Speaking English fluently is a great door opener: It can land you a better job, help you create meaningful relationships with new people, support your relocation or higher education plans, and transform you into a “citizen of the world” who feels at home wherever you may be.
But how do you make the switch from speaking some, or even decent English, to speaking English fluently?
Here are four great tips to help you start your journey to English fluency, build your conversational confidence, and face the Anglosphere without fear.
Tip 1 # Build an arsenal of smart conversation scripts
You may feel a little skeptical about using conversation scripts, and for a good reason too: A conversation is a living, breathing exchange that doesn’t necessarily conform to pre-made templates. However, you’d be surprised at how effective some scripts can be when applied in the right context.
- conversation scripts can help you respond faster to a wide range of questions.
Think about it: Many of the everyday situations we face are actually amazingly scripted: Greetings. Introducing yourself. Talking about the weather. There are dozens of conversations that follow a predictable pattern, and memorizing a few conversation scripts can help you respond faster to a wide range of questions.
There are plenty of great online tools to help you build an arsenal of useful scripts. For example, YouTube’s most iconic English teacher, Alisha Ivelich, has a series of fantastic short videos that teach you how to ask, or respond to, frequently asked conversation questions.
Here are a few videos to get you started:
How to answer the question, ‘how are you?’
Asking about hobbies: “What do you do for fun”?
Asking about occupations, “What is your job?”
Tip 2 # Use “Filler” words to buy yourself more time
Speaking with native speakers can be a little overwhelming, especially when the individual you’re talking to speaks too fast. Sometimes, you need a little extra time to process what you’ve just heard before coming up with a good response. “Filler” words are the godsend that gives you a moment to collect your thoughts when you need that break.
Filler words are expressions or small sounds we make whenever we get a little stuck in a conversation. It may make you feel better to know that even native English speakers use Filler words frequently, and that Filler words are some of the most commonly used words in any language!
Remember: It’s very natural to feel lost for words so don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, breathe, put on your best smile, and use one of these filler sounds, expressions, or words:
- “Filler” words are the godsend that gives you a moment to collect your thoughts when you need that break.
3 # Build your confidence: Practice speaking English daily
The best way to reduce anxiety and build your conversational confidence is to practice speaking English every day.
Like many English learners before you, you’re probably thinking:
Practicing daily? When do I find the time?
What if I have no one to practice with?
Private lessons are pricey – what if I can’t afford it?
We know. That’s why you should check out Loora: An English learning app that factors in all the challenges faced by English learners, and offers a practical, barrier-sensitive fix.
Loora offers short, real-time conversation lessons that are focused on building your confidence and fluency. The app’s motivational AI coach, Loora, is available for lessons around the clock, removing the barrier of limited time or conflicting schedules as you can practice in your own good time.
Unlike other English learning apps that focus on grammar, reading, and writing, Loora’s approach is more practical, as the app trains you to face the English-speaking world with newfound confidence. That’s why Loora focuses on practicing English for everyday situations: Making small talk, communicating with colleagues, traveling, and making plans. Each conversation you have with Loora brings you one step closer to fluency, with an extra emphasis put on pronunciation, using current slang, and commonly used expressions.
Practicing English with Loora also relieves the stress that comes from interacting with real humans. As an AI-powered coach, Loora adjusts to your own pace and knows when to challenge you with new conversation topics, where additional practice and repetition are necessary.
Loora enjoys a whopping 4.8 rating on the App Store, a testimony of the app’s ease of use and the value it delivers to learners. With subscriptions starting at $5/per month, Loora’s a real lifesaver for learners on a tight budget.
4 # Speaking is a social activity: Find your tribe
Wouldn’t it be strange if theater plays were never adapted to the stage? Speaking a language works the same way: The real power of learning a language only comes out when you can share it freely (and joyfully) with others.
Just like you, hundreds of thousands of English learners across the world are looking for conversation partners and for platforms where they can meet, exchange knowledge, share frustrations, and suggest tips.
Thankfully, many English learners were resourceful enough to start big, online English learning communities, where you can network, chat, and practice English with other people on a daily basis.
But where can you find your English learners’ tribe? Finding the right group, with the right mix of people, may take a little time, but you can start by joining and exploring some of these popular communities:
Speak & Learn English Live (GB) – 460K Facebook members
Speak & Learn English Live is a highly active – and bubbly – Facebook group. The group admins post daily English challenges, quizzes, and memes, with lively participation from group members. Joining this group is a fun, casual way to learn English and a great way to keep yourself motivated.
English conversation – 1.3M Facebook members
English conversation is a fantastic group for people who love learning through casual social interaction. It’s a hugely diverse and welcoming community with group members hailing from Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. Interaction in the group doesn’t center so much around grammar and vocabulary, but on using English to simply talk or ask questions about any topic in the world: from dating advice to what to have for dinner.
The language nerds – 350K Facebook members
This cute Facebook group was created for people who love talking about the culture behind the language they speak (or the language they’re currently learning). If you enjoy funny, interesting or thought-provoking facts about languages, this group is your go-to. Be warned though: The group is interested in deeper kinds of discussions so posting a question like “Do you say tomato or toe-mah-toe?” may unleash the community’s wrath. Our advice: Tread carefully :))