We all want to speak good English. Me, you – otherwise, you wouldn’t be here reading this -, the neighbor next door. All of us want to know how to get such a pronunciation, people can’t tell where we are from. But It’s not that easy, though. People may practice for years and years to come. But, no matter how many courses you attend, or how many teachers try to introduce phonetic terms into your brain. It actually takes more than that, and our idea is to bring that to you today.
Speaking good English takes more than pronunciation and vocabulary. A person needs to be able to think in English before speaking. Translating each word before speaking is not good enough, because that is not what we do in our native languages. Listening to songs or other people also helps.
Now, let’s be honest. This is not a secret formula that will magically make you speak good English as soon as you finish reading. What we try to do here, is to put on the table something you might not have considered yet. Of course, practice will be necessary – nothing that great came that easy, right? -. And sure, it will take time. But it might be that click you need to become a better English speaker. Keep on reading, and get a step closer to mastering the English language!
Now, before we jump into our super-secret formula to speak good English, answer this question: what does speaking good English mean to you? Is sounding native good enough? Is it having a good vocabulary? Maybe a combination of both? We need to understand here that speaking good English is not the same as making yourself understood. Anyone can do that, but reaching a good spoken English level, you can make the difference.
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Being understandable is easy. You just think of some words in your own language, translate them the best way you can into English, and then spit them out. No matter how you pronounce them, or if the word order you choose is the correct one. People in front of you will do their best to get what you are trying to say. Speaking good English goes far beyond that. It means protecting listeners from making that effort. It’s saying what you want the way you should.
To achieve that difference between being understandable and speaking good English, we need to change our brain’s chip. You may be wondering if I’ve gone mad. Let me tell you I haven’t. What I mean is to convert our second-language English into our primary language. Let’s see. Imagine having to say something in your native language, whatever that may be. Try it out. Say something. Anything.
While doing so, pay attention to these two things: On the one hand, what do you think of while saying it? Do you need to think of a concept word by word and just say the words that explain that concept? And on the other hand, what language do you use while thinking that? Do this same exercise, but saying something in English. Again, say whatever you want, it doesn’t matter. What are the answers to the same questions now?
Yes, that’s right. To speak good English, you need to think in English. Whatever the process that went through your mind while doing the exercise in your native language, that is what you need to do in English. Think of words, try to find different ways of saying the same thing. See if what you’re about to say may somehow sound controversial or if there’s a risk of being misunderstood. But do so in English. Stop thinking in your native language, and start training your brain to switch to your new native English language. That’s the best way to start.
Easy to say, not that easy to perform, right? Well, we told you. This is not a secret superpower that will make you speak good English just like that. But it is something that you must do, whatever your current English level, to improve it and master the language. If not, you will keep on translating and falling into the same situation. Training our brains is the same as training our bodies. We need to make it feel natural, and that surely takes time.
And just because I’m such a good person I’ll give you a bonus tip: Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. I’m sure you make them while speaking your (for the time being) native language, so why shouldn’t it happen in English? Of course, the idea while you practice is to reduce the number. Start thinking in English, and master this beautiful language! Remember to subscribe to our newsletter, and thanks for reading! See you next time!