How Can I Learn to Speak English Fluently and Confidently?
Many people want to learn to speak English or improve in English. They know that this would open up better opportunities for them. However, the methods normally used to teach English are not the best for actually learning to speak English. Often, the English teachers are really not able to speak fluently themselves. They teach rules for English grammar and have the student memorize lists of words. Then, when the student tries to speak English or even understand others speaking, he finds it impossible. He can’t say anything because he is too busy reviewing rules for English grammar and trying to recall words from his vocabulary lists. There isn’t time to do this and speak. Understandably, some people then give up on learning English.
Little Children Speak and Learn English Naturally
It’s very easy to see that They don’t do it by studying grammar or lists of words to learn. They listen to the language around them. They hear certain phrases and words many times. They copy what they hear, they speak, they never ask how to learn English. They gradually figure out how the language works, without anyone telling them. This is an amazing ability that we all have. Some people think that it’s a special ability that only children have. But this isn’t true – adults can do this too if they have the right method. You can see this sometimes when merchants are trying to sell you something. They know a few phrases to say in many languages, and they can say them without fear. This is the natural way to learn to speak another language – the way we all learned to speak our first language.
Mimicking the Natural Way
So if you could learn this way, you would throw away your grammar books. You would listen many times to simple words and phrases and you would begin to understand. And begin to be able to say simple things, and to respond and answer easy questions. This is the path that AJ Hoge is following in his course he calls “Effortless English”. He is a teacher of English as a second language (ESL). He saw that many students of English spent years trying to learn English but did not learn to speak. Why? He saw that the way they were being taught was wrong. So he developed his own method with what he calls mini-stories. The student listens to the story and has to respond to easy questions, usually with simple one word answers such as “yes!”, “no!” He calls this “listen and answer”. So actually speaking English is a big part of the program right from the start.
Part of this system is that there is a lot of repetition of words and phrases. This is part of the “deep learning” that has to happen to make speaking easy. The truth is that it’s not exactly effortless, but it isn’t a struggle either – it’s more like a flow, learning by immersion in the stream.
Does this Way Really Work?
Well apparently this way really does work. Many thousands of people from all over the world have taken this course, downloading the lessons, learning English with mp3. They listen and do the exercises at their own pace. Many of these students have said how much they like the course, how their English has improved and how much they like the teacher. He is very dedicated and really wants to help the students learn. They also meet other students online and learn from each other, and learn how to learn. In taking the course, the students become members of a club, all learning English together and helping each other. There is new material coming, it seems, almost every week. There’s a lot to keep up the interest and the fire that keeps the student wanting to learn.