You dream of speaking English fluently. You want to watch movies without subtitles; sing along to your favorite songs; play epic video games; chat with your North American friends; get a promotion; and travel internationally. English holds the key to achieving all your goals. You excitedly started your English course! But the excitement soon wears off when after a few months, you're still far from fluent.
You likely faced fluency fighters.
Fight fluency fighters.
WHY IT MATTERS
Fluency fighters is a term coined to refer metaphorically (symbolically; not literally) to situations that prevent a language learner from becoming fluent. Fluency fighters can restrict your progress, cause you to lose motivation, and can prevent you from acquiring language fluency. To overcome these fluency challenges, we first need to uncover myths, explore facts, and apply tips in response.
1 I VOCABULARY
Vocabulary plays an important role in language learning. It is necessary for the development of knowledge and skills in various aspects of language and literacy; and is important in developing language fluency.
You need an extensive vocabulary to speak like a native English speaker.
You don’t need an exceedingly wide-ranging vocabulary to speak English fluently.
Most native speakers do not know every word or expression in English.
English, like many other languages, is dynamic; new words are added; and some words become archaic.
Learn basic vocabulary. Try to learn two or three synonyms related to each vocabulary word.
Try to connect the vocabulary to a concept or situation that you experience in real life. By associating the vocabulary term with a relatable event, you create a mental picture, which allows you to better understand, recall, and use the term in the right context.
Focus on what you know, not on what you don’t know. When you concentrate on mastering what you know, your confidence grows, and you successfully overcome frustration arising from a limited vocabulary.
2 I FEAR OF MAKING MISTAKES
The fear of making grammar mistakes discourages many students from speaking English and attaining fluency.
You need to speak English perfectly. Otherwise, native speakers will not understand.
You do not need to speak error-free English to be understood.
Fear of making mistakes is natural, but making mistakes is a natural part of any learning process, including English. Everyone makes mistakes. Even native teachers make mistakes.
Many times, native speakers can understand non-native speakers, despite mistakes.
Practice speaking. The best way to overcome the fear of mistakes is to make mistakes.
Focus on how you benefit from making mistakes. When you concentrate on the advantages, your fear of mistakes will disappear.
Mistakes allow you to learn the language like a child. Children are unassuming. They don’t stop talking out of fear of making mistakes. And they learn at a much faster pace than adults. In addition to neurological factors, not being fearful of making mistakes helps children become fluent in language learning. Not fearing mistakes allows you to converse confidently with natives, and learn the phonology, morphology, syntax, and nuances of the target language. Understanding the importance of mistakes is key to becoming fluent.
3 I GOOD COMPREHENSION, BUT POOR SPEAKING
The ability to understand, but not be able to speak a language is referred to as receptive multilingualism. One neurological cause of the receptive multilingual phenomenon is that speaking a language and understanding it involves different cognitive processes in the brain. The two areas of the brain that are involved in speaking and comprehending language are Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area. Wernicke's area in the temporal lobe (located behind the ears), comprehends language, and Broca's area located in the frontal lobe (behind the forehead), converts concepts into spoken words (Healthline Media, 2023).
When you've had enough exposure to a language, speaking is more difficult and requires more time than comprehension does. This is because learning a language requires the brain's capacity to deduce meaning from phonemes, which are discrete units of sound that aid in word differentiation and are then divided into phrases or sentences. Our ability to deduce what the other individual means helps us comprehend the remaining details.
If you can’t speak, you’re not capable of learning a language.
Being able to understand but unable to speak a language is a sign that you are learning. Understanding a language is a precursor to speaking a language.
Speaking a language and understanding it involve very different cognitive processes in the brain.
Understanding a language requires lower cognitive skills, whereas speaking a language necessitates significantly greater cognitive requirements.
Activate the cognitive process that controls speaking by, well, speaking! The more you speak the language, the more fluent you become.
Do not spend equal volumes of time studying the core areas. Spend more time developing the areas that require greater cognitive competencies. For example, try to double or triple the amount of time you spend speaking in comparison to the volume of time you spend studying grammatical rules. To illustrate, if you spend twenty minutes studying grammar, spend one hour practicing speaking!
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4 I NO SPEAKING PARTNER
If you are a non-native speaker, it may be difficult to find a speaking partner. This can be very frustrating and discouraging. Still, you can become fluent despite the challenge.
It makes no sense trying to learn if you have no one to practice with.
Thousands of students are currently learning English successfully even though they have no personal speaking partner.
It is possible to learn a language even without a speaking partner.
You can creatively meet prospective speaking partners.
Make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools designed with algorithm that is built on new learning methodologies and lessons recorded by native speakers, as the emotional component of a human voice is essential for the subconscious training of correct language development and expression.
Simultaneously train your English skills using all of the senses according to your present level of English proficiency or your career needs or interests.
Become your own partner. When you learn a concept, try expressing the subject in English. Input your thoughts in a grammar tool. Compare your original expressions with the corrected version.
Join the VIP English Learners Conversation Club to practice text, voice-messaging, and real-time conversations with a native speaker and internationally certified ESL teacher.
5 I PRONUNCIATION
It’s natural to want to sound like a native speaker. Also, good pronunciation can aid your listener in better understanding you.
Native speakers may not understand if you don’t sound exactly like a native.
Native speakers are likely to understand you despite your pronunciation.
Everyone has an accent.
Some words in English are pronounced slightly differently depending on location. For example, there are noticeable differences in British and American English.
Some sounds in English may not occur in your language or some letters or the transliteration of certain language characters may be pronounced differently in English.
Listen extensively to native speakers live, such as through online lessons available at VIP English Learners, as indicated below.
LISTEN TO ENGLISH SONGS WHEN RELAXING; LISTEN TO AUDIO RECORDINGS BY NATIVE SPEAKERS WHEN TRAVELLING; LISTEN TO MOTIVATIONAL PODCASTS; LISTEN TO GENRES ON STIMULATING SUBJECTS; LISTEN TO UPBEAT MUSIC WHEN EXERCISING; LISTEN TO AUDIO BOOKS; DANCE TO SONGS IN ENGLISH; SING YOUR FAVOURITE ENGLISH SONGS; PASSIVELY LEARN WHILE YOU SLEEP.
Listen to songs and other audio recordings, and watch movies and podcasts in English. Create an environment in which you listen to the English language actively and passively.
Note the shape of the mouth and position of the tongue when natives speak. Copy the pronunciation, but do not feel the need to sound exactly like a particular individual.
Use pronunciation tools. For example, use the animated pronunciation guide available on Google. Practice your pronunciation and get feedback using resources online. For example, try to practice pronouncing the word benevolent. First, listen to the pronunciation and note the animated mouth movements. Then, select the Practice tab to practice and get instant feedback.
Get a dedicated coach to train you in English pronunciation.
To sum up, several factors fight fluency. These include vocabulary, fear of mistakes, poor speaking, no speaking partner, and pronunciation. However, all these challenges can successfully be overcome by applying practical steps. Get a dedicated coach and personalized plan to fight fluency fighters by contacting VIP English Learners today!