We all have that one covert desire- to be able to swiftly converse in the beautiful and sophisticated language that English is!! While some people simple lack confidence to speak up in front of people, others lack the comfort with the language itself given that English is not our mother tongue. So how can you converse in English effortlessly? See, there are basically three things you need to do
1. Read English
2. Listen English
3. Speak English
For 1, read newspaper, preferably The Hindu- at least 2-3 pages (editorial is best but you may read some other pages if it is too heavy for you). Even if that is too much for you, read any story book/novel that interests you. If nothing else, read pornographic literature, but do read English so that you learn sentence structuring, usage of prepositions, placement of adjectives and contextual usage of words etc.
For 2, listen to Indian news in English since newscasters have a very refined pronunciation.
Most of the people I know mispronounce the word ‘chores’! Watching English movies and television series with subtitles is also a fun way, but make it an add-on to news, not a replacement. Watching porn wouldn’t help much in this step since many do not have many words, to begin with, and, if even they do, you already are familiar with words like ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘harder’ and ‘oh yeah’ 😀
Once you get into the habit of reading, try reading out loud, at least some part of what you read.
|Addressing 500+students at FICCI Auditorium|
For 3, speak in English with people around you. THIS IS THE KEY! This is the most important of all steps. You CANNOT learn to speak English, or any language for that matter, unless you speak it! You need not change the topics of discussion…keep the conversation, just change the medium of conversation you have with your friends, colleagues, siblings, girlfriend(s)/boyfriends to English. The only antidote to fumbling/being diffident is practice. Make English the default medium of communication….whenever you can, do it. Find people with whom you can talk (not chat) in English. Request people around to speak in English with you…if they can’t, just tell them that they can respond in Hindi but you would converse in English. If you are that one unlucky chap who doesn’t have one person to speak with in this wide world, then start talking to yourself in English- rather than thinking things, start saying things, either in your mind or even perhaps by mumbling. It’s ok to talk to yourself; I do it all the time and often get mistaken for being mentally unstable 😀
Exercise suggestion: You can narrate the entire day back to yourself before you sleep, just as you would tell all the events that happened during the day to someone else.
Once you have gained sufficient confidence in these three, move to the ultimate step i.e. writing in English. Start writing stuff in English. Not just FB comments, but some articles. You can choose a random article or write about your day or your dreams or your best friend or a movie review or whatever. Just write. If you want some idea, take a leaf out from my blog- http://lokeshlogan.blogspot.com/
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