Readers Forum [Archives:2003/634/Education]

May 5 2003

How to be fluent speakers of English

Dear classmates,
Have you ever thought of being able to speak English as fluently as any of your teachers? For me, I think it is possible. But the question is, how to achieve that?
Many students of English are often heard arguing. “Ideas in English do not come to us as naturally as they come in Arabic.” In this context you should not forget that English is a foreign language to you, but Arabic is your mother tongue. In order to gain fluency in any language, you must use it in different contexts as often as you can. It seems tiring, doesn't it? But you can get proficiency in any language if you work hard. Then you will be surprised when you find yourself thinking in that language easily and naturally.
No doubt, you will gradually acquire some common words in English through your study, but it is not enough to memorize them. You should use them in different contexts and situations. When you do that, those words will become your own.
To be a fluent English speaker, you must practice it every day. As a student of English, you should read, write, speak and listen to English as often and as much as you can. You should try to read a lot of books in simple English. Try to act dialogues aloud with yourself when you are alone, and shout or whisper the lines for a change. Another way to be a fluent English speaker, is that when you hear a new word or structure, say it a few times to yourself before writing it down. Practice it several times, not just once.
It is a truism that language is practice, so you should practice a new word or structure more than once. You should listen to news in English on the radio and TV regularly. It is a call to you, my classmates, to speak with your partners. Assert yourself among the English speakers; make mistakes but look for the correction. And never feel bashful (shy) to speak in English, with your classmates or your teachers. Speaking a lot will give you self-confidence.
My classmates, don't worry too much about grammatical mistakes during a discussion or a conversation. You should not worry about others laughing at you when you make mistakes because it is better to make mistakes now rather than in front of your students in future. And remember, my dear, if you love something sincerely, you will surely achieve it. Finally lets remind ourselves that where there is a will, there is a way.
Good luck to you in learning English.

By Mohammed Ahmed Al-Kamali
Third level
Faculty of Education, Al-Mahweet