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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: YOU KNOW YOU'RE FLUENT IN ENGLISH WHEN... (fluency quiz! test your English!!)

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hey what's up Stefanie the English coach here from EnglishFullTime.com

in this video we are gonna talk about how to know when you're fluent in

English and actually you can use this little quiz I guess that I made to test

if you're fluent in other languages as well but basically we're gonna talk

about things that happen to you and to your English when you are fluent so you

can know hey are you fluent or are you not fluent what are you good at what do

you still have to work on okay because if you've studied English for any length

of time that's longer than you know a couple months you know that listening to

English every single day does not make you fluent studying English for years

and different English Institutes does not make you fluent having private

teachers does not make you fluent using English at work does not make you fluent

even having a degree or a certificate or something you know from formal higher

education a university or something like that doesn't make you fluent I could go

on and on none of this stuff makes you fluent right because you and I both know

people that have done this kind of stuff and they still aren't fluent maybe you

are even someone who's done stuff like this and you're not fluent okay so it's

a journey it's a process I'm here to help you with this but I want to explain

some of the things that happen to you when you are fluent in a foreign

language and I'm speaking from experience go ahead and click the link

up here to watch a video where I'm speaking Spanish you can hear how I used

to speak at seven years ago versus how I speak it today okay it's completely

different anyways a lot happened during my journey of learning Spanish to

finally becoming fluent and the thing about fluency that makes it really hard

to detect is that it does not happen overnight right it's not like one day

you're not fluent and the next day oh my gosh you're fluent it happens slowly

over time and you usually don't even realize your improvements as you're

improving you realize them when you look back at where you started and you see

how far you've come okay so let's talk about how to know when you're fluent

there are different things that we're going to talk about speaking

understanding how other people understand you etcetera let's get into

it so you know you're fluent when you understand at least one dialect of

English perfectly you understand everything now granted there's going to

be some things you don't understand I mean there's words in English that I

don't understand if you try to talk to me about mechanics or something like

that it's not that I'm not fluent in English I'm just not familiar with that

kind of technical jargon because I don't ever use it right so when you're fluent

in a language you understand everything except for the things that you're not

really familiar with or maybe once in a while I hear a new idiom and I'm like

how I've never heard that before or I hear a new slang term that the

younger generations are using okay I feel so old saying that but seriously

I'm starting to realize how old I am because I'm hearing slang and I'm just

like oh my gosh kids are saying that these days anyways so you know you're

fluent when you understand English pretty much perfectly one dialect of

English because there are so many different dialects you guys I went to

Ireland and I could barely understand people there so don't feel like you need

to understand every single native speaker that's just not realistic okay

next you know you're fluent when you can speak automatically without translating

in your head you don't even have to think about what you're gonna say or how

you're gonna say it you just speak you don't worry when you're in conversations

like oh my gosh how should i form this sentence what verb tense should I use

you're not even having those thoughts those thoughts are not occurring to you

because you just open your mouth and you speak and you know exactly what to say

and you know you're fluent when you make very few errors and you're able to catch

your own mistakes okay so you pretty much sound like a native speaker you

speak the way that they speak you make minimal errors and when you do make

errors you're able to catch them and if you're not sure if you can catch your

errors just write a page in English or make a video that's two to three minutes

in English and then read what you wrote and watch your video and try to catch

your own mistakes if you can do it cool you're pretty close to fluency okay next

you know you're fluent when you can use a wide range of vocabulary and

expressions and you don't feel like you're repeating yourself I remember

when I was still learning Spanish I would say the same things over and over

again because I didn't know

another way of expressing it for example I would say ah que interesante

mm que interesante mm que interesante which means how interesting right but I

would say that for everything you would tell me something cool and I'd say oh

how interesting you would tell me something interesting and I would say oh

how interesting you would tell me something normal and I would say oh how

interesting I literally did not know other ways to express my feelings and my

emotions and as you get more and more fluent that becomes easier expressing

your ideas expressing your emotions you do it effortlessly right and you're not

searching for words like how can I say this and you don't have that annoying

feeling on the inside where you're just like man I keep saying the same thing

over and over again I'm so tired of feeling repetitive okay when you're

fluent you don't have that okay next you know you're fluent when you can explain

and talk about a variety of subjects that are conversational and technical I

know a lot of English learners who can explain everything about their job

perfectly in English but then when you want to talk you know about something

totally conversational like hey what'd you do yesterday or what do you eat for

dinner or what are you gonna do later today they just freeze and they're like

you know because that normal everyday vocabulary they just don't have it or

they keep forgetting it or something like that but when you're fluent you can

talk just as easily about casual conversation type stuff as you would

about your work and the technical jargon that you use there now if you can't talk

about what you do at work and you lack that technical jargon then that's one

thing you know you have to improve if you do know the technical jargon of your

work and you can communicate that easily in English but you struggle with regular

