There are many different ways to learn English, some easier than others! Unfortunately, learning a language well is not an easy process – that’s the hard truth! Generally speaking, the easier methods give less satisfying results.
The easiest way to learn English from your own home or in your own time is by using an app, like Duolingo or Memrise. However, these focus more on vocabulary and rely on translation a lot, which has its limitations.
If you’d rather avoid using technology, then you can also get self-study books to help you learn English. These are easy because you can do them in your own time and learn lots of things, not just vocabulary.
Both of those approaches have the advantage of matching your level, so you can use them even as a complete beginner! Another really easy way to learn English is to watch English language series or films or read books, newspapers and blogs etc. However, these are only really possible for higher-level learners
Firstly, you need to be clear about what "fluently” means. Although we sometimes use it to mean “perfectly”, it just refers to speaking a language without lots of hesitation, in a fluid and natural way. You can speak fluently but still, make occasional mistakes.
Here are a few tips for learning to speak English fluently:
1. Find someone you feel comfortable speaking with – this will ideally be someone with a stronger level, but it doesn’t need to be a native speaker! What’s probably more important is that you get on with them and have things to talk about.
2. Talk about a range of different topics, changing it each time.
3. Talk in different ways. In other words, don’t just talk about your opinions on a subject, but try organising plans, coming to an agreement, telling stories/jokes, giving presentations etc.
4. Try not to worry about making mistakes all the time – mistakes are fine! They help you learn. Worrying about making them will probably make your speech slower and more hesitant.
5. Work on your pronunciation – get corrections and feedback from a teacher who can if necessary, help you learn to make the sounds that cause you problems.
6. Set aside some time every week to dedicate to practising.
7. Listen to other people talking. The more familiar you are with other people speaking English, the more confident you’ll be.
8. Learn set phrases – combinations of 2 or more words that are used together and not changed much, e.g. idioms and sayings.
9. Do a little bit, but regularly.
10. Practise, practise, practice!
The fastest way to learn English on your own is by using one of the many apps that are available to use on your phone. There are a lot of free ones, which work fairly well. There are also the ones that you pay for. Although these are convenient and you can make a lot of progress in a short time, they are limited because you can’t practise conversation skills very much. They are also less useful when you already have a higher level of English.
The best way to learn English naturally is to spend a lot of time in an English-speaking environment. By listening to and reading English all the time, you will get a good idea of what sounds most natural, and you’ll learn how to use natural-sounding expressions and structures.
Even if you can’t live in an English-speaking country, you can still spend time reading and listening to English language books, programmes, films, blogs etc.
First of all, ask yourself why you need to speak faster. Speaking faster is not necessarily better! Sometimes, if you try to speak too quickly, you make more mistakes and ultimately it’s not worth it. It’s often better to take your time and make sure you get your message across.
Depending on the situation, you can prepare what you’re going to say so you don’t have to think about it so much. Generally speaking though, the more you practise, the faster you will get.
At and of our International Language Centres (ILC) centres around the south of England: you can choose from Britain’s second biggest city, Birmingham, to the historic, pretty city of Colchester. There’s the historic centre of education, Cambridge, or the super popular city of Bristol, bubbling with artistic energy. If you prefer being by the sea, the port cities of Southampton or Portsmouth are for you. Whichever ILC location you choose, you can be confident in your choice of English course.
Our IELTS and Cambridge Exam preparation courses are run in the evenings, which means you can conveniently fit them around working or other commitments you might have during the day.