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How to get fluent in English

Many people are trying to improve their English these days as it is very important in one's overall development. This article provides the simplest of ways by applying which one can improve his/her English in a matter of few months.


The first question that comes to one's mind is that "why should I improve my English when I am perfectly capable of expressing my ideas in my native language?" There are many reasons to learn English. The first and foremost is that it is a global language and spoken almost all over the world. It is a tool to converse with people with different culture and backgrounds. In schools, colleges or work, almost everywhere, most of the communication takes place in English. It happens with many students that they are good at studies but still are not able to score good as they are not able to convey their thoughts clearly in English. In workplace also, a person who is average but has good communication skills in English becomes more successful than a person who is hardworking but lacks communication skills in English. English has almost become a necessity in this world if one wants to achieve something big in life. Another characteristic of this language is that it makes a person appear well educated and well mannered. It's a common observation that people are attracted to a person who has good English. I am not saying that it is a good thing but it is what it is and no one can change it. So if you can't change it, at least take advantage of it. Work just for a few hours daily; improve your English and use it as a tool to grow in life. Here are some simple but effective tips that will help you in improving your English:-

  1. Learn 10 words every day : Bring it in your daily habit to learn 10 new words every day. They can be any words, no matter whether simple or complicated, just learn 10 new words. By learning I don't mean to just memorize the words with their respective meanings. Learn the word, its meaning followed by its sentence use. It happens to many people; they have a very good vocabulary but when it comes to speaking, they can't speak a single sentence correctly. What good is it to learn a new word if you don't know how to use it in a sentence. Once you have understood the words, their meaning and sentence use, write a paragraph using them. It does not necessarily need to be a story. Forget about the beauty of expression; just pen down whatever thoughts come to your mind related to these words
  2. Read plays : Reading is very important as by reading you can learn new words and phrases. Do notice that I have specifically written the word "plays". People make this mistake that they start reading novels. Novels are very long texts; one may get intimidated just by looking at the novel size. Moreover, novels focus more on the story line and not on the conversation. Plays on the other hand are short and comprise of dialogues between the characters. Pay attention to the sentence formation and compare it with your sentence formation. Learn the dialogues and use it in your daily life as well. Do not think badly of yourself for copying them. Do realize that you are learning how to speak the language and are not planning to write a bestselling book. So pay attention to the sentence formation and use it as it is. Also, don't get too lost in the story line. Realize that your objective is to learn the language. To avoid getting too lost in the story line, restrict yourself to reading only 4 to 5 pages a day. Read less but take as much as you can from that limited text
  3. Practice thinking in English : It is a very simple yet effective technique to get better in English. Try to make it your habit to think everything in English. No matter, what you are doing, not even a single thought should be in your native language. It will be a bit tough in the beginning but will come into your habit with time. The advantage of this is that when you will make an actual conversation with someone, you will not feel uncomfortable while speaking as you have practiced so much with yourself. The thoughts will come naturally to you in English without much thinking. Many people make this excuse to not practice English is that they don't have anyone to talk to in English. The simple solution to this is that you don't need anyone; you've got yourself
  4. Commonly misused and confused words : There are many pair of words in English which are often confused with each other and are very frequently misused. Examples include advice-advise, effect-affect, assent-ascent, complement-compliment, discreet-discrete, its-it's and the list goes on. Search the net for common difference and learn about all these words and the difference in their uses. Also search for the phrases which people often misuse. This will help you in clearing many of your doubts and will give you a better understanding of the language
  5. Switch to English content everywhere : For a few months, completely switch to English content whether it is movies, serials, news etc. English news is one of the best sources to improve vocabulary; it gives you the vocabulary to be used when talking about different topics like sports, politics, entertainment, disasters etc. Social media can be very beneficial if one uses it wisely. It can be very helpful in improving your English as well. On your every social media account, completely switch to English content. One generally uses social media for entertainment purposes. Subscribe to English entertainment channels and follow English based entertainment pages. In the beginning you will find it a bit difficult to understand their humor but gradually you will get the gist of it. English comedy heavily relies on sentence formation and wordplay and thus is a very helpful and reliable source to improve English
  6. Avoid learning slangs : It happens with many people that when they learn a new language, the first thing that they learn is using cuss words. Another common mistake that people do is they learn the slangs of the language thinking that it will make them look cool. This is completely a wrong approach. This is because when they are required to speak in a formal environment, they are unable to express their thoughts in clean English. Slangs may make you sound cool in front of people who are not very familiar with the language but in front of people who actually know the language, you will sound like just another person who is trying to act American in order to look cool. So, avoid learning profanities, cuss words and slangs. Even if you want to learn slangs, first get yourself completely familiar with the language so that you are able to express yourself clearly without depending on these slangs. Even if you know them, avoid using them unless you are in a very informal environment with your friends.
  7. Don't be ashamed of speaking wrong : No matter how many new words/ new expressions you learn, if you don't use them, it's of no use. The foremost step towards getting fluent is to speak. When you speak, gradually your way of speaking improves; you get better at expressing emotions. In your native language, you can express any emotion comfortably whether it be happiness, sadness, anger and so on but when it comes to English, it sounds like plain book reading. This is because you are so used to your native language that it comes naturally to you. So to express better in English you have to get used to the language. Many times it happens, we think of a word but when we speak, it sounds weird. Speaking regularly will build your style of speaking. Moreover, your hesitation will decrease and you will stop getting conscious of the pronunciation. English speaking is a skill and like other skills it can only get better by continuous and regular practice. When speaking, be prepared to get corrected by others. Don't feel ashamed of speaking wrong. You have to make yourself vulnerable. By speaking wrong, you are far ahead of the people who are not even trying. When someone corrects you, don't start justifying yourself on why you're not good at English; just acknowledge your mistake, learn from it and move on

