Why Is It Beneficial To Learn To Speak English Like A Native?
People will understand you more easily:
Whether it’s the shop assistant in the supermarket, your university course tutor, or even your boss. It might sound obvious but being understood easily by locals is a huge advantage to any English learner.
You will have more confidence in your abilities:
Confidence is the key to most things in life, be it career, relationships, or hobbies. You would never feel nervous about answering a question in class or introducing yourself to someone new if you know you speak English like a native as you would have that confidence in your speaking abilities.
You can get a job that requires native English:
If you spoke English like a native, there would be zero language barriers for any job you wanted. It is also very impressive to employers if they meet a candidate who can speak more than one language fluently, it will likely impress them before you have even begun the interview!
There are a lot of accents in English and to speak English like a native you have to be able to speak to anyone from anywhere. Especially focus on the places where you want to live, if you’re going to Dublin – look up an Irish accent; California – look up Californian/American; Liverpool – familiarize yourself with Scouse/English. (As a bonus this will also help with your listening skills). If you have a particular place in mind where you want to go, you should look up the general accent for that place e.g. general English, general American and practice speaking with that accent.
If you’re struggling with a new word or if you know your pronunciation of particular words is not native sounding, you need to work on copying a native speaker EXACTLY. A way to find out if you’re pronouncing something wrong is to pay attention when you’re talking to natives, any word that they ask you to repeat or are slow to understand you will most likely be pronouncing it in a non-native way. To do this successfully you will need to “put on” their accent, you might feel a bit stupid at first, but this is the best way to speak English like a native
Psychology research has shown that people often copy other accents subconsciously as a way to emphasise or relate to that person. So if you want to learn how to speak English like a native, try to speak to as many native speakers as you can, you will subconsciously pick up their accent. This will also help you with your confidence with speaking, it may be scary at first but you will soon get used to speaking to natives. Speaking to native speakers will also help you massively with your fluency – fluency is very important when learning to speak native English. If you can’t speak any natives, start watching TV shows that have native accents. Try to copy the actors exactly, how do they say each word? What expressions always have the same tone and speed?
Slang is informal speech that is usually region dependent. However there are several types of slang which are pretty much universal or related to one country e.g. “It’s boiling today!”, “10 quid”, “are you kidding me?!” Native speakers will use slang constantly when they’re talking, so it is extremely important to understand the most common slang words otherwise you will always be asking them for definitions. Using any kind of slang will make you sound more like you speak native English.
In a very similar way to slang, idioms are also a vital part of the English language. Native speakers won’t even realise they’re using idioms when they’re talking to you and will sometimes use them accidentally and expect you understand them. Idioms are a type of expression that are often used metaphorically to demonstrate what the speaker is saying. They often “paint a picture” in your mind, showing you in another way the meaning of what they’re saying. If you can master the most common idioms you will sound like a pro! Common idioms are: “kill two birds with one stone” – to accomplish two different things at the same time; “don’t put all your eggs in one basket” – do not put all your resources in one possibility; “don’t judge a book by its cover” – you can’t judge something on appearance only.
Idioms are a fun thing to learn as a lot of them are quite funny – and by learning idioms not only are you improving your English you are also learning how to speak native English – killing two birds with one stone, if you will!