conversations then you know that your focus should be on talking with people

everyday in English improving that area okay next you know you're fluent when

you use grammar tenses naturally and easily and there's really no such thing

as a difficult tense right when tenses are difficult for you that's because

you're either a beginner or you're at an intermediate stage of learning where you

have not become familiarized with all the tenses and

have not been exposed to them enough to know when and how to use them because

grammar is actually something we internalize when you're first learning

it when your teacher is first teaching you they break it down into every little

structure and they explain every scenario in situation and time and tense

how it's used etc etc but eventually you internalize that and you get to a point

where stuff just sounds right you're like I don't even remember what this

grammar tenses called I just know how to say it and that's that okay

so that happens when you are fluent things just sound right you know it's

right because it sounds right you might not even remember the grammar tense and

you start making the same mistakes that native speakers make this happens to me

in Spanish I got so fluent that I started misspelling words the same way

native Spanish speakers misspelled words I would confuse the B and the V for

example which if you're a Spanish speaker you know that that's a very

common mistake it's crazy because I used to have a flawless spelling in Spanish

but that's when I was at a more intermediate level and I still had all

the rules totally ingrained in my mind and I

remembered everything you could ask me anything about grammar and I knew the

answer but I couldn't speak the language so now that I've internalized the

language I literally go through the same things that native speakers go through

and this is gonna happen to you too this is another thing when you get so fluent

in English there will be certain things that you will struggle to express in

your native language because you just realize there's no translation you

learned it in English you understand it in English and then when someone from

your family says hey explain this thing to me you're like oh I want to tell you

how it is or what it is but it just doesn't make sense unless I say it in

English you have internalized the language then you realize that languages

are just different codes of expressing ideas and some things literally can't be

translated or they're very difficult to translate this actually happened to me

the other day when one of my friends asked me about mate mate is a typical

tea in Argentina it's a specific drink okay that people have there and they

wanted to know all the details like how do you prepare this tea how do you drink

it how do you share it because you know you pass it around and you share it

with multiple people that might sound disgusting if you're a germaphobe but people do

this all the time and it's very normal anyways I was trying to explain it and

my brain would not think in English I could not explain this whole ritual in

English it was so hard it was actually exhausting and I was just like oh my

gosh I wish I could explain this in Spanish because it's just so hard to say

in English okay so that is gonna happen to you when you get super fluent in

English you're gonna struggle to express things in your native language because

certain things just don't translate well now another thing that happens when

you're fluent in English is that English words and grammar and sentence

structures start to affect your native language okay you may even mess up in

your native language this happens to me sometimes frequently I've even said

things like yeah I shut it off the water instead of saying I shut the water off

that is a sentence structure that comes from Spanish and that's how I would say

in Spanish so sometimes those grammatical structures slip into my

English and I just mess up it's a really crazy phenomenon but it happens it's

quite common okay next you know you're fluent in English when native and

non-native English speakers are impressed with your English they go wow

you speak really well they're shocked by your pronunciation they're shocked by

how natural you sound and they congratulate you on it because they're

really impressed so that happens when you're fluent in English and if it has

happened to you already congratulations that's awesome

next you know you're fluent in English when you understand jokes understanding

humor in a foreign language is one of the most difficult things because you

don't just have to understand the language and the grammar you have to

understand the culture you have to understand yeah the culture that's it

basically you have to understand why it's funny you have to read between the

lines let's just say that so anyhow you know you're fluent in English when you

can watch comedians and understand what they say now some jokes might still go

over your head okay but for the most part you're surprised like wow I totally

understood that I got that and you can laugh at it and understand the humor the

same way a native speaker would next you know you're fluent in English when

don't get stuck when you're speaking and if you do get stuck you're quickly able

to get around whatever is making you stuck and think of a new way to say

whatever you're going to say I get stuck when I speak English sometimes I'm like

oh man am I even making sense right now am I saying this way I want to say it

and I realize that maybe I'm not making the most sense so I look for a new way

to say whatever I'm gonna say and when you're fluent in English you do the same

thing you don't get stuck first of all on basic stuff

but then if you do get stuck with a bigger idea that you're trying to

express you just look for a new way to say it and you do the best that you can

next you know you're fluent when you can speak coherently for any length of time

whether that is 30 seconds 2 minutes or whether you're giving an entire speech

in front of an auditorium of a bunch of people what I have found

after doing hours and hours and hours of lessons with English learners and

talking with a non-native English speakers is that when you're at an

intermediate level a lot of times you tend to talk in circles you end up it's

like the more you talk the less sense you make so my tip for you here I don't

just want to leave you with this problem is make shorter sentences and pause more

between your sentences and don't try to talk for too long if you're not sure if

you're making sense and if you start saying the same thing over and over

again to try to make it make sense but you're just rambling kind of like what

I'm doing right now then just stop okay take a break let the other person speak

in the conversation and let there be a natural flow of ideas from one person to

the other next you know you're fluent when you are not afraid of speaking with

native speakers now I know that some people are shy by Nature

or they're naturally introverts even native English speakers sometimes don't

want to talk with other native English speakers they get shy when they have to

do a presentation or something like that so that's not exactly what I'm talking

about because that exists and that can exist even in your native language but I

just mean you don't have those thoughts in your head like oh my gosh are they

gonna understand me what are they gonna think are they gonna make fun of me you

don't have those negative thoughts because you know you're fluent in

English and so if you don't feel comfortable speaking with a native

speaker it's probably more related to your personality and you

we don't like doing presentations and stuff like that even in your native

language and it's not about your lack of fluency in English next you know you're

fluent in English when you can comfortably maintain a conversation and

maintaining a conversation means it's shared fifty-fifty between two people or

if there's more people everyone is participating equally in the

conversation and you're able to exchange ideas transition to new topics

pause appropriately share anecdotes tell jokes and you just feel comfortable

you're able to maintain a conversation and there's no like awkward silences

like okay what should we say now should we talk about now sometimes that can

happen even in your native language maybe if you're not very good at making

conversation but for the most part when you're fluent in a language you should

have the same conversation skills that you have in your native language okay

you should at least be at the same level there okay I know this video is long but

we still have a few more so hang in here with me and we'll get through this list

you know you're fluent in English when you feel like yourself okay when you

don't feel like you're being fake when you don't feel like you're a different

person I remember when I first went to Argentina and I had to speak Spanish for

literally like the first two to three years I was so frustrated because I was

like I just don't feel like myself I'm not Stefanie when I being Stefanie

okay what does that mean that means that I can talk with anybody I have no

problem talking with strangers I have no problem presenting I like telling jokes

these are things that make up Who I am it's part of my personality but then

when I would be in Argentina living there and being around native speakers

it was like I was a completely different person and it was so frustrating because

I didn't have the confidence to tell jokes I lacked fluency for the first

couple of years and I was constantly stuck inside my own head thinking like

oh nobody's gonna understand me I couldn't relax I couldn't enjoy the

practicing process of improving the language I just didn't feel like myself

I wasn't able to maintain conversations easily I didn't feel comfortable talking

with strangers finally all of that went away okay and I was able to overcome all

of those issues and again I talk about it in the video that I linked

earlier where I'm speaking Spanish so if you want to learn more about that go watch

that video next you know you're fluent in English when you understand

subtle differences between very similar sentences and you're able to pick up on

people's attitudes behind what they say like they might say one thing but you

know they really mean something else okay when you understand English like

that that's exactly how native English

speakers are able to understand the language and that's a whole different

level basically of fluency okay and finally you know you're fluent in

English when you avoid using direct translations because you know that

direct translations just don't work you don't translate things directly from

your native language into English because you know that native speakers

don't say those things you speak the way a native speaker speaks and you're able

to communicate ideas so you can have an idea in your native language and then

communicate that same idea in English but you do not directly translate it

word-for-word because again you know that is not how native speakers speak so

you communicate the idea the way a native speaker would communicate the

idea okay and I actually forgot one so I have one more you know you're fluent in

English when your pronunciation and your accent do not interfere with your

communication native speakers and non-native speakers are able to

understand you easily okay so that is it for this video I hope you found it

helpful you should be able to go through each one of these points and analyze hey

is this true for me or is this not true that will help you know what you have

accomplished and what you still need to work on so I want to hear in the

comments what you think of this list what are you able to do that I mentioned

and what are you still struggling with okay and did I forget anything is there

any other weird thing or interesting thing that happens the more fluent you

get in English I know a lot of you guys are very advanced you're fluent English

speakers already and so I want to hear from you what your

journey has been like and what changes you noticed along the way because I

don't know about you guys but when I was learning Spanish I could really notice

changes in my brain like the way my brain was processing information and

thinking it was very interesting and so again I'm presenting this video to you

as someone who's looking at this whole journey from the other side I can

confidently say I am a fluent Spanish speaker and these are the things that I

have noticed analyzed and observed about what happens when you are fluent so that

you can have some way to test yourself and know how close you are to this or

how far you are from it okay alright so that is it if you want a guide on

practicing your English with native speakers meeting native English speakers

online interacting with us so you can practice your English improve your

English learn new vocabulary build your confidence etc I have a guide on my

website I'm going to link it here in the description I always share this guide

because it is literally the most popular one on my entire website

EnglishFullTime.com I am here to help you with your confidence your fluency in

English and your professional communication skills your networking

skills your conversation skills I want you to be as confident as fluent and as

successful as possible I do not want English to be a barrier in your life

because I know how frustrating it is to learn and master a foreign language and

then work in that foreign language oh my gosh don't even get me started on that

we'll have to talk about that in another video anyhow that's it you guys have a

great day and I will see you in the next video bye

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