The Challenges in Speaking English Fluently – Part 1
Posted on: October 11, 2018.

Author: Mrs. Radhika Mohan, Educational Consultant

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We all know that learning a second language is work. Hard work. Acquiring a language to a level of fluency takes the right attitude, determination, diligence, motivation, time, money, and continued effort on the part of the student.

Listening to the language is of utmost importance – active listening. Then active absorption takes place by means of internalizing the meanings of the words. We should try to predict what the rest of the sentence would be. Difficult expressions and new vocabulary must be on your ‘Look into the Dictionary’ list. Ask people if you are comfortable asking. Or else commit them to memory and work on them during your English study sessions. One could also talk to oneself, within, throughout the day, in English. As we go about our routine and activities, we may use as much English in our thoughts, as possible.

So, when do these challenges really occur?…

When we need to sharpen our skills for a specific job?

When we need help with crafting our resume or facing a job interview?

When we need to know how to write that essay for a particular college class or to deliver that speech during a PowerPoint presentation?

When we want to increase our skill levels for a TOEFL/IELTS test?

When we want to participate in an English discussion group?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Visualizing what people say will also help us remember words. Do we often review what we learnt? Hardly… We don’t take it seriously enough. We need to repeat to oneself or to someone else, what we learnt. We need to put things together in our words, to be focussed on the information we acquired. This helps us understand the language better.

In the words of Henry Doherty, “Get over the idea that only children should spend their time in daily study. Be a student as long as you still have something to learn, and this means all your life.”

Says Alvin Toffler, “In the world of the future, the new illiterate will be the person who has not learnt how to learn.” Again, Gennady V. Oster says, “I hear, I forget. I see, I learn. I do, I understand.”

It is important to use English to gain English-speaking skills. We can’t learn a second language if we use our native language at all times a day. We need to work at it when the going gets tough. We may give ourselves a pep talk in English and in no time, we will find ourselves giving speeches.

Who doesn’t make mistakes? We will definitely tend to make mistakes while speaking English too. To avoid a mistake we hesitate to speak, get discouraged, and then stop trying, and possibly make mistakes. So where will we be? Either shut up and never speak or learn an awful lot very fast. Though it is great if one can become both successful and perfect, we need to aim at success not perfection.

“We must never give up our right to be wrong, because then we lose the ability to learn new things and move forward in life.”, says Dr. David M. Burns, Professor of Psychiatry…

…continued in the next part

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