I’ve been an English speaker for what seems like a lifetime, so you’d think that by now I’ve become so comfortable with the English language that I could stop doing all the following:
- Speaking with myself during the day to keep my spoken English skills sharp;
- Preparing for important English conversations by doing some spoken self-practice;
- Speaking with myself in the car while driving to work etc.
And I warmly suggest you don’t ever give up such habits either – no matter how good your English becomes!
Why am I saying this?
It’s simple enough, my friend non-native English speaker:
The moment you stop actively working on your fluency, it will start stalling!
The only exception is when you speak in English with others 24/7/365!
Fair enough, if you meet these requirements:
- You work in an industry where you’re required to CONSTANTLY speak in English;
- You have plenty of English speaking friends and you hang out with them all the time;
- You’re going out with an English speaker or you speak in English in your family,
… then you’re indeed fixed for life in terms of your oral English development.
I mean – if you speak with other English speakers pretty much ALL THE TIME, you may not much time left in your life to speak with yourself, and after all – all that communication with other people is enough to exercise your mouth (which is your most important muscle – don’t you ever forget that!) and maintain your English fluency.
If, on the other hand, your English conversations are quite limited to the same topics day in, day out, you should definitely top it up with some spoken practice with yourself – or else you’re running the risk of stalling your fluency and not making any progress at all.
If your English conversations are very few and far between, you simply need self-practice!
Let’s say for argument’s sake, that you work in a fast food restaurant.
You can service people at the till, take orders and communicate with your colleagues in the kitchen, and your spoken English skills are quite strong in those areas.
But here’s the thing, my friend – you may not be such a fluent English speaker when it comes to speaking about other things in life ❗
When you visit institutions such as banks, recruitment agencies or any other similar establishment, your spoken language wouldn’t be adequate to communicate with people in those settings, so if you want to stand a chance to better your life (get a better job, get a promotion, have a buzzing social life etc.) you simply have to TRAIN YOURSELF to speak well in English by imagining yourself in those situations.
What about me? Isn’t my work environment sufficient to maintain my English fluency?
Yes, I do work in a team consisting of native English speakers.
Yes, I only speak in English at work.
Yes, I communicate with other department managers on a regular basis.
In theory, it should be enough to maintain my fluency and ensure a constant development of my English fluency.
In reality though, it doesn’t happen that way. For one thing, my conversations with other people are quite routine ones – I have to talk about pretty much the same things all the time. Secondly – those conversations don’t occur often enough to ensure constant development of my fluency and ability to say new things all the time.
Well, I would still experience a certain degree of development, but it wouldn’t be enough for me for the simple reason that …
Our standards increase all the time!
There are folks who don’t desire much in their lives.
Thousands of foreign English speakers are happy to move to an English speaking country, find ANY job they can, and just stay there for the rest of their lives while enjoying the simple pleasures of life on the days off – a few drinks with friends, a nice movie, maybe doing some shooting on the gaming console.
And there’s nothing wrong with that! 😉
It’s just that I’ve always been the type of person who wants more, and I just can’t settle with what I have – whether it’s my personal development, my finances or my career.
And I’m pretty sure you’re the same type of person – otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this blog trying to figure out how to improve your English fluency, am I not correct in saying this?
Needless to say, for folks like us who are in a constant pursuit for improvement of our English, it just isn’t good enough to stay at the same level of English for the rest of our lives.
Our standards are rising all the time, we want to be able to speak more fluently, more native-like, so what was deemed a good level of spoken English a year ago, for example, just doesn’t cut it for me or you today!
Are you telling me Robby that I absolutely require regular spoken English practice even when I’ve achieved a very decent level of spoken English?
That’s exactly what I’m trying to say in today’s article, my friend! 😉
Your ability to speak in English is a VERY PRACTICAL SKILL; it’s almost the same as your ability to perform physical tasks.
You may be a very able athlete, but if you don’t work out for a full year, let’s say, your ability to perform in terms of sports is going to drop significantly and you’ll go back to where you were 5 years ago.
Same goes with your English speech.
Imagine what would happen if you didn’t speak for a full year? I guess I don’t have to be telling you that it would indeed have a detrimental effect on your fluency and while your comprehension would still stay the same, your ability to use the various means of expression would decline big time.
It’s happened to my Russian, by the way.
I haven’t used the language for a long time, and now that I get the odd opportunity to speak with Russian speakers, I struggle big time which is a clear indicator of my active vocabulary having reduced over the years.
Sure enough, if you keep using the English language in your everyday life, it wouldn’t deteriorate by such a great margin, but the bottom line of this article is the following:
If you want to keep your English fluency SHARP and constantly improving, you should definitely do regular spoken practice sessions with yourself in order to try out and learn new means of expression!
Thanks for tuning in,
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!