Some additional tips

  • Learn from your textbooks : If you are a student, you can improve your English even by your subject textbooks. The textbooks, no matter of what subject are very well edited and contain English with almost no grammatical error. So, you can improve your sentence formation and grammar by reading and understanding each sentence carefully. This serves two purposes; you can learn the subject and get better at English at the same time. There is no need of wasting time in those long, lengthy novels when you can improve by your course books
  • Watch English movies with subtitles : Like plays, movies are one of the best sources to improve your English. They contain conversations between the characters in different scenarios which can be used in daily life. In the beginning, it will be a bit hard to understand so do watch with subtitles. Observe the sentence formation and also the way of speaking. By hearing to the characters, you can improve your style of speaking; you can learn how to express different emotions and how to lay emphasis on a particular subject. Again, as in the case of plays, don't get too involved in the movie. Don't forget that your primary objective is to learn the language
  • Use proper English while texting : While texting, avoid using shortcuts, short hands or abbreviations. By using these short forms, you are not saving any time. Try to use proper English; do not use the short form of the words; in place of dots, simply use a period. This is because one gets so habitual to this way of writing that when it comes to writing something in English, he/she finds it difficult form a proper sentence. Moreover, when you write in proper English, your mistakes will get exposed and you can learn from them. Learn to express yourself without taking help of the short forms as in the real world no one talks in texting language
  • A simple way to improve your vocabulary : Whenever you see a word whose meaning you are not aware of, make it in your habit to check its meaning right and then. With the advancement in technology, it's not very much to ask for; everyone has a smart phone these days. No matter where you are, if you come across a new word, open your phone's dictionary and check its meaning; you will not forget that word as you have also seen the place and context where it is used

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Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao16 Mar 2018 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

English speaking and fluency in English is a primary requirement these days. This is due to the fact that it is a very common language for many and it is a media which can connect people from different parts of the globe.
To get fluency and better writing skills in the language we have to take some steps. The first and the foremost point is to know new words with their meanings and we should make new sentences of our own to remember that word. Another aspect we can follow is to read standard English newspapers and the Editorials of those papers. It gives us good exposure to know new words. We should know the meanings of new words using a dictionary and use those words in our conversation. It is always better to converse in English within the family and office also even though everybody has the same mother tongue. That will give you a confidence in speaking English without hesitation.

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