5 Speaking Rules you need to know!

1. Don't study grammar too much

This rule might sound strange to many ESL students, but it is one of the

most important rules. If you want to pass examinations, then study

grammar. However, if you want to become fluent in English, then you

should try to learn English without studying the grammar.

Studying grammar will only slow you down and confuse you. You will think

about the rules when creating sentences instead of naturally saying a

sentence like a native. Remember that only a small fraction of English

speakers know more than 20% of all the grammar rules. Many ESL

students know more grammar than native speakers. I can confidently say

this with experience. I am a native English speaker, majored in English

Literature, and have been teaching English for more than 10 years.

However, many of my students know more details about English grammar

than I do. I can easily look up the definition and apply it, but I don't know

it off the top of my head.

I often ask my native English friends some grammar questions, and only a

few of them know the correct answer. However, they are fluent in English

and can read, speak, listen, and communicate effectively.

Do you want to be able to recite the definition of a causative verb, or do you

want to be able to speak English fluently?

2. Learn and study phrases

Many students learn vocabulary and try to put many words together to

create a proper sentence. It amazes me how many words some of my

students know, but they cannot create a proper sentence. The reason is

because they didn't study phrases. When children learn a language, they

learn both words and phrases together. Likewise, you need to study and

learn phrases.

If you know 1000 words, you might not be able to say one correct sentence.

But if you know 1 phrase, you can make hundreds of correct sentences. If

you know 100 phrases, you will be surprised at how many correct

sentences you will be able to say. Finally, when you know only a 1000

phrases, you will be almost a fluent English speaker.

The English Speaking Basics section is a great example of making

numerous sentences with a single phrase. So don't spend hours and hours

learning many different words. Use that time to study phrases instead and

you will be closer to English fluency.

Don't translate

When you want to create an English sentence, do not translate the words

from your Mother tongue. The order of words is probably completely

different and you will be both slow and incorrect by doing this. Instead,

learn phrases and sentences so you don't have to think about the words

you are saying. It should be automatic.

Another problem with translating is that you will be trying to incorporate

grammar rules that you have learned. Translating and thinking about the

grammar to create English sentences is incorrect and should be avoided.

3. Reading and Listening is NOT enough.

Practice Speaking what you hear!

Reading, listening, and speaking are the most important aspects of any

language. The same is true for English. However, speaking is the only

requirement to be fluent. It is normal for babies and children to learn

speaking first, become fluent, then start reading, then writing. So the

natural order is listening, speaking, reading, then writing.

First Problem

Isn't it strange that schools across the world teach reading first, then

writing, then listening, and finally speaking? Although it is different, the

main reason is because when you learn a second language, you need to

read material to understand and learn it. So even though the natural order

is listening, speaking, reading, then writing, the order for ESL students is

reading, listening, speaking, then writing.

Second Problem

The reason many people can read and listen is because that's all they

practice. But in order to speak English fluently, you need to practice

speaking. Don't stop at the listening portion, and when you study, don't

just listen. Speak out loud the material you are listening to and practice

what you hear. Practice speaking out loud until your mouth and brain can

do it without any effort. By doing so, you will be able to speak English


4. Submerge yourself

Being able to speak a language is not related to how smart you are. Anyone

can learn how to speak any language. This is a proven fact by everyone in

the world. Everyone can speak at least one language. Whether you are

intelligent, or lacking some brain power, you are able to speak one


This was achieved by being around that language at all times. In your

country, you hear and speak your language constantly. You will notice that

many people who are good English speakers are the ones who studied in an

English speaking school. They can speak English not because they went to

an English speaking school, but because they had an environment where

they can be around English speaking people constantly.

There are also some people who study abroad and learn very little. That is

because they went to an English speaking school, but found friends from

their own country and didn't practice English.

You don't have to go anywhere to become a fluent English speaker. You

only need to surround yourself with English. You can do this by making

rules with your existing friends that you will only speak English. You can

also carry around an iPod and constantly listen to English sentences. As

you can see, you can achieve results by changing what your surroundings

are. Submerge yourself in English and you will learn several times faster.

5. Study correct material

A common phrase that is incorrect is, "Practice makes perfect." This is far

from the truth. Practice only makes what you are practicing permanent. If

you practice the incorrect sentence, you will have perfected saying the

sentence incorrectly. Therefore, it is important that you study material that

is commonly used by most people.

Another problem I see is that many students study the news. However, the

language they speak is more formal and the content they use is more

political and not used in regular life. It is important to understand what

they are saying, but this is more of an advanced lesson that should be

studied after learning the fundamental basics of English.

Studying English with a friend who is not a native English speaker is both

good and bad. You should be aware of the pros and cons of speaking with a

non native speaking friend. Practicing with a non native person will give

you practice. You can also motivate each other and point out basic

mistakes. But you might pick up bad habits from one another if you are not

sure about what are correct and incorrect sentences. So use these practice

times as a time period to practice the correct material you studied. Not to

learn how to say a sentence.

In short, study English material that you can trust, that is commonly used,

and that is correct.


These are the rules that will help you achieve your goal of speaking English

fluently. All the teachings and lessons on TalkEnglish.com follow this

method so you have the tools you need to achieve your goal right here on