Sometimes I find it hard to believe myself that I run this blog part-time. Yes, in case you didn’t know it yet, I have a full-time job and all the writing and video production I have to do for this website is done in evenings, at night, or early mornings.
Anyway, I don’t regret any of it because I’m surrounded by English speakers while at work and it provides me with full English immersion. What better conditions can a foreign English speaker wish for in order to constantly improve and maintain English fluency? When I came to Ireland first, for instance, I had a warehouse job working with other foreigners and most of the time I was speaking with myself, so I really don’t think I should be complaining now!
Even my current job, however, entails duties and responsibilities which see me spend a lot of time on my own – such as organizing and counting stock and entering data on a PC. Quite naturally, I’m not involved in any lengthy conversations with my colleagues when performing those duties and a few times a year there are periods of a few weeks straight when I’m sitting at the PC and entering new sales orders.
Do I miss out on my full English immersion sessions when it happens?
Not at all! I keep speaking English with myself even when entering new product specifications on the computer and it helps me greatly to constantly stay in the English speaking mindset.
I Speak Out All Details of the Sales Orders
As I Enter Them to Get My English Going!
Thursdays are normally my busiest days at work and that’s when I get most of my spoken English practice. I have to make sure certain orders are going out on Thursday and it involves a great deal of communication with knitting and production departments as well as updating my colleagues on those orders.
When I’m sitting at my desk, on the other hand, I have no other choice but to speak with myself, and in real terms it means I speak out all information I’m entering. If I enter a sales order, I name the type of a product and quantity ordered. If I enter a new product on the database, I comment on the specifications that have to be entered and it actually helps me organize my work on top of being a great way of maintaining full English immersion and thinking in English.
And the great thing about such spoken English practice is that it doesn’t look weird at all!
If the first thing that crossed your mind when reading about speaking out details of information being entered on a PC was – “What the others will think about me if I did the same?” – you can rest assured that it’s by far less embarrassing than if you’re caught simply speaking with yourself while doing some other task. (And again – it depends on circumstances and HOW LOUDLY you do it – I, for instance, always pack orders and count stock in a slight whisper to maintain full English immersion!)
When people see you sitting at the desk and typing on a keyboard, they actually half expect you to be moving your lips. It helps many people to concentrate on what they’re doing, so why would you be any different?
Remember – there’s no need to speak out very loud; all you have to do to get your spoken English going is move lips as you pronounce the words and I personally have achieved a state when I can speak in the ‘mute mode’. My lips are moving, but I speak in a very, very slight whisper; it’s some sort of an inner chat.
Automatic Speech Helps You
Ingrain English into Your Brain!
If you want to speak English fluently and naturally, you want the process to happen effortlessly, without any conscious effort. In order to achieve that, you have to make speaking English your second nature.
Personally I’ve found developing a habit of commenting on mundane tasks in English one of the best ways to make sure your English speech process happens automatically ❗
I’ve noticed many foreign nationals switching between English and their native language when performing such tasks, and I believe they’re doing themselves a disservice.
For example, I had visited a doctor and when he was writing a prescription, I could hear him mutter to himself in his native language. On another occasion I had dropped into my local bank, and the same thing happened – when the girl at the information desk looked up my details, I could hear her use her native language.
Maybe those particular occasions can be put down to embarrassment to use English when speaking with oneself, or simply lack of awareness of benefits of maintaining constant full English immersion. Another argument in favor of doing it is simply because it sounds more professional in front of customers and work colleagues, but I would warmly suggest you to do it even if you’re alone.
The benefits of ingraining English into your brain by far outweigh any embarrassment you might experience, and to be completely honest with you – I personally don’t see any reason why you should be embarrassed when doing that.
Even if you live in your home country and work in a job where daily procedures are conducted using your native language, you can still comment on mundane tasks in English in a slight whisper.
Well, probably entering information such as sales orders would prove problematic if the information is given in your language so you’d better not run the risk of making mistakes while entering the data. Still, it is totally possible to have the inner chat with yourself in English while doing simple tasks such as counting stock or packing orders.
Remember – to become a fluent English speaker, you need to learn how to switch off your native language completely, and developing a habit of commenting on entering data on a PC is a great way of making it happen! 😉
P.S. Would you like to find out why I’mÂ highlightingÂ 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!