Speaking English has always been the goal for many students, but in most cases they don’t know what do in order to learn to speak English fluently in short time.
To learn to speak English fluently you must focus on two things: the method and diligence.
In this article I will talk about the method because it’s up to you to be diligent or not (although it does exist a relationship between diligence and emotions, we’ll talk about this in another article).
Learn to Speak English fluently
Something I’ve always noticed (by experience) is that “the wrong” methods are much more difficult and boring then the “right” method. In other words: “It is VERY easy to learn to speak English fluently if you know the right method”.
If you want to speak English you should simply follow those rules:
Don’t study Grammar too early
English Grammar is very important, and you must study it, but only if you are an advanced student!
If you are a beginner or you want to SPEAK in English not to WRITE in English, then English grammar is your first enemy. I advise you to get rid of it because you want to speak in English and think IN English not to think ABOUT English.
I’ve seen a lot of students who learned grammar at the beginning struggling when it comes to a real conversation, they can’t speak directly because they always want to check if it’s correct or not! This is a bad habit (actually it’s the worst one).
Don’t memorize Word lists
Memorizing word lists is not only boring but also useless!
It’s true that it can help you when it comes to an exam or to translating some words but it can also make your English speaking not possible.
In a real English conversation, you don’t have time to think which word should you use, that’s why you should learn to think directly in English. It’s useless to memorize words you can never use!
Repetition is the key
If you listen to an English conversation only one time, I don’t think you’ll really memorize all the new vocabulary in this conversation. That’s why I recommend you to listen to the same conversation as many times as you can, maybe one thousand times or more!
Don’t tell me I am exaggerating, because it’s the most important part, it’s the KEY. If you lose the key, you’ll never open the door!
And it’s not only about learning new vocabulary, because you’ll also learn the pronunciation (and intonation) and your listening skills (by getting familiar). But which conversations should you listen to?
Listen to easy real conversations
We have two keywords here: easy and real, both are very important. Don’t listen to conversations designed to learn English, it’s really useless because in the real life no one speaks like that!
Look for real and natural conversations from everyday life, maybe at the market, in the bus, in the street…etc.
Also make sure that you can understand at least 60% of the conversation at the beginning that’s why I said “easy” conversations. Your goal is to learn the other 40% and make it deeper into your brain. Find a transcript if you can, ask someone to transcribe it for you (maybe a native speaker or an advance student), listen carefully and don’t forget to repeat it as much as you can.
Don’t translate from your own language
This is a very bad habit, your language and English just don’t have the same structures in most cases, also it makes you very slow because you always have an additional step, try to think in English and answer directly in English. Put your own language away!
Don’t overdo it
Some English students are very enthusiastic; they want to learn everything in one day! They listen to one hundred conversations the first day, and they want more the second day…
What they never think about is that the human brain should have some rest time between learning, and you should repeat what you learned in order to get it deeper. If you listen only one time to a conversation, in most cases you’ll get nothing in your memory for long term!
I advise you to listen to only one short conversation for more than three days so you can get everything deeper and you are more likely to use what you learned.
Don’t focus on pronunciation at the beginning
When you start learning to speak English, you don’t have to worry about your pronunciation, you try to pronounce the words right but without focusing too much. Your goal at this point is only to speak English whether it’s wrong or not, you don’t have to carry about it.
Don’t try to be perfect
This is a well-known issue many English learners face when starting to learn English. They want to be perfect; they don’t speak unless their pronunciation is perfect, they are using the right words, their sentences are grammatically well structured…
In most cases this will result in stopping to learn English, because they can’t be perfect at the beginning, if they are perfect so why are they learning English?
Be patient and logical
Learning any language takes time and efforts, it can’t be done overnight. You should have logical goals and avoid all goals like “learning English in a week” because it’s just impossible. Even if you know some basic phrases, English is very large (just like your own language) and you should go from level to level, even you’re advanced you always want to improve. Make it an adventure, take risks, conserve time and never give up!