How can I speak English like a native speaker if I’ve already lived for years in an English-speaking country and have yet to reach this level of fluency?

I understand this question has been asked many times but what I want to know is a little different. I can carry on conversation pretty easily but feel I still have many lacking I want to improve. One major problem I have noticed from last 4-5 years that though practising and talking a decent amount of time (I live in an English Speaking country), my English speaking fluency is not improved. It seems like my graph is not increasing though I am trying. How I can improve and fine tune the speaking so that I almost will be able to talk like a native?

The issue is, I think, that although you live in a native English speaking country, you have surrounded yourself with Chinese culture. You have made friends with other Chinese people, you watch Chinese TV and movies, you probably eat Chinese food, and so rather than having full immersion into English culture, you have only partial immersion. Thus you have picked up a Chinese expat English accent or Chinglish accent rather than the native accent you would like.

I know this first hand myself. I have spent 9 years living in China but I don’t speak fluent Chinese. I don’t even speak moderately passable Chinese. In fact, I’d say I don’t even know anything beyond the basics. At a push I might pass the HSK level 1 exam, the most basic level. The reason is that, although I live in China, I am immersed in English. I teach English, my wife speaks English, my friends all speak English, I watch English TV, listen to English music, read English books and English websites. My Chinese usage is limited to shopping in supermarkets and telling the taxi driver where I live.

What you have to do, is to break out of the Chinese environment and re-immerse yourself in English. This might mean moving away from your current residence so that you are forced to encounter new people and new situations. You also need to place yourself into environments where you have new tasks to perform and thus must learn in English, how to do those tasks. Widen your experience of English beyond the classroom and into the real world. Join a club or take evening classes in some hobby subject. As you encounter more new things, within an English language environment, you will be forced to develop your English skills to a higher level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *