How to Think in English

All speak our native languages fluently, quite naturally. The speech formation happens instantaneously and we don’t actually differentiate between a number of subsequent processes taking place when we speak. Think in English, instead of translating sentences from other languages that you’re familiar with. Translating sentences leads to grammatical mistakes and deteriorates the quality of your spoken English.

1. Don’t use a bilingual dictionary. Spending hours looking up words and definitions in an English-only dictionary helps you to memorize words better. When you search for a word, turning page after page, you naturally repeat it in your head. By the time you find the meaning, you remember the word.

2. Learn vocabulary in phrases, not single words. Our brains are pattern-matching machines that remember things put into context.

3. Start using the vocabulary as soon as possible. Never stop yourself from speaking until your language is perfect, you will be waiting forever! Always try to take initiative even if you are really scared because “practice makes perfect”.

4. Talk to yourself in English. When you were learning English (and you still do this), you would describe to myself whatever happened during the day. This gives you extra practice before you start explaining things to other people.

5. Get an English-speaking friend or partner. It is always easier to improve English with a companion especially if he or she is a native speaker. Regular chats in person, over the phone, text messages and other common activities brought me to the next level and you stopped talking to myself!

6. Travel. You used every opportunity to travel to English-speaking countries. Meeting numerous people in travelling and trying to keep in touch with them even after my trips. Facebook, WhatsApp, Viber, and emails definitely help.

The biggest challenge is dealing with the frustration that comes with not being able to fully express yourself. The key is to think positively and stay motivated!

How to Speak Fluent English

Fluency in English is equally considered as a mark of a learned person along with grammar and vocabulary. You might get enough time to repeat your thoughts in your head before writing or typing. However, while speaking, you have to be quick. The other person does not have all the time in the world to listen to you stammering and grope through words. By the time you actually finish your sentence, the listener would have forgotten what you began in the first place. Being fluent helps your thoughts to be heard clearly and correctly.

Simple tips to improve fluency

Listen carefully

Listen to the common phrases, words and diction. Repeat newly learnt phrases with a colleague or family member. Speak aloud because muttering in your head will not help as your mouth is not used to moving that fast to certain set of words. So, listen and repeat.

Read aloud

Read good quality books by famous authors and good English newspapers. You will find many new words by reading books to improve your vocabulary. Understand the context in which the new words are used. Use them in sentences while speaking to anyone.

Talk without hesitation

Communicate in English as much as possible. It is all right to be wrong. If you think that ‘I am poor in verbal expression’ can make you stammer. So do not just talk. Talk confidently and talk to convince. That is how you improve English. Once this mental block clears, your fluency will improve on its own.

Self-practice – talk to yourself

If you’re not comfortable speaking alone, how will you do it in a group? Think out loud in English or sing. You can also try saying out loud what you’re doing, as you’re doing it. For example: As you’re cooking breakfast, do you know the related vocabulary for the food and utensils? Can you use different verbs to explain your actions? This would be especially useful at work if you want to utilize English most while at work.

Record native speakers, and practice recording yourself too!

If you are not sure how the text should sound when you read, a great way to practice is to listen to one, and try to mimic. After all, this is more or less how children learn to speak. Use a recording device to record a TV show, movie, interview, etc, and listen to the accents, pronunciation, and intonation. After listening, record yourself trying to use the same style of speaking. When you compare it to the native there will definitely be differences that are expected between a native speaker and learner.

Try teaching someone else English

Trying to teach someone else the language will get you talking as well. Even if it’s basic words, sentences, or phrases, the more you teach someone…the more opportunities you’ll have to practice with them.

Follow these simple tips to improve fluency. Believe in yourself and never shy away from mistakes. Take them seriously and vow not to repeat the mistake ever again.

How to be effective in Public Speaking

Most normal people start off fearing before starting a public speech. It’s one of the most valuable business/career skills you’ll ever have but It’s a skill that most definitely can be learned.

Of the universe of outstanding public speakers and presenters, some of them are just born that way; give them a stage and microphone and they rock the stage as the saying goes.   The other 99% of us, however, have to work at it.

