English. Done Differently.
more than English
Check out our blog for some top tips or get in touch.
Want to speak like a native? Get fluent?
First, let’s examine what those two terms really mean:
the ability to express oneself easily and articulately.
the ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately.
So, expression and accuracy are the cornerstones of fluency. But what does that have to do with speaking “like a native”, exactly?
Native speakers rarely use the full extent of their language ability. In fact, 1000 words make up almost 90% of everyday usage. Considering this, why would you want to “speak like a native”? Evidently, they aren’t using as many words as you are probably using in your native language.
Why is this?
In short, Phrasal verbs.
Every English teacher and students worst nightmare. There may seem to be no rhyme or reason to them but native speakers gravitate towards these most simple verbs for a reason. Using these simple verbs you can express almost anything in English. See below, this gravitational pull draws speakers to these most common verbs. Probably the verbs you learnt first when you started studying English.
Now, there’s no problem with sticking to these English verbs, but are they really the best option?
Should we say “made up” or “reconciled”, which is the better option?
As with many parts of English, it all comes down to context. Is this a formal situation? Does the tone fit better for one or the other? Most importantly, how can we tell as ESL speakers which is the better option?
Simple. Input and practice.
Think how much information you have consumed in your native language. Now imagine it on a scale, place it on one half and place everything you have consumed in English on the other. How does that balance out?
Seems a little uneven? That’s to be expected, but there is something you can do to tip the scales in your favor.
Start consuming more English content in your everyday life!
Not sure where to start? Check out our next article for some top tips.
How to start using and consuming English everyday!
Check out our 10 top tips!
1) Listen to English music or podcasts when you wake up, get ready for work, or drive. Early in the morning your brain is at its most receptive. This is a great time to absorb new vocabulary passively and build it into your routine.
2) Read your daily news in English, highlight and keep track of any new words. Aim to use these new words in context throughout the week, your vocabulary with double and then triple in no time!
3) Watch old movies you already know well in your native language in English. No subtitles! This will help you relax, you already know what will happen, now you can focus on the language.
4) Keep a diary or journal in English, this will help you create an internal dialogue in your new language! Even narrating small tasks throughout the day in your head can help create an internal monologue in English that will make speaking and listening feel more natural.
5) Speak, sing, tell jokes or stories! Record yourself making a video diary or singing a song, telling some jokes or stories to check your pronunciation and gain confidence. If you feel up to it maybe ask a teacher or friend to give you some tips.
6) Make a game of it! Have a competition with friends using flashcards or trivia questions. This is a great way to study for an exam in English or just to challenge yourself and have fun at the same time!
7) Try looking at shopping websites in English, you might discover names for products and objects that you never knew existed and you might find some good deals along the way!
8) Try and translate some English text into your native language and compare it, you will learn a lot of new words along the way and you might even be able to make some money from your translation.
9) Join some social media groups with native speakers. Practice responding to posts and comments and make it clear that you’re still learning and open to being corrected. You’ll make some new friends and improve your English at the same time!
10) Finally, relax! If learning English is all work then you won’t enjoy it and it will delay your learning. Try to have fun with it, play video games in English, or read something you find fun or interesting. Don’t just sit at home reading a textbook! Get out and find English speakers in your area, there’s bound to be an expat community there somewhere, try to meet up and join in!
Why you’re studying English all wrong:
Let me guess; you studied English at school, maybe you even took classes outside of school, you’ve been learning for around 5 years…. and you feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, right?
English schools want you to study for 5+ years, keep buying the books (which are usually outdated anyway), keep attending the classes, maybe even pay for a few trips and keep collecting the certificates.
None of these things guarantees that you will master the language.
If you really want to accelerate your learning you need to fill in all of the gaps left by these classes and learn the language as it is spoken today!
Not from a book that is at least 10 years old!
I analyze each of my student’s needs and make sure I design and plan classes to help them specifically.
You never mastered prepositions? No problem. You find reading and writing just fine but panic when you have to speak? Easy. You love to travel but you can’t understand what anyone is saying once you get there? Sorted!
Group classes are a great way to get started but we all reach a point where we feel that group classes are not enough and our language skills aren’t progressing the way we’d hoped. There will always be things that you miss in a group, maybe you missed a class or two, and now you feel behind or you didn’t quite understand something and felt too shy to ask in the group. One on one English classes, when done properly, can really accelerate your learning. I love seeing my students get over this hurdle and gain the confidence they never thought they would have. As a language learner myself I understand how frustrating it is to feel like you are stuck in the mud.
So, are you ready to get started?