noviembre 2019
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Tips to speak English fluently


•  Speaking generally, there are two types of language learner:

The first type gets really worried about making errors or mistakes. They think about everything that they say carefully. Sometimes, if they start to say something, and then realise they have made a mistake, they will stop and correct that mistake, maybe returning to the beginning of the sentence. They might pause between each word, contemplating what the right word or phrase is before they say it.

For these learners, generally, their accuracy is high, but their fluency is low.

bullseyeThe other type of language learner doesn’t really care about making mistakes or errors. They have an idea in their head of what they want to communicate, and they say it with whatever words and language feel the most natural. They make frequent mistakes, sometimes in every sentence! Their grammar can be a mixture of English and their native language. They either don’t know or don’t care if they are making errors or mistakes.

These learners have high fluency, but low accuracy.

•  So what should you focus on, fluency or accuracy?

The answer depends on what kind of learner you are. If you focus too much on accuracy, and therefore speak very slowly, you need to improve your fluency. Speaking too slowly is bad for maintaining a conversation. After a few seconds of silence, the person you are talking to starts thinking about something else. Communication is failing, you need to speak faster. Don’t worry about making errors or mistakes – most are not serious, and don’t affect communication.

But if you focus too much on fluency, you need to ask yourself if you are achieving your goals in communication. Are your mistakes and errors causing problems for the people who listen to you? If the answer is yes, you need to slow down and pay more attention to what you say. Speaking really fast, with lots of errors, is very problematic for the people who are listening to you.


↓  What is fluency? 


Every real-life speech situation brings up new twists and turns, and throws up new speech-composition problems. And fluency in English is our ability to navigate these twists and turns — through good English. And to keep up a steady flow of speech. To speak English fluently, of course you must understand instantly and speak without thinking.   But there is one more requirement– one more thing you need:  you must have confidence.

Emotion is critically important for fluent speech.   It’s not enough to “know what to say”… You also need to “say what you know”.  In other words, you must have the confidence to use your knowledge without hesitation. Many English students speak badly not because they lack vocabulary or understanding, but because they are nervous, worried and afraid of appearing foolish…

Therefore, you must train yourself in this area.  In addition to studying English vocabulary, listening, and speaking… you must also study your own psychology.  You must learn how to manage your emotions, how to develop inner strength and confidence.

•→ How to keep an English conversation going

5 English Conversation Tips to improve your communication skills  ⇓

♦   Speak with confidence  ⇓

•→ How to Speak English Fluently ← [click left-hand corner to listen]
♦  How to speak Fluent English ALL the time?  ⇓

EnglishHarmony  answers this question addressed to him by a learner

Robby Kukurs is an expert in fluency, and offers lots of help for those who OFTEN get Stuck for Words, or are CONSTANTLY thinking of What to Say Before Speaking (which interferes with your actual speech)

 Paraphrasing during a conversation  ⇓  [a communicative strategy]

paraphrasingA good tip for paraphrasing is the «forget-explain-remember» rule. With this strategy you deliberately forget a particular word. Then you explain it until you finally remember the word. Look at the example:

«An additional problem with cars is that they produce a lot of …em… I can’t remember the word, but it’s the gas that comes out of the car exhaust…oh yeah…carbon monoxide. That’s what I mean.»

 Φ   Typical ways of paraphrasing:

1) use simple words to explain,

2) use opposites,

3) compare to other things,

4) use examples.

Paraphrasing not only helps you to keep the conversation going, it is also a good learning technique. Often when you paraphrase, the person you are talking to will tell you what the correct word is. You can increase your vocabulary quite quickly that way.
∞  Comparing Images  ⇓  [Practice for Cambridge Oral Exams]

•→ Tips⇐  //  • FCE … ⇒[01] ⇔ [02] ⇔ [03] ⇔ [04]⇐

♣   3 common conversation expressions  ⇓
«If you ask me…» / «Speaking of…» / «As I was saying…»

speech¤  Discourse markers often heard in speech … ⇒[01] ⇔ [02] ⇔ [03]

Discourse markers are words and phrases that help you connect your ideas. Using discourse markers makes your spoken English sound more fluent and natural – and it may help fill in some of the “pauses” in your speaking!

