Generally, language fluency is a very general topic, and it also covers a wide range of factors that describe an individual’s ability to use the language.
And achieving fluency in any language is challenging and requires a lot of work.
Language fluency does not have a specific definition, but most people describe it as how an individual speaks the language confidently with speed, accuracy, and precision.
And also, being fluent in the language signifies that the individual has learned the language and delivers excellent control of one’s language skills.
So how do we become fluent in a language?
Especially if the language is not our native tongue?
This article will tackle how to become fluent in the English language and help non-native speakers achieve fluency in using a foreign language such as the English language.
What is Language Fluency?
Fluency is the term used to describe the smoothness and excellent flow of abilities or expertise of an individual in a particular skill — for example, the language fluency of an individual in using a foreign language.
Language fluency does not require you to have a native English accent.
However, it does not mean that if you are fluent, you cannot have mistakes in using the language.
And also, being fluent does not indicate using complex English terms when speaking the language.
When we say the individual is fluent in the language, it describes one’s excellent speaking skills.
And also, the individual with language fluency can speak the language with confidence and ease.
It also indicates excellent comprehension and the ability of an individual to speak the language without any noticeable errors.
However, mistakes are unavoidable, but they do not destroy the message or confuse the listeners.
It also shows the proper use of expression, tones, and voice volume when speaking the language.
And it implies mastery of all four English skills, including writing, listening, speaking, and reading.
Importance of Language Fluency
Knowing how to speak, write, or read a foreign language is not enough.
You need to achieve a certain level of fluency to use and understand the language in any setting effectively.
Achieving language fluency is essential, especially now that English is considered a universal language.
It plays a big part in most communications in any industry, whether in business, education, arts, and more.
It is essential to cope with the fast change in universal communication. Many people know how to use English but do not establish fluency or even proficiency.
We cannot effectively use the language without these two, mainly since we are non-native English speakers.
Mainly, being fluent in all the language skills is an essential part of achieving a high level of fluency.
It allows you to understand, comprehend, and use the language successfully and comfortably communicate with native speakers.
If you are fluent, you will be more able to fully express your thoughts without stopping and thinking of what words to say next.
You can take part in any conversation naturally and can highly function using English.
And also, you will be more efficient and confident when speaking and delivering speeches and even writing good content.
You can also communicate effectively with other people in any event or environment.
5 Tips to Be Fluent in the English Language
In this section, we will give you some quick tips that will help you improve your fluency in the English language.
Learn New English Word Everyday
No matter how busy you can get, take the time to learn a new vocabulary every day.
You may read a single paragraph in an English newspaper and find the words or phrases that you find difficult to understand.
List it down in your notepad, and be sure to look up the meaning. And after, use it in your sentences or conversations.
Do not hesitate to try to say new English words, it may sound awkward at first, but you are also learning simultaneously.
Over time, until you get the hang of it, you will notice that you are building your vocabulary slowly.
This is a great way to improve your fluency since it will help you become more confident and fluent in speaking the language.
Focus on Learning Useful Words
Learning English might overwhelm you from the start, and you might think that learning complex words is cool and may help you to be fluent.
We hate to break it to you, but it does not work that way, and if you want to be fluent in the language, you need first to learn the basics.
You should start by familiarizing yourself with the essential words and useful ones that you can use in any conversation.
For example, learn the primary conversation starters, phrases used by native speakers to introduce a person or oneself, and more.
Remember that you can confidently use the language every day and in any given situation to achieve fluency.
And this is where you learn valuable and essential English words and terms that can be a great help.
Find time to Learn English and Be Consistent.
Devote time to learning the language. No matter what you do and how many tips you follow, you are wasting your resources if you are not consistent.
You will not learn anything if the only thing you do is take it for granted.
You only read or scan your notes, which is ineffective.
Instead, you should take time and be devoted. Fix your schedule, and include learning English in your daily activities.
Read and Watch Movies/TV Series
Yes, reading books and watching movies can help with your fluency.
But, be sure that what you are reading or watching must be in English, and turn off that translation on your screen; this may hinder your learning and make you dependent on it to fully understand the movie.
You may ask if reading and watching do help improve your fluency?
Yes, of course, it is an area where you can discover more about how the language is commonly used in everyday conversations.
