5 ways to improve your English proficiency as a non-native English speaker
Speaking and understanding English is not the same for native and non-native speakers.
When you’re a non-native speaker of English, it can be hard matching the standards set by the true owners of the language.
On the one hand, there’s the issue of accent - your native accent might be totally different from that of native English speakers.
And on the other hand is the issue of getting acquainted with the language - understanding the rudiments of the English language.
In short, speaking and understanding English is not the same for native and non-native speakers.
However, as a non-native speaker, there are things you can do to improve your English skills.
What are the advantages of speaking English fluently?
Connect with New People: The world has a population of 7.5 billion people. Two billion of those speak English.
The Language of Business: There’s a reason why many call English the international language of business. If you want to build international business relationships, you’ll need to be fluent in English.
Enjoy Travel Experiences
Make More Money: there’s a growing demand for English teachers both online and abroad. But most employers demand that teachers demonstrate a solid command of English. Some even ask for TEFL certification. To get that, you’ll need to take a TEFL course online, which is also dependent on your English proficiency skills.
Be a Better Student: if English is one of your local school languages, you obviously have no choice but to be fluent in it.
Enjoy Classic Literature & Films
Immigration Benefits: you’ll be glad you’re fluent in English when you want to apply for visas to English speaking countries.
How to improve your English proficiency
Take Accent Reduction and Pronunciation Course for Non-native Speakers of English
The first barrier to good English is your accent.
If you’re still struggling to prevent your accent from showing when you’re speaking, then it might be hard communicating in English.
The good news, however, is that you can take an accent reduction course to reduce the effects of accent on your language power.
Accent reduction classes are good for you if you’re proficient in most aspects of English (reading, vocabulary, and listening comprehension) but poor in speaking.
Immerse yourself in all things English
If your English fluency difficulties stem from common issues like reading, listening, vocabulary, and speaking, then you can make corrections by immersing yourself in all things English.
From reading English literature to watching English movies, reading English academic books to speaking to people around you in English (even if you sound like hell).
By and large, once you’ve made up your mind to improve your English fluency, you have to make the English language your new language lifestyle.
Remember: the more you see and hear something, the more immersed you become.
Start taking notes
It is not enough to see, hear, and read it. You also have to get to work and jot some things down.
While reading English books and watching English shows will surely help you get acquainted with the language, it is the notes you take that will bring about actual improvements.
Therefore, write down every new word and phrase you come across.
This will make it easier to remember such expressions and help you learn how the language is used day by day.
Take grammar and fluency courses
Like it or not, you cannot become an English geek all by yourself. You will need help. And help comes from taking classes.
First, you should take a grammar class.
Secondly, a fluency class.
Most of these courses are available online, meaning you can learn at your own pace.
By and large, grammar classes will teach you the rules and nuances of English grammar, which, when combined with fluency classes (reading, writing), will greatly improve your knowledge of the English language and your ability to understand and use it.
Note: You can take an IELTS fluency class here on Premier TEFL. They also accredited TEFL courses.
Start writing, but don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Learning and writing go hand in hand.
The more you write in English, the better you become in things like grammar, spelling, pronunciation, and reading.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just sit and write.
When you’re done, you can use tools like Rephraser.ai, which automatically rephrases non-native into native English, and highlights the revisions so you can learn for next time.
Adapted from an article first published on http://www.universityherald.com November 17, 2020