Tips on how to speak fluently

Tips on how to speak fluently

In this blog post I share some tips on how to ‘think’ in a foreign language



I found this article that talks about 7 science-based methods to thinking in a foreign language. The article looked interesting so I read it.


Well, I agree with some of the suggestions, but I may not agree so much with others.


Here are the tips. You can read about them in detail at the Source


1. Focus on Fluency, Not Accuracy

2. Visualize

4. If It Does Not Work, Translate Your Thoughts

5. Write in a Journal

6. Read as Often as You Can

7. Describe Your Environment


1. As a teacher, in general, I don’t agree with the first tip.  I agree that we need to focus on fluency, meaning that we should take any opportunity to listen to living language and ‘repeat’ it until it ‘sticks’. But ignoring accuracy is a mistake, I think. I have met many people in the UK who learnt the language by ‘picking it up’. They made a lot of grammatical mistakes because they never checked out what they had heard or never studied the language formally at all. They speak a language that sounds great – or not – but that is full of mistakes. It also gives the impression that the speaker is uneducated or even illiterate.


2. I think it is a great idea. As you have probably heard, the brain cannot differentiate between ‘real’ or physical experiences and the images and feelings you generate by visualizing them. Spend some time visualizing that you already speak the language you are learning and what you are using it for. Go for the feelings rather than the images! Imagine doing things in and with the new language that you truly enjoy!


3. This is what the article say: ” Some experts say that, in order to learn a language, you need to think ONLY in that language. This is certainly not something you can achieve at the beginning phases of your language learning, but you should eventually start aiming toward such ‘direct thinking’.


When you translate everything you think, you may get stuck in between words, or lose the idea along the way. But, when you think directly in the target language, you can easily detect the gaps in your knowledge and wake those dormant vocabulary phrases and words you do not use when actually speaking the language.”


I call ‘direct thinking’ ‘thinking ‘inside’ a foreign language. Speaking ‘inside the language’ means to me that you not only speak by thinking in the language but you understand the culture, the history, and ‘the way of thinking ‘*of that nation whose language you speak. *Obviously, people do not think the same way, but in my observation, different nations and regions tend to show similarities in the way they use their language and express themselves. There is this great video on the topic. CLICK


I believe that  until you ‘move inside the language’, you don’t speak  the language fluently. How can you do that? I am going to discuss in detail it in another post.


5. Well, I don’t like writing when learning another language. I often find that learners can read and write in the target language well but not able to say one correct and meaningful sentence. I would rather suggest to record your diary in the target language. Then listen to the recording and see what you could have said differently and if you can, rerecord it. You can train yourself to think in the target language by making your ‘learning’ practical and personal.


6. I think that reading a book in a foreign language is quite hard. It took me a long time to be able to read a book in a way that I could enjoy it. To be able to understand someone else’s train of thoughts and enjoy the story and the messages require high command of the language. So, reading is important; it is a great way to gain a wide passive vocabulary. However, to me, listening is more useful.


7. It think it is a good idea to find something to ‘think about’. Also, this tip reminds me of a type of Mindfulness exercise, called something like being mindful of your environment. Read more about Mindfulness here, click.  Mindfulness can help you calm down, refocus and release tension or anxiety. Here are a few VIDEOs to introduce you to Mindfulness. 







If you want to ‘ lean’  English with me, get in touch by clicking on the pictures below.


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