If you are reading this article, our guess is that you are an eager English learner who wants to learn English in the fastest way. The chances are that your currently learning progress may not be efficient enough, you may be frustrated, or you simply want to learn new tricks that actually work.
If that’s you, congratulations! You have found the right place. In this article, we will share 10 tips that will make learning English fast and fun again!
How Can I Become Fluent in English Fast?
The first 5 tips are more practical ways or ACTIONS to learn English fast, and the last 5 tips are more about a change of your MINDSET that is also important to help you become fluent in English fast.
(the specific tips in bold below are where SwapLanguage can jump right in to help you. See the last section for further explanation.)
1. Know Your Motives & Set Reasonable Goals
Have you ever thought about why you are learning English?
Knowing your motives for learning English is the first step towards success. So let’s do a little but essential exercise: ask yourself and write down 3-5 reasons WHY you want to learn English. There is no right or wrong answer; it could be that you want to brush up on your CV or hold a legit conversation with your American friends. These reasons are what keep you going when it is hard.
After knowing the “why,” the next step is to set concrete, measurable, and achievable goals accordingly. I have learned 6 languages both as a child and adult. Experience has taught me that my language goals must be clear and achievable in order to work. For example, instead of “I want to speak better English” (*vague*), you should think, “I want to be able to understand an English movie without subtitles in 6 months” (concrete).
2. Music & Movies Are Your Best Friends
Learning English doesn’t have to be boring or in a classroom. A GREAT way to learn English fast is through music and movies. Here is the trick:
- Find your favorite English song and its lyrics
- Look up the words or phrases that you don’t know in the dictionary
- Listen to the song with the lyrics and your notes
- Sing along while paying attention to those new words
- Repeat 5-6 until you can understand the whole song without any notes
- Pick a new song and do the same
With movies, try watching an English movie that you enjoy with subtitles in English, NOT in your native language. It is an effective way to practice your listening and gain new vocabulary. I cannot tell you how satisfying it feels when you can fully understand your favorite songs or movies in the language that you want to learn. The process isn’t stressful at all because it is the music or movies that you enjoy anyway.
3. Kids & Old People Are Your Best Teachers
The next tip is so UNDERRATED. Hanging out with English-speaking children and older people is another way to learn English fast. First of all, they both speak relatively slower than average adults, which is more comfortable for learners to understand.
Secondly, kids are innocent and hilarious. When you talk in English with them and make a mistake, they will point it out and correct you in their innocent voice, but they won’t judge you. You can also ask them the meaning of a word or what something is called, and they will tell you.
Older people also make great teachers. The good thing about talking with grandma/pas is that they are usually very patient and gentle. They listen without a rush, they give rooms for mistakes, and they will teach you kindly. You gain so much wisdom from having a conversation with them too. Let’s make babysitting and elderly-care great again!
4. Immerse yourself in an English environment
Number 4 is a killer one: immerse yourself in an English environment where you HAVE TO hear it, read it, and speak it all the time. It may sound a little intense, but I guarantee that you will learn English FAST.
That can be played out in different scenarios. The ideal one is when you can travel to or study in an English speaking country where using speaking in English is the only choice — you will be fluent in no time!
And we know not everyone is capable of going abroad, so another way to immerse yourself in an English environment is to CREATE one right where you are. It is your choice to choose:
1. People you hang out with – English speaking friends or the international community
2. Media you consume – English movies, dramas, music, books, news, podcasts, blogs, etc
3. English as the default language of your phone, computer, FB account, apps, journal, etc
Bottom line: Whenever you have a choice, choose English instead of your mother tongue!
5. Whatever Floats Your Boat
We can give you many tips and methods on how to learn English fast, but at the end of the day, it is whatever works best for YOU that counts. That said, feel free to be creative, weird, and use your imagination.
Especially when it comes to learning new vocabulary, a trick that worked for me is to associate a word (or spelling and pronunciation) with a meaningful image or something that you know.
An example: “to move” in Danish is “at flytte.” As an English speaker, I associate “fly” in “flytte” to how I literally moved from the U.S. to Denmark by flying on an airplane. Since moving to Denmark was a meaningful day to me, “flytte” and “move” also go naturally together in my brain.
Now is your turn to try this with whatever clicks with your mind! It will make learning English so much faster.
