues or playing roles, you can imagine that you’re talking to someone else; please ,use topics for a real conversation, so when you have one you’ll be ready to talk about it.

 

How long you need to talk

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Well, it doesn’t  matter, you can talk  10 minutes or 1 hour, just use the time you have available. The point is to practice daily in order that you can improve, after a while you’ll master this method and you’ll see how your English speaking skills improve.

 

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HOW TO LEARN ENGLISH FASTER

People around the world are crazy for English and they spend a lot time and money and don’t see good results, that’s why I decided to write about it. I’m going to share some tips that have helped me a lot to learn languages.

 

Motivation

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What is the main reason why you want to learn English? Would you like to travel to an English speaking country? Would you like to get a better job? Would you like to watch your favorites TV Shows or movies without subtitles?

Please, take into account why you’d like to learn English faster, because this reason will keep you going when you feel frustrated or tired.

Get rid of your negative thoughts, instead, picture yourself speaking the language confidently and fluently.

 

Goals

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Now, you need to set a goal, a realistic goal; for example, think about what you ‘d like to achieve in 30 days and write it down in a journal or paste it on your mirror, so you can remember it and work on that. Would you like to master some tenses? Would you like to improve your pronunciation? Would you like to improve your listening or speaking skills?

 

Full immersion

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What do native English speakers do everyday?  Do they read the news, listen to music, watch TV and write? Well, I recommend that you create the same routine.

If you’re a beginner, take a free course online in order to have a good foundation in the language.

Download some apps to listen to the radio or some podcasts, and start your day doing that.

Do you like to listen to music in English? Then, learn the lyrics by heart.

Do you like to read the news or books? Read some digital newspaper or get some books.

Do you like American TV shows or movies? Then, watch them without subtitles, but if you are a beginner, wait until you have a basic knowledge of the language to turn off the subtitles.

 

Learn and practice everyday

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If you’d like to learn faster, you gotta have a daily routine doing the activities I described above and dedicate all the time you have available.

To get a good proficiency in English, you just have to dedicate 600 hours.

You gotta know that if you learn regularly, you have to make an extra effort to speak too; social networks are very useful to know English speakers, try to meet people who only speak English and chat with them regularly, if you do that, you’ll be working on your writing skills as well.

Get a language exchange partner, I talked about this topic in a former article you can check it here.

 

Invest in your future

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Just think for a moment what you’d be able to do if you could speak English fluently; your future is very important, if you’d like to practice regularly with a tutor to see quicker results, why don’t you try English conversational lessons through Skype? I’ll share my methods to learn languages in a fast way with you. Your education is very important, and if you learn how to speak English fluently, you’ll get many opportunities.

Good luck with your English learning process!

HOW TO THINK IN ENGLISH

ESL students would like to speak English like they do in their native language in an easy way, but they still struggle trying to think in English, they get frustrated, because they are always translating from their native language into English, and when they try to speak, they can’t think completely in this second language; but I got good news, I’m going to explain to you how you can learn to think in English.

 

Create a bubble

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If you don’t live in an English speaking society you have to create your own bubble or environment where you listen, watch and speak English every day, that’s why you need to do everything in English.

I would say that at the beginning it isn’t easy, but it becomes a habit if you persist and don’t give up.

If you usually listen to the radio, get an app and listening on your Smartphone or other device.

Do you like to read the news? Read some digital newspapers.

Do you enjoy watching American TV Shows? Watch them in English and without subtitles.

The more spend time learning English, the more it’ll become familiar for you and thinking in English won’t be complicated.

 

How to stop thinking in your native language

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First things first, to think in English is a decision that you can make, it’s not about confidence, it’s about motivation. I’d say that it’s easier than speaking, because if you make a mistake you won’t feel embarrassed, but it requires a lot of motivation, because there’s no one there  pushing you to speak and think in English.

To start this journey, you gotta have a good foundation of basic grammar in order that you can build your own sentences, and if you already created your own bubble, the process will be faster because you’ll be learning every day.

In early stages, it’s quite common to use more your native language; you’ll probably be translating instead of thinking fluently. But the point is to use English in your thoughts, not only on your conversations.

In order to exercise your mind thinking in English, I advise you to keep a journal, maybe you can use your Smartphone or a notebook; I suggest first, to start thinking how to describe daily activities in English, if there is a word or topic difficult for you, write it down and study it, you’re going to learn more vocabulary and next time you try to think in the same topic, it’ll be easier and you can move on thinking in another topic. This helps you to organize your thoughts.

Another suggestion would be to prepare some questions and phrases next time you talk to an English speaker, so when you got the opportunity to practice it won’t be hard to keep a conversation going.

 

Follow through, don’t forget your goal

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If you make an extra effort to think everything you can in English every day, you’ll be surprised with the results, instead of thinking “eu quero”(Portuguese), “yo quiero” (Spanish)or “我想”(Mandarin Chinese) you’ll automatically say to yourself “I want”,  and you won’t even know  where it came from, because you won’t be using your native language.

I think the biggest challenge is to overcome the feeling of frustration, because at the beginning you won’t be able to think in English fully, don’t worry that’s OK, after a while, when you’ve learned more about your target language, it’ll be easier and one day you’ll wake up thinking totally in English, and you’ll be amazed.

Every time you make an effort to think in English it is an active exercise to prepare you for a real conversation, and the thoughts start to flow faster every time.

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HOW TO KEEP MOTIVATED LEARNING ENGLISH

Is it difficult for you to learn English regularly?

Would you like to speak English fluently, but you don’t feel motivated?

Do you get bored easily trying to learn English?

 

Today I’d like to share with you guys some tips about how you can stay motivated learning English as a second language.

 

Learn about things you like

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It’s very important that you enjoy the learning process, because if you get bored you won’t learn anything.

Think about your interests: sports, food, books, etc.

For example, if you enjoy cooking, you can learn vocabulary about food in order that you can express yourself natural and confident when you talk about this kind of topic that is familiar for you.

 

Take a break

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Now that you are learning things you like, it is normal to get bored sometimes, that’s why you need to take a break.

I try to keep learning Portuguese reading books or articles I like, but when I get bored, I watch a movie, listen to music, etc. The key is to keep learning doing different things.

Sometimes I get bored as well, so I take a break and come back the next day to learn.

I try to learn regularly because if I stop my routine, the learning process will be slower.

 

Set small goals

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If you’d like to speak English fluently, first you have to know that  you need to take small steps to get there.

When you are familiar with the vocabulary related to your daily activities, you learn to speak fluent and confident.

Please, pick up a topic that you would like to master and learn everything about that; it could be about your work, hobbies, transportation, etc. Once you mastered a topic, choose another one and so on.

After a while you’ll see how your English improves and you’ll speak fluent and confident.

 

Don’t give up

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Some people start learning a language very motivated, but after a while they give up, because they notice that when they want to talk they make mistakes. Please don’t be afraid of making mistakes.

Many ESL students are good at reading, but they are not able to speak, your main goal should be speaking fluently.

Learn from your mistakes, learning a language is about making mistakes. The more you practice that more learn to speak correctly.

Well, guys, that’s all for today and if you liked this article, please share it and subscribe.