Non-native speakers too can speak English fluently
English speaking has always been a big craze among the people; especially for those whose mother tongue is not English and more especially in the...
English speaking has always been a big craze among the people; especially for those whose mother tongue is not English and more especially in the post-reformed modern era of globalization and liberalization. Only this is not enough...the people do not only want to speak English, but they long earnestly for speaking English very fluently. But is this task so easy and cosy? Unfortunately no. Never.
In fact, to master this art, one must be ready to labour hard, that too, very patiently and religiously. He or she also requires to be a consistent learner because there is no limit to human knowledge and, more than anything else, no person in this world is perfect.
Who can deny that the mastery over the art of fluent English speaking brings about instant charm and adds awesome magic to the personality of the speakers? Only this is not enough... command over spoken English also makes them more saleable, employable,
preferable, presentable, fashionable and suitable vis-a-vis rest of the world citizens?
Besides, English as a foreign language presently has turned out to be an important lingua franca among the people of different mother tongues across the nations in the world. Therefore it has turned out to be a sine qua non of sure-shot successes in almost all the segments of human endeavours.
The most important question which arises here is - How to start speaking English fluently? After all what rules must the aspirants of English speaking follow which enable them to be a fluent speaker and an impressive orator in English?
In fact, they say that there is no universal rule of speaking English fluently. Each speaker has their own story of how they accomplish this skill. However, one thing is very sure that the success in the mastery over this art depends mostly upon the personal quality of the aspirants which is related to the degree of earnestness, curiosity, dedication, sincerity and confidence.
It is also related with the personal quality of a speaker which enables him or her to easily shed the embarrassment and hesitation which are most likely to occur during the course of speaking English.
Stop hesitating – keep on speaking
Hesitation is considered as the Achilles’ heel of the success in the art of gaining mastery over English speaking fluently. Have you ever thought what makes us hesitate? In fact, fear of failure of not speaking well is the most important reason of hesitation. This failure overcomes us, threatens us, defeats us and ultimately it makes us surrender to it.
Moreover, hesitation in speaking comes mainly from the fear of getting caught with grammatical mistakes and committing other gaffes. In this critical situation, what we need to understand is that no one is ever perfect in any endeavour or sphere of human knowledge in this world.
Everyone commits mistakes and you are no way different from others. And so you too would commit mistakes definitely, and this is nothing but natural. Be confident and go on speaking English without any such fears. And there is not any iota of doubt that one day you would definitely be reckoned as a good speaker...hmm fluent speaker.
More words mean more magic
Disraeli once had said that with words we govern men. I say that with words we govern language, we overcome problems and we succeed to brave the challenges which befall us when we start speaking English. We tremble with fear or stammer in speaking a language not so more due to lack of grammar than lack of knowledge of words.
Words, in fact, are the capsule-form of ideas and thoughts. They are the powerhouse of a language. Words play vital role as the most powerful medium by virtue of which we express ourselves lucidly and communicate with people impressively.
More words in the mind and memory mean more of the ideas and thoughts. And that is why when we start speaking English we grope for the right words to exactly express our feeling and better communicate the ideas. That is why it is very much necessary to first master words.
Besides, word power can also be enriched by the regular reading of a host of newspapers, magazines and various other books on various genres.
If you come across difficult words while reading papers and magazines and the meanings of which you do not know then rational step is not to stop there to consult a thesaurus or a dictionary. Jot down these difficult words and look them up in a dictionary later on. This will save your precious time and you will be able to learn considerably more.
Stop using high-sounding words
Winston Churchill once had said, “Broadly speaking, the short words are the best and old words best of all.” Though the use of rhetorical and rarely - used words gives a class and exclusive cult to your language that might put you in some privileged and conspicuous category, but unfortunately they do not appeal the audiences.
However, high sounding words may be very much-needed and works as suitable raw materials for writing a flowery language of a classical novel and producing works of creative writing.
