Malaysia is a multi-language nation and we are taught at least Malay and English since primary school. Some of us speak more than 2 languages besides our mother tongue. However, how many can actually speak fluent English and confidently? According to research, learning a second language now can help slow brain ageing. Speaking English fluently is important as not only it is the international language, most of us will have to converse in English nowadays with others especially in the business world.
For some, mastering the English language as a second language can be quite frustrating. Fear not! Learning to speak English confidently can actually be easy, AND FUN!! Here, we present you the 10 Simple Tips on speaking English fluently.
1. Think in English
As tempting as it sounds, thinking in your own language then translate it won’t do good if you’re aiming to speak English fluently. We know many native speakers besides English tend to construct a sentence in their mother language and converse it in English. The outcome is the awkwardness of the sentence structure. Even in writing, many Chinese or Malays will use sentence structure they learned in Mandarin or Bahasa Melayu. This will only make the whole English sentence sounds far off.
Try to think in English anywhere, anytime. One of the tips for thinking in English is to describe your surroundings when you are taking Grab and looking out the window. You can even come up with your own fun ways to think in English. Once you are used to thinking in English, it’ll be 10x easier for you to speak English fluently.
2. Talk to yourself in English
Every one of us talks to ourselves every day without realising. Do this often, but of course not in the public, you’ll earn stares. You can read aloud from your favourite books or speak out loud with your own thoughts in English on topics you’re interested in. If you want to go the extreme, you can even practice communicating in English in front of the mirror with a recording device. By doing so, you can review your tone, pronunciations and even accent. Listening back to how you sound helps you to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses in speaking English fluently.
3. Practice with a friend or partner
As the title suggested, get a fluent English-speaking friend to practice on, or better yet, a native speaker. The more you communicate in English, the better your speaking skills will be. Many online sites offer the opportunity to voice chat with another user, make use of that. If you prefer a real-life English oral practice, you are always free to find an experience English classes near you.
4. Read more English books and newspaper
Reading English books not only can broaden your perspective on the world, you are able to open your mind to new English vocabulary. Start reading by picking something you’re interested in, either fan-fiction or even a game book.
You can always just stick to the all-so-reliable newspaper. Not only will it improve your English, it’ll update you on the current issue which will be very handy when communicating with clients in your work field and show professionalism.
5. Watch English television shows and movies
One of the fun ways to learn English is to watch television shows or YouTube videos! Doesn’t it sound great? According to Netflix, Malaysia is one of the top countries that binge-watch these shows in 2017. Watching your favourite show in English is another way to improve your English fluency. You should choose those with English subtitles so that you can check up new English phrases at the same time.
It is recommended to mix up your choice of shows, from horror, romance, comedy or action genre. Besides the entertainment shows, you can also watch the news report, online tutorials or even TedTalk. This will help you to understand a more “formal” style of English while balancing out your learnings with an “informal” style of English.
6. Write in English daily
Writing is a great way to practice new English vocabulary and getting grammar right in your head. Write something new you learned that day and create sentences to familiarise yourself with the new words. It does not have to be something long like an essay. You can write it as short as a short reminder-to-self or even a diary. Not only will you be able to learn new English words and put in into daily conversation, you get to keep a record of your daily life.
7. Learn English songs
Do you still remember the global fame song “Despacito”? Ever since the releasing of “Despacito” sung by Luis Fonsi, Daddy Yankee ft. Justin Bieber, the tendency of people learning Spanish has increased profoundly. People tend to learn things faster if it involves something they like and in melody.
Most Malaysians have the habit to sing in the shower (Yes, we are all guilty of doing so). Start singing along to your favourite English song and get ready to improve your English fluency. You will get familiar with English language’s rhythm, tone and beat by doing so.
8. Learn English idioms and phrases
We all know what “You can’t judge a book by its cover” means. Communicate with English idioms not only makes you sound smarter, it is also one of the fun ways to learn English. Try looking into common idioms that you can practice in daily conversation because if you dont know them, it’s almost impossible to understand them. Once mastering the English idioms, you can start to communicate using them in English because idioms explain a situation without being lengthy.
Learning phrases also makes life easier. For example, normally you would say “how do you feel today?”, but with phrases, it’s shortened to just “what’s up?”. Therefore, do not neglect learning phrases too!
9. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
You learn the most by making mistakes, so it’s good to have a fluent English-speaking friend around to point out your mistakes. Take note of the grammar mistakes, especially when conversing with strangers or clients. Many Malaysians are embarrassed to speak English as they think they will make countless mistakes. However, making mistakes only means making progress. So do not be afraid to converse in English as practice makes perfect, it will only make you speak more fluently and confidently.
10. Motivation and Consistency
Motivation is a very important key to gaining English-speaking fluency, as well as consistency. You need to have the passion to feel the drive, without passion and motivation, learning English can be gruelling. Always remember what is the motive behind that thrives you to start speaking English and mastering it.
Speaking English fluently, as a second language speaker, doesn’t have to be so difficult. With our 10 simple tips, you are able to speak English fluently and confidently in no time. By following these tips, keeping your passion alive and being open to corrections, you can learn the English language and even grow to become very proficient in it.