Video Transcript Below:
Hi guys, hello my dear fellow foreign English speakers and welcome back to Robby’s English Harmony video blog!
And obviously, if you’re listening to this as an audio file on my podcast, welcome back to English Harmony podcast. So in today’s video I’m going to address a question that some of you might have.
Namely – “Robby you keep going on about these English fluency issues and that it is all because we have acquired the English language primarily as a means of written language, basically we’ve been writing and filling in gaps in textbooks and translating to and from our native language. And that’s why we have developed this terrible writing mode syndrome whereby we prepare speech as if writing before we actually speak out loud and it obviously interferes with the actual conversation and all that and we keep getting native language, our native language mixed in with the English language in our minds, right? But how is that any different from anyone else who might be just learning the English language? Who might be just starting it. Basically, beginner English learners. Surely, those people would have the same type of issues, right?”
How Are Your English Fluency Issues Any Different From Those All Beginner Learners Face?
And here’s the deal. Yes, if those people learn the English language the traditional way, surely, they would be having the same kind of issues. Yes.
Maybe they wouldn’t be so obvious right from the get-go, but a couple of years down the line, they would become more pronounced, right? Because the more that person would be able to kind of say, the more frequently they would be having those situations where they can’t say anything, where they get stuck for words, right? But someone who learns the language – or any language for that matter – the natural way, by way of speaking, those people wouldn’t be actually experiencing these very same issues! And here is why.
Learning English Naturally Makes All the Difference!
When you learn a language by way of speaking, all that translation – well, certainly there is a certain degree of translation at all times because you cannot learn a new language from scratch, without translating at least some of those new words into your native language, right?
But what I’m talking about is as soon as you have the basics covered, every single new word and phrase and all that that you learn is built on your previous knowledge.
It’s not necessarily translated to and from your native language, right? So those people would be building that language the natural way, just like the way that you would be learning your native language for that matter, right? So they would not be having these issues.
And why am I so convinced of that? Well, I actually have a first-hand experience with that. I’m a native Latvian speaker, right? Latvian is my mother tongue, but I also happen to be a Russian speaker. Russian was my second language. And I learned Russian by way of speaking. I was just speaking with other kids when I was growing up and eventually I ended up a fluent Russian speaker. Now, I haven’t used the language for a long, long time and as a matter of fact, my English is so much more fluent than my Russian, right?
My Spoken Russian, For Example, Is Worse Than My English – But I Don’t Experience ANY Fluency Issues!
But the thing is, even though I struggle to say something in Russian, if I had to use the language on the rare occasion, it’s not the same fluency issue as the English fluency issue. It’s not the same.
When I get stuck for words, my mind doesn’t start racing, Latvian words don’t jump in between Russian words simply because the Russian language was built as a language on its own in my mind right from the get-go. And that is the basic difference and it actually makes a world of difference.
And the thing is we, struggling English speakers who’ve learned the English language the wrong way, we have to restructure the whole thing in our brains. We kind of acquired the language in the first place and then we have to go through a long a process of rehabilitation to get rid of all those writing modes and translation modes.
And for those unaware, writing mode of your mind is whereby you kind of… you’re trying to speak but your speech happens in your brain as if you’re writing. You’re kind of preparing the sentence in your head before actually saying it out loud. And as you can imagine, it interferes with your actual speech when you’re trying to speak with someone, right? And it’s all because you acquired the English language primarily by way of writing instead of speaking.
And translation mode of your mind is whereby your native language words constantly jump in in-between the English words and it’s all because you acquired the English vocabulary through your native language. Every single word was at same stage translated into your native language, so that you can understand the English word.
But what it does is – it makes the wrong connections between native language words and English words. And then when you’re trying to speak in English, those native language words kind of jump in between and they interfere with your English speech, right?
So all these issues are just not there and they’ve never been there when I’ve been speaking in Russian, simply because I’ve acquired that language the natural way. And if you think that it’s only possible at a very early stage in your life, in your early childhood basically, it’s not really the case. Because there’s millions of people worldwide who have acquired second and third languages the natural way!
Typically People Who Acquire Languages Socially Don’t Have Fluency Issues
For example, loads of immigrants who come into this country, which is Ireland, I live in Ireland myself.
Many of them don’t have any English and then they start working in this country, they communicate in English with other people and a few years down the line, presto – they can speak very good English and they don’t have those type of issues that we struggling foreign English speakers have.
And actually if you think about it, those folks are in a much better position.
They don’t have the formal educational background and they might be struggling in certain terms of grammar, vocabulary or what not but their speech is more fluent because they don’t encounter those issues on a regular basis, right?
But it’s not to say that we, struggling English speakers don’t have to be working on our English. It doesn’t mean that we have to abandon all hopes of achieving English fluency one day because look at me, I’m speaking completely fluently and I’ll obviously admit that every now and then I still experience slight fluency issues just because like I told you we have to go through the rehabilitation process.
We have to restructure the language in our brain and it means that certain issues will always be with us, right? But it doesn’t mean that we can’t better our English.
It doesn’t mean that we have to stop striving for our fluency betterment, right? It’s quite the opposite my friends. Just because we’re struggling, it makes us even more efficient at improving our English, right? The more you’re aware of your limitations, the bigger the drive that motivates you to keep improving your English no matter what – that’s the way I’ve always perceived my own English improvement routine and that’s the road you should be going down my friends, if you’re anything serious about improving your English fluency, that is.
Bottom Line: Those Who Struggle With English Fluency Have to Restructure Their English
Okay, so this was the basic difference between struggling English speakers and those people who just learn the language the natural way, right? Basically, the difference is they might be worse in terms of vocabulary and grammar and whatnot, but at least they’re not experiencing those debilitating fluency issues.
They don’t get stuck for words, their mind doesn’t start racing because the English language in their brain has been created in a completely separate compartment and that’s the way it should be whereas for the most part in our minds it’s the other way around.
English has been kind of mixed in with our native language and then, over a long period of time it’s our duty, our task to kind of restructure the whole thing, defragment the English knowledge and put it into a compartment on its own so that we don’t experience these fluency issues, at least not to such a high degree as previously, right?
Alright, my friends, thanks for watching this video. If you have any questions, please feel free to publish them in the comment section below! I’ll chat to you soon. Bye bye!
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!