How to be really good in English if you’re a non-English speaker (like me)

Whether you like it or not, English is a universal language. If you’re a non-English speaker like me, it’s quite hard to be well-versed in it if the people around you don’t converse in English. Lucky those who were born or grew up in an English community where it is their first language.

Here in the Philippines, being able to speak English fluently is important especially since it is our second language. It’s necessary to get hired for certain jobs. But don’t fret because there are certain ways to improve yourself in it.

I made a list of certain ways that worked for me to be fluent in English and hope it would help those who are non-English speakers too.

Be very interested in learning the language. 

If you really want to be fluent in the English language, you need to have the hunger to genuinely learn it. It is important that you do something that’s within your interest in order to not get bored and stop eventually. Learning any kind of skill starts with being curious about it.

Immerse yourself into reading anything. 

Reading, read, read English

Just be sure it’s the topic that interests you most. In today’s modern world with advanced technology surrounding us, there are a lot of ways to learn a particular skill. You may choose to read books or download e-books on your smartphone to be really familiar with the language. I love reading novels and self-help books and my interest in reading about them paved the way for me to be somehow articulate in the language.


Write down unfamiliar words. 

Write, note, notebook

List down unfamiliar words and find their meaning and practice using them in sentences. I do this a lot of times before. I was out of school for a year and there was nothing much to do at home so I read a lot and list down words that are unfamiliar to me. Try to list one or two unfamiliar words a day and use them in sentences. Don’t just write one sentence for each word but at least try to make 5-10 sentences. Once you encounter those words again, it should now be easier for you to understand. Plus points in gaining that confidence as well!

Watch and listen.

Listen, music, headset

Watch and listen to English TV shows, movies, and radio stations. If you’re really serious about being fluent in English, you have to observe how native speakers speak their own language. Do this every day and any time of the day. Expose yourself to how it’s being used and you’ll be surprised how fun it is to emulate their accent. There are a lot of music streaming services that have podcasts to listen to that can enhance your ability to think in English too.

Practice makes perfect. 

Improvised telephone

Whether you’re alone, with someone, in school (if you’re still a student), or somewhere you’re comfortable, try to speak in English. You’ll lose nothing if you do so anyway. As for me, I’m much more comfortable speaking to myself alone 😂😅. I know it’s kind of weird but I do this all the time. Be confident in speaking the language especially if you’re speaking in front of many people. This is a great practice ground for you and there’s nothing to be scared about. Admit that it’s not your mother tongue so you’re not expected to speak it fluently. Forget about the haters and bashers.

Write a diary or journal.

Journal, journaling, write

This is the best and most therapeutic type of activity for me. Believe it or not, journaling helps not only to relieve your stress but also helps to hone your writing skill. Speaking the language is great because you’re able to hear yourself and build your confidence but writing fuels your creativity. The more you write in English, the more you see improvements in your writing. You’re able to edit, proofread and perfect your writing unlike speaking where there’s no chance to edit what you just said. Writing shows how articulate you are in using the language. So don’t disregard writing in English. Try to incorporate reading, watching, listening, speaking, and writing in English all at the same time in your daily habit.


Don’t be anxious about the grammar.

Grammar

Forget about perfecting your grammar at first as this will just come out naturally in the long run. Being conscious about grammar doesn’t let you express yourself which is what the original purpose of writing is. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive with grammar but I suggest not to mind about it first, especially when writing in your journal or diary. This will let you pour your heart out in your writing. Anytime when you’re done, you can always proofread what you’ve written and that’s the time you can allow yourself to make it more grammar friendly.

Be positive and don’t be hard on yourself. 

Practice makes perfect quote

It only takes focus and determination to be good at any skill. Learning a language is not an exception. You won’t be good at it at first. Admit it. But as long as you keep doing these steps, you’re certainly gonna be more confident in speaking and writing in English.

Repeat steps 2 – 8 and don’t stop. You’ll soon realize how fun it is to learn this language and be able to apply it.

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