Am I Fluent in English yet?
This is a big question!
How many times have you asked yourself this?
Most of our students ask this question all the time. So, we thought we would create a blog post to help you answer this big question.
Answer these questions to see if you have finally reached English fluency.
You've been working hard on your English.
You've studied everything you need to know.
But can you actually speak English fluently yet?
Knowing whether you've reached fluency or not is a big question and sadly there is no guaranteed way to say you have or not.
However, we have provided a checklist that you can use to see if you have reached a level of fluent English.
If you can answer these questions confidently, then well done you can finally say you're fluent in English.
If you cant answer then confidently, then we've provided some tips to help you get there.
1. Do I understand what fluency means?
There is a common misconception when it comes to fluency.
Most learners think that being fluent means to know all the vocabulary there is and be able to speak perfectly without any errors.
This is not true.
Fluency means you are able to speak at length about a variety of different topics without unnatural pauses and hesitation.
If you understand this, then you know that you can still make mistakes with your spoken English and you continue working towards expanding your knowledge of vocabulary.
2. Am I able to talk about a variety of different topics in English?
As we already mentioned being fluent means you can express yourself well on a variety of different topics.
Are you comfortable talking about different topics?
Can you talk about current affairs, sports, music, travel and the environment?
If you can speak about most common topics, you would be pleased to know that you are well on your way to being fluent in English.
If at this moment you don’t feel confident talking about different topics, remember to regularly explore new topics in English to expand your knowledge further.
YouTube is a fantastic tool to learn about new topics.
3. Do I still translate in my head?
This is a big one for most learners.
Unfortunately, it’s one of the biggest factors holding you back from reaching fluency, and that is translating everything in your head.
Are you able to communicate without the need to translate into your native language?
Often when you stop to think about something in your language, it slows down the rate at which you speak and can sound unnatural.
If you no longer need to translate what it is, you want to say then you’re doing very well and can say that you are well on your way to fluency.
If you aren’t quite there yet, don’t give up!
Try to stop relying on translations and say whatever you need to until translating is no longer necessary.
Our advice would be to immerse yourself with English media. For example, Films, TV programmes, podcasts, or YouTube videos etc.
The more you do this the more you will expose yourself to natural fluent English and become aware of new words and phrases.
You will also find that you no longer need to translate so much.
4. Can I speak with ease?
When speaking in English do you find it easy to connect words and sentences together?
Another factor of fluency means that you find it easy to say what it is you want to say. If you can connect your ideas and opinions together with little effort, then you are doing very well.
Fluent speakers have the ability to talk about things in an effective and clear way.
They use what we call cohesive language that helps connect their ideas and opinions.
If you don’t feel that you are at that stage yet, it might be a good idea to learn more about cohesive language and start to apply them to your spoken English.
Why not take a look at our simple explanation of cohesive language here.
5. Am I able to hold a conversation with others?
When speaking with others in English can you keep the conversation going or do you start to feel uncomfortable and not know what to say?
Being able to hold a conversation is a great sign of fluency.
At a fluent level you should be able to speak with other English speakers fairly well. You should be able to develop the conversation and respond to the other speaker accordingly.
If this is difficult for you to do, then why not consider talking with other English speakers.
You can find other speaking partners or Native English teachers to practice with on italki.
This way you get more conversation practice and receive feedback on your weaker areas.
6. Can I understand others when I speak with them?
This kind of relates to the previous question above. However, this relates to how quickly you are able to understand other English speakers.
A strong sign of fluency is that you can quickly understand other speakers during conversation.
Are you able to understand other English speakers quickly?
If you cannot then, you need to be spending more time listening to English on a regular basis, so that you encounter different contexts, situations, words and phrases.
Like the advice we gave earlier, the more you immerse yourself in English the more you are able to understand different situations.
7. Can others understand me when I speak?
If you are fluent in English, then other English speakers should be able to understand you easily.
When you speak with other English speakers do they ask you to repeat what you have said?
As the main objective is to be able to communicate effectively and express yourself on a variety of different topics then it’s a big disadvantage if others find it difficult to understand you.
The reason for this could be poor pronunciation, accent or knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
Some of these factors could be keeping you from reaching fluency.
It’s a good idea to try to find out where the problem lies and once you find out what it is that is stopping others from understanding you then you can work on improving that specific area.
8. Am I able to use my target language comfortably?
It’s important that you feel comfortable using English.
Are you able to use English as comfortably as you do with your own language?
If you do feel comfortable using English, then this a sure sign of fluency. If, however you still don’t feel comfortable using English, then there’s a chance that you aren’t quite fluent yet.
If this is the case for you, then one good way to overcome this issue is to try language exchange.
With language exchange it’s a good opportunity to speak with someone who is a native speaker of English who has the desire to practice speaking your native language. It’s a great way to boost your comfort and skill level.
Language exchange services like Tandem are a helpful way to connect with your ideal conversation partner.
OK, So the question is; are you fluent? Leave me a comment on your answer.
Hopefully, these 8 questions have helped you to determine if you have successfully reached a fluent level of English.
If the answer is no, then by now you should have an idea on how you can work towards achieving that goal.
Until next time!
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Matthew & Becky
Native British Teachers
Online English Skills
We help English learners take their English skills to the next level.