You will also learn how the speakers deliver their speeches with proper expressions.
And also, when reading books, you will be exposed to different terms and phrases. You will also learn the correct spelling of words, proper tenses, etc.
Aside from that, you will also enhance your comprehension skills and improve your critical thinking.
Connect with Native Speakers
The last tip here is to connect with native speakers.
And since we have access to many social platforms, using the internet and connecting to English speakers will not be that hard.
This is also one of the quickest ways to improve your fluency in English since you are directly communicating with native speakers.
Do not hesitate to initiate the conversation, be confident, and for sure, you can learn more from them.
Given the quick tips above, you can now confidently use the English language because you have already learned how to be fluent.
And most importantly, do not be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and explore the English language more.
Why Can’t You Speak English Fluently?
Many people can fluently write and read any English text. And also can establish good listening skills in any spoken English context.
However, they have difficulty speaking the language, and this is also because English is one of the most challenging languages to master.
The English language also has very unpredictable spelling, pronunciation, and grammar rules that are inconsistent and have a lot of exemptions.
And also, some English words may sound alike but are spelled differently.
Learning the grammar of this language is also challenging.
Even native speakers find it hard to follow the rules, so it is also tricky for non-native English speakers.
So why is English hard to learn and be fluent in?
Here are some reasons why it is hard to be fluent in the language.
The English language is spoken in most places and countries worldwide, and each of these areas varies in its English accents.
Therefore, one place will pronounce a specific English word differently from other regions.
It is confusing and misleading for a non-native English language learner to hear different accents of the same language.
Especially if the individual also is unfamiliar with such English accents.
And it may also affect one’s fluency in the English language since the individual needs to thoroughly understand and master the language regardless of the accent.
Complicated Word Order
If you are proficient in English, you may notice how easy it is to see and use the proper order of words in a sentence.
Word order is a basic sentence structure rule indicating that the subject of the sentence should always come before the verb and the object.
Many possible word orders can be applied depending on the sentence. This aims to correctly use the English words properly in a sentence to deliver a clear message.
However, those individuals who are only starting to learn and be fluent in the language will have a hard time following these word orders and delaying their fluency.
There are many words in the English vocabulary that may sound the same but has a different meaning.
For example, cut and cat, real and reel, pale and pail, etc.
If you are a native English speaker, you should know the difference between these two just by the pronunciation and listening to the stresses in the word.
However, it is not always the case for those non-native English speakers.
In most instances, these sets of words may completely sound the same to them, leading to confusion whenever they use the words in communication.
And also, some words in the English vocabulary may contain opposite meanings, which are commonly referred to as contronyms.
Examples of this include clip, dust, lease, left, and more.
These words are tough to explain to non-native English speakers and will be challenging to integrate into conversations, especially for those starting to learn the language.
If you are trying to learn the language, you have undoubtedly encountered many idioms.
And most of these idioms often make no sense and have a completely different meaning if we translate them word by word.
For example, “a piece of cake” means easy or something that can be done without much effort.
But if we try to translate the words literally, it does not have the same meaning as the idiom. That is why idioms are not meant to be taken literally.
Note that literal translation is also one of the common mistakes most second language users make.
Many non-native English speakers are confused and try not to use idioms when speaking because they are not confident and afraid to commit mistakes.
And also, they usually think that these idioms might complicate the message more than they are trying to convey.
Difficult Use of Plurals and Tenses
The tenses of nouns and verbs of English words are also complicated and have complex rules.
And this will also be challenging for an individual who is only starting to learn the English language without the proper comprehension of this usage.
There are also many rules to follow regarding the tenses of verbs and nouns.
And it will also affect the learning of a non-native English speaker’s fluency if one does not know using the correct tenses and plural forms of nouns and verbs.
The bottom line here is that learning to be fluent in English requires more effort and consistency as a second language learner.
Achieving fluency does not happen overnight, and it takes patience and a lot of dedication.
And it is a step-by-step process, and your progress may be fast or slow compared to others but always keep in mind that you can do it and be fluent in using the English language.
You also need to have adequate resources and an excellent support system to help you become fluent in the language.
Language fluency can also open many opportunities for you either in your career or in your education.
It also builds your confidence and allows you to be an excellent communicator using the English language.