You might understand when someone talks to you in English or you may even write it perfectly, but when it comes to speaking it fluently it can be your worst nightmare. Truth is, learning the pronunciation of a new language can be hard, but with the right tips you can become an expert.
Taking the first step can be quite a challenge; I mean who’s not afraid of speaking a foreign language in public? It’s normal! But let me tell you something, once you start doing it you’ll realize it’s not as bad as you thought and it’s more likely native speakers will help you improve.
Keep in mind the best way to perfect your pronunciation and fluency in any language is speaking it. If you have no idea how to begin we’ll give you some super simple advises so you can start right now!
1. Think in English
This is key to master any language, especially English. Why? It’ll help you react faster while in a conversation and give answers much more cohesively. It’s more likely that when someone speaks to you in English you first translate what they’ve said to Spanish and then you think of the answer only to translate it again and finally say it. Sounds complicated, right?
If you keep translating everything you hear and say from English to Spanish and vice versa, you’ll definitely make mistakes or stutter when speaking. Think in English! When you’re alone, when you want to order food, or when you go over your day and things to do… Once you get used to it, you’ll be able to speak English more fluently.
Thinking in English will also help you speak it more naturally just like natives do and not how the books teach you. It’ll be easier to understand it when people talk to you and all the answers will come without thinking too hard.
2. Train your ears
If your ears don’t get used to the English sound, you probably won’t understand a word when people talk to you, let alone improve your pronunciation. So, how can you do this? Well, you can listen to music, watch films or videos, listen to the radio, whatever is being spoken in English around you. When you least expect it you’ll realize you can understand it all and speak it easily.
Paying close attention to everything you hear on the streets can also be useful. Write new phrases down and look them up in the internet later; or if you’re talking with a native speaker don’t be afraid to ask things you don’t understand. As we said before, if you learn from the real world your English will be so much more natural and who knows? You may even speak it like an American!
3. Talk to yourself
No, I’m not crazy. In fact, talking to yourself is a great way to practice your English pronunciation. Whenever you’re alone speak your thoughts out loud, you can even simulate having a conversation or read whatever’s close to you. You’ll boost your self-confidence: you can correct yourself all the times you need without other people making fun of you or being judgmental.
What’s most important here is you lose the fear of expressing yourself in a different language. Once you start trusting yourself no one will stop you! Can I tell you a secret? When you speak confidently it is very unlikely people notice your mistakes.
4. Copy a native speaker
You can learn so much about pronunciation and fluency copying a native speaker. You sure have a favoritecelebrity who speaks English just like you’d like to; look up some recordings or interviews and try imitating the way they speak.
Or even better; if you have a native friend you can ask him to help you practice your pronunciation and you can also learn common phrases or sayings that will make so much easier when you communicate with people.
However, you need to be consistant, if you don’t practice your English regularly it is very unlikely you’ll achieve the fluency you want so much. Find new funny and creative ways to do it! Whatever method you choose, make sure it helps you keep motivated. When you become an expert speaker you’ll realize every single thing you did was worth it and you'll be more than ready to take international exams.