The Art of Sounding Natural (with English)

Do you feel awkward and clunky when you’re speaking in English?

Do you worry that you’ll be rude or offensive when you speak?

Or that you’ll make so many mistakes that the other person won’t understand you?

These are all too-common worries for language learners (not just English, but other language learners like me too!)

Now, do you know people who speak English perfectly (or close to it)? They are natural English users.

They may have learned English as babies from their parents (they’re native speakers).

Or, they may have lived in English-speaking countries for a while and picked it up through immersion.

Less likely, they just worked really hard on their own – but it isn’t impossible.

However they did it, they’ve managed to transition from Intermediate/Advanced English → Natural English.

Natural English speakers have a huge advantage in the workplace. It’s a global industry and English is the global language of business (and science).

The natural users of English can take advantage of their ability to communicate with confidence in a wide range of circumstances. Speaking English feels easy and automatic and the words and grammar rules come naturally.

This may feel like it’s a world away from your English. But with a few points of focus, you can get natural at using English too!

The biggest difference between advanced and natural English users is how they think in the language.

Naturals think directly in English.

Advanced users still often translate from their first language to English in their minds from time to time.

Another significant difference is in the flexibility of styles of natural language users, that advanced users often don’t posses.

A natural user of English will move with little thought between formal and informal communication, adjusting their English vocabulary and grammar to suit.

They know how to connect with people using local language styles and they are effective communicators in the workplace by understanding how the culture is impacting the style of English.

The last point that I think is essential, is that advanced learners have a harder time with pronunciation.

I don’t mean accent, but the WAY the words are said.

The tone, the flow, the rhythm – all of these combine to affect the ‘sounds’ of English and how easily others can understand you.

None of these things are insurmountable to learn.

You just need some guidance and awareness (maybe a little support) and you can transition from advanced to natural in no time at all.

The key is not giving up. Keep practising. Stay motivated and keep learning.

And most of all, having fun with it.

I have written an eBook that covers all of these topics (and more) that you can grab for free here. Now that’s a no-brainer!

Leave a Comment