How to speak English fluently and standardly like a native speaker is a question that any English learner wants to answer. The following article from Simply IELTS will guide you on how to improve your English, especially your Speaking skill effectively, in the shortest amount of time if you persist in practicing. Let’s start!
12 steps to speak English fluently and confidently like a native
1. Practice correct pronunciation from the beginning
When it comes to learning English or practicing English communication, many people immediately think of learning grammar and vocabulary, even arguing that “Which vocabulary and grammar are more important in communication? ? Although both are equally important, comparisons should not be made.
Also because of focusing too much on grammar or vocabulary, learners forget an extremely important element in English, especially communicative English, which is pronunciation.
There are many reasons why we need to practice standard pronunciation when practicing English communication:
- When we build a good pronunciation foundation, when learning new words, we will easily use the dictionary to look up the pronunciation of the word, read the phonetic transcription and pronounce it correctly.
- Having a solid pronunciation foundation and standard pronunciation also helps us easily hear, recognize and understand the meaning of words used by the other person. It is very rare for someone to pronounce a word correctly but not recognize it when the other person also uses it and pronounces it correctly or roughly.
- Finally, it’s also important to have a solid foundation in pronunciation. Imagine, you use English grammar and vocabulary fluently and correctly but mispronounce a lot. In this case, how much of the message you want to convey can be understood by the listener and can your communication be carried out successfully?
Above are the reasons why we should practice correct pronunciation right from the beginning of learning and practicing English communication.
2. Pay attention to stress
When it comes to pronunciation, besides practicing pronunciation of component sounds (vowel sounds, consonant sounds, etc.), special components in words (end -s/es, ending -ed, etc.), stress Sound in words is also very important.
Not only is it a matter of right or wrong, but where you stress in a word can affect the listening-understanding of the other person.
There are cases, even though the same font, but different sound stress will create two words with different types and meanings.
|rebel (v.): rɪ. bel /||rebel (n.): ˈ re .bl/|
|import (v.): ɪm. pɔːrt /||import (n.): ˈɪm .pɔːrt/|
Therefore, when practicing pronunciation of any word, next to the component sounds, pay attention to the stress mark of that word.
3. Practice speaking English intonation like a native
Practicing intonation like a native will help increase the aesthetics, attractiveness and “Western” level of your voice. More importantly, there are many rules of intonation that also help emphasize, express the “intention” of the speaker and complement the content expressed in words.
However, you should not be too “obsessed” with having to have the same intonation as a native speaker, but mainly grasp the laws of intonation that support the expression of ideas, messages, etc. you want to transmit as mentioned above. Eg:
- When the speaker is in the middle of speaking but stops for some reason, the speaker will not lower his voice to avoid the listener misunderstanding that they have finished speaking.
- In tag questions , raising the voice at the end shows that the questioner really doesn’t know and wants to ask. Conversely, lowering the voice shows that the questioner actually knows the answer and just wants to ask a rhetorical question to express their feelings and attitudes.
4. Don’t be too “obsessed” with grammar
Attention to grammar is essential. However, being too interested in or even “obsessed” with it will greatly affect your English speaking and speaking practice.
First of all, if you only “pay attention” to grammar and forget about vocabulary and pronunciation, it is likely that you will gradually “lose” knowledge and competence in these two parts.
At the same time, thinking too much and complicating the grammar when communicating can reduce your reaction speed and naturalness in communication.
5. Improve vocabulary used in daily communication
One wish you need to do if you want to improve and develop your English communication skills is to improve your vocabulary, especially the vocabulary used in daily communication.
A note for those learning communication vocabulary and especially beginners is not to ignore the most familiar and common IELTS vocabulary. Because these words are used a lot, the rate you encounter and need to use them when communicating is very high.
At the same time, when you come across words you already know, instead of being subjective and skimming, check to see if you have pronounced and used these words correctly.
You can also learn vocabulary on topics that you love or often encounter in life or work. However, if those topics include a lot of difficult, academic vocabulary, start with the short, easy-to-remember words that are easiest to use. At the same time, you should also balance the number of words each time you learn to avoid overload and ensure the effectiveness of learning and applying words.
6. Learn phrases, word combinations and practice speaking in sentences
Next is also an extremely “expensive” learning method to help you “improve” speaking English. That is learning phrases, word association rules.
Instead of just learning individual words and not knowing how to combine them into phrases and sentences, why not learn common phrases in communication, which are created by combining words according to the following principles. word combinations in English.
Instead of just learning the verb ‘go’. Learn more structures/principles like:
- go + to + noun (place): go to that place (only ‘home’ doesn’t need ‘to’)
- go + name of activities/sports in the form of V-ing: do that activity/play that sport
Instead of just learning the verb ‘need’. Learn more structures/principles like:
- need + noun: need something
- need + to-V(bare): what to do
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7. Don’t speak too fast
Another point you need to keep in mind is not to speak too fast and to speak English fluently and confidently, especially for beginners to practice speaking English.
First of all, when we speak too fast, it will be difficult for us to control what we are saying, how to use structure and vocabulary, whether it is accurate and natural, correct pronunciation, arrangement and pronunciation. Is it good to develop ideas, etc. When we make mistakes, it is very difficult for us to recognize them to correct them. If this situation persists, our mistakes will be repeated unconsciously and gradually form a habit, which is difficult to correct.
Besides, speaking too fast if accompanied by an unstable speed or stumbling, jerky voice will reduce the aesthetics or even affect the listening-understanding of the other person.
Therefore, speak at a moderate, steady pace and try to pay attention to vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, etc.
8. Record when practicing speaking and practice speaking in front of the mirror
First, another great tip for practicing speaking is to record and listen back. This will help you recognize the mistakes you make while speaking and correct them accordingly. Also, when you compare recordings from different stages of practice, you can also comment on your progress and results.
Besides, you should also try to practice speaking in front of the mirror. This method helps you observe the mouth shape, so it helps a lot for pronunciation practice. Looking in the mirror also helps you to practice confidence when speaking in front of others, practice ‘eye contact’, etc.
9. Practice listening often
On the journey of practicing English communication and to speak English fluently, listening practice is also very important. Besides improving your listening and reflexes skills, you can also accumulate more vocabulary, learn how to pronounce words and accumulate new structures and how to apply them.
However, you should choose simple listening exercises, suitable for your level at each stage in the communication practice.
10. Communicate in English with foreigners through apps, websites, etc.
A form of English communication practice that is very popular recently is to practice speaking with foreign teachers through apps or websites.
Some of the top apps and websites you can refer to are: Cambly, Reply, Coffee Learning, How do you do, etc.
11. Find English communication environments
Besides, no matter what language you practice communicating, it is very important to have an environment to practice communicating with others.
Besides practicing speaking English with foreigners through apps, websites, etc., you can create your own English communication environment by:
- Create English speaking groups with friends, colleagues, etc.
- Join English speaking clubs.
- Join English communication courses at prestigious centers.
12. Persevere in practice
Last and also a key factor to become a fluent English speaker. That is hard work and perseverance.
Every subject, skill or language has its own difficulties when we want to conquer it. The important thing here is perseverance and effort despite the difficulties we face.
However, perseverance also needs to be accompanied by the right and effective learning method. If you find yourself studying and practicing a lot but still not effective, you need to check if you have an effective method of learning and practicing speaking English.
Hopefully the above article is somewhat useful in the process of practicing and improving your English. Wish you good learning!