Rules that can make us effective public speakers are:-

Make the Audience the Center of Your Universe:

You’re not the focus of the speaking engagement! No matter how many times you may tell yourself this obvious truth, you’ll have a hard time until you get it into your presentation. Ultimately, every good speaker cares more about the audience than themselves. This can be a tough prescription to fill if you have speech anxiety, which tends to wrap you in a cocoon of anxiety and self-consciousness

Focus on Relationships:

If the audience is the center of your universe, you’re already pointed in the right direction concerning what you’re there to do: establish a relationship and maintain it throughout your talk. If your content could live on its own, it would—there would be no need for anyone to gather to hear you, and you could make your information an email attachment

Give Your Purpose Most of Your Attention:

Too many speakers confuse topic and purpose. For instance, I’ll ask a client, “What’s your purpose with this presentation?” And the response will be, “Well,

Use Your Body:

Your body is a natural tool of communication—and a powerful one at that. After all, there’s a reason you’re not a brain in a bell jar communicating telepathically. Audiences need you to give physical expression to the things you’re saying.

Use Your Vocal Delivery:

Your voice is the most flexible communication tool you own, apart from the brain itself. It’s capable of a wide range of coloration and effects, from astonishment and incredulity to  mockery and seduction and a hundred other intentions. To speak without vocal variation means using a “mono” or single tone; and from the combined word monotone derives the derogatory monotonous

To be effective in your speeches and presentations accept the strong relationship between performance and success. In fact, the more you can connect with audiences rather than remaining in the comfort zone of your content, the more successful you’ll be.

How to be comfortable with English Language

Most people tend to be more relaxed speaking in their mother tongue than a foreign language, and this is simply due to familiarity during formative years. It is possible to be 100% comfortable, and it’s much less to do with language proficiency than most of us might imagine. Comfort in this context is more a state of mind than anything else, judging from what I’ve seen over the years growing up in many different countries.

Many people who are learning English don’t practice speaking as often as they want to because they’re afraid they will make a mistake or be laughed at. Don’t worry – even native English speakers sometimes make mistakes, and nobody will laugh at you.

Ways to gain confidence in your ability to speak English are:-

Join Online Forums That Use English

Joining an online forum means you can interact with native English speakers.  It also gives you a chance to practice your English outside the classroom without leaving the comfort of your own home.

Read Texts Out Loud

Reading fluency is simply the ability to read a book or text clearly. You correct your pronunciation mistakes until you make no errors.

The more you practice fluency, the more confidence you will have because it gives you a safe environment to practise in, increase your reading speed, and to process words faster.

Make Friends with English Speaking Experts

The more you practice, the more you will gain confidence in your English speaking abilities. An excellent way to practice English (and enjoy it!) is to make friends with people who only speak English.

Trust Your Teacher

If you are following a course, remember that your teacher is there to create a safe environment for you to learn from your mistakes.

Making mistakes is very important because you can see which areas you need to work on.  The key is to try not to make the same mistake twice.

Your teacher is also there to celebrate your accomplishments. They want to encourage you to continue practicing, and will tell you what you are doing right.

If you want to feel more comfortable in class, try to get to know your teacher better. It is ok to ask personal questions such as their hobbies or why they decided to become a teacher.

Work in Groups of Five or Smaller

Many people get very nervous if they have to speak in front of large audiences. Try speaking English to others in smaller groups to build up your confidence.

Share mistakes or stories of miscommunication with each other. The more you laugh off how funny these types of mistakes these are, the less you’ll feel scared.

Don’t go Overboard

The faster you try to learn English, the more pressure you will put on yourself. The key is to ease into learning English with less pressure .You will feel less nervous when you make mistakes (and remember, mistakes are good!).

Avoid Procrastinating

It is natural to procrastinate, especially if you don’t feel completely certain about what you are doing.

Remember Why You Want to Learn English

It is natural to feel frustrated if you are not confident that you are progressing. Whenever you feel this way, it is important to remind yourself of why you started learning English.

The Impact of Effective Communication

Communication means sharing of feelings, emotions, ideas between two or amongst more individuals. The prime objective of communication is understanding. The person to whom the message is sent, should understand the message and intentions of the sender. Communication is said to be effective when the objective of communication is completed.

Effective communication involves active/reflective listening. Let’s look at the 5 Strategies for Effective Communication.

Confirming – using short comments, gestures or non-verbal sounds to let customers know you are interested, and to verify that you understand what they are talking about.

Examples:

Comment – “I understand”

Gesture – nodding

Non-verbal sound – “Mmm Hmm”

Paraphrasing – restating information to make it clearer and more understandable.

Example:

A postal clearance will go out.  That means we send a letter to the postmaster to find out if s/he receives mail at the address we have listed.  That tells us if the address is good.

Reflecting – listening to information, processing it, then restating it back to the speaker to summarize your understanding of what s/he is saying.  Reflecting statements should also reflect the customer’s emotions and feelings whenever possible.

Example:

“So in other words, he claims he hasn’t had enough money to make a payment in 6 months, yet he bought a brand new car? You sound angry at him, and I can see why.”

Making Eye Contact – letting the customer know you are interested, you are listening, and you want to help.  Lack of eye contact can create an environment of distraction or distrust.

Questioning – listening to information, then asking questions to expand on that information.  Questioning enables you to understand the meaning of customers’ comments or phrases.

Example:

“You said you don’t think you should be paying this amount anymore.  How have your circumstances changed?”

Guidelines for effective communication:

Clarity of purpose : It is said that think before you communicate. You should know the purpose of communication only then you will be able to convey your feelings properly

Needs of the receiver : Needs of receiver should always be considered because what we communicate, should have some value to the receiver. If we are aware of the needs of the receiver then we will be able to satisfy him because he becomes more receptive.

Feedback : Problems in communication arises because we never try to know whether the message is understood. Feedback improves learning so by asking questions and encouraging the receiver to give his reply/ reactions we can know whether the message is understood or not.

Listening : Since communication is a two way process so the receiver should also pay proper attention towards the speaker.

Control your emotions : Your emotions should only intervene when required, during communication when you are required to apply brain your heart(emotions) should not be allowed to intervene.

Eliminate barriers : Barriers may give differently different meaning to a message. In order to make a communication effective, barriers should always be avoided.

Tips to learn Basic Grammar

If you just started learning English, you first need to know some basic rules of the language. Developing a solid foundation in English grammar will not only help you create your own sentences correctly but will also make it easier to improve your communication skills in both spoken and written English.

1.)   Read a book, newspaper or journal in English that is just above your current level of reading with a dictionary. This will help to learn new vocabulary words in a fun way. This is also a great tip for improving English in a technical field. Even by spending a mere 15 minutes a day, your skills can improve drastically.

2.)   Listen to speeches or watch movies or documentaries in areas you aren’t familiar with are fun tips on improving English. This activity will help improve listening and vocabulary at the same time. At first you can use subtitles, then turn the subtitles off when the listening part of this activity becomes easier.

3.)   Some of the most basic and important English grammar rules relate directly to sentence structure. Some of these rules specify that:

  • A singular subject needs a singular predicate.
  • A sentence needs to express a complete thought.

4.)   Once you have a general idea of the basic grammar rules for sentence structures, it is also helpful to learn about the parts of speech:

  • A noun names a person, animal, place, thing, quality, idea, activity, or feeling.  A noun can be singular, plural, or show possession.
  • A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun, like: “I”, “you”, or “they.”
  • A verb shows action and can be a main verb or a helping verb, like: “were” or “has.”  Verbs also indicate tense and sometimes change their form to show past, present, or future tense. Linking verbs link the subject to the rest of the sentence and examples are: “appear” and “seem.”
  • An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun. It adds meaning by telling how much, which one, what kind, or describing it in other ways.
  • An adverb will modify a verb and tell more about it, like how much, when, where, why, or how.
  • A preposition shows a relationship between nouns or pronouns. It is often used with a noun to show location, like: “beside”, “in”, or “on”. It can also show time, direction, motion, manner, reason, or possession.
  • Conjunctions connect two words, phrases, or clauses, and common ones are: “and”, “but”, and “or.”

5.)   Although less fun, learning grammar is an essential tool for English. Knowing English grammar inside and out is one of the top tips on learning English. This should be tackled at the same time as both reading and listening exercises so that you understand how the sentence is constructed, and can manipulate it later to suit your needs.

6.)   Keeping a diary allows you to utilize all of your English skills that you’ve been practicing with reading, listening and grammar. As a bonus, you can go back over your entries and grade yourself, noting where you can improve more. This is one of the greatest tips on improving English at any stage of learning the language.

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