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Today I'm coming here to talk to you about how i became fluent in English.
It's a question I get asked a lot of times, and also to share some tips from
my personal experience on speaking a foreign language or second language,
on how to communicate well and be understood in a foreign language when
you're living abroad. If you don't know anything about me, and this is the first
video of mine that you're watching,
I am originally from Brazil, I was born and raised there and I lived in Brazil
for 23 years. Then I moved to the UK and I've been living here for the last
nearly six years now.
Nowadays, I can say that I sometimes, well most of the time, I feel more confident
speaking in English than I do in Portuguese, and I think that's quite an
achievement for someone who wasn't brought up in an english-speaking
country and learned english as a second language. So I thought this video may be
interesting or useful to anyone out there who's learning English now and who
is struggling to become fluent or to know what to do to better their English.
My english is far from being perfect and I make mistakes all the time, but
I consider myself capable enough of holding a conversation, and I do all
my YouTube videos in English, which is good practice as well. So I'll just get
started with how I started to learn English. When you go to school in Brazil
and you get to a certain age,
English becomes part of the curriculum and it's one of the mandatory languages
to learn, and so I started learning in school. But the curriculum in school is
very limited and you really don't learn an awful amount of English in school.
So if you want to be able to speak English properly,
as a general rule, you have to enroll in a private English school. And that's what
most people do in Brazil and most of my friends did and when I was growing up.
I was about 13 when I started studying English, or 14. Around about that age, 13 to 14.
And I was going twice a week to a private English school.
It wasn't something that was forced by my parents. My mum always liked English.
She did do private English lessons when she was much younger, so it was something
that she was keen for us all to know and to learn from a young age.
And we were just generally interested in the English world,
in the English-speaking world and the culture. American culture, British culture,
which were the two biggest cultures that we were exposed to in Brazil, growing up.
We had lessons, and we started with Basic, Beginners and stuff, and carried on
progressing to Intermediate, then Advanced and then we got our degrees.
What happened to me was that, I very quickly realised I had a passion
for languages, and that I actually really enjoyed learning English. And so,
very quickly I progressed and developed my English because I was practicing so much
and enjoying it so much. I wasn't just learning in the English school,
I was going home, and I was watching things in English, and I was listening to music
in English and trying to understand the lyrics and translate it. And that kind of
helped a lot with my fluency and it helped just to solidify the concepts that
I'd learned from the books in my English school, and I'd come home
and it wasn't something that I was forced to do, it was something that I wanted to do.
So I would watch things in English and try to understand what they were saying.
I loved my dictionary, I walked around everywhere with my Portuguese to English Dictionary
translating words that I'd come across and that I didn't know.
So, then when I was 14 to 15, my sister and I went abroad.
We went to Disneyland, and that was our first experience in an English-speaking country.
And I just thought it was amazing that I was able to understand certain things.
I wasn't fluent at all at that point.
I just had a very basic knowledge of English, but I just got so
intrigued and interested in all of it. A year later, I made my first trip to London.
I came to stay with a friend. I was 15 at the time.
Yeah, I think so, 15 going on 16, and I absolutely loved it.
I fell in love with the British culture then and I just did not want to do
anything else, I just wanted to learn English.
I was staying with a group of friends who only spoke English, which kind of
forced me to speak English as well and to kind of get out of my comfort zone,
which was the best thing for me.
So after I came back from abroad I did the placement test to see where my level
of English was after having spent that time abroad, because that does boost up
your English level quite a lot, and I had jumped quite a lot of levels.
So I went from being the start of Intermediate, to going straight to Advanced
and I skipped the whole of the Intermediate course because I had
already built up so much for vocabulary and learned so much just by being abroad.
So that really really helped me.
I finished the Advanced level and I didn't stop there. I carried on studying because
I didn't want to lose my fluency and if any of you out there are learning
English abroad, you know how easy it is to quickly lose your fluency
if you've been abroad, if you studied abroad or did an interchange programme.