Φ  More Useful Expressions for English Conversation  ⇓
•  actually …

Use actually to make a correction, or to state a fact or reality:

“Do you need to learn Spanish for your trip to Brazil?”
Actually, they speak Portuguese in Brazil.”
“Oh, I didn’t know that.”
•  apparently …

Apparently is used to say something seems true or is true.

“How come Maria left work early?”
Apparently her son is sick. I heard her calling the pharmacy to ask if his medicine is ready.”
•  as for …

As for is the same as regarding. It is used to focus attention on the topic you are going to talk about.

“Before you leave the office, please make 5 copies of the sales report and leave them on my desk for the meeting tomorrow morning.”
“Sure, no problem.”
As for the new advertising campaign, we need to get approval from the finance department – so that’ll have to wait until the end of the month.”
•  as I was saying …

We use as I was saying to get back to the main topic of conversation.

“I heard you’re going away this weekend – where to?”
“Well, after English class on Thursday night, we’re going to catch a late flight to California.”
“We have English class on Thursday?!”
“Yes, remember the teacher changed it from Friday to Thursday?”
“Oh, right.”
As I was saying, we’re going to spend a few days in San Francisco…”
•  basically …

You can say basically when you are going to say something simple about (or a summary of) a complex situation.

“Are you still going out with Melissa?”
“No – we broke up a few months ago.”
“Oh, sorry to hear that. What happened?”
“Well, it’s a long story, but basically, our personalities were just too different.”
•  by the way …

Say by the way to introduce new information or a related topic of conversation.

“So how do you like living in New York City?”
“I love it! There are a lot of interesting things to do. It’s a little hard to make friends, though – there are just so many people.”
“Don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll settle in and form friendships with time. By the way,my sister and I are going to meet some friends at the free concert in the park tonight – want to go with us?”
•  let’s see …

You can say let’s see when you need a moment to think about something (especially after the other person asks you a question).

“I’m making the reservation at the restaurant. How many people are joining us for dinner?”
Let’s see… there’s you and me… John, his wife, and their three kids… Barbara and her husband… and Peter with his girlfriend. That makes eleven.”
•  I mean …

I mean is a very common expression in spoken English. You can use it to clarify your meaning, to state your ideas in different words.

“What did you think of the movie?”
“Eh, I thought it was so-so. I mean, the story line was interesting, but the acting wasn’t that great.”
•  on the other hand …

Say on the other hand to introduce an alternate opinion, or a different side of the situation.

“Do you think I should buy a desktop or a laptop?”
“Well, a desktop would be cheaper, and I know you’re on a budget.”
On the other hand, a laptop would be more convenient because you could take it to class.”

*       *       *


Below is a variation of a fluency game you might have played in class. Not easy, but good fun. It’s actually a very popular game in Britain, based on BBC radio comedy programme of the same name: JUST A MINUTE.
The game is played in groups of four or five. One person in each group is the ‘chair’, the others are the players.
First of all, a topic is chosen – someone takes the floor and has to keep talking for one minute; the speaker must not hesitate / deviate from the subject / repeat words  – the listeners can challenge the speaker at any time by calling out:
                        – Repetition.                       – Deviation.                       – Hesitation!
The chair decides whether a challenge is successful or unsuccessful. If the challenge is successful, the challenger takes over and continues to speak on the topic for however much time remains. If unsuccessful, the player continues talking on the same topic for the time remaining. The winner is the speaker speaking after one minute.
The game is most challenging even for native speakers, so it may be a good idea to simplify the rules: how about ignoring hesitation to start with? There are more suggestions for other possible adaptations in the vid bellow.

This is a great game to help you improve your speaking. 
Two or more people can play together.
The first person chooses a topic, the second person has to start talking about the topic and cannot stop or pause.
The other people listen for mistakes, if you spot a mistake, it is your turn to speak. 
Mistakes can be in your grammar, pronunciation, fluency (pausing), and vocabulary (repeating words)
The person talking at the end of a minute gets a point, then you start again,
¤   ¤   ¤
◊  Just A Minute TV  ↓  Ep2

Hosted by Nicholas Parsons  /  Panelists: Paul Merton, Julian Clary, Russell Tovey and Stephen Fry

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