You have been studying English for years. So why don’t you feel comfortable speaking in real conversations? Why is it that you can pass the TOEFL exam, but you keep freezing when it comes to speaking? Why do you still translate your native language into English in your mind before you speak?
Over the past few months I have spoken with many English learners to try to understand the biggest challenges that English students have. I found that “not being able to think in English” is one of the biggest challenges. If you are facing this problem, here are three steps to overcome it!
Learn words and phrases related to situations
Many people are lead to believe that good vocabulary is hard to come by. In order to speak you don’t need to understand every word of Shakespeare. Try to imagine everyday situations and learn few words related to it. For instance, if you are going for a movie, you should be able to explain him which popcorn flavours you would like to buy? Would you like a grilled or toasted sandwich? If you are a barber shop you should explain you want hair dressed short or just trimmed in shape?
Listen to good English via news, radio or movies
One of the main problems with non-native English speaking population is they are not exposed to good English. Hardly anybody around speaks commendable English. Listen to good English. You can subscribe to good news and documentary channels on television or YouTube. You can also subscribe to some of the radio channels which air really good shows. If you get bored and Hollywood excites you, watch movies which have quality English. These listening habits will automatically make you recall few clips in your mind which will definitely help you.
Spare few minutes to think in English
Before going to bed make it a point to spend some time thinking about how you spent your day. But make sure you are thinking in English. This will not only help you improve your speaking skills but help you plan your daily activities effectively.