Big Ben Academy: English Course in Malaysia

Arash June 18, 2021 15:00

Follow these 4 steps to quickly improve your english speaking fluency

Speaking fluent english is actually very easy to achieve only if you formulate your learning process and try to be consistent, remember it’s very important to follow a plan until you get the desired result otherwise the best instructions on how to improve English would fail if you simply give up in the middle.

New words and your core memory

The most common practice that everyone does is to memorize a bunch of new English words, although you may remember some of these words after a few days if you are lucky but you can’t instantly use them in a sentence and it won’t help you to be fluent in English. You need to activate new words in your brain.
There are two ways that word activates in your brain and remains in your core memory. One way is if you hear the same word somewhere else, let’s say today you learn it from the book and three days later you hear someone say it in the street or in some movies. So constantly watching movies and listening to podcasts are good ways to improve and to seal a word in your mind.

Another way to remember the word is to use it in the sentence. You don’t have to be in an actual conversation, you can imagine the sentence in your head. Let’s say you learn how to say “ to pass”, when you are at the dinner table ask someone to pass you the salt. This way you are more likely to remember the word and activate it in your long term memory. Once you do it in one or two scenarios then next time in an actual conversation you don’t need to try to remember the word and you will use it instantly if you need to, so it helps to improve your English and to be more fluent in english speaking.

The art of listening

Everyone would tell you to watch a lot of movies, news, listen to music, radio podcasts and all, but are these methods effective in learning and speaking fluent English? The short answer is both yes and no. Let me cover the no part first, let’s say you are listening to a podcast and at the same time making a salad, you brain is not that much of a superhero as you think it is, the issue is that your it can not process two difficult tasks at the same time, yes you can sing a song that you know at the same time, or talk to your friend about today’s class, but you can’t solve a complicated math problem during this time. So you either need to focus on being careful not to cut your finger while chopping the tomato, or you can only focus on solving math problems, you can’t do both, there is a chance you lose your finger.

I said all that to tell you if you want to learn English by improving your listening skills , you need to really pay attention to every words that you hear, weather you understand it or not, it is going to be very boring if you don’t understand most of the topic, so some image movement will make it more interesting, by that I mean watching some movies instead of barely listening to a radio or a podcast. But even movies are distracting because you’ll be lost in the content and the story of the movie and you become tired of paying attention to the words.

My best advice is to watch shows, the short and quick ones, preferably the funny ones, let’s say the Late night show, by Craig Ferguson, or the famous Friends episodes, try to watch their shows on Youtube or any other available channels, they are fun and at the same time you learn so many words. You may even be hooked and watch a lot of short videos, this way first of all there is something interesting to watch so you don’t get distracted by your surroundings, this is much better than a podcast, and also it’s not like a movie so that the story or actions distract you from learning.

But you may ask how this so many hours of listening will help me become fluent in English, the answer is if you focus on the English conversation for a long hours, not only it helps you become fluent but you also may pick the speaker's accent slowly. This happens behind the scenes in your brain, all the hard work is done there without you even noticing but the most important thing that you need to do is to enjoy the conversation that you are listening to and keep on listening for long hours.

The bitter truth of speaking

Whether you like it or not the most effective way to improve speaking English is by having an actual conversation, native speakers may not be patient to waiting for you to construct a sentence unless that person has a crush on you, so for that reason if you are a beginner you need to find people with the same level of English proficiency as yourself and speak to each other. Don’t worry if there is no one to correct you as long as you are pushing your brain to make a sentence with the new words this will help you become more fluent.

On the other hand if you are talking to a native speaker you may have the advantage of learning new phrases and be corrected if you are saying something wrong. Usually people correct you the way parents do, they may not tell you what you said wrong but they will repeat your sentence in a correct way. For instance you may wrongly ask “ how (much) tall are you?” then the native speaker may correct you by repeating “ oh you mean how tall am I?” , then this is how you learn the correct way to construct a sentence.

If you are alone and have no one to practice English with, then you can go out there and talk to strangers, ask questions and let them explain to you and learn from them, or if you are an introvert you can strike a conversation online either in group chat rooms, for example you can download ClubHouse app and join a group to start a conversation or other apps specific to English if you are a beginner and your listeners need to be more patient. This is how you push yourself to speak in a more streamlined manner with less hiccups.

The power of time

There is a reason most people give up and only a few become really good and fluent in speaking English. Being consistent is the key here, your mindset plays a very crucial role in your success. Let me tell you why most people fail, because they want to see the result now.

Imagine yourself dedicating a lot of your time in the last two weeks watching movies and talking to your friend for the sake of practicing English conversation, and now you feel nothing has changed, you still can’t talk like James Bond, then you give up. You should know that the skill is slowly building in your mind and you may not see it as a tangible result but over time all these efforts will accumulate and you will notice there is a lot of change in your speaking without you even noticing when this happened to you, so being consistent and keep on following the learning instructions will eventually gets you where you want to be in terms of English fluency.

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