And then suddenly you're back home and no one speaks English on a daily basis.
It's really hard to keep up with the language if you're not constantly talking.
So I enrolled - my English school at the time offered what they called
a conversation course, which was basically, you finish the class, you finish the course.
There's no more grammar or anything to learn, you've learned everything that we offer.
But now we offer you the chance to keep coming back
twice a week with a group of people who are still interested in keeping that
English alive and we will just have conversations, basically. There will be
topics to be discussed every week, we'll have hand-outs and things,
and I'm sure you still be learning. So I did that and that was brilliant.
I loved that and I recommend that anyone who has finished their whole English course
and is wondering what to do.
Go and find a conversation course. You might think that you're putting money
down the drain, but you're not, because you're keeping that whole investment
that you made in your English course, alive.
You're basically saving your fluency in English,
because you're practicing twice a week at least and you get to speak English that you wouldn't
get to speak otherwise. And you also have a teacher there to answer any questions.
That was basically what happened to me.
It's not groundbreaking, I didn't do anything different to what anyone does
but I think I just already had a predisposition to languages, and the fact
that I went abroad really helped build up my confidence in speaking English.
So for starters I had a very very strong American accent because my teachers
in Brazil, they all had American accents and then when I came to the UK, I fell in love
with the British accent and somehow my brain was able to completely change
my accent from being American to British. And my husband being British,
at the time when we were going out, we were still boyfriend and girlfriend.
He is Welsh, and my brain just sucked in his Welsh accent, and now I have
kind of like a Welsh accent, mixed in with a Brazilian accent and whatever accents
I've have absorbed throughout the years. But mostly Welsh, I think.
I pick up accents very quickly, even in Portuguese.
It's quite funny, actually. Because if I'm talking to someone - a Brazilian person
with a different accent to mine, my accent morphs into their accent.
I really have no control over it - it just happens. So that happened in English as well.
The more I spent time with British people,
the more my accent got better, and I just kept on speaking.
Now that that part is over, let's get on to my top tips for speaking English
and making yourself understood in a foreign language when you're living abroad.
My first tip, and I think this is the most important tip when you're
struggling to make yourself understood in a foreign language is: make it easy
for people to understand you. Pronounce your words, open your mouth
and say the words. Don't mumble, don't speak quietly,
because people will find it difficult to understand you, especially with the accent and all.
If you're talking about: 'Do you want a cup of tea?' It might seem silly,
but that can save a lot frustration when you're trying to
communicate and people can't understand what you're saying.
Gesticulate with your hands, use your mouth, use your facial expressions.
And along the same lines,
try to pronounce things from your native language in a way that people can understand.
For example, Brazilian football players are very very popular abroad.
And that's a topic of conversation whenever people find that I'm from Brazil.
And one football player that you may know very well is, Ronaldo.
Now, being from Brazil
I wouldn't say 'Ronaldo' if I was talking to a Brazilian person.
I would say 'Ronaldo', because that's how we say it in Portuguese.
But, if I say that to someone who speaks English only, or who only heard his name in the English media
being referred to as 'Ronaldo', that's going to cause a little bit of miscommunication.
So instead of making that conversation easier, you're making it harder, if you know what I mean,
by pronouncing it the way that you would in Portuguese.
So if you know how people in English-speaking countries
speak certain words from your native language, then make it easier for them. Why not?
It doesn't really matter, you're not making a mistake. The important thing is that
you know that you know the way it's supposed to be said,
but in that particular context, it's much easier for you to make it easier for yourself
and for the person that you're speaking to.
My second tip is: don't obsess over your mistakes.
They really don't matter that much, and if you told me that
when I was learning English as a teenager,
I wouldn't have followed your advice, but I hope some of you will.
As a teenager I worried far too much about my mistakes and about
what other people thought of what I was saying wrong, and that prevented me from
starting conversations because I didn't want to make mistakes, especially in English.
