Now that I can communicate in English with ease, I take everything that comes with it for granted.
Looking back in time, however, I can clearly see that many aspects of my life in an English speaking country AND my personal life in general weren’t as fulfilled as these days.
Even such a simple task as asking for price of roast chicken in a supermarket would make my heart race with the prospect of stuttering and not being understood properly!
Here’s a list I came up with when trying to list as many advantages of being a fluent English speaker as I possibly could. The list is not exhaustive by any means, but it does paint a pretty clear picture of what an average foreign English speaker can achieve when possessing good English communication skills!
And please don’t get me wrong – I didn’t create this list to brag about my fluency and make those who haven’t achieved it yet, feel bad about themselves. This list is rather intended to serve as a reminder of what awaits you at some stage in the future IF you’re among those foreigners still struggling with fluency!
Does that sound too trivial? Guess what – it isn’t! English fluency has definitely given me the freedom to do ANY IMAGINABLE THING in an English speaking country – banking, working, socializing, following current affairs, going out dealing with institutions, helping my kids with homework – you name it! I don’t have to ask anyone to help me which is often the case with other foreigners who don’t speak English well enough to understand everything they’re asked or everything they given to read.
Another general concept, but it’s true nonetheless. When I wasn’t fluent in English, my self-esteem was low more often than not because of all the embarrassing situations I was encountering on a daily basis. While I realize that it is possible to feel 100% confident even if you speak broken English, achieving fluency in the language has definitely boosted my confidence. Now I enjoy speaking with other English speakers instead of freaking out!
Do you think you suck at English? Read this article!
3. Bigger Perspective on Things
Being able to communicate with a lot of people in English has made me realize how diverse the world is and I’ve also learnt to listen to different opinions. I wouldn’t say that I was narrow-minded back in the day when I just moved to Ireland, but I’ve definitely broadened my horizons ever since I’ve been able to speak fluent English. I’m also not saying that one can’t have a deep and profound understanding of the world around us without knowing a single world in English; it’s just that English fluency has opened up my mind in a lot of ways other than just my ability to communicate with other English speakers.
4. Rewarding Job
I had to work in a job I hated for years – and all because my spoken English skills didn’t come up to standards. Now I’m enjoying working in a company were I can realize my full potential and were I’m feeling appreciated!
Looking for a job? Check out these job-seeking English phrases!
Years ago I used to go out only with other foreigners which basically means lack of any integration whatsoever. Now I consider myself being integrated in the local English speaking society because I work in an English speaking environment, I socialize with my English speaking friends, and I take every opportunity to communicate with natives as an equal without emphasizing differences in terms of national background and so on.
6. Daily Conversations
Years ago I used to struggle when responding to such simple greetings as “Hi, how’s things?” I would try to respond with a thorough answer, and it would confuse both me and my conversation partner. Nowadays I can engage in typical English small talk which basically means swapping pleasantries and mostly talking about weather!
7. I Can Help Others!
Funnily enough, my years long struggling with fluency has provided me with an incredibly deep insight into a foreigner’s mind and how it works when trying to improve English. Now I’m paying it forward by running this blog and being an active YouTube vlogger, and it’s the most rewarding feeling ever!
8. Reading Fluency
Well, to be honest with you – I started reading English fiction well before I became a fluent English speaker. Reading fluency and oral fluency are two different things, and your reading fluency won’t necessarily translate into spoken fluency. Generally speaking, however, I can say with all honesty that I would never have mastered a complete English reading fluency if not for my relentless pursuit of overall fluency!
9. Travelling Comfort
I’ve only been to a few holiday destinations during the last few years, but I can definitely say that if I didn’t speak English fluently my holidaying experiences wouldn’t be as nice as they were. Ordering food, going out and enjoying attractions goes hand in hand with the English language which has become the modern lingua franca – there’s no doubt about that!
Is the English language taking over? Read my opinion on it!
10. Watching TV
While many of my fellow foreigners keep watching their own national TV channels, I fully enjoy the vast array of programs available via the local cable! I watch movies without subtitles (unless English used in that particular movie is heavily accented and stuffed with slang), I watch my favorite TV shows and programs (like Mythbusters) in their original language, and I don’t feel any need whatsoever to watch Latvian TV channels online! You may think I’m not a patriot big enough, but I don’t buy that.
Are you still living in your native language bubble? Time to wake up!
11. Active Participation in Social Media
Sure enough, I could be making YouTube videos in Latvian and spending all my time on Draugiem.lv which is the single biggest Latvian online hangout. Being a fluent English speaker, however, allows me to increase my online audience hundredfold! I post regular YouTube videos in English, I tweet in English and I have a Facebook profile with hundreds of English speaking friends from all over the world!
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’m highlighting some of the text in red? Read this article and you’ll learn why it’s so important to learn idiomatic expressions and how it will help you to improve your spoken English!
P.S.S. Are you serious about your spoken English improvement? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!