How to Improve Your Fluency
The Four Basic Steps for Practicing
When you start to learn another language, you will have a terrible accent. It’s perfectly normal. What’s important is that it doesn’t stay that way.
In the same way as a musician learns a complicated piece by practicing, we can also learn to speak quickly and accurately, in other words, increase your fluency by doing focused practice. Here are the steps
1. Practice slowly but correctly. We can’t expect to do something quickly if we can’t do it slowly. Make sure you focus on accuracy first. Break down the phrases into sections and word into syllables and say each one slowly but correctly. You may need a native to help you with this as English is not phonetic and guessing can get you into problems.
2. Gradually increase the speed until you can’t maintain accuracy, then drop back to a speed where you can be accurate. Keep increasing speed and dropping back. Each time you speed up you will be able to get a little faster. Push yourself a bit outside your comfort zone and soon you will reset your zone.
3. Practice on separate days. Your real learning happens overnight, so make sure you practice after a few days’ rest. This gives your brain time to create the neurons and pathways needed for long term memory.
4. Don’t get stressed. Your consistency is the key. Always push a little more than your current comfort level, but no need to overdo it. Then learning becomes stress free.
Remember, accuracy is the first objective, then work with speed. In the same way a tennis coach will first develop a player’s technique, then look to increase velocity. Just trying to hit the ball harder will only lead to a lack of control and a lot of frustration.
Keep this practice up and I guarantee you’ll be hitting winners all day.
If you don’t have access to a private teacher, look to find someone who you can talk to for help. There are some great language groups around. If you want some more information about these in your region, send us a message.