The best way to speak like a native English speaker is to surround yourself with native English speakers. But for most students, the next best thing that they can do is to immerse themselves with English media and enrol in an English class in Singapore. Although the quality of instruction is almost always excellent, the problem is that students can’t expose themselves to English at all times when outside of the classroom.
So, how do you speak like a native English speaker if you can’t surround yourself with native speakers? Here are 4 practical tips that can help trivialise this issue.
1. Familiarise yourself with idioms, slang, and modern expressions
Idioms and slangs are nuances of any language that are often glossed over when you are beginning to learn English. This isn’t necessarily the instructors’ fault because these are intricacies that are best picked up when you interact with native speakers.
Understanding and using phrases such as “taking candy from a baby” (which means something is very easy) and “you’ve got your work cut out for you” (which means something is very hard) are phrases that help make you sound more like a native English speaker. Do also note the everyday expressions and slang typically used on the Internet to further enhance your understanding of English in informal settings.
2. Pick up the pace
Try to record yourself speaking in your native language. Now, record yourself speaking in English. Compare the pace and clarity of how you talk in your native language with how you speak in English.
Do you notice the difference? Now, your goal is to speak like how you do in your native language but in English. Despite this being a lot easier said than done, take heart and still try to record yourself regularly speaking in English and focus on improving your pronunciation, pace, and flow.
3. Always practice
If there are the ABCs of selling (Always be Closing), there’s also the ABPs of language learning (Always Be Practicing). The best speakers don’t just happen to be the best out of the blue. They practised, practised, and practised. Either by reading a ton of books or restricting themselves to English-only in their media consumption, there are a ton of ways you can train your language skills in English.
Another good way to practice and have fun at the same time is to try and sing popular English songs or recite famous English speeches. This way, you have a frame of reference for how the original speakers said the speech or sang the song compared to how you do it.
4. Ask for help
If you’re already enrolled in an English class, don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. In addition to the class hours, try to see if your instructors can provide extra help to you. Some might be able to help you with extra sessions for a slight premium. If your instructors can’t help, try to see if your classmates can. Either way, what’s important is that you find a way to practice pronouncing English words more often.
Becoming proficient in English isn’t a walk in the park, much less speaking like a native unless you put in the effort required. But with the aid of an English class, constant training, and helpful tips like the ones mentioned above, you’ll be proficient and speak just like a native in no time! At English Explorer, you can also find IELTS courses available to help prepare you for the proficiency test!