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How to Become Fluent in a Foreign Language

Little boy smiling with different flags around his head. In front of a blackboard with different words in different languages as he holds two thumbs up.

Have you always wanted to become fluent in a foreign language? Our experts in language teaching share their most effective tips on how to become fluent in a foreign language – fast and efficiently.

Woman with glasses smiling while holding up her resume
Identify Your “Why”

Learning a language opens doors – both professionally and personally. What is or are the reason(s) why you want to learn or improve a foreign language? Identifying the reasons why you are learning a language will keep your motivation on a consistently high level.

Professional goals:

Foreign languages are always a plus in your curriculum. But besides that, you will also feel a lot more comfortable holding meetings or telephoning in a foreign language. It might be that you would like to enter University in a foreign country and thus need a certain level to ensure you get accepted or you aim for a distinct advantage in the job market. What ever your professional goals might be, being fluent in foreign languages will help you to achieve them.

Personal goals:

Learning a foreign language allows you to connect to people more deeply by talking in their mother tongue. You are able to travel more authentically, build international friendships, expand your view of the world, and enhance your communication skills. Furthermore, it can also help your social life and create a more positive attitude towards people from other countries and cultures. Now it is your turn! Make some notes on what is relevant to you.

Person holding phone in their hands with the word "Vocabulary" above the phone
Set your goals:

Besides identifying the reasons why you are interested in learning a foreign language, setting a goal helps you to keep up with your language learning on a consistent level and thus becoming fluent more quickly.

Expand Your Vocabulary

Expanding your vocabulary improves your articulation and language fluency. When you understand how sentences are structured, speaking is not as challenging as it may seem. Technology is a valuable tool in expanding your vocabulary. Whether it is a phone application or interactive resources on your computer, technology and gamified learning can be a real motivation booster and a valuable addition to a physical or virtual language course.

Improve your pronunciation

Good pronunciation is a very important element for speaking and understanding a language. The more you practice, the better your pronunciation will become over time. A great way of doing that is imitating the speech of actors in your favourite movie. You can listen to the way the actors pronounce the words and try to do the same. Once you are more familiar with this method, you will start speaking like a parrot and move your tongue faster without even pausing the movie that much anymore.

If you want to know what you sound like and check weaknesses in your pronunciation, record yourself speaking. Are there certain words or set of words you mispronounce more often? If you are doing e-learning with inlingua’s my.lab, the integrated speaking lab allows you to record phrases and make a comparison with the original.

Once you are familiar with recording words or phrases and comparing them, you can try to record longer speeches. This will enable you to gauge fluency in the language you are learning and improve confidence while communicating in the language you are learning.

Woman holding a cup of coffee, leaning in while listening to her friend speak
Practice, practice, practice

Practicing regularly is very important. The more you immerse yourself in your target language, the better. Language fluency can be improved by actively participating in the classroom, and practicing the accent and pronunciation of words and phrases. Additionally, you can find a native speaker language buddy to collaborate with. Simple errors on pronunciation, sentence structure and vocabulary can be noted and corrected to help you improve and become a fluent speaker.

Do you need any help? inlingua has 50+ years’ experience in teaching languages in over 250 regions around the world. Get in touch here!

By: Céline B.
Truca ara