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5 Tips to be a Fluent English Speaker

By Ananya Sarkar, Kolkata, India

Being able to speak fluent English is an advantage in today’s world. This is because English is the world language and most of the time, official communications take place in this language. In such instances, it is easy to feel insecure if your speaking skills in English are not that good. But you need not worry. Here are 5 tips that will help you get a hang of the language:

  1. Listen carefully

You want to listen to the conversations of people talking in English. The best way to do this is by watching videos of the same involving native English speakers on YouTube. It is also a good idea to watch programs and movies in English. Initially, it is important to have subtitles as they will help you follow the language. Try to understand what the words mean and how they are pronounced. If you regularly pay attention to spoken content in English, you will soon reach a point where you will no longer need to take a look at subtitles. Following spoken English would then simply be a cakewalk.

2. Think in English

For non-native English speakers who want to get a grip on the language, it is important to think in English before you utter the same in words. For example, you see a child chasing a butterfly and are amused by it. You wish to voice your thoughts to your friend. So, you need to think about the scene in English and not your mother tongue. Translation of your thoughts and feelings from your mother tongue can lead to misplaced words and phrases that give a poor impression of you. Hence, you want to think in English directly before you speak.

3. Learn appropriate phrases

Study and memorise common phrases that would be appropriate for everyday use. Remember not to be obsessed with the rules of grammar. Knowing a whole stock of words in isolation will not help you frame correct sentences. It is phrases that will make you speak confidently in English. “Hey, how’s it going?” and “How are you doing?” are great ways to greet somebody just as “I love your outfit” and “You look great today” are compliments that can make another feel good. Ensure that the phrases are suitable in the context. You want to say “Could you please pass me the salt?” when seated opposite somebody at the restaurant and not to your colleague while working at office!

4. Practise speaking in English

It is not enough to be only learning how to speak English. You need to practise speaking English yourself. Choose a sibling or close friend with whom you can have simple conversations on a daily basis. Make sure the person can speak fairly well in the language, and is encouraging and supportive. If he/she laughs at your mistakes often, chances are that you will begin to feel insecure. Hence, for your confidence to steadily grow, choose a person who will gently correct you. If you don’t have such a person, try practicing role play conversations alone in your room. You will become better at it with time, which will help you grasp the language.

5. Immerse yourself in English

The more you submerge yourself in the world of English, the better you’ll get at mastering the language. This includes speaking in English, watching English movies and making remarks in English (such as “That is remarkable!” or “You did a good job!”) instead of your mother tongue. All of these will help you internalise spoken English to the core. Surround yourself with people who speak English. You and your friends could decide to speak in English at a particular time every day for an hour or so. Try to incorporate as much spoken English as possible in your daily routine. It will make you ace the game!

Following the above tips will help you become a confident and fluent speaker of English. But remember that it takes time, patience and diligence. So, pull up your socks and stick to it. You will get there soon!


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