First things first: accept that you can learn how to speak English!
Right now English fluency might seem as distant as a rainbow.
But all you need are the right strategies to learn how to speak English fluently and with confidence.
Soon enough, your spoken English will sound even better than you imagined.
Just follow the guide below on how to learn English in 10 smart steps.
How to Speak English Well: 10 Simple Tips to Extraordinary Fluency
1. Accept That English Is a Weird Language
Sometimes you can find patterns in English grammar, but other times English doesn’t make sense at all. For example, why are read (present tense, pronounced “reed”) and read (past tense, pronounced “red”) spelled the same, but pronounced differently? Or why is “mice” the plural form of “mouse,” but “houses” is the plural of “house?”
Unfortunately, there are just as many exceptions as there are rules in English. It’s easy to get stuck on learning how to speak English properly if you try to find a reason for everything.
Sometimes English is weird and unexplainable, so instead the best thing to do is just memorize the strange exceptions and move on.
2. Dive into the Deep End of English Speaking
Studying English for an hour once a week isn’t usually enough to make any real progress. The best way to quickly improve your English is to spend at least a few minutes practicing every day.
Immerse yourself as much as possible every time you study, and challenge yourself to listen to, read and even say things in English that you think might be too difficult for you. If you want to speak English fluently, you need to make it an essential part of your everyday life.
3. Stop Being a Student
The right attitude can make the difference between failure and success. Stop thinking of yourself as someone who is learning English, and start thinking of yourself as someone who speaks English. It’s a small change, but it will make you feel more confident and help you to use the English you already know more effectively.
This also means you need to start thinking in English. If you want to say the word “apple” in English, for example, right now you probably think of the word in your native language first, and then try to think of the correct word in English. Instead, try imagining a picture of an apple, and then just think of the English word “apple.”
Real fluency with English speaking happens when you stop mentally translating conversations.
4. Remember the Answer Is in the Question
Listen carefully when someone asks you a question in English and you’ll answer perfectly every time. English questions are like mirrors:
Does he…? → Yes, he does.
Can she…? → Yes, she can.
Is it…? → Yes, it is.
If someone asks you a question and you’re not sure how to answer, start by thinking about the words used in the question. The person has already said most of the words you need to make your answer!
Instead of just memorizing English grammar, start to look for patterns like that one. There are a lot of simple ways to “cheat” and make it easier to remember the right words.
5. Get More out of Listening to Spoken English
When most students listen to a native English-speaker, they focus on understanding what all the words mean. This is definitely important, but there is a lot more you can learn from listening. Try listening not just to what the words mean, but to how the person says them. Notice which words the person links together in a sentence, or when they say “ya” instead of “you.” Try to remember these details the next time you speak and your English will begin to sound more natural.
Easier said than done, right? When you listen to native English speakers, it can be hard to understand every single word that is spoken. They might use many words you don’t know, talk too fast or have a strong accent.
A fantastic way to practice careful, active listening is to start using FluentU. FluentU has a huge collection of real world English videos, so you can hear the spoken English that people use every day.
Once you’re there, how you learn is entirely up to you. While browsing our hundreds of awesome videos, you’ll have the freedom to choose which ones are most relevant to your personal learning experience.
The more you listen to this authentic English, the better you will understand how to speak English naturally.
And FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. How? There are interactive captions. In other words, you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, if you tap on the word “brought,” then you see this:
You can learn any video’s vocabulary with FluentU. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The coolest part? FluentU knows the vocabulary that you’re learning. It uses your vocabulary to recommend you examples and videos. You have a truly personalized experience.
You can even save all the words you learned and keep track of your progress. Keep practicing with these videos, and you will see great improvement in your ability to understand and speak native level English.
6. Use It or Lose It
There’s an expression in English: “Use it or lose it,” which basically means if you don’t practice an ability, you might forget it. This idea can be used to help you remember new English vocabulary.
The best way to remember a new word is to use it right away so it will stay in your memory. When you learn a new word, try to say it in sentences a few times over the next week and you’ll never forget it.
7. Learn and Study Phrases
Speaking English fluently means being able to express your thoughts, feelings and ideas. Your goal is to speak English in full sentences, so why not learn it in full sentences? You’ll find that English is more useful in your everyday life if you study whole phrases, rather than just vocabulary and verbs.
Start by thinking about phrases that you use frequently in your native language, and then learn how to say them in English.
8. Don’t Study Grammar Too Much
The key to learning a language is finding a balance between studying and practicing. Fluent English speaking isn’t the same as knowing perfect English grammar—even native English speakers make grammar mistakes! Fluency is about being able to communicate.
That’s why sometimes it’s important to put the grammar textbook away, so you can go out and practice those writing, reading, listening and speaking skills in the real world.
9. Don’t Be Afraid to Make Mistakes
Sometimes it can be difficult to put all those rules and words together into a simple sentence. Don’t let the fear of saying something wrong stop you from speaking at all.
Even if you think you’re making a mistake, keep speaking anyway. Most of the time, people will understand what you’re trying to say, even if you make a mistake. Plus, the more you speak, the easier it gets, and the more quickly the right words will come to mind.
10. Focus on How to Learn English from Everyone
You don’t have to only learn English from textbooks and teachers—anyone who speaks English can help you practice.
Imagine how you would feel if someone asked you, in your native language, how to pronounce something. Would you be angry? No! You’d probably be happy to help, just like most English-speakers are happy to help you figure out how to learn English.
If you know any English-speakers, whether it’s a friend or co-worker, take advantage of the opportunity to practice and learn from them. You can also try an online English language exchange to chat with native speakers from anywhere!
Bonus Resources to Learn How to Speak English Fluently
- “Why English Is Easy: Language Hacks That Make English Easy:” We’ve seen a lot of English learning products out there, but we really like this one. It’s not a normal English learning course. Instead, it’s a whole new approach to learning English.
What makes the course great is the author, the famous polyglot Benny Lewis. He has many years of experience quickly learning and mastering multiple languages. He shows you the shortcuts and techniques that he’s learned over the years. Please note that we do get an affiliate commission if you purchase through our link. Thank you for your support!
- How to Speak English Well… It’s Not What You Think: “Don’t think, just speak.” This is a great motivational video that explains well the rationale behind focusing on English speaking rather than thinking.
Now you know how simple it is to master spoken English! With this guide on how to speak English, all you need is to start practicing regularly and you’ll learn English fluently in no time.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.