How to speak English fluently

Communicate confidently with these 7 top tips

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Learning how to speak fluent, confident and natural English is an achievable goal. Every English learner is different, but there are a number of easy ways to improve in a reasonably short period of time.

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7 tips on speaking English fluently and confidently

1. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes

Your goal is to deliver a message, not speak perfect English, with the right grammar and vocabulary. Even native English speakers make mistakes!

2. Practise, practise, practise

Practice makes perfect. Constantly look for opportunities to test out your spoken English. Busuu's online English classes, for instance, are interactive, 45-minute group lessons, guided by a professional teacher. They are a great way to practise speaking English and learn faster in a fun, safe environment.

3. Listen

The more you hear, the easier it will be for you to speak better English. You’ll start speaking more fluently and confidently in English conversations, learning how to give your opinions in English with new expressions and idioms.

4. Celebrate success

Every time you talk to someone in English is an achievement. Every single interaction you have, no matter how small, will help you improve your skills over time. Be proud of your progress.

These first four tips help provide the best way to start speaking English with ease. The following three steps will help take your English speaking skills to the next level...

Further improve your English speaking skills with our final 3 tips

Think in English to speak English fluently

5. Think in English

Go from speaking good English to great English by thinking in the language. You’ll find it difficult at first, but after some time you’ll learn how to switch between speaking English and your first language.

Talk to yourself to speak English fluently

6. Talk to yourself

It will look funny, but by talking to yourself in English in front of the mirror for each day, you'll learn to pronounce every letter in the English alphabet, plus when and how to use different expressions. You’ll also learn where you make most of the mistakes.

Tongue twisters to speak English fluently

7. Tongue twisters

Tongue twisters help improve your diction teach you how to speak quickly. Practise with tricky sayings like this: “The thirty-three thieves thought that they thrilled the throne throughout Thursday".

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Topics you could speak about on different levels

Levels Topics
A1 Leading general conversations in English
Discussing people and their characters
Your job and hobbies
A2 Talking about travelling and planning trips
Home and work
Health and wellness
B1 How to describe lifestyles
Cultures and entertainment
Feelings and emotions
B2 Discussing elections and politics
Life choices
The modern world

Still have questions?

1. How can I learn English by myself?

Yes! You don’t need to go to school or join a structured class to learn English. There are plenty of resources available online now 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, practicing 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.

Whereas 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 some advantages. There are tons of resources to help you learn, lots of English speakers to help you practice, and plenty of English language movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts to make it all a little easier.

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

Depending on the level of 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.

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.

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