A Change of Your Mindset to Learn English Fast
So far, we have talked about making practical and helpful changes in daily life that will help you learn English fast and effectively while having fun. The next 5 tips will be more on a shift in mindset that is equally important.
6. When in Doubt, Just Ask!
“There is no such thing as a stupid question.” I know this may be counterintuitive for those of you who are a bit shy or who come from a culture that doesn’t always encourage you to ask questions
However, it is so important to JUST ASK when you don’t understand or aren’t sure about something. It is the only way to find out. Here are some tips on WHAT and WHO you can ask that will help you learn effectively:
1. Ask about nuances between two English words or concepts to know how to use them correctly.
2. Ask about small details that you notice that are irregular or interesting.
3. Ask native English speakers because they know their language best.
4. Ask other English learners who are ahead of you in the learning journey. They have been in your shoes and probably have some cool tips that are worth trying too!
Put on a curious and fearless mindset and start asking lots of questions!
7. Don’t Stress About English Accent and Grammar
We have talked with many English learners who somehow think speaking English fluently means acquiring an American or British accent. Many of them also get so stressed about getting “perfect grammar.” Guess what? These mindsets slow you down and discourage you.
While there is nothing wrong with wanting to “sound like an American/Brit/Aussie,” you don’t need to be stressed or ashamed about your accent. It only shows that you know more than one language!
Part of learning English is to be able to communicate with others; making the message itself clear and understandable is what really matters here. Your fluency is not determined by your accent!
Similarly, don’t be afraid to make grammatical mistakes. Even some native speakers confuse “their” with “there” “its” with “it’s” too! 😉 Focus more on patterns and less on rules. There are always exceptions to the rules and you will get the hang of it as you practice more and more!
8. Stop Memorizing; Start Active Listening & Speaking
The traditional way of learning (a.k.a. sitting in a classroom, memorizing vocabulary and rules, and getting bored) has been a barrier for many English learners. If it worked, you probably wouldn’t be reading this article, right?
In SwapLanguage, we firmly believe in the interactive approach to learning a language. Learning English can be fun and fast at the same time. The key is to be (pro)active and intentional. Here is how:
1.Active listening: Instead of just learning WHAT words are said, also pay attention to HOW native speakers talk. The tones, the pauses, the flow, and slang are all the more that you can learn by active listening.
2. Active speaking: Instead of just being a quiet listener, speak, speak, speak whenever you get a chance to. You will notice your English starts improving exponentially when you actively speak it and apply it as well!
9. Fake It Till You Make It
Another shift of mindset that can help you learn English a lot faster is to “fake it till you make it.” Stop thinking of yourself as an English student and start acting like an English speaker. Imagine for a moment, “what would I do if I were a native speaker?” in different situations. A native speaker would naturally:
1. Order in English when dining in a restaurant
2. Think of the English word “apple” when seeing a red, round-shaped fruit
3. Talk in English when sharing an idea with friends
4. Write in English when replying to an email
5. Choose English when using a self-serve kiosk
It will take some time to switch to thinking in English instead of your mother language, but you can train your brain to associate the English word “apple” with the image of an apple. Once you are able to channel the English speaker inside of you, you will gain confidence that will help you become fluent in no time! Fake it till you make it!
10. Celebrate Small Successes & Milestones
Last but not least, learning English can be a lifelong journey, and every small success is worth celebrating. Sometimes, it is so easy to focus on what you cannot say or remember in English but forget how far you have come. Maybe you still use the wrong tense, forget words, or have a thick accent, but stop beating yourself up on these small mistakes that every English learner makes.
Celebrate each milestone – big or small – because you worked hard on it!
If today was the first time, you responded to the waitress in English, celebrate that! Additionally, if a native speaker understood what you said in English immediately, celebrate that! If you used a new word, you just learned in a conversation, celebrate that and, if you could read an English article without using the dictionary much, celebrate that! Treat yourself some ice cream or beer, be proud of yourself!
Bottom line: focus on the progress you have made, not only the result. Have fun with it!
Swap Language Can Help You Learn English Fast
On Swap language you can find a language-exchange partner in order to practice English. Exercising with a native speaker will certainly have a positive impact on your learning process. Besides that, it will give you a way better idea about the culture of the lands where this language is spoken.
We are proud to help you break down language barriers !