Can I get fluent without living in another country?
I have a quick quiz for you:
TRUE or FALSE: I have to live in an English speaking country to get fluent.
NO, it is not necessary to ever step foot in an English speaking country to get fluent.
I have met thousands of learners who learned to speak excellent English right from their home country. It’s pretty amazing, but with the right mindset, an internet connection, and diligent habits they made their way to confident, conversational English (I even met a guy who taught himself English with a Portuguese-English dictionary!).
And these are NOT special people with freakish [very strange, exceptional] talents for learning languages. This is possible for anyone, including you!!
Sure, living in an English speaking country and being surrounded by the language can help. But in fact, I have also met many people who lived abroad and still only have average (and often worse) English.
So what separates successful English learners from those who get lost in mediocrity?
Exceptional learners do not make excuses for not being able to learn (like not living in an English speaking country). They are deeply passionate about the language and culture. And they find ways to learn, even when they have no one to talk to.
How do they do this?
They focus largely on listening. And with different techniques, they actually use listening to improve their pronunciation and speaking.
Living in an English speaking country (sometimes) helps because it forces you to constantly listen to the language. But I’ve found that the best learners make English a part of their life, whether or not they are forced to by their environment!
They create their own English environment!
You can do this, too! We have TONS of resources on our blog to help. If you are serious about your learning then you definitely want to check out these resources!
As you will see in these articles, one of the most powerful habits you can develop for your listening, vocabulary, and pronunciation is listening to podcasts (like our own, RealLife Radio). Podcasts are great because you can listen to them anytime you can have headphones in (in the bus, at the store, in line at the bank, etc.).
- Secret Tips to Drastically Improve Your English Listening
- How to Revolutionize Your English with Podcasts (plus FREE power lesson!)
- 5 Ways to Make English a Part of Your Daily Life
What techniques do you use to increase your fluency in a non-English speaking country? COMMENT below!
Actually I do not live in an English speaking country neither go to the university to study it. I’m from Colombia a Spanish speaking country and I’m surrounded by Spanish all the time. But every day I read, write and listen to English at least 1 hour and this is the way I’ve learned and improved my English and I think I’ll achieve my goal speak English.
Awesome! That’s exactly the proactive attitude you need to get fluent 🙂
Keep up the good work
Well, I just found a fluent person who has a youtube channel that has never been to an english speaking country but speaks english fluently. She said that what helped her the most was to do something she called “shadowing”, which means to repeat a sentence after hearing it being said by a native english speaking person. And you can do that by watching movies or youtube videos. I’ve started to do that and noticed that my speaking skill and pronunciation got a lot better.
Thank you for sharing, Mariana! That’s indeed a very useful method. Keep it up!