The first time I came to the UK
I would not start a conversation, I would wait until someone would start
a conversation with me, because I was too worried of saying things the wrong way.
But soon enough I realised by talking to people
how little they care about your mistakes. If you're trying your best,
and you're speaking most of it correctly, or if you're getting the general gist
of the conversation correctly,
people really don't care that much. Even native speakers of English make mistakes.
And that's something that you'll learn. That your grammar will be much better than
a lot of native speakers. Obviously there are a lot of people in English-speaking
countries that have amazing grammar and things like that, but you'll be surprised
how good your Grammar and your knowledge of the English language is, coming from
learning English as a foreign language. So don't obsess over your mistakes.
If you feel like you've made a mistake, don't stop a conversation to correct yourself.
Just carry on speaking and keep the conversation flowing,
and that will make you more confident.
You know in your mind that you made a mistake,
but you'll correct it next time. Don't worry that person is not gonna judge you
on that mistake, it's just going to make life a little bit easier if you're trying to
communicate in a foreign language.
Tip number three is: practice, practice, practice. Whenever you can, wherever you can.
If you have a friend abroad that you talk to online,
talk to them on skype, talk to them on Facetime, but actually talk to them.
Writing is good, but you will only get your fluency by practicing your speaking.
And if you've learned English as a second language, you know the very important
parts of English, such as writing, reading listening and speaking.
And speaking is, by far
I think the hardest one for people to achieve fluency in.
if you know anyone in town that speaks English as a first language, go and speak to them
and just practice as much as you can.
But if you can't do that,
practice on your own, even in your house. I used to do that all the time in my bedroom.
I used to have conversations with myself, and you can call me crazy, but that
really really helped me because I kind of practiced the way that I wanted to say
certain things and the way that the sounds come out of my mouth. because a
lot of sounds we don't have in our native languages if you're speaking a
foreign language for example in English we have the th sound which is a the
employees we don't have that sounds so that's the sound that you have to learn
and I remember sitting in my bedroom with a list of words that start with th
and literally seeing them all out loud and practicing that th sound
I remember watching friends on the TV with subtitles on in Portuguese and
trying to copy what they were saying and the dialogues and you know the
intonation and just practicing just literally being interested in the
language and practicing as much as I can and that leads me on to tip number 4
rehearse monologues and conversations in the privacy of your home before you go
and speak to other people and what I mean by that is you know the general
topics of conversation that come up when you're talking to the people like
talking about
where are you from you know where were you born what do you do what do you
and what do you think of this do you like tea what kind of drinks do you do
drink what's your favorite food
just the general conversation topics rehearse your answers what would you
save someone asked you what's your favorite food do you know what's your
favorite food in English go and look that out and rehearse it beforehand and
if someone asked what's your job going and rehearse how to say that in English
also rehearse a few questions as well so that you can ask them a few questions
and where do they live and what are their hobbies what they like doing how
old are they
and things like that and that is so so useful to have because then whenever
that sprung on to you on a conversation you don't freeze and panic because you
think God I have all this vocabulary in my brain but I just can't get it out in
a sentence
but if you practice beforehand then you have these sentences sentences ready in
your brain to be used and I used to do that all the time
I think my mom and my sister probably thought I was absolutely insane because
i used to speak to myself in the bedroom just rehearsing the dialogues with
myself in English literally
I'd have full-on conversations about nothing or everything with myself but I
think that really helps
tip number five is speak confidently even if you're not confident in your
English that can be a little bit intimidating but if you get the balance
right of being confident and being humble at the same time in admitting
that you don't know everything then I think that's the perfect mix if you too
arrogant in your English you're saying that you know it all
you won't get any sympathy from people who can detect that in the conversation
but if you're confident but at the same time you admit that you don't know
certain things you know kind of like asking them like hinting that you need a
little help maybe you're talking about a ship and you don't know certain parts of
the ship
what are they named in English so you can say to them you know a ship what's
