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Learning Article : Building Fluency: Transitioning From Language Knowledge To Practice

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Learning a language often begins with a curriculum; once this part is completed there is a sense of accomplishment. But what happens when the curriculum ends? You completed the textbook, but are you fluent? Here are suggestions for making the transition to real fluency.

Jul 1, 2014 12:00 AM
Comments · 22

Excellent article. Living English after authentic English.


I’ve taken several decade sessions on ITALKI. It did help me make some progress, especially in English listening.


But after some time I found I stay in a place and don't move anymore. Taking the session looks like a task to finish, not learning with joy. Maybe it's because I need living English to practice. After all English is a language to be used to communicate. If I always talk with English teachers and don't undergo many many conversations with English native people, I certainly can't got to the level I have wished. The destination of my English learning is in the conversations with all kinds of English people.


It's difficult to me to find English speakers to talk with. Any native speaker has not special desire and patience to talk with a foreign speaker, except for money, beautiful girl, culture curiosity, etc. Forgive me I think so about the cruel fact.


What should I do? Money on conversation practice will be a big burden for me. It's unaccounted money to becoming talking perfectly. I have to think a way to attract others talking wit me in English.

July 2, 2014

After this article I ask myself: what can a tutor do to improve my language skills? As written above learners should do a lot of activities to move on. I mean listening, reading, watching of real English materials by native authors. All of this I can do myself. But there are writing and speaking. I am always making mistakes and a tutor can correct me. But it so boring, I think...

July 7, 2014

I see the same in my experience you wrote about. I came here in order to improve speaking and get a feel for using English. And the question came up: What and how to do that? So now looking for something that will work and will be enjoyable. The "enjoy" part seems to me to be key. I have began to feel that I would like to pick up new vocabulary, expressions, correct sentence structures in order to express myself more clearly, accurately and make the whole thing more enjoyable. In other words, I feel I am getting a second wind:-)

July 2, 2014

@Adrian: This gets at the core of italki's appeal.  I think that many users here have had a difficult time finding opportunities to practice their target lanaguage with native speakers where they live.

July 3, 2014

I very much agree with all you've said here.  Formal classes and textbooks can only take you so far in your language learning goals.  I have found my time outside the classroom interacting with native speakers to be of greatest help to achieving the level of fluency I'm aiming for. 

You need to get used to spontaneously "translating" and expressing your thoughts and ideas into that language, and being aware of the <em>way</em> certain ideas tend to be expressed (ie. certain sentence structures..tenses..words etc).

However, finding native speakers isn't always easy (this is sadly true for me and the monolingual society in which I live...) so finding authentic use of the language in videos and movies etc has also been instrumental to my language learning.






July 3, 2014
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Language Skills
English, Korean, Russian, Ukrainian
Learning Language