06 May 2020
If you ask any person studying English what their purpose is, the answer will be something like this - “I want to speak fluently, I need a fluent level”. And then misunderstanding and confusion begins. First of all, because fluent is not a level of language skills in its classical sense. When we hear this word, a picture of perfect speech, using a variety of grammatical constructions and idioms, and most importantly - the complete absence of errors emerges in the head. However, if we turn to the dictionary, we will see that in the translation fluent means “smooth, easy” and not a word about the number of errors =)
To better understand what fluency is, we want to give an example from our own experience.
There are two students: one of them has a pre-intermediate level and is terribly worried not to know the depths of grammar and is lost at the sight of complex lexical constructions. However, in the speech he perfectly turns to the knowledge that is in the head, and, forgetting the word, quickly looks for synonyms and expresses his thoughts easily and clearly. Of course, the phrases of this person are simple, but they sound relaxed, with natural intonations and pauses.
The second student has a high level of his English, deep knowledge of grammar. It would seem that this is fluency. However, this theory is rarely used in practice in live speech, and therefore the person does not feel confident, so there are prolonged pauses, attempts to find words, unnatural “leaps” in speech.
It is easy to guess that the feature of fluency is characteristic of the first student. And precisely because fluency is not a separate level of language proficiency, but the quality of speech, the ability to use what a person already knows at his current level.
So to summarize. Fluent English is when:
1. To sound natural and easy, you can use some tricks:
There are many vague expressions in the English language, so why not use them for your own purposes. Here are a few examples of such expressions:
a kind of, a sort of, a type of, or something, thing, stuff, what do you call it ?, what’s it called?
2. No one banned the intonation in speech =). If you want to highlight some part of the sentence, focus on it:
He said WHAT?
Yes, I know, buuuuuuut ...
3. If you do not know the answer to the question or cannot formulate an idea, take a little time:
Well, that’s a great question ...
I’ve never heard / thought / read about that ...
Ok let me think ...
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