5 ways to power up your English!

26 September 2016

If you’ve often wondered how you will ever be able to speak English fluently, I am here to tell you (I speak 3 languages fluently and 3 more passably!) that it is simply a question of practice and focus. To help you on your way, I’d like to share with you 5 simple things you can do to improve your English.

1. Take control!

For most of us, learning a new language doesn’t happen magically. So…if you really want to achieve fluency, then you’ll have to make it a real project. Decide exactly what you want to improve, set some very specific goals, and work toward them every day. An example of a “goal” might be to improve your intonation when asking questions in English. A way to work towards that goal might be to listen for intonation in questions when you watch English language movies and then work on it yourself. Be really specific with your “goals” and then work specifically towards them.

2. Be realistic

Some language learners say that they want to speak a foreign language like a native speaker. This is almost impossible except for in Hollywood. What you want to aim for is to be understood and to easily understand others. Once you achieve this, you’re on your way to fluency.

3. Practice! Practice! Practice!

Did you have music or athletic lessons as a child? I am sure your teacher told you to practice every day for at least 15 minutes, didn’t he/she? Well, language is exactly the same! When you practice a new skill, pathways are formed in your brain which are like a trail in the forest. If you take the trail every day, it will stay defined, and will become easier to walk every day. If you only take the trail once in a while it will always be difficult to find and difficult to use.

4. Don’t punish yourself and go have some fun!

Most of us find reading grammar or English course books very boring. There’s no need to suffer! Language is created for communication, so start using it for better purposes from the earliest days of your learning…go watch a movie, get a foreign friend, listen to English language music and look up the lyrics on the net, travel…whatever you do, get out and use that real world language! TED talks are a great way to learn something new and improve your English at the same time. Or – If you love books, why not try some free audio books.

5. Monitor your progress

If you’ve set realistic goals and practice regularly, you will improve. Notice the small steps you make in the right direction. Ask others to do the same. This will keep you motivated and powering forward to fluency.

If you really want to monitor your progress, get on to FluentIQ and get yourself a free account. Do the 15-minute assessment and review your report carefully. Then, all you need to do is focus and practice for no more than 15 minutes a day. After 2 weeks, go back to FluentIQ and see your improvement.

Next week, I’m going to talk to you about how to make those weird sounds in English that you may not have in your own language. Until then, practice hard, share with your friends, and have a great week!

Posted by: Ksenia

Ksenia is our linguist, specializing in accentedness. She is interested in how accents change and how people can hear accents differently.