Do you speak English with a lot of pauses and hesitations? Do you have difficulty expressing your ideas in English? Do you mentally translate from your native language, but the sentences come out incorrect or unnatural when you speak? If you want to eliminate these problems and become fluent in English then read this post until the end and I will share the secret to fluency with you!
So, as promised, here is the secret to becoming fluent in English...
You have to learn to think in English!
Many English students say: "It's too difficult!" or, "I don't know enough English words!" or even, "I need to think in my native language and translate."
The 1st problem with thinking in your native language and then translating is that it results in sentences that are NOT correct in English because the grammar and sentence structure is different.
The 2nd problem is that it takes too much time to think and translate when you're in a conversation. This leads to pauses, hesitations, and the inability to speak fast and fluently.
Many students believe that thinking in English is too difficult... But I'm going to teach you how to succeed.
You can learn this skill with practice whether you're a beginner, intermediate or advanced.
Here's how to start:
Step 1: Thinking in individual English words
When you wake up in the morning think of words like bed, toothbrush, shower, breakfast, shoes, socks, pants, shirt, coffee, cereal, toast, etc.
Then when you go to work think of words like car, job, company, desk, chair, computer, pen, paper, meeting, colleague, boss, manager, etc.
During the day continue to think of words for things you see, smell, touch, taste, hear, feel and do.
Step 2: Thinking in complete English sentences
In this step, you think in complete sentences during the day.
For example, when you're at lunch, think: I'm eating a sandwich. It is delicious and healthy. My friend is drinking a soda. This restaurant has a good ambiance.
When you're watching TV, think: That actress is beautiful. Her hair is short and curly.
That dress makes her look slim. She is at a theatre. There is a large crowd of spectators.
It's okay if the sentences and vocabulary are very simple. The most important part is to practice and develop the habit of thinking in complete sentences in English.
Step 3: Functional English
In this step, you imagine using English for everything that you need to do. After every time you speak in your native language, think of how you would say that in English. For example, how would you order a drink or buy a train ticket in an English speaking country? Can I have a soda, please? Can I purchase a ticket to the city centre, please?
This helps develop your English for real-life situations - even though you are only thinking and not speaking.
If while doing this exercise you find you don't know how to say something, check your dictionary, or ask a native speaker.
If you do this kind of mental practice regularly, you will develop the ability to use English in any everyday situation.
Step 4: Narrative English (Telling a story or speaking in English for a very long time)
Think of a memory or a story that you would like to share with an English speaking friend or co-worker. Then tell the story in your head in English. Because you are only thinking, and not speaking, you can relax and do your best without all the pressure of a real conversation.
As you can see, you don't need to be advanced to learn to think in English. You can start right now! Today!
If you would like to become fluent more quickly, book a lesson with one of our tutors and practice speaking with a native in a comfortable and relaxed way.