English is the most spoken language in the world, and as such, many non-English speakers want to learn it. After all, there are about 1.5 billion reasons to do so. While many people speak English as a second language, it’s not the same as having it as your mother tongue.
How Do I Achieve (Spoken) Native Speaker Fluency in English?
Achieving similar fluency to a native English speaker requires a lot of hard work and practice. Doing it on your own is nearly impossible since it’s easy to get discouraged and/or procrastinate. Learning in a classroom can keep you motivated, but you won’t get the personal attention you need. Additionally, some classroom English teachers aren’t native speakers themselves.
If you want to speak English like a native, English lessons with a native speaker can help. An option that offers both motivation, personal attention, and native English-speaking teachers is private online tutoring. Eurekly is a great site that offers just this.
When you first visit the site, you’ll be asked several questions about your current level of English, your study goals, and your availability. The site’s algorithm then generates a list of suitable tutors for you.
You can further narrow your search by filtering tutors based on the language they speak. Type “English” into the filter field, and you’ll get a list of tutors who are native English speakers. You can also easily see what other languages they speak. It will probably be easiest for you to learn English with a tutor who also speaks your native language.
When you find a tutor who you enjoy learning with, you can set a regular learning schedule so that you can achieve English fluency. Relying on monthly classes isn’t going to cut it. Even once a week isn’t a lot if you want to learn to speak English like a native. Twice-weekly sessions, coupled with plenty of solitary practice, is a good start. The more time you have to practice, the better. The more time you dedicate to learning a foreign language, the faster and more thoroughly you can master it.
Should I Learn American English or British English?
There are several different types of English (and accents): American, British, Canadian, Australian, South African, and more. The most popular are the first two. That being said, there is no right or wrong answer when it comes to which type of English you should learn. The answer largely depends on your personal situation and aspirations.
If you plan on moving to the United States, there’s no question that you should learn American English. If you plan on moving to the United Kingdom or a country in the EU, British English is likely more useful. Bear in mind that the differences between the types of English aren’t only grammar, vocabulary, slang, and phrases, but also accents and pronunciation.
Many people who watch movies from America aspire to speak “Hollywood English,” and if this is your situation, learning American English with a native American is the best option.
While there are certainly differences between all the types of English, the good news is that they are all variations of the same language. If you learn one, you’ll be able to understand the others, for the most part.
English Language Exposure Is Important in Achieving Fluency
Whichever type of English you want to acquire, it’s important to expose yourself to as much of that particular English as possible. It’s not hard to find American and British English movies, radio programs, podcasts, etc. While you can’t expect to learn a language solely from watching movies, it can be a good accompaniment to English lessons with native speakers.
Research from the University of Washington says that when people are exposed to multiple languages, it can help them when they want to learn one. The researchers say that the brain is always working in the background, so the more languages you hear, the more the brain picks up information, even without you even realizing it.
Of course, if you don’t practice speaking the language, exposure and private lessons won’t help you speak like a native. You need to put in time and effort in order to make headway.
Invest in Learning English, Invest in Yourself
Learning English with a private online tutor is an investment, but it’s also one of the more affordable ways to go about it. Online tutors offer rates that are considerably less expensive than in-person tutors or college courses.
Moreover, the money you invest in learning English can reap untold rewards. English fluency can open up both personal and professional opportunities that are closed to non-native English speakers. If you’re ready to invest in your future, now’s the time to sign up for English lessons with native speakers.