How do you know if you are fluent in English?

Many students ask me this question because very few of them are happy with their speaking. If you hesitate a lot and search for vocabulary. If you are constantly translating in your head from your mother tongue to English and if you find it difficult to speak at length about every day and abstract topics, then you probably need to work a bit on your fluency.
But fluency doesn’t mean you have perfect grammar and know every phrasal verb and all of the words in the dictionary. Even native speakers of English struggle with that!
Fluency, in any language, means that you can express yourself well on a variety of different topics. It means you feel comfortable with the language and you can speak quite naturally on many topics from the weather to current affairs, and even abstract subjects like philosophy and theology.
And as you know, fluid conversation isn’t one-sided. You need to be able to be understood by others and if communication breaks down and stops, you may need to work on some pronunciation areas. However, it could be that the person you’re talking with needs to improve their listening skills, so make sure it’s you who needs to do the work and not the other person!

How can you improve your fluency?

I improved my Spanish by finding people I felt comfortable speaking with. People who were kind and had patience. People who listened to me and corrected me with empathy. So, find someone like that and practice.
Language exchanges are a great low-cost way to get started. You can find groups on the internet and there may even be a group in your area. I believe it’s always more fun in person, face to face, don’t you?
You have to be proactive and get outside your comfort zone. I know it’s not easy to speak a foreign language, but it’s the only way to improve and make progress towards that fluency that you really want to achieve.
If you’re thinking about taking a paid course to improve your fluency, you can join me and a small group of lovely B2 and C1 level students and have conversation classes via Zoom. We meet twice a week and the next course is starting soon. If you leave your email address on the website EnglishMasterClass. I will get in touch with you.
But whatever you decide to do, please do it today because the more you practice, the more you speak English, the more fluent you will become!

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