Many people think that if they don’t live in an English-speaking country, it can be hard to make progress and improve their English. They complain about not having the opportunities to use English in their daily life so they give up. Does this sound like you?
But on the other hand, you see some English learners who are REALLY fluent. They speak smoothly, naturally and they make it look super easy. Well, they must be very talented and have special language learning abilities right? Or maybe they attended a special English school where they had the best teachers right? Wrong!
In my experience as a teacher, almost ALL of the fluent English speakers I know have one thing in common. They work hard to make English a part of their everyday life. They connect English to their passions, their interests and everything in between.
Just think about it. When you want to be excellent at something, when you want to master a skill, what do you need to do? You need to practice it and do it every single day. You can go to English language school and take all the special courses you want. The truth is, you must work hard for what you want. Period. Tim Notke said it best:
“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
Before you go any further, my first piece of advice is for you to stop what you’re doing and look around. Pay close attention because English is everywhere. Look around and open your eyes! English is on your favorite TV shows, it’s on the internet, it’s on magazines, it’s on the songs you enjoy listening to, and the list goes on and on.
There is no excuse to not be surrounded by English in this generation. We have millions of resources out there and I’m telling that it is possible and practice to make English a regular part of your life, even if you don’t live in an English-speaking country!
My second piece of advice is to develop powerful daily habits. If you do something every day, not only will you learn a lot more quickly, but the act of doing it will get easier and easier because it becomes a habit. It’s like anything else that you do everyday, like brushing your teeth or taking a shower. You’re so used to doing it everyday that you don’t even have to think about it. It’s automatic.
Let’s take a look below at the 4 habits of highly fluent speakers.
Habit 1: Think in English
This is not hard at all. When you have some free time, look around you and make simple English sentences about what you see. Good times to practice are when you are at home doing the laundry, the dishes or when you are cleaning. It’s great speaking and fluency practice and you don’t need any textbooks. It’s all a matter of just switching your regular, everyday thoughts into English!
Habit 2: Watch, Listen and Read News in English
I suggest doing this for at least 15-20 minutes every morning. Below are 3 websites that I think are great for English learners. The lessons are free and levels range from beginning to advanced. The lessons are also based on current news stories. When you read the news, practice reading aloud in order to practice pronunciation. It really helps!
Habit 3: Listen to English Podcasts
Podcasts are a way to enjoy great content from around the world for free! Podcasts are great to listen to when you have a long commute to work, or when you are taking a walk outside. Pick and choose topics that you like and you will enjoy listening more! For English, I recommend the websites below.
Habit 4: Speak to Someone Daily
Nothing is better than speaking with a real person right? If you have someone who you can practice your English with all the time, that’s great. For most of us, we don’t so if you want a complete and detailed list of the best places to meet native English speakers, download my e-book for free → Click Here to Download “The Power English Guidebook”