that part called you know just kind of be gauged a little bit but be confident
and what you're speaking and I think that really helps with making yourself
understood and that leads me on to tip number six which is if you can't find
the word try describing what the word means very very often i'll be speaking
to someone and I won't know a certain word or I will have forgotten it
completely and i still want to carry on that conversation without interrupting
me to go and look in the dictionary or to go and try and get my brain working
and so whilst you're in the conversation in the middle of it
if you forget a word try describing what it means for example if you're talking
about a DSLR camera and you can't remember what the word DSLR is you say
you know those big can
Rose that usually have the detachable lens I'm sure someone else will say yeah
DSLR camera so you know they will help you out in the conversation if you're
asking for help them in the right way but if you stop and you say i can't
remember what I'm trying to say then that person that you're trying to speak
to won't be able to help you because they also don't know what you're trying
to say so
yeah make yourself easier to help by describing what you mean when you don't
know what you want to say
tip number Seven's to look for alternative words of the words that you
don't know and all i can think of right now is that most of the times i don't
know the name of social fruits and there are only available in Brazil I don't
know the translation to english and if I'm in the middle of a conversation i
will refer to the fruit as the general category for example if it's a type of
orange a specific type of orange i'll say we have an orange and this kind of
orange does this and that tastes like this and looks like that instead of
trying to find what that name of the specific orange is so that's just like a
small example but you can find lots of synonyms and similar words to the things
that you don't know you don't necessarily have to go for that specific
words that you don't know
tip number eight don't be afraid to ask people to repeat things if you don't
hear them
it's much better than being misunderstood or misunderstanding other
people the majority of people are very kind when you say pardon or when you say
sorry I didn't hear you can you repeat that please just don't be afraid of
asking people to repeat things that you didn't hear
tip number nine is to surround yourself and immerse yourself in the language
that you're trying to learn as much as possible even if you don't live in an
english-speaking country or you're trying to learn English but you don't
have many English friends try to immerse yourself in terms of TV shows music and
reading one thing I used to love doing was buying books in English and yes they
were a challenge and yes they took a lot longer to read that they did in
Portuguese but it paid off because nowadays I can read any books in
and it would take me just as much time as it will in portuguese i read the
whole harry potter series in English when I was 15 and I found the first
couple of books harder because i was getting used to it but from then onwards
even if there were words that i didn't understand i would try and understand
the context and that helped with the region as well region is a great way
because you learned so many new words when you're reading and it's not
something that people usually make time for these days with the internet and
with YouTube and people kind of spend their time or watching videos and
reading blog post rather than reading a book but it's so important to read books
the vocabulary that you get from reading a book you can't get it anywhere else
well you can probably but in my opinion I think you get a lot out of a book
tip number 10 and my last tip is to listen carefully
it's so important to listen to what when other people are speaking but especially
if they're speaking in the language that's not your first language because
it will be much harder to understand people
if you tune out a little bit if you don't listen to everything that they're
saying also trying to lip-read as well if you can't hear what they're saying
that sometimes helps if you're talking to someone in a very loud place and it's
really hard to hear them look at their mouths and time trying to figure out
what they're saying like that that is a very basic tip but it's something that's
so important and if you neglect that it may cause a lot of confusion if you miss
what people are saying because you weren't listening
so this is my story of how I became fluent in English and my top 10 tips for
speaking and making yourself understood in a foreign language
if you have any questions about my english speaking journey that make sure
to leave them in the comments below and if you have any other questions about
you know living abroad or speaking English as a foreign language
I'll be more than happy to answer your questions if you like this video make
sure to give it a thumbs up and if you're not subscribed to my channel
already make sure you do so you don't miss any of my videos
thank you so much for watching and I'll see you in my next video bye


私がいかにして英語を流暢に話せるようになったか+トップ10の英語会話のコツ : イシス・ロレンナ

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luther7027 2016 年 11 月 10 日 に公開
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