Chinese language tips

Learn phrases, not words

Fluency is being able to speak without hesitation. If you learn English words one at a time, it will be very hard not to hesitate when constructing sentences. That’s because you’ll have to translate every English sentence in your head from your native language, word by word. There is another way: learning new words as part of a common phrase can ease mental strain when speaking. To take a very basic example, if you are learning the word “tonight,” it would help to try and learn the whole phrase “tonight, I am going to.” This way, when you need to discuss your plans for the evening, your brain has half of the reply pre-prepared — there’s less pausing and thinking involved. Learning lists of phrases in a new language is also known as “sentence mining”. Fans claim that it makes them able to use new vocabulary faster, and memorize its grammar more naturally. Not sure which sentences to start with? Try this free list complete with audio recordings or invest in an ebook like this one.

Work on your pronunciation

Working on your pronunciation is helpful for a few reasons. Firstly, if another English speaker finds your accent hard to understand, they might underestimate your level of English which will be frustrating. Secondly, some of the work in becoming fluent is physical. If your native language sounds very different to English, then you will need to pay attention to moving your mouth and tongue in a new way. Native Spanish speakers, for example, sometimes say that speaking English for long periods of time makes their jaw ache at first. For more practical exercises that you can bookmark and return to at any time, check out our English pronunciation guide.

Use resources made for your level

If you’re determined to reach fluency, it can be tempting to skip over resources made for intermediate-level English learners and jump straight into content made for fluent English speakers. Every ambitious language learner has done this at some point or another! However, the reality is that you’ll get a lot more from your study hours if you use resources made for your level. For instance, instead of watching the latest American blockbuster with the subtitles on in your own language, try watching an episode of an English-language children’s show without any subtitles. You will understand far more and will gain more new vocabulary from context. Not sure what level of English you’re currently at? There’s a free test you can take when you sign up to Preply.

Interact with English every single day

If you want to speak fluently, it’s vital to get as much exposure to English as possible. You should be doing something in English every single day, even if you’re not actively studying. There are simple changes you can make to your environment to help with this:

  • Change your phone / social media / tablet settings to English
  • Set your radio to play an English station by default
  • Listen to English music
  • Read the news in English
  • Commit to watching half of your TV shows and movies in English This technique is called “language immersion.” It’s a great way to get used to the sounds of a new language and to reinforce what you have learned. If you’re interested in getting as much English into your daily life as you can, you might want to check out our articles on learning English with podcasts, TV shows, or stories.

Get a personal tutor

If you are serious about achieving fluency, invest in a personal language tutor. Talking to an expert English tutor even just once per week can dramatically boost your progress. You’ll be able to ask questions about English regularly, discuss new words relevant to your own life, and will receive constructive feedback on your English conversation skills in real-time. It’s a highly efficient path to fluency. With Preply, 1-on-1 English lessons have never been more convenient or affordable. You can talk to a native English speaker from anywhere. There are tutors in different time zones all across the world so there will be an expert available at any time of the day or night. The unique search filter also allows you to choose what you can afford to pay — prices start from as low as $10/ hour. Finally, it’s much easier to stick to a regular learning routine when you feel accountable to and comfortable with one person in particular. Study with an English teacher and you won’t just have a guide — you’ll also have a cheerleader to motivate you to improve.

Start speaking English as much as possible

The one thing you absolutely have to do to speak English fluently: get more speaking practice. Almost all advice on achieving your fluency goals will eventually come down to this. Nothing else you can do is as effective, or as important. If you’re living in a country where spoken English is not common, finding opportunities to practice can be difficult. Try some of these tips:

  • Buddy up with an English speaker who is learning your native language or if you don’t know anyone, why not download a language exchange app?
  • Schedule 1-on-1 online classes with a tutor on Preply to get expert advice on your English speaking skills.
  • Use language learning apps with speech recognition software. Mondly has a great feature where you can ask (basic!) questions to an English speaking-robot, and get a response.
  • When you have reached an intermediate level, attend webinars or online English classes.
  • Find another English learner to practice with.
  • Narrate your own life. Speak out loud to yourself in English describing what you’re doing. For a fuller explanation of how to do this, check out YouTube English teaching star, Bob the Canadian’s, advice here. If you can find some creative ways to fit regular English-speaking opportunities into your life, things will start to “click” faster than you think.

Language Tsar/Conor Clyne

  • 63.6K subscribers
  • Russian and Ukrainian Once a lawyer and now a full-time YouTuber traveling the East of Europe, Conor Clyne’s passion for the Russian language inspires viewers to join him on his epic travel adventures. Over time, Clyne has also posted videos sharing his love for Belarus and Ukraine, which has led him to share tips and tricks for mastering these dialects. If you plan to visit Eastern Europe one day, watching his videos can be a huge help for communicating and avoiding tourist traps.

Luca Lampariello

  • 134K subscribers
  • Italian, Russian, Chinese, Spanish, German, French, and more Luca Lampariello, originally from Italy, has been studying languages for more than 20 years. He created his YouTube channel to share not only his passion for languages, but also his techniques for studying various languages with optimism and enthusiasm. As a teacher, Lampariello prides himself on his effective methods and years of experience, branding his channel as “smart language learning”. Believing that language classes have a low success rate because languages “cannot be taught” but only learned, Lampariello has changed his approach and outlook on learning various dialects and has a desire to share this mindset with his hundreds of thousands of subscribers to help them succeed.

Lindie Botes

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  • French, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and more As a self-proclaimed YouTuber who is obsessed with learning languages, Lindie Botes has amassed an impressive following for her lessons and travel videos. Based in Singapore, Botes is currently learning 12 languages and uses this as motivation to show her audience that it’s possible to learn multiple languages at once. Through her uploads, her subscribers can follow her language-learning process as she shares her best methods and tips for becoming fluent in a non-native language.

Super Chinese

You can learn Mandarin efficiently by using the app through its proprietary artificial intelligence. HSKonline is the founder of the app and is for both Android and iOS users. You need to subscribe to get premium features or full access. On the other hand, there are many language practices in different interactive exercises to check learners’ abilities.