Welcome to the second part of the post that topped the charts last week!
So, without further ado, we present you the second (and final) part of the post. Scroll down!
Be more fluent
Everyone wants this so called fluency and what this really means is control. Control can be measured by how much you hesitate between words and sentences.
Your speaking and writing abilities are very much linked believe it or not, both are productive skills so the range of vocabulary we mentioned previously is needed when speaking too. This brings about new challenges, pronunciation and fluency especially. It takes time to use your newly learnt words or phrases in the moment when talking to someone, this affects fluency of course and putting the right stress on the word and its syllables while pronouncing the vowel sounds correctly takes practice. This is all about the control you have of the language and accessing the knowledge in your head, be patient.
But how can I practice my productive skills man?!
In short, produce language. This involves writing a blog / an essay / a review for a product / whatsapping or emailing a friend in English, additionally you should Skype or chat in English to someone patient you know (preferably someone with a similar level to yours or higher). There are so many more ways but you need to actually go for it.
Vary your structures
Okay so this is just another way of saying ‘more grammar‘ but before you grumble about having to do this, think about the vocabulary we know we need to improve on. Well, grammatical structures can be much the same as there could be multiple forms available to you at any moment. This too comes under that important word of “range”.
- If I had gone to the beach today I wouldn’t have finished my work (standard 3rd conditional)
- Had I gone to the beach today I wouldn’t have finished my work (inverted 3rd conditional)
- Going to the beach today would have meant not finishing my work (participle clause)
Those examples are giving different ways to covey a hypothetical past condition.
Here’s another example. (You’re welcome)
- I have never tried listening jazz to relax (standard statement using present perfect)
- What I have never tried is listening to jazz to relax (cleft sentence)
- Never have I tried listening to jazz to relax (inversion using a negative adverb)
The idea here is emphasis and there are lots of ways to do this, the examples show us a cleft sentence and inversion but the message here again is to show there are a plethora of words and structures to express similar concepts. By the way, you can see much more on inversion and other grammar practice in our long list of previous posts.
So why am I told to wait?
Language learning differs from other subjects, it takes consistent practice so as not to regress and, on top of that, the learning curve is slow, especially the higher the level you go.
The original question that started these two posts was why your teacher may have told you to wait before taking the CAE (or another) exam. Well, due to all the reasons mentioned in these posts, it takes time to assimilate new language in our brains before we can produce it. This can seem frustrating but patience is needed here.
All in all, two academic years is a predictable amount of time to get from B2 to the desired advanced level as long as you put in the work. The same amount of time could be applied to those of you who are already advanced users and want to reach for Proficiency C2 where the emphasis on vocabulary and control is key. Obviously this time frame varies depending on the student but it is a fair marker.
One last thing to get you mixing it up with your writing and speaking, this time focusing on your organisation and coherence. Like the last exercise, can you think of other words that could go in each box?
Let us know in the comments and we’ll tell you if you’re correct!
Language function Prepositions/ prepositional phrases (come before noun phrases) Conjunctions (join two clauses in one sentence) Adverbs/Adverbial phrases (join two sentences) Cause/effect because of, due to because as a result, therefore Opposition despite, in spite of but, although, even though however Contrast but whereas on the other hand Addition and furthermore, in addition, moreover, additionally Example such as for example
Those of you or friends and family who are only starting to learn English now will see much more