While many students ask this, what they fail to understand is that learning a language does not mean only learning how to speak that language. Of course, it depends on your goal as a language learner; what are you hoping to achieve? If fluency is the focal point, then you should definitely focus on the other aspects of language as well: listening, reading, writing as well as pronunciation and grammar. I’m not saying you should roll up your sleeves and become an expert in each one of these areas, but I am saying that you should aim to be fully engaged with all of them, focusing on one or two at a time, daily.
Verb tenses...English verb tenses are a nightmare to learn, I know, I get it, but understanding the concept is absolutely necessary. Learning how to speak English without grasping the knowledge of verb tenses is like swimming on land. What is that about?
Check out a great and user-friendly verb tense chart by Betty Azar: http://writing.umn.edu/sws/assets/pdf/verb_tense_chart.pdf
or this video by Anglo-Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84jVz0D-KkY
Vocabulary comes next! Learn a handful of words (300-3000) and start reading books that are level appropriate for you.
We posted a blog about various word lists a few months ago: https://verticeslanguagecoaching.com/2019/02/28/wordlists/
Make a trip to the library and borrow a book that you like. I don’t mean classical literature, or anything by Shakespeare. I mean graded books. How can you find the right level for you? Check out this link to Pearson’s website and complete the steps: https://readers.english.com/. If you’re confused, send us an email, and we’ll assist you!
Listen in English ALL THE TIME! Even if it’s just background, your brain will subconsciously soak it in. You will become comfortable hearing phrases (another thing to learn, by the way) and how they sound – their pronunciation. So you’ll be hearing “could have” pronounced more like “could of”, for example. Remember to listen to something you enjoy, be it movies, podcasts, TED Talks, radio, the news, or songs. You don’t want the process of learning to be something you dread doing.
Practice speaking with others whose language level is higher, or native-like. Join conversation circles (with us if you’re in the GTA https://verticeslanguagecoachingcom.files.wordpress.com/2019/04/instructions-meet-up.pdf ! Or others – just do a quick google search and you’ll find some in your area. Again, give us a shout if you’re not sure how to find one, and we’ll help)
Be persistent, practice every day, and think of yourself as an English speaker already. When my students say that their wish is to be able to speak English, I get confused…”but you are speaking in English?” Confidence is important when learning any language, or even learning how to do anything new. If you think of yourself as an English speaker with the aim of achieving better fluency, then you’re almost at the finish line!
Remember, if you have any questions about any of the suggestions and wish to have our team help you out, all you need to do is contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to help!