How to speak English fluently
Even though I can read, listen to and understand English well, I cannot speak English fluently and make longer sentences. This is one of the problems with learning any new language including English, but with a little practice this problem can be solved quite naturally and learners can soon learn to speak fluently.
Most learners will reply with a short “yes” or “no” because they are not able to make longer sentences naturally. This is often due to the fact that they don’t have so many opportunities to practice speaking and cannot formulate the answers fast enough. Often in class it is the teacher doing the speaking and the students sit and listen, so how can they learn to speak English fluently.
Watch this video and if you follow the tips, you will soon be able to speak English fluently.
There is a video script just below the video.
You can also watch this directly on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuly7k_XsXY (don’t forget to click “like”).
A good website where you can read and listen to English at the same time is: www.breakingnewsenglish.com
Other tips for learning to speak English fluently can be found on this page.
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Hi, I am Peter.
Today I am going to answer one of the questions I get asked the most. That is, “Ajarn Peter, if I study with you, how long will it take before I can speak English?”
That’s a good question and the answer is “it’s really up to you as the student.”
If you speak as often and as much as you can, you will learn quite fast.
You can read books, you can learn the grammar, you can learn to write … and read, but if you don’t speak you won’t learn to be fluent and speak very quickly.
Speaking English is like …. Learning a sport… like …learning to play tennis or badminton.
You can read a book: “How to play tennis”. “ Take the ball and hit it … and so on”, but that doesn’t mean you can play tennis. No, you have to practice, and it is the same with English. You must practice… and practice as much as you can. So every time you have a few minutes to spare, just speak English.
What do you say? – It’s up to you – “ah it’s nice weather today … or maybe it’s going to rain. I think I’ll stay home and watch television.” It’s up to you what you say.
Some students say to me “but Ajarn Peter I don’t have anyone to speak to.” – That’s not important. You can speak to the mirror. You can just speak to yourself. You can speak to your dog, your cats, whatever … just speak as much as you can – it doesn’t matter what you say.
Also, if you don’t know what to say, just find some English writing and read out loud. For example here (it’s not important) “ I don’t know what to do about my friend Jill. I haven’t spoken to her since last weekend and she won’t answer my text messages.” … and when you have finished – read it again. “ I don’t know what to do about my friend Jill…” – and again – and again until you can say the whole sentence without reading. It all helps. Everything helps.
Maybe you don’t know if you are pronouncing the words correctly – you can learn by listening. I often hear students who have a word….uhm .. some student I used to know used to say “Climm – I climm the mountain”, and then one day I said “I climb the mountain”, – “Oh, is that how to pronounce it?” So, listening as well as speaking helps. There are many websites where you can listen (to),… and read English at the same time. One that I like to use is “Breakingnewsenglish.com” – the link is below. It’s a good website because : you can change the speed of the listening, there are different levels ( 1 -6) . So you can practice listening and speaking at the same time – you can speak as you listen.
I have noticed that when I do “gap fill” exercises with the students , – when I go over the questions with the students, they tend to give “one word” answers. For example, as you can see here: It says “Rod has become more considerate blank he got married ( and the missing word is “since”). So if I asked a sudent …. Er… “Lek, can you answer number 1?” She would say “since” (which is correct – it’s not wrong).
But there was one day I was teaching a whole class of students from Myanmar and when I revised similar questions to this, I would say “Ok Lek (whatever your name is) Number 1..” … and suddenly, ALL the students, all of them, at the same time read the whole sentence out loud.”Rod has become more considerate since he got married” and I was surprised. I was also surprised at how good their English was, so I decided that, in my private classes I would get the students to do this. To read out the whole sentences. And I noticed that that helped. It helped a lot. I got all the students to read at the same time.
So, it’s not important what you say. It’s important to keep practicing speaking. Uhm some students are afraid to make grammar mistakes. I say to them “don’t worry about that. In my opinion pronounciation is more important. If you make a grammar mistake, don’t worry” Native English speakers make grammar mistakes. Believe me. But, we communicate. Everybody understands each other.But, if they can’t pronounce the words, then it is difficult to communicate.And when I say “pronounce” I am not talking about accents – there’s a difference. There are accents… like the word “bus” .. “I take the bus to work” I say “bus”. I’ve heard people say “Bus” … and there other pronunciations … that doesn’t matter.
But, an example I can give you. I was in a coffee shop once, waiting for a student and I heard a foreigner ordering a drink. I don’t know what is was, but obviously it was a cold drink and the man or the girl behind the counter said, “are you wan I, do you wan I?” and the customer didn’t understand … and he turned round and he looked at me and said “what’s he saying?’ and I laughed and I said “do you want ice?”. So there is a difference between “Ice” and “I”.
Another example is when I was in McDonalds once (again waiting for a student), the man in front of me ordered some kind of food… a meal, and .. the person serving said,
“You wan upsi 10 baht?”
and the man said “sorry?”.
“ You wan upsi 10 baht?”
And the man turned round and he said to me “What’s he saying?”
I said “Would you like an upsize for 10 baht?”. And he laughed and said “ no thank you”
So the pronunciation , and Thais tend to forget the “S” very often … upsize, house, my house .. not my how and there are other words as well, but I will talk more about that in another video.