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Become Fluent Faster (part 1)

Become Fluent Faster (part 1)

Date: Jan 06 2012

Topic: Speaking

Author: mikedevalle


(just decided to transfer this one from a blog)

Hey everyone!

It’s a pleasure for me to know that you are learning one of the most beautiful and useful languages in the world. What I can promise you is the imminent fluency you will definitely reach, if you use the right strategies of learning.

Unfortunately, sometimes we try to pick up some new words but cannot remember them, thus making studying a waste of time. Moreover, even if you have learnt a thousand words and idioms, chances are you won’t be able to remember a per cent of what you spent months on. Ever faced that kind of situation?

My students experienced similar troubles from day to day, and that’s why I decided to create a list of principles one should follow for to avoid that sort of problems and not to undermine the very process of learning. As I believe you may find them useful, I decided to provide the list here. The first part of it is below.

Top tips for becoming fluent faster:

1. Never try to learn new words by lists!

Regardless of how intensively you learn, they will not stay in your consciousness for long. Learning by heart is only useful when you intend to tell a Shakespeare’s sonnet on stage. You might still remember the entire list the next day after you put it into your brain, however, in a week 60% of the memorized information will disappear.


To remember a word, you need to use it. Take a list of 30 words. Want to know them forever? Hence you are to show them off in one conversation, because trying to include them into several ones will inevitably lead you to getting confused. You just will not be capable of recalling, which words you managed to say. Therefore some of them will be missed.

Of course, you may not agree, claiming you can always turn back to that list again. Unfortunately, I have never seen a student who would be into round-up so much.


Learn words one by one. Memorize the first word and use it the next moment. Send a phrase with it to any of your online friends who speak English(I hope you have such, if not – check the second item). Now that you’ve done that, the conversation about something related will commence. So that it’s not you who learns a word by heart, but your friend who reminds you of it.

2. Talk to native speakers!

“Oh, what a genius said that?:D That’s obvious!” – this is the normal reaction to such kind of a title. However, most of learners have no collocutors whose native language is English. The reason is as evident as the 2+2=4 equation: why would a native speaker talk to someone who he doesn’t feel comfortable communicating with, because of the weird accent, thousands of careless mistakes and the uselessness of that all. Most of people seek practice, not friendship. Why would you improve your native language conversing with a foreigner?

So learners try to talk to one another. Does that really help? No.


At least one of the participants of such a talk is likely to be certain of his/her progress made via that very kind of interaction. Now take me going to have a chat with a Chinese learner who knows some 20 sentences (and I know 10). We both can not deal with the intonations at all. For sure, the phrases I knew will be introduced to my partner, and I will learn something new to me. But will that be proper?

If ones you practice speech with are unable to correct you when needed and give you perfect examples of what you learn from them, one day you will have to learn it all again. This is what makes your pronunciation and grammar spoilt. The earlier you start to learn correct things, the better for you.


Don’t try to find the native speakers on the websites for learning English. 99% of them will charge you with some $5 per hour of talking on Skype. Google “language exchange” and find those who study your mother tongue. At least, they have a reason to talk to you. Otherwise just find some places for finding new friends where the majority of members speak the language you starve for practising. There are always plenty of bored geeks online, but that’s the best bet.

If you have any questions to me, feel free to add me on Facebook:


By and large this is the first part of the longer list. The second one will be provided pretty soon. We both know you will become fluent! Good luck!


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Very useful advices, Mike. It’s really very difficult to find native English speakers available on the Internet. The “language exchange” tip was very nice. I will Google it. Thanks.

04:59 PM Jan 19 2012 |


United States

I dont agree completely! I write down lists of words not to learn their meaning, but to learn their pronunciation I know they are not 100% correct but since most native speakers dont have time to spare that is the only choice for now.

10:45 PM Jan 15 2012 |



Russian Federation

Very practical advice! I try and follow it!Smile

04:18 PM Jan 15 2012 |




This is very usuful tip !!

and I totally agree that “don’t try  to find the native speakers on websites….”

It is a very fresh opinion to me !   

Thank you very much. 

11:27 AM Jan 10 2012 |




Nice lesson, Mike. I’m looking forward to the second part :)

I totally agree: it’s useless trying to memorize vocabulary lists, because sooner than you think, you’ll forget most of the words! And, about talking to native speakers, I’m sure this is really helpful, but, as kokoboko said, it’s really hard to find native speakers to chat with =/

08:06 PM Jan 06 2012 |

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