How to Speak English Fluently

Check out our tips to help you reach English fluency.

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By Emily Duncan · May 23, 2024 · 14 minute read

Want to learn how to speak English fluently? If you put the information in this article to work, you’ll be on your way!

Fluency in English can help you start a new career or advance at your job, travel with ease, and make new connections around the world. After all, English is one of the most spoken languages in the world!

Whether you’re an experienced English speaker or a novice just starting to learn English, there’s something here to help you develop your English skills. We’ve gathered some of our favorite expert tips and tricks to help make your English fluency goals achievable.

How Busuu can help improve your English speaking fluency

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Learn at your own pace

Build English fluency on your schedule with bite-sized lessons designed by experts.

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Practice English on the go

Develop your English speaking fluency from anywhere with offline English lessons.

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Tackle the tricky bits

Automatically track words and grammar that have tripped you up in the past for later practice.

10 Tips on how to speak English fluently

These are our top tips for how to improve your English speaking fluency! No matter your level of English right now, if you put these tips to work, you should see your fluency in English improve over time.

1. Practice listening and speaking

When it comes to building English fluency, one of the most important things you can do is get practice actually using the language.

According to Oxford Languages, “fluency” is defined as the ability to speak and write with ease and accuracy. Many exercises in English courses focus on the written language, but it’s important to make the leap to listening and speaking without written text if you want to become more comfortable with the language, especially if you want to be able to use it in a work environment where you’d need to be able to listen and respond quickly.

That’s why, at Busuu, we use dialogues and speaking exercises to help you learn to listen and practice speaking out loud from the get-go. speak-english-fluently busuu

2. Make a plan and stick to it

To reach true fluency is to be as proficient as possible in a language. Frankly, that takes work! One of the best things you can do to build your English fluency is to create a schedule for your learning and stick to it. At Busuu, our experts recommend making a habit out of learning by tying lessons to something you already do daily – for example, taking an English lesson with your morning coffee or doing one as part of your bedtime routine. If you can seamlessly integrate learning into your day, it’ll be easier to keep going and making progress.

When you learn English with Busuu, you can easily track your progress and create a Study Plan to make sure you stay on track to meet your goals. A Study Plan can help you figure out what you need to do to reach a level of fluency by a specific date and help remind you to keep showing up and getting the learning done.

And we’re not just telling you this because we’re Study Plan fans. Statistically, learners on Busuu who create Study Plans tend to learn more and faster than those who don’t! speak-english-fluently busuu

3. Become pronunciation obsessed

While English grammar tends to be pretty flexible, English pronunciation is famously tricky. If you want to get your English fluency levels up, working on your pronunciation can help! A better grasp of English pronunciation can improve not just how much other people understand you, but also your ability to identify words when you hear them.

Since pronunciation is such a big part of building your fluency in English, Busuu has a dedicated set of lessons focusing solely on English pronunciation. speak-english-fluently busuu

4. Learn from native English speakers

With any language, going from the version of the language you learn in lessons to the way people actually use the language in real life can be challenging. Pronunciation, grammar, intonation, and slang can all make it difficult to sound like a native speaker, even when your English is otherwise perfect.

Want to know how to develop English speaking fluency? Learn English with support from native speakers! Fortunately, when you learn with Busuu, you get tips and feedback on your writing and pronunciation from English speakers thanks to the Conversations feature.

And, if you need a little extra support, you can always get one-on-one tutoring from an experienced English tutor on Verbling.

speak-english-fluently busuu

5. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Studies show that we learn faster when we learn more like children, trying out our growing language skills with abandon and fumbling through our mistakes! Trial and error is part of figuring out how to actually use a language, so don’t be afraid to take a leap. That’s how to achieve fluency in English!

You could attend English-language events, practice with English speakers in your life, or even travel or move to an English-speaking place to learn through immersion.

In the meantime, be bold in your shared exercises on Busuu and our awesome community of native English speakers can help you learn from your mistakes! Plus, Smart Review will automatically capture vocabulary and grammar you’ve struggled with during lessons, so mistakes simply become quiz questions for later practice.

speak-english-fluently busuu

You can start working on your English fluency right now

speak-english-fluently busuu

Ready to skip the rest of the tips and start learning right away? Take a placement test and hit the ground running from your current fluency level with Busuu’s Complete English Course.

6. Put books (and audiobooks!) to work

For many language learners, one of the hurdles to fluency is learning to listen and understand without training wheels (like written versions of what’s being said).

One way to start building this skill is to alternate between reading and listening to a book. Listen as much as you can, then use the written text to support you when you hear something you don’t understand. There are books for every level of English reader, so you can put this technique to work at all English fluency levels. Don’t be afraid to start with books for younger audiences as you get started!

The news and podcasts can also be great for this – the more you can train yourself to understand spoken English in realtime, the closer you’ll get to fluency in English. And learning from unique sources can help you build vocabulary and learn to understand a range of English accents and dialects. speak-english-fluently busuu

7. Sing your way to fluency

Who says language learning has to be boring? Another way to learn how to speak English fluently is by mimicking native speakers. You can repeat after your favorite TV show characters or listen to music and learn the lyrics to your favorite English language songs. You could work toward fluency at karaoke, how fun is that?

From Beyoncé to The Beatles, there are tons of great English musicians to love – just make sure you know what you’re saying (and what’s appropriate to say and in what context) before putting any new slang or phrases to use in the real world!

8. Keep learning in your downtime

Another way to build your English fluency quickly is to add more English media into your couch time. There’s a whole world of English language TV and movies out there for you to learn from!

To get a real boost, try rewatching a favorite show, turning subtitles on and off, in your native language and in English. Take notes on words and phrases you don’t recognize and look them up next time you’re studying. Repeat this until you can understand a whole episode or movie without help and you’ll be on your way to fluency!

As an added bonus, whether you’re studying one episode or binging a whole series, all that exposure to American or British accents will help you develop a better ear for your own spoken language. As with music, try repeating back what you hear – just choose wisely which characters you want to emulate! (Check out our article on learning a new language with Netflix and discover how it works!)

9. Practice English when you’re alone

Here’s another tip for how to improve English speaking fluency: talk to yourself (yes, really!).

Practice narrating what you’re doing, recapping your day, or thinking to yourself in English when you’re alone. When you get stuck, look up any words you’re missing or try to find ways around it – making yourself understood even when you forget a word is an important skill for fluency too!

You can even fake a phone call and practice talking to yourself out loud alone in public, if you’re brave enough.

speak-english-fluently busuu

10. Celebrate your successes!

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget to congratulate yourself when you finish a lesson or pass a milestone! Reaching English fluency is hard, and the effort you put in, no matter how far you get, is worth celebrating.

Many language learners fall off because it’s challenging and they lose heart and motivation. Remind yourself why you want to be fluent in English and keep showing up and you’ll have plenty to congratulate yourself on.

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Discussion topics by English fluency levels

Levels Topics
A1 Personal introductions
People and their characteristics
Routines and hobbies
A2 Travel and making plans
Home and work life
Health and wellness
B1 Different lifestyles and regional differences
Culture and entertainment
The news and reported speech
B2 Discussing elections and politics
Life choices
Art and literature
C1 Arguments and nuance
Style in writing
The modern world

English Fluency FAQ

1. Can I learn English by myself?

Yes! You don’t need to go to school or join a structured class to learn how to speak English fluently. There are plenty of resources available online to help you learn on your own time. You can use online language learning resources, apps, and platforms – including Busuu’s self-led English course – and, with good planning and dedication, you can reach your English language goals.

However, practising speaking out loud can make a big difference in a learner’s confidence and pronunciation and doesn’t always come with online courses. Make sure you get speaking practice – whether it’s with an English-speaking friend or family member, or with native English speakers who can give you feedback on Busuu.

2. Is English easy to learn?

To be honest, English is an infamously difficult language to learn, from a purely technical perspective, so reaching fluency in English can be challenging.

While languages like Italian and Spanish have fairly straightforward pronunciation and spelling, English is tricky. English has words that are spelled the same but sound differently and words that sound the same but are spelled differently. And matters are only made worse by the many different dialects and accents under the umbrella of the English language.

That said, as one of the most spoken languages in the world, learning English also comes with lots of advantages. There are tons of resources to help you learn, English speakers to help you practice, and English language movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts to make it all a little easier (and more fun!).

3. How long does it take to become fluent in English?

Depending on the level of English fluency you want to reach and how much time you have to dedicate to learning, it could take as little as a month or two to get to a Beginner level, or as much as a year or two of regular study to get to an advanced level of conversational English.

According to the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), getting to C1 (Advanced) English takes a total of 700 to 800 hours of study, though some learners will be able to move faster than others.

If you want to find out how long it’ll take you to reach your specific goals, you can use a Busuu Study Plan. The Study Plan feature lets you input your goal and helps you figure out how often you need to study and for how long to reach that goal.

You can also check out our article on how long it takes to learn a language to guide you through and give you an overview of the time it can take for you to learn English.

4. What level of English is fluent?

Fluency is actually a fairly subjective concept. Broadly, it means that someone is able to speak a language without hesitation or repetition – you’re not stopping to translate things in your head. However, there are different levels of this. Someone can be fluent in conversation but more or less proficient, meaning accurate, in their speech and writing.

On Busuu, we measure proficiency and fluency using the CEFR levels, starting with Beginner A1. The Busuu English course goes up to the C1 level, at which point the learner should be able to speak fluently and without significant hesitation or repetition. They should also be able to form well-structured arguments and understand conversations about more complex topics, like religion and politics.

If you’re looking to complete an English fluency course, you’ll be aiming for a C1 level of proficiency.

5. Can Busuu prepare me for an English fluency test?

Absolutely! Busuu’s Complete English Course was designed using the internationally recognised Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for language learning. At the end of each level (A1-C1), you can take a test to get a Busuu English certificate, and if you’re preparing for a formal English fluency test, Busuu’s lessons include tailored courses focusing on English for Business, English for Academic Studies, and English Exam Success.

Learn to speak fluent English today with Busuu

Now you know how to learn to speak English fluently online – with Busuu, of course! When you learn with Busuu, you can cover so many of the most important tips and tricks for learning to speak English fluently.

On Busuu, you can:

  • Make a Study Plan
  • Learn from anywhere and on your time
  • Work on your pronunciation
  • Practice grammar and vocabulary you’ve struggled with
  • Get support from native English speakers

And so much more! So what are you waiting for?

Continue learning with Busuu and build English fluency

Don’t stop now…go ahead and progress with your learning! With Busuu’s free online courses and learning resources, you can learn to speak English fluently in no time!