Have you been studying English for a long time but not reached your fluency goals yet?
Are you frustrated by the gap between your passive knowledge and
Do you catch yourself thinking in your native language and
translating the words into English?
Many English students all over the world are
facing the same challenges because they haven't found an effective study method
Hello and welcome everyone. This is Minoo at Anglo-Link.
Becoming fluent in a foreign language is not easy. Especially if you have had no
contact with that language before the age of seven.
It needs a lot of
motivation and hard work on your part, but your time and effort can easily be
wasted if you don't use the right tools and study method.
My greatest wish has always been to take
difficulty and frustration out of your English studies
and make it fun and easy for you.
In today's tutorial, we're going to do two things.
First, we'll look at what fluency actually means because if you have the
wrong idea, you will waste your efforts on things that will not help you reach it.
Then we'll look at the method that I sincerely believe will help you to
achieve your goals.
Okay, let's start with the definition of fluency.
What does fluency mean to you? Would you say I'm fluent in English when...
a) I can make long sentences with complex structures.
b) I can use a lot of expressions and idioms.
c) My pronunciation is like a native speaker's.
d) I speak quickly and without hesitation.
e) I speak and write easily and clearly.
f) All of the above.
Some of you may have chosen f),
but in fact, the correct answer is e):
"I speak and write easily and clearly."
However, many of us mistakenly believe that to be able to communicate
easily and clearly, we need to be able to do a), b), c), and d) first.
The fact is that we don't.
You can express yourself easily and well without using complex
structures and many expressions and without copying a specific native
speaker accent or speaking quickly.
The key to fluency is being able to use
language with clarity and ease.
Don't take my word for it; let's look at some dictionary definitions of fluency.
The ability to speak a foreign language easily and effectively
The ability to speak or write a foreign language easily and accurately
A clear and confident way of expressing yourself without seeming to make an effort
So, it seems that fluency is about
ease, confidence, and clarity not complexity, speed, or accent.
Once you achieve ease, clarity and confidence with simple language,
you will gradually introduce more complex vocabulary and structures into your speech as you
continue to expand your knowledge.
In light of this, let's replace some
unrealistic goals that you may have set yourself with more easily achievable goals.
Some of you may have set yourself a goal to learn complex structures and
make long sentences when you speak and write.
Well actually, in English, complex
structures are only appropriate for formal writing.
In everyday exchanges, the
shorter and more concise your sentence is, the better.
So, a better goal would be:
Learn and practice all the basic structures in writing and orally until you use them naturally.
Or, you may have decided to memorise a lot of idiomatic expressions
and try to use them all the time.
Remember that idiomatic expressions
constitute a very small percentage of daily exchanges among native speakers.
Making a huge effort to learn and use these correctly will not help you with your fluency.
It may only occasionally help you with your listening comprehension; that's all.
To reach your fluency goals you need to:
Learn everyday vocabulary that we use 90% of the time when we speak and write,
and keep practising those until you can use them reflexively.
And now, the most challenging of goals
some of you may have set yourselves,
and that is:
Try to sound like
an American, Australian, or British native speaker.
If this is your goal, you must
realise that it will take a lot of time and effort to achieve it unless you are
a naturally talented voice actor.
If you're not training to become an actor,
then I truly don't see why you need to be able to copy a specific accent.
Your focus should be on speaking clearly so people can understand you easily.
So, the best goal I can think of is:
Work on the areas of your pronunciation that may be affecting the clarity of your message.
Okay, let's speak about the method now.
If you agree that it's better to set
realistic easily achievable goals, the next question is:
What's the best way of achieving them?
Let's see what you think.
Which one of these methods will get you to fluency:
a) Get a grammar book and a phrase book to study at home and
supplement this by watching YouTube lessons.
b) Watch movies in English, listen to audio books
and read English books, or live in an English-speaking country for a while.
c) Sign up for conversation classes, study with the private teacher,
and practice with other students.
And d) All of the above.
Well, I think you have guessed that the answer is d) "All of the above",
but with a very important condition.
You need a systematic well-planned combination of all of the above.
If you just do a little bit of this and a little bit of that
without any plan or guidance, you will just drown in an ocean of information.
In order to become fluent as a young adult or adult learner of English, you need a
systematic and integrated method that gives you:
First of all, a step-by-step study plan
Secondly, lessons that cover all aspects of the language:
pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary going progressively from easy to difficult
to eliminate the need for explanations in your own language,
and with lots of written and oral exercises so you're practising writing and speaking
actively all the time.
And also, you need
ongoing teacher support including periodic feedback from your teacher
on your speaking and writing skills so you know
what's good and what you still need to work on.
If you find that the way you're currently studying English
is not getting you to your fluency goals, that there is a gap between what you
know, that's your passive knowledge, and your active usage,
and particularly, if you're still using explanations
and a lot of translation into your native language,
then you must look for a better study method.
If this is your case, then I hope you will come and join my self-study programme
where you can generate a personal study plan
for yourself based on your goals,
and then gain access to all my lessons
that we have organised for you from easy to difficult
with lots of audio and video content
and written and oral exercises
This programme also includes many exclusive video lessons
that are not available on YouTube.
Thank you for watching this tutorial;
I hope it has been helpful to you.
You can find this and my other lessons and tutorials
on our website: anglo-link.com.
Happy studies to you all!