But in communication and spoken language, it is always desirable to use such a sort of vocabulary that common masses and the targeted audiences do comprehend easily and effortlessly. When your audiences strike a chord with you and your contents only then will you gain the much-needed confidence to speak English very easily and fluently.
You must understand that writing and speaking are different Arts
Unlike the art of writing a language, the knack of speaking a language is quite different genre. In writing we must adhere to a set of rules with rigidity whereas speaking skill does not put any strict rules to be followed in the long run.
Unlike the modus operandi of written form of a language, the art of speaking a language has surprisingly much liberty and flexibility in sticking to the various rules. As for example in writing you must write, “Where are you going?” whereas in speaking it is sufficient to ask, “Where going?” or simply “Where?” This is the fundamental difference between writing and speaking a foreign language like English that we must seriously take care of.
However, it does never mean that English speaking does not require knowledge of grammar or it is a chaos and haphazard accomplishment. Fact is that you must have very good command over the basic rules and core of grammar which you must follow if you want to speak flawlessly.
You will speak only when you read
It is always said that if you do not read then you are never better than a person who cannot read. So reading is learning, reading understands, reading is realizing and reading is imagining. But only this is not the end. Now it has been proved that only a voracious reader can prove to be a good speaker. Reading of wide range of materials helps a lot to become a fluent speaker. So, you must develop the habit of reading books, that too, of various faculties and genres.
Always speak in idea units
This is one of the most significant clues to make you proficient in speaking English. What blunder basically we make is that we always speak English in the form of words woven together. This is not the correct and scientific approach to speak a foreign language.
Therefore it becomes the matter of top priority that we must speak English in the form of what we may call the “idea units.” It means we must speak in terms of clauses and not in the form of words.
For example when we say ‘They came to my house in the yesterday evening, here we should speak ‘They came to my house’ in a breath and then ‘...in the yesterday evening’ in the following breath. This is the idea unit which ultimately adds to the fluency of the language.
Stay away from the self-guilt
Self - guilt is nothing less than a slow poison. It is produced as a by-product in the situation when we fail to speak beautifully and fluently. When we fall prey to the self-guilt we start underestimating ourselves. Situation even becomes worse when we start doubting our own capability. Plethora of negative thoughts start disappointing us which badly shatters our confidence and courage.
Therefore we needn’t ever be embarrassed, discouraged and feel remorseful if we fail to speak correctly and fluently.
Each failure paves the path and opens up the door of success. The great men, who reached out to the pinnacle of unbelievable successes in their lives, too, had to pass through these embarrassing moments and suffer rejection, frustration and shame. They too had to undergo the ordeal of a series of adversities before they became a grand success and a brand name.
Watching talk shows and news will greatly help you
In the 21st century’s modern age of information technology, television has considerably proved to be a powerful and entertaining media which can spell miracles in teaching you the art of how to fluently speak English. A host of talk shows are run on different channels of television and the distinguished guests, famous hosts and high profile celebrities speak highly standard English and, that too, so much fluently.
You must have thorough knowledge of the subject you are to speak on
The famous orators across the nations in the world say that for speaking a language fluently one must first grasp the subject, have complete command over it and only then the words will naturally start flowing with ease. So we need to prepare very well for the themes which we are going to speak on. In the absence of thorough preparation of the subjects in advance, we would not be able to speak for longer time and with more fluency.
The famous Scottish singer, lyricist and political activist Annie Lennox once had said, “Fear paralyses you- fear of flying, fear of the future, fear of leaving a rubbish marriage, fear of public speaking, or whatever it is.” So is the problem with that of speaking English fluently. If you are afraid of speaking English before the audiences then you would never be able to become a fluent and successful speaker.
Do not give in to the mental block of fear - go on enriching yourself with the latest knowledge in the area of English speaking and keep on striving hard to speak it fluently despite a series of early failures and the day would not be far off when you would end up proving yourself as a speaker whom the people around you would always look forward to, adore you and envy you to be like you.
By Shreeprakash Sharma