Becoming truly fluent in English

/Becoming truly fluent in English

Becoming truly fluent in English

People who are working on reducing their accents and who want to sound more like native speakers must also continually work on improving their overall language fluency.

Never neglect other important skill areas of English. Make sure that you are constantly learning new vocabulary and trying to express yourself better in general. Look up any new words that you don’t know and try to use them right away so that they will become a part of your new speech. Also, fix those final grammar mistakes that even the most advanced learners of English sometimes continue to make.

Become a perfectionist about all aspects of your speech.

Here is why:

Native speakers may think they “hear” an accent when in fact they hear a grammar error or the wrong usage of a word. They don’t have the depth of experience to analyze the type of error they heard. It will simply sound “foreign” to their ear and your accent will suddenly appear stronger to them than it really is.

Remember, fluency means expressing yourself well in all aspects of language: vocabulary, grammar, accent, writing, spelling, idiomatic expressions etc.

Work on all of these areas. Which ones have you been neglecting, and what are you going to do about it?

By | 2009-03-08T09:08:00+00:00 March 8th, 2009|Uncategorized|2 Comments

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  1. Marina March 19, 2009 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Lisa,
    What is the most fun and effective way to improve grammar? It is really important for me to make learning a fun experience because otherwise it just doesn’t stay with me for a long time. I think we should learn as kids do by making associations with things and images and playing with it as much as possible. This way what you learn stays in your subconscious and you don’t need to make any effort to retrieve information from your memory. Any suggestions on how to learn grammar in a fun way? Thanks.

  2. Lisa Mojsin March 20, 2009 at 8:08 am

    Hi Marina,

    I understand. Grammar is usually not associated with having fun. One of the most effective and least “painful” ways to improve your grammar is to have a native speaker correct your writing. You can make the writing fun and easy. For example, write about something that you are passionate about. Then, have a native speaker read it out loud with you. Have him/her point out any errors.

    It’s generally difficult to get native speakers to correct your grammar when you are speaking. It works much better with writing. I actually recommend even hiring a young college student who is an English major. You don’t have to pay them a lot. I think it’s great to have someone like this who can meet with you and give you feedback a few times a week, rather than asking American friends to volunteer their time.

    There really are no short cuts with advanced grammar. If you don’t make learning correct grammar a priority, it just doesn’t tend to improve that much on its own, unlike vocabulary for example. Some people keep making the same mistakes even though they’ve lived in the US for many years if they don’t get regular feedback on their errors.

    I hope that helps. Best wishes with your progress.

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