5 Steps To Improve English Fluency



In today’s episode I share 5 steps that will help you become fluent in English. We’ll focus on improving English Fluency. I also talk about the importance of listening to different accents, creating your own dictionary and having the desire to learn the language in your area of interest so you don’t lose the motivation. Very important if you want to improve English fluency! Enjoy! :)

Episodes mentioned 

[168] Conversation Fillers To Gain Time When Speaking (Inspired by Alexis Sánchez)
Learn With Me – and improve English Fluency!

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Transcript (Improve English fluency)

Hey guys, welcome to the English Made Simple show, this is episode number 176, number one-hundred and seventy six, numero ciento setenta y seis.

Welcome to another awesome episode of EMS my name is Milena from www.englishmadesimple.net – and today I only had to spell my name 3 times over the phone – woohoo!

So, did you enjoy that Rock N Roll jingle from last week that was in episode #175 – it was cool eh?
After launching that episode, I kinda missed playing the guitar. So, I dusted off my old guitar and tried to play a few chords. What I should’ve done is put that guitar back in the case as I’ve realised that I suck at playing guitar. I am just not that good anymore.

I said, I suck at playing guitar. It’s informal way to say you are bad at something. Use it with your friends, I suck at blah blah…. The opposite is I am good at something blah blah.

Here is something that you didn’t know about me…. When I was in New Zealand, I learnt to play guitar when I was 15 years old – I was into Metallica, heavy metal, rock n roll, so I decided to learn how to play the guitar. I also learnt to play drums, that didn’t last long as my parents did not want to buy me a drum kit. So I only played drums in school, I wasn’t good at it, I tried it and gave up pretty quickly.

Ok so what is the point of this story? Why are you telling us this Milena? Why?

What I am trying to say is that I am not ‘fluent’ in playing the guitar anymore. Why? Well, I didn’t practise [playing]. Simple as that. If I had scheduled some time during the week to play it, maybe I would’ve improved my on my guitar skills…but now I just really suck at it.

Hey guys, this is my long introduction to today’s show. Today’s show is going to be your refresher into what steps you can take to becoming fluent in English. I am going to share some new strategies with you on how you can keep your fluency up.

I am often asked this question: how can I improve my English? How can I be more fluent in English?

Both are great questions.

First off, look around you. Where are you at the moment? Are you surrounded by English speakers? Are you in an English speaking country? If you are, I thnk you’ve got it easier than those who are not surrounded by English speakers.

But don’t worry – be happy, the steps I am going to share with you can work even if you are not in an English speaking country.

All the strategies I share today will help you when preparing for English exams such as IELTS or TOEFL.

Alrighty, so let’s begin.

Improve English Fluency

Step 1 – Use it or Forget it – just like my guitar skills. You need to be constantly practising, it has to be a regular thing. You have to schedule some time in your calendar, even it’s for 15 minutes: listen, watch, read something in English.

I should do the same with my Spanish! Ha! True dat.

Yes I can practice with my husband, but when he speaks Spanish, I literally have no idea what he is saying. When I listen to my friend from Mexico speak Spanish, I understand her 100%.

I do watch telenovelas and I listen to podcasts in Spanish.

Step 2 – Learn some catchphrases. This will help you gain time when you speak English so you don’t have to feel in a rush to respond to a question.

Some of this things you could do is – repeat a question.

If you are ever asked a question and it takes you time to respond, what you can do is repeat the question.

For example, where did you go to school?

Hmm, where did I go to school? Uhm… yup, I went to the school for Superheros.

You see what I mean? You gain more time before you think of an answer. We covered this in one of the recent episodes… episode #168 called Conversation Fillers

Step 3 – Create your own dictionary.

Open Microsoft Word or Google Docs – I love Google docs it’s so easy to use.

Choose whichever one you prefer.

You can put a title such as – My own dictionary. Or if you are in Chile, call it – My friend Weon Inteligente.

Format it in such a way that you will enjoy looking up this dictionary. Create columns that will allow you to type in a word, explanation and example – where did you see this word? Write down synonyms and antonyms as well.

Create your own list of words that you found in an article, or when you were watching a movie with Nicholas Cage, listened to Justin Bieber, I don’t know what it is you like to do…

Step 4 – Podcasting, audio books, Ted Talks, TV….don’t stop listening. My advice is to listen to different accents. There are many different accents in English….it’s a good idea to listen to different accents so you are able to understand people around you.

I am not a big proponent of watching TV, more specifically watching the news. Because what you see on TV is a bunch of gibberish. What you should do is watch it for 10minutes, don’t sit there and watch it for an hour, you will go crazy and we don’t want that.

When I was learning Spanish in Chile, I would watch the news for 10 minutes just to be able to connect the words with pictures and that way build up my vocabulary. I wasn’t really interested in what they had to say! As I said, most of the time it’s gibberish. Rubbish.

So just earlier, I mentioned for you guys to listen to different accents. When I was learning English, I always thought of British English or the American English from the States. However, there is also Australian English and there is also New Zealand English… Canadian, South African and so on.

Mind you, just in the States you have different accents – Southern accent from Texas, then we have the accent from New York etc…

I have some resources that I can share with you where you can listen to the Australian accent, New Zealand accent, the British and the American, the big ones.

I will share some links with you where you can listen to the current affairs (current news and what’s happening in the country just so you get used to the accent) You can find these links on my website, www.www.englishmadesimple.net/podcast – Just search for episode number #176

My accent is different, I have a hybrid accent as I like to call it. It’s a mix of Eastern European, New Zealand and Australian.

It’s funny, whenever I leave home I am bound to speak to someone who is not Australian. Like for example, where I get my coffee from I hear English with Italian accent, where I get my lunch from I hear English with a Mauritius accent. They speak French on the Mauritius Islands, right.

Having an accent is a great conversation starter, so don’t worry if you don’t sound like an Australian, American or British. Your accent is you. You will sound like you.

But I digress.

The topic today is English fluency. (Improve English fluency)

The last step I would like to share with you is journaling. One of my listeners, Bete from Brazil is doing just that. She is writing a journal in English.

Step 5 – Journaling, writing in your diary in English…

Writing in your diary is not just for 10 years olds or 12 year olds, haha you can write a diary when you are in your 30’s or 40’s – it is actually a good meditation to start writing in your journal..

So what I am proposing here is to maintain your English you can start writing a journal. Take your notebook out and start writing in English. So what happened today? Start writing about your morning, what did you have for lunch? Where were you today? Were you at work?

The idea is to get some words on paper. Doesn’t matter if it’s incorrect of correct, it’s important to start writing in English.

I want you to start expressing yourself in English. That’s the point of journaling. It doesn’t have to be long as well, it could be just 1 paragraph. At least it’s going to get you start writing in English. That’s the idea!

Fluency is achieved with consistency, regular practice and of course the intention that you really want to learn.

One tip for you guys before we wrap up today is, find a topic that you are interested in.

Are you on a special diet? Do you like reading horoscopes, perhaps read one in English? Do you like watching movies? Learn about film making or if you like composing music, learn about it in English… Just thinking out loud here.

Have a look on YouTube or the Internet if you can find something that is of interest to you. It has to be something of interest to you, otherwise you will lose the interest.

Cool bananas! We’ve reached the end of the show, amigos y amigas.

Thanks for sticking by and listening till the end. Now you can hear my special offer just because you waited till the end of today’s episode. As of 4th April, I have room for only 4 students. I only have a capacity to work with 4 students one to one. This is because I want to dedicate my time to helping you reach your goals faster. If you would like to learn more, find out how you can learn with me, and simply go to www.englishmadesimple.net/contact – you will receive an automated email that explains how we can work together. If you have a particular question, I will respond to you in 24 hours.

I am looking forward to working with you!

Alrighty, it’s time to say goodbye.

Thanks for joining in.

You’ve been an amazing audience, and you’ve been jamming with Milena from English Made Simple. Until next time. Hasta la proxima!

Milena Vujnic

Milena Vujnic

Podcast Host at English Made Simple Podcast


Milena is the host of the English Made Simple Podcast and is passionate about helping English learners break their fear of speaking English so they can confidently make conversation and be understood by other English-speakers.

Milena lives in Australia with her Chileno husband and loves anything podcasting and online coaching and is honoured to be supporting and guiding immigrants from all over the world with her products, programs and coaching services.

Click here to learn more about how you can work with Milena.


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