How to Be Fluent in English

I am often asked, “Mam, how can I improve my fluency?” Many students complain, “There is no one I can practice speaking English with. If I speak, people make fun of me.” Others say, “I want to speak, but words get stuck in my throat.”

Speaking requires practice just like swimming. So, you have to speak if you want to improve. It is better if you have a speaking partner, but if you don’t, practice with yourself. 

I always say, “The more you expose yourself to English speaking environment and practice speaking in English, the more fluent you become.”

Over the years, I have noticed the struggles and challenges non-native speakers of English confront and have also tried to help them in improving their English language skills. We have experimented with different techniques as each individual has distinct learning styles.

In this post, I have compiled all effective ways that have worked marvelously to help gain fluency in English. Remember, there is no shortcut to the path of success. So, make sure that you try these methods for at least two weeks. Spend at least 1 hour on learning English everyday and practice speaking in English. You can try one of them at a time or all of them depending on your own learning style. Here are the proven effective tips:

speak keep practicing
Keep Practicing

1. Record Yourself

Start speaking on any topic for 2-3 minutes or talk about what is happening in your life and record an audio journal. Gradually, you can increase the duration to 5 minutes and then 10 minutes. Listen to your recording. Self evaluate. You are bound to notice some of your mistakes and areas of improvement. Try to be better in each recording.

2. Mirror Practice

This helps not only in improving fluency but also in overcoming stage fear. You can take a script or news article and read aloud in front of the mirror. Do this for 15 minutes every day or every alternative day.

3. Read Aloud

This exercise focuses on improving vocabulary and pronunciation. Take any small article from a newspaper offline or online. Read it aloud. Note any new words you come across and learn them along with their pronunciation.

4. Apps to Help You in Learning

Download ELSA, TED Talks and VOA apps on your smartphone to improve your fluency and pronunciation. Focus on listening and repeating. 

  • On ELSA app, there are plenty of exercises which are available free of cost. You can practice pronunciation including both stress and intonation. ELSA gives you feedback on whether you have pronounced everything correctly or not, and then also tells you how to improve pronunciation. It is quite an interesting app for self learners. 
  • On VOA app, the speakers give you American news, new words and idioms, pronunciation lessons and so on.  Besides, the speakers do not speak at their usual pace; in fact, they speak very slowly. Listen and repeat what they are saying in the exact same style. 
  • On TED Talks app, you get to listen to a variety of topics presented by speakers from all around the world. Usually, a video on TED is about 10-20 minutes long and it is worth listening to. You can search for your favorite topics or listen to videos on general topics. (You can also listen to TED videos on YouTube)

5. Useful Websites 

Some websites that can help you in your journey to gain fluency include BBC 6 minutes English (My forever favorite podcast), and VOA. While BBC makes you familiar with the UK style of English, VOA is an American podcast which makes you familiar with the US style of English. One interesting point about VOA is, it has something for all: beginner, intermediate and advanced level of students. 

6. Read Novels

Reading novels is an excellent exercise to learn different ways to express your feelings and thoughts. You can get words, phrases and dialogues to use in your life as it is. Note them down on either your notebook or google docs to revise anytime. You can start with a simple novel such as Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, or  short novels such as Who moved my cheese. I highly recommend reading Ruskin Bond’s books. I would also recommend reading according to your interest areas or favorite genres. You can pick a self help or motivational book from any of your favorite authors or start with Robin Sharma. Gradually, start developing a habit of reading biographies and autobiographies. 

7. Watch English Movies with Subtitles

With Netflix and Amazon, binge watching is not uncommon. So, turn your binge watching into a learning experience. Since movies use a lot of dialogues and have conversational English, which is what we need, we can learn a lot of new words, phrases and even use the same dialogues in our day to day life. Again, note them in your diary or maintain a document on google for easy revision or quick reference.

Note anything you can use. Write down all dialogues or expressions you think you can use to express your feelings and thoughts.

We recommend:

  • Netflix series/TV shows: Never Have I ever, Money Heist, The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Friends, Big Bang Theory, Sherlock Holmes
  • Amazon Series: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Bosch

8. Stop Translating 

Most of the language learners have the habit of translating what they want to say from their mother tongue to English. It is not always possible to find an exact expression in two different languages, especially when it comes to idioms and proverbs, which are different in each language.  It is alright to begin with; however, gradually, you should stop translating your thoughts from mother tongue to English and start THINKING in English.

9. Follow Vocabulary Tablet

Started with a goal to help people build vocabulary and fluency, Vocabulary Tablet covers words that you can use in your daily conversations. You get words along with their pronunciation and use in sentences. Moreover, the sentences given as examples are simple which helps everyone easily understand how to use the word appropriately. We cover trendy words, idioms, and phrases from news, TV series, movies, and novels, with images as memory aids. You can join us on Instagram or facebook

Don't give up
Stay Confident and Don’t give up!

In the end, remember, there will be many times when you may get frustrated; or there may be people who would make fun of you; however, do not let anything stop you from becoming better!

Image credit:

1. Image by Ryan McGuire from Pixabay 

2. Image by Natalia Lavrinenko from Pixabay 


4 thoughts on “How to Be Fluent in English”

  1. it’s always good to go through the daily tips and communication knowledge you lend each one of us, keep going ma’am, we all love you

  2. I have read whole article and it was very beneficial as it defined a way of improvement.
    Thank u Soo much

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