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Hi! I’m Georgiana, and here to help you speak English fluently. Thanks for joining me for another episode of the Speak English Now podcast.
Today, I talk about how to stop making mistakes when speaking English. And how to improve writing.
– Next, we’ll practice fluency with a question-and-answer exercise.
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There are several levels.
Ok, let’s start!
Many students asked me over the years how to avoid making mistakes when speaking English.
And that’s an excellent question.
As you know, the best way to become fluent in English is by listening to plenty of content that’s easy for you to understand. You should comprehend 90% of the content. Otherwise, it is too difficult for you. And even if you like novelty, the truth is that repeated listening to the same content helps you to automate your speech.
For example, listening to a story allows you to intuitively understand how sentences are constructed without having to learn grammar rules. This way, you will be less insecure when speaking because you will not have to constantly think about whether you are making mistakes.
To speak fluently, you have to do it without worrying whether you speak perfectly.
So as I was saying, it is very important to listen to understandable content. That is, depending on your English level, it is necessary to select the content that is not difficult to understand.
A typical mistake is to listen to content that is too complex with the idea of trying to force progress. It is always better to lower the level until it is easy to understand most of the words. This way, the brain is in “comprehension” mode. If it is too difficult, your brain eventually switches off and stops paying attention.
Students have also asked me if it’s a bad idea to consult the grammar rules. And how can you improve your English writing?
The typical student using my courses has already studied some English with some formal grammar and is frustrated because he or she cannot speak. That is why I insist that to improve fluency, it is necessary to listen a lot and not rely on formal rules to produce the language. Having this clear, there is nothing wrong with consulting a grammar book.
Regarding writing well, it is very important to read a lot and, above all, to read text similar to what you want to write. For example, if you want to write a text that describes things that happen nowadays, reading many newspaper articles may be a good idea. That’s the basis: read a lot. Of course, practicing is also essential, but I would spend the time this way: 90% reading and 10% writing.
If you are really motivated, a good exercise is to read an article a couple of times and then try to write a summary without looking at the article, if possible, using expressions and vocabulary specific to the article. Then consult the article and analyze what you could have done better.
On the other hand, we have to keep in mind that the process of learning a language involves making many mistakes, both spoken and written. This is normal.
As you progress, you make fewer and fewer mistakes. Over time you start speaking intuitively, just like a native speaker. Most of them speak fluently without knowing the specific grammar rule; they just know when a sentence “sounds wrong.” This is the ability that we want to develop.
We can observe, for example, how children make quite a few mistakes, but after many hours of listening and reading, those diminish over time.
Many teachers try as much as possible to prevent the learner from making mistakes from the beginning. But this ends up damaging spontaneous speaking, which is strongly linked to the development of fluency. It also generates unnecessary anxiety.
If you have questions like this, you can send me a message through my website SpeakEnglishPodcast.com. I try to answer all messages. Maybe I will make an episode to answer your question 🙂
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