With over 500 languages spoken in Nigeria alone, West Africa is undoubtedly one of the most linguistically diverse regions of the world. This, coupled with the region’s long-standing relationship with the west and the global range of English language, has made fluency in English imperative for everyone living in this part of the world. Even though formal education exposes one to the English language, there is no denying that a pronounced need for improvement in English language speaking skills usually persists, even after graduate education.
Effective tips to improve your English language fluency
Like every other trait, fluency in English speaking can be improved, as much as it can be impaired. Irrespective of your current level of fluency, you can quickly improve your English speaking skills by applying some proven practical tips.
Read & listen more
To develop fluency in the English language, you must devote time to reading and attentively listening to the right people. These two are passive language development foundations. To improve your active language skills, you must first develop them. Your English speaking and writing skills are reflections of your reading and intentional listening efforts.
Think in English language
A typical African would have spent a significant part of his formative years thinking, articulating, and communicating his thoughts in the local dialect. If you are like this, you must have grown accustomed to thinking in your native language. But now, you want to improve your English speaking and writing skills, so you might have to try something different – think in English. Though this might be initially challenging, you can develop it with constant practice. Thinking helps in internalizing information, so it will help you get fluent in the language.
Articulate your thoughts in English language
One highly effective and sustainable way to improve your fluency in any second language is by internalizing it, as you’ve internalized your mother tongue over the years. After reading, listening, and thinking more in English, the next step is articulation. Whatever you’ve digested in your thought, say it out in English. You can do this alone or with a college of friends who are equally committed to your improvement. Whichever way, always endeavor to gather your thoughts, ideas, and feelings into English words, phrases, and sentences. And express them audibly.
Constantly interact with Native speakers/ people already fluent in English language
You can achieve fluency by interacting with native and other fluent English speakers. If there is none in your immediate environment, you can join an English proficiency community on social media or subscribe to a language networking app.
Write in the English language
Writing is the most profound language skill of the four basics. In addition to improving your English speaking skills, writing in English will significantly improve your grammar, spelling, gestures, etc. Furthermore, you will further internalize the language by constantly writing in English while developing complete fluency.
Check your attitude toward learning & improvement
Studies have revealed that of all factors influencing second language acquisition: the affective factors are principal elements, especially regarding speaking skills. These elements like motivation, self-confidence, mood, attitude, etc., could largely catalyze or inhibit improvement.
To develop fluency in English, you can apply some practical strategies like deep breathing and meditation to enable you to relax before speaking. While at it, endeavor to build your self-confidence, resistance to fear of mistakes, anxiety, and self-consciousness.
We cannot overemphasize the need for relentless practice in this context. Though you can record pronounced changes in no distant time, language improvement is a progressive process, and English is no exception. Therefore, you can significantly improve your English speaking and general fluency skills through constant and relentless practice.