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 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
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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