key to be fluent in english

English, as any other language, should be seen as skill rather than theory. One who is good at English is he who is fluent in speaking and writing his idea in English - those who can explain how sentences are formed are called linguists. If your target is to be fluent, then do everything you think will work for you. Phenomena that describe this best are swimming, riding bicycle, and driving. You should invest your time as well as effort to train and familiarize yourself with English.

#1 Learn the Language, not About the Language

If you focus only on grammar, that’s a one-step-further strategy in learning a language. However, grammar does not guarantee your target language mastery. When learning a new language, you should let it flows like you never give objection to the grammar of your native language. Be fully aware of grammar in only grammar learning and situation where you have to use formal language. In using any language, be less aware of the grammar. The most natural use of all languages is in less grammatical form.

Sometimes, you need to act as an empty glass that is always ready to be filled with whatever liquid. In case of learning English, you do not need to examine every single word of a sentence you listen or read. Just take them and use them repeatedly. Unconsciously, you have made your brain familiar with expressions you repeatedly use. In turns, your fluency increases. In maximizing your fluency, input is the key.

Fluency is the measurement

People judge you by how fluent and how flexible you are in using the language. If you are good in, for example, bahasa Indonesia, it means that you are flexible in using it both in written and spoken form. Besides, you can easily notice people’s sentences - spoken and written.

Have you ever wondered why you think you are fluent in using your native language? Did you start learning it by learning the grammar? Or you just receive it like an empty glass?

People will judge your ability not by how grammatical your sentence is - but by how fluent you are in using the language. Remember that language is a medium to deliver idea and feeling. As long as you express it well, even not in grammatical form, the objective of the language has been met.

#2 I am shy: Act like a baby

If you are a shy person, or let’s say, introverted person, acting like a baby would be the best strategy in learning a language. A baby does not care about people around him. He would never estimate how people think about him. Thing a baby knows is just transform his intention into any sound without paying attention to how people would react. You can start doing this by immitating someone you think he/she is fluent in English. Your room would be the best place to do this because it is private. Since no one will laught at you, you then will not be shy.

You have been familiar with the formula

When you were child, you listened to sentences over and over till you could speak it fluently. People around you laughed at you when you made a mistake but you did not care about it. You have already owned, have been familiar with, and have successfully practiced the formula to be fluent in producing spoken language since you were child. Why don’t you apply it in learning English?

#3 Making mistake proofs you are learning

For some people, making a mistake means the end of the world. Thing they do not realize is that they are still learning. It is almost impossible to swim at first time you jump into swimming pool, isn’t it?!. You should set all mistakes you’ve made as your best friends. The more you make it, the more you learn. However, mistake should be followed up by doing critical review. You should track in which part you are weak at, then revise it.

#4 Practice anytime and anywhere

Thing that makes language is easy to be learned is its flexibility to practice. You can even practice speaking in your heart - by doing self-talk. For example, when you are riding or driving, you can narrate your actual feeling and describe the traffic like sports commentator talking to no one. To convince yourself that you are doing this well, if needed, provide a handy recorder to record your voice. At night before sleeping, listen to your recorded voice and assess what sector should be trained more - intonation, pronunciation, filler, etc. It is different with pure science that does not allow you to practice while walking, jogging, riding, driving, cooking, taking a bath, etc.