Today, we will look into the answer of a most commonly asked question – How do I become fluent in English? You’ll read 5 powerful hacks of becoming fluent while speaking in English. Make sure that you follow these simple principles and implement them to make them a habit.
1. Think in English
The most common reason behind grammatical confusion and awkward sentence structure is people thinking in their mother-tongue and then spontaneously trying to translate their thoughts into English, word-by-word. For being fluent in a particular language, it is crucial that thoughts occur to you in the very language, in the first place, else the outflow of your speech is slowed down. Literal translations rarely work between two languages that do not share the same origin.
Certain elements just do not mix well in one language, while they perfectly go together in another. Hence the sentence structure is often compromised and the idea is not conveyed at all. Things like special phrases, sayings, proverbs, idioms or connotations pose a particular problem because they can’t be explained by literal translations. Learn to “Think in English” spontaneously. Let your ideas and thoughts ‘occur to you’ in English. It will definitely take some time and practice, but loyal and continuous effort will develop that instinct in no time. Once spontaneous conception of ideas is established, a steady flow is not far away
2. Build a diverse and useful vocabulary
A good range of words is vital to convey your ideas accurately. Using just the right word each time constitutes an important aspect of putting your thoughts into words. Vocabulary is not about bombastic show-off. Pride aside, vocabulary constitutes a vital safeguard against misunderstanding as well as is a life-saver when you are desperately looking for a word that you can’t quite seem to presently recall – it will then save you the time of ‘uhhing’ and ‘err…ing’ i.e. stammering and faltering. Vocabulary comes in handy for readily making a quick synonym-substitution when you can’t remember the words you intend to use at the moment. Lack of limitation of word-diversity thus helps make your speech fluent and prevents undesirable gaps in it.
Moreover, possessing a vocabulary is not just limited to a vocabulary of words – it also entails having a treasure-trove of useful terms, precise aphorisms, and terse idioms that help you convey your ideas effectively, efficiently, relatably and colourfully. Fluency in English can be achieved by being specific to scenarios and context, suitable usage of these literary devices will add to the charisma of your speech.
3. Normalise your thinking and Speaking time
Make your thinking and speaking time smooth and ensure a consistent flow of words. Streamlining the flow of your speech is very important. In order to have a steady stream of speech that is implied by the very definition of the word fluency (which is directly related to the words “fluid” and “flow”), one needs to have a filter regulating the flow of your ideas and the flow of your speech. It is universal for thoughts to occur erratically – all of us suffer from it. Our brain is an unpredictable place – there are times when the stations of your mind are empty, while at times there is congestion due to the simultaneous arrival of several thought trains. Ideas often come all at once, and just as often leave dry spells leaving you desperately groping in the dark and struggling for something to speak.
Thus, it is vital to maintain a moderate rate of speech, which permits just enough time to artificially manage and regulate the stream of ideas(thereby making you fluent in English). The flow can be rendered even by ‘chewing on your ideas’ when they are plentiful (speaking slowly but steadily as a flow of honey) and beautifully stretching, flexing and pausing when you encounter an absence of ideas – until the next thought train arrives. It is vital not to explicitly stop and then ‘blink back on’, but to creatively lace your speech with helping words, introductory phrases, emphases, and occasionally even repetition till you are rescued by new ideas.
4. Be Confident
Being confident is not about being bold in an empty way but rather about backing up your spirit with confidence in your ability. A conviction in what you speak and a familiarity with the topic and themes concerned will add substance to your speech. Confidence must be rooted in knowledge, acquaintance and firm belief regarding what you speak. This anchor of passion, genuineness and determination is important because lacking it would lead to audience disinterest, disbelief or wrongful perception.
A passionate and well-informed speech automatically exudes charisma. In order to emit an aura of a great orator, you need to be sound with your facts, and concrete with your logic. Lying to oneself, being inconsistent or putting up a disguise will once-and-for-all expose you as a poor speaker. Pretending never lasts and is bound to give away some time or the other. The genuine effort gone into a speech will ultimately show. Mould, sculpt and shape your raw ideas into structured and orderly pointers and prepare a roadmap for your speech beforehand. This shall give you immense confidence and fluency during the showdown.
5. Stay Relevant
Don’t fall for the temptation of classic traps and pitfalls as wordiness, oversimplification, casual conversation, successive adjectives or synonyms, and abuse of tautology, exaggerations and flowery language. To be fluent while speaking in English and when in doubt, favour moderation. Excess of anything – certain parts of speech, literary devices, synonyms, pauses, or intonation either douses interest or leads to discomfort to the audience – becoming unbearable with time.
Adhering to these simple guidelines will surely develop a great command over the language and an enrapturing fluency of speech that will captivate and spellbind your audience!