How can I speak more native? What do I need to do to sound like an American? These are the questions I get asked every day. So here are a few tips, expanding on my tips from the other day.
Use It or Lose It
There’s an expression in English: “Use it or lose it,” which basically means if you don’t practice an ability, you might forget it. This idea can be used to help you remember new English vocabulary. The best way to remember a new word is to use it right away so it will stay in your memory. When you learn a new word, try to say it in sentences a few times over the next week and you’ll never forget it.
Learn and Study Phrases
Speaking English fluently means being able to express your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Your goal is to speak English in full sentences, so why not learn it in full sentences? You’ll find that English is more useful in your everyday life if you study whole phrases, rather than just vocabulary and verbs. Start by thinking about phrases that you use frequently in your native language, and then learn how to say them in English.
Don’t Study Grammar Too Much
The key to learning a language is finding a balance between studying and practicing. Speaking English fluently isn’t the same as knowing perfect English grammar – even native English-speakers make grammar mistakes! Fluency is about being able to communicate. That’s why sometimes it’s important to put the grammar textbook away, so you can go out and practice those writing, reading, listening and speaking skills in the real world.
Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Sometimes it can be difficult to put all those rules and words together into a simple sentence. Don’t let the fear of saying something wrong stop you from speaking at all. Even if you think you’re making a mistake, keep speaking anyway. Most of the time, people will understand what you’re trying to say, even if you make a mistake. Plus, the more you speak, the easier it gets, and the more quickly the right words will come to mind.
Learn from Everyone
You don’t have to only learn English from textbooks and teachers – anyone who speaks English can help you practice. Imagine how you would feel if someone asked you, in your native language, how to pronounce something? Would you be angry? No! You’d probably be happy to help, just like most English-speakers are happy to help you. If you know any English-speakers, whether it’s a friend or co-worker, take advantage of the opportunity to practice and learn from them.
I hope these tips helped. Be sure to sign up for a trial lesson if you want to practice your speaking and conversation or if you have any questions at all. Good luck!