Have you been learning English for a long time but still struggle to understand native English speakers? Have you been taking English classes for years but do not see much progress in your English speaking abilities? Do you get nervous and make mistakes when you have to speak English with other people? Do you get confused and overwhelmed when listening to people talk in English?
This tutorial was designed to teach you:
- How to make specific goals related to your English learning.
- Tips to improve your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in English.
- What resources are available to help you learn English in your own time.
It is frustrating to be studying English and not see results. You deserve to learn why you may not be seeing results and what you can do to see your English language skills improve.
There are so many classes, teachers, books and websites that try to give you advice that is “the best way to learn English”. In this tutorial you will learn that only you know the best way you learn.
In this tutorial, we will provide you with many different ideas, tips and resources that you will find helpful and will be able to use and try right away.
Why do you want to speak English fluently?
Each person has a different reason as to why they want to speak English fluently or proficiently. Some many want a better job and others may want to travel or make new friends. No matter what your reason for learning to speak English is, you need to commit to learning English.
There is no magic formula or method to make you learn English in a day. You need to set a goal and stick to how you plan to improve your English language skills.
Since each person has different goals, some of the methods in this tutorial will not work for you while others will. The most important thing is that you try. Not that you try once in a while to improve your English but that you commit to 10, 15 or 30 minutes a day to improving your English.
This tutorial is very practical and highly actionable. You will find many links and ideas within that will help you find a way that helps you improve your English. My goal is to help you speak better English by giving you different tips, tricks, resources and ideas.
Table of Contents
- Part 1: Five Limiting Beliefs about Learning English
- Part 2: Your Mindset
- Part 3: Goals
- Part 4: Reevaluate How You Are Learning English
- Part 5: Language as a Tool Not a Science
- Part 6: Improve Your Speaking
- Part 7: Improve Your Listening
- Part 8: Improve Your Reading
- Part 9: Improve Your Writing
- Part 10: Immerse Yourself in English
- Part 11: Achieving English Fluency
- Part 12: Learning English Fluently Will Change Your Life
- Part 13: Take Action Today
This tutorial is coming to an end. You should now have some idea, tips and resources to help you improve your English language skills. There were countless ways to improve your English listening, speaking, reading and writing skills.
The best way to actually meet your goals is to take action- don’t wait; do it today! You won’t achieve your goals if you go nothing. Take a few minutes to evaluate what you would like to accomplish in relation to leaning English and then set a S.M.A.R.T. goal and start working towards achieving it.
You have learned what you need to take some action today… even if it’s only 5 minutes. Start now!
The time and effort that it takes to learn to speak English fluently is worth it. It may take you months or years but the ways that speaking English fluently will change your life are priceless.
New frame of reference
Learning to communicate in English fluently will give you a new frame of reference. You will be familiar with a new language, culture and people that are different from your own. You learn how people do and think differently than you are used to.
Having a new frame of reference will help you to make decisions differently. It will allow you to refer to different things you have learned. Learning to speak a new language opens your mind and shows you that anything is possible.
Communicate with more people
By learning to speak English fluently you will be able to communicate with more people. Not just native English speakers but people that use English for work, travel and pleasure.
Since you will be able to speak and relate to more people you may develop new friendships or relationships. The feeling of being able to successfully communicate with someone that you wouldn’t have been able to communicate with before is great. You will feel more confident and won’t be afraid to make mistakes.
More job/career opportunities
Many people study English with the possibility of bettering their life with better or higher paying jobs or more successful careers. By learning to speak English fluently, you will be a bigger asset to companies that you apply to. Many companies are interested in hiring people that are fluent in more than language. Also, if you already enjoy where you are working, you may be able to get a better paying position or a raise just for speaking English.
Make You More Flexible
People who speak more than one language tend to be more flexible. They know that things can be said, done and interpreted in different ways. By being more flexible, you may have more opportunities to do things or learn new things. You might also be more patient and willing to learn and listen to other people. Learning a new language helps you become more tolerant of people’s differences and more understanding when problems so arise.
After learning to speak English fluently, you might have boarded your horizons and learned new information that enables you to think differently. Many people who are bilingual or multilingual are better at solving problems than monolinguals.
So, many English learners want to be “fluent” but what is English fluency? How will you know if you are fluent in English? Maybe you are already fluent in English.
If you look up ‘fluent’ in the dictionary, is says: to be able to express oneself easily and articulately.
Native English speakers are fluent because English is there first language. It is very hard for English language learners to sound like native English speakers unless they moved to an English speaking country before the age of 10 or have extensive schooling or exposure to native English speakers where they live.
There are different ways to measure fluency. You may find that you are proficient in one type of English but not in another. That is very common.
We will now look at what is means to be ‘proficient’ in social, academic and professional English.
The first type of English that you could become proficient in is in social English or conversational English. The majority of students become proficient in this type of English first.
If you are proficient in social English, you can:
- have everyday conversations in English
- ask and answer common questions in English
- explain something
- talk to people and use English in informal settings
- ask for directions
- have your basic needs met (get food, housing, other necessities done in English)
- use some slang words or common sayings
The second type of English that you could become proficient in is: Academic English. Someone that is proficient in academic English may have attended elementary, high school or university in English. Becoming proficient in academic English takes more time than social English; this is because there is a more complex vocabulary than social English.
Academic English is something that is improved over time for both native and non-native English speakers. Each year in school, you learn more complex academic skills. Even native English speakers have trouble becoming proficient in academic English. Especially since each academic area or subject has its own vocabulary.
If you are proficient in academic English you can:
- cite sources/evidence of a claim that you are making
- summarize and retell stories or what you heard
- paraphrase or rephrase what you have heard
- ask questions based on text
- compare and contrast ideas
- write in a variety of genres (narrative, descriptive, argumentative, etc.)
- analyze stories and author’s point of view
- identify strengths and weaknesses of texts
The last type of English fluency is Professional English Fluency or proficiency. Professional English is English that you specifically use to carry out the functions of your job or career. Each person will have a different sub set of ‘professional fluency’. Lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects and teachers all use a different job specific vocabulary.
It is possible to be proficient in a technical English vocabulary exclusively used in the medical field but have little knowledge of English architectural vocabulary. Each profession has a specific technical vocabulary and each person will develop a different professional vocabulary.
If you are proficient in professional English, you can:
- speak about industry specific problems
- participate in discussions about common topics in your professional realm
- ask and understand questions using technical English vocabulary related to your profession/industry
When it comes to professional vocabulary, you may be ‘fluent’ in one area and not another. For example: A banker may be able to talk about money, stocks, bonds and investments with ease but can’t talk about local and federal laws. The banker will not be able to have a complex conversation about laws because she does not work in this field.
Also, keep in mind that many native English speakers are not proficient in all technical vocabularies. It doesn’t matter how educated you are, you will never know everything.
People who are fluent in English can:
- Speak English all day. Do their normal routine in English.
- Watch the news or listen to the radio and understand nearly everything.
- Think in English instead of translating everything
- Understand English speakers with different accents.
- Speak English confidently
- Give a presentation about a topic of your choice in English.
- Speak on the phone in English.
- Be understood by native English speakers when speaking English.
- Dream in English
- Use clues to help them understand
Many people base how good of English they speak on their English exam scores, but that’s a bad idea. Anyone can cram for an exam and pass it. Most exams are not the best indicator of English fluency.
I can’t tell you when you are fluent and no one else either. It’s up to you to decide when you feel comfortable using English.