Improving Your English Fluency
4.5 (62 ratings)
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Improving Your English Fluency

Speak American English smoothly so that you don't feel nervous when talking with native speakers.
4.5 (62 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
336 students enrolled
Created by Luke Priddy
Last updated 6/2016
English
Curiosity Sale
Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Speak smoothly with confidence.
  • Use 'jumping' and 'linking' to connect sounds.
  • Speak without stopping for long periods of time.
  • Build muscle memory.
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • A basic understanding of English. This course does not have subtitles.
Description

In this course, you will learn how to sound natural when speaking in conversation. We will go over ways to blend words when speaking continuously, and also how to say specific sounds in the right way so that your speaking flows more easily. In this course you will learn about tone and intonation, and how to use stress to get your meaning across. Finally, this course will cover some really useful exercises for improving fluency and building mouth muscle memory. This course is intended for serious language learners, who want to sound more natural when speaking English. 

You will be able to see my face and mouth clearly in each video lesson, and I will use a blackboard at all times. 

Each lesson focuses on a single idea, and each is comprehensive. Students can go at their own pace and should take their time, with lots of practice between videos. Replaying each lesson is highly recommended. 

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is meant for English learners with some knowledge of English who want to sound much more natural when speaking. If you only want to learn British English, maybe this course is not right for you.
  • This course is for people who feel comfortable with their vocabulary but can't speak fluently. Those who want to speak regularly with native English speakers should take this course.
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Curriculum For This Course
16 Lectures
03:06:14
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Introduction
1 Lecture 06:58

Fluency means the ability to speak naturally. Improving English fluency involves more than just learning how to say words more clearly; it's about being able to think in English and then express yourself in a way that sounds clear and natural. In this course, we will focus on being able to speak clearly and naturally. We will go over ways to blend words when speaking continuously, and also how to say specific sounds in the right way so that your speaking flows more easily. In this course you will learn about tone and intonation, and how to use stress to get your meaning across. Finally, this course will cover some really useful exercises for improving fluency and building mouth muscle memory.

Preview 06:58
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Speaking Flow
6 Lectures 01:20:25

There are some key tips to remember throughout this course and as you continue to work on fluency. 

These are:

1. Never speak flatly, like a robot. 

2. Natural English is blended. Words are often not pronounced separately. 

3. You have to be very aware of how native English speakers talk, and how you talk.

4. Recording yourself is a great way to find issues with fluency. 

5. There are rules, but not all of them work. 

6. Relax!

Preview 18:23

Blending means connecting the ending sound of one word with the beginning sounds of the next. By blending sounds (which all native English speakers do), your sentences can flow more easily and you can sound more natural. One simple kind of blending is for words with common consonants or vowels. When the ending consonant or vowel sound of the first word is the same as the beginning of the second, the two words will generally be glued together when you say them.
Blending Part 1
15:21

Blending means connecting the ending sound of one word with the beginning sounds of the next. By blending sounds (which all native English speakers do), your sentences can flow more easily and you can sound more natural. One simple kind of blending is for words with common consonants or vowels. When the ending consonant or vowel sound of the first word is the same as the beginning of the second, the two words will generally be glued together when you say them.

Blending Part 2
06:18

When words don't share common consonant or vowel sounds, jumping form one word to the next can make the sentence sound more smooth and natural. In order to do this, you have to rethink the separation of words. In fact, to sound more fluent when speaking, you can jump from one word to the next by speaking the last sound of one word as though it were the first sound of the next.

Jumping
19:50

The 'T' sound is a pretty hard sound and often stops the flow of the sentence and decreases speed. However, there are some different forms of the 'T' which are much softer and easy to use. These sounds are used in specific places, and there are rules about where these forms should go, but it's also important to remember that rules in English don't always work. Rules in English are general guidelines.

'T' Time Part 1
14:12

The 'T' sound is a pretty hard sound and often stops the flow of the sentence and decreases speed. However, there are some different forms of the 'T' which are much softer and easy to use. These sounds are used in specific places, and there are rules about where these forms should go, but it's also important to remember that rules in English don't always work. Rules in English are general guidelines.

'T' Time Part 2
06:21
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Intonation and Stress
4 Lectures 54:05

Intonation is the way the voice rises and falls in a sentence. Intonation is important because it helps people understand what you mean. If you don't use the right intonation for a question, for example, others may not know that you asked a question (only because of your the intonation you used). Intonation can also help to clearly separate the beginnings and endings of sentences, and keep you from sounding like a robot.

Intonation (Questions)
12:09

Tone is the way the voice rises and falls--the pitch of the voice, especially for individual words. Different words can take on different meanings depending on the tone that is used. Some tones are used to express simple meanings, and sometimes to express more complicated things, like feelings. Tone is connected to culture and may be used differently by different native English speakers, so it's best to simply get the feel for how tone is used in different social situations.

Tone and Meaning
10:48

Stress is the focus, the power, that is put on a word when speaking. Stress usually involves speaking the word more loudly and stretching the word out, so that it is pronounced more slowly. In English, we stress words that are important in the sentence, and leave less important words unstressed. Stress is also important for keeping our sentences interesting, to keep people from falling asleep when we are speaking. Often, grammar words that aren't key to the whole meaning of the sentence are pushed together and spoken very quickly.
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One sentence can have many possible meanings when different words in the sentence are stressed.

Using Stress
13:35

Stress is the focus, the power, that is put on a word when speaking. Stress usually involves speaking the word more loudly and stretching the word out, so that it is pronounced more slowly. In English, we stress words that are important in the sentence, and leave less important words unstressed. Stress is also important for keeping our sentences interesting, to keep people from falling asleep when we are speaking. Often, grammar words that aren't key to the whole meaning of the sentence are pushed together and spoken very quickly.
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One sentence can have many possible meanings when different words in the sentence are stressed.

Stress and Meaning
17:33
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Mastery
5 Lectures 44:46
Habits are extremely important, but they are also very hard to change. Once you get into bad speaking habits, it takes a lot of work to get out and build good habits. Pay careful attention to how native English speakers sound and try to focus on how you sound. If you can begin to notice what you need to improve, you can begin to start correcting yourself. Repeating good habits, speaking correctly over and over again, is the best way to build those habits. To practice building habits, speak carefully on simple tasks. Give yourself a task and record yourself. Listen to the recording and try to find all of the things that are keeping you from sounding fluent.
Common Problems
13:01

Listen to the reading of this short article and then try to read it yourself. Record yourself and keep practicing until you can read it very smoothly.

Practice Makes Perfect
13:20

Tongue twisters are short sentences or poems that are difficult to read because many of the sounds in the words are the same or similar. Tongue twisters are a great way to get used to speaking continuously and making English sounds without thinking about how to make them. Tongue twisters are basically muscle memory exercises. Muscle memory is what your muscles know to do after extended repetition. If you practice speaking quickly, soon you won't have to think about how to make all the sounds you need to make, your mouth will just make them.

Tongue Twisters
05:35

Speaking feely, ideally in a conversation with a native English speaker, is the absolute best way to improve fluency. In conversation, you have to be able to think about what you want to say, and then say it. But, sometimes it's hard to think about both what you want to say and how you want to say it. So, to truly improve fluency, you have to practice both thinking and speaking at the same time. You have to get used to talking without any preparation. Do this regularly and a deep discussion with a native English speaker will be easy.

Improvisation
06:12

If you want to be a fluent English speaker, you have to practice a lot; you have to speak as much as you can. But, you have to practice in the right way, and to improve the flow and natural sound of your speaking. This is essential if you want to master what we covered in this course: linking words, stress, jumping from word to the next, how to say the 'T' sound correctly, and of course how to put these skills into practice. 

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Feel free to take this course again. Keep working and you'll be totally fluent in no time. Good luck and thank you for taking this course!

Summary
06:38
About the Instructor
Luke Priddy
4.6 Average rating
254 Reviews
996 Students
3 Courses
Innovative English Teacher

As the founder of Cloud English and the co-founder of yoli, I've helped many people become confident English speakers. I've been teaching English for years, and I love it. I'm also a world traveler with many interests. Along the way, I've discovered powerful language learning methods that make learning English much easier and more effective. These courses contain my insights and methods. I use a split screen presentation style for my courses. You will be able to see both my face and a digital blackboard. It's a great way to learn!