So one of my students from India studying English with me was talking about how he can improve his English as an Advanced speaker, to become more of a native speaker rather than English being a secondary language.
These were his 3 ways that he finds work for him to improve his English at a C2 level:
1) Informal conversation
2) Read a book or article
3) The teacher asks the student to describe nouns or anything in general
The informal conversation works well as my student suggested because I can correct him on any grammar or pronunciation during our conversations.
Reading something can improve the pronunciation of words
Describing something makes your vocabulary become broader and more thoughtful using words that may not be used or often or a more complicated to explain.
Thanks to my Indian student I can give these ideas to my other advanced students in English!
You are welcome :)
Now to continue:
The question is how to become more of a native speaker.
And the answer is "BE a native speaker!"
Before you hurl your computer from your desk in disgust, please allow me to explain.
How do native speakers relate to their own language?
They identify with it.
When they say "I am" they don't think about it.
They never doubt their identity as a native speaker.
So we as language learners need to say and do and feel the same.
And we do that by CHOOSING to BE a native speaker within ourselves.
That means choosing to ignore our other language/s completely and only relating to the English in our own mind, and outside ourselves.
It's like being at a noisy party where you are fascinated with your conversation partner's words, and thereby you ignore everything else. Except this party is in your own head! It's a party shared between your English-speaking identity and your identity as a speaker of another language.
Come and join me for a lesson and I'll show this to you during our conversation......
Dear Autumn and Mak,
What a wonderful question!
In fact this has become the foundation of my own approach to second-language acquisition.
The key thing here is that we can choose to feel like a native speaker.
Firstly I recommend that you never use the term "foreign language".
If you want to feel like a native speaker then just call it your second language.
Secondly I recommend you start owning the language.
In this case English is your language for the world.
I as a speaker from the native English-speaking country of New Zealand have no right to refuse your ownership of English. If we want English to be a global language then we must allow all of us as global citizens to own it.
So start to feel at home in English.
Start to own it like you own your first language.
This is just a very short answer because I have my lovely Italki learner Denis from Moscow in four minutes.
But keep thinking about this essential question!
It is true, especially the first point.