What approach can we use to learn to speak English fluently?

A serious difficulty educated non-native speakers have...

Most non-native people who know English face a serious difficulty.

You see, they know reasonable English – or even excellent English. And if you ask them to write a report or something in English, they may do it fairly well. But you see, if you ask them to speak to you about the same thing, they find it hard to do. Or even impossible.

When they start speaking, most of the words remain on the tip of their tongue, and don’t readily come out. And often, what words do come out sound disconnected and random. And they find themselves speaking in a clumsy and unclear way. With long gaps and intervals of indecision between every two words. And they keep fumbling for something to say. And they find it difficult to go on beyond one or two lines. Without tripping up. And without stumbling over the sounds or sequences of sounds.

And then they tend to fall back upon their mother-tongue – or become tongue-tied.

Conventional methods won’t help you produce fluent English...

To remedy their fluency problem, many non-native speakers try the wrong method.

• Mind you... You can’t speak fluent English by using written English as a model.

Nor by learning ready-made sentences by heart.

Nor by translating.

Nor from audio or video cassettes.

No, you can’t. But many people are under a wrong impression. They think that these conventional methods will make them fluent in speech. But the truth is otherwise. These conventional methods won’t bring fluency in speech. Conventional methods can’t, you see. They can't, because they're not geared to that purpose. They're not suitable for that purpose.

So we use new, research-based, techniques. Techniques geared for fluency development. Yes, techniques specially designed to develop and extend your speech fluency.

One-line English isn’t fluent English...

Now bear this in mind: Conventional methods can only help beginners. Elementary level learners. And not people like you – who already know English reasonably well. Remember this: If your aim is to achieve speech fluency (and not just to begin learning a new language), they won’t help you. No.

At the most, conventional methods may help you make one-line statements, ask one-line questions or give one-line replies. That too, in routine or repetitive situations. That’s all. After that, you falter. So you know, one-line English does not make you a fluent speaker.

If you want to become fluent in speech, you need to become good at speaking continuously for some time... At a stretch. Without abnormal breaks in the middle. By describing and explaining your ideas, thoughts, feelings, intentions.

Yes, you need to become good at manipulating the form, content and organization of the language you use. And at making them suit the moment-to-moment demands of the speech-situation. The constantly changing speech-situation. You need to become good at filling time with talk. In newer and newer situations. Even in situations you come across for the first time.

Fluent English is spontaneous English

You know... you can only call yourself fluent if you can speak spontaneously... And in detail... Yes, spontaneously. Without prior planning, preparation or rehearsal. By composing your speech and speaking at the same time... By planning and producing your speech as you speak on... On your feet.

Real English fluency only through English

Mind you... if you learn English through your mother-tongue, you’ll only be able to achieve limited proficiency in English. And not speech fluency. You see, your mother-tongue would keep interfering with the free flow of your English. And it would keep holding you back from speaking with a fine flow of English.

You see, a bilingual approach is only suitable for beginners. Or for learners at a junior level. And not for people who have crossed the junior level – and are trying to achieve fluency.

If you want to achieve real fluency, you’ll have to train yourself in fluency techniques. That too, through English itself – and not through any other language. Only then will you be able to produce real spoken English. English spoken by native speakers of English. English that is genuine and unvarnished. And not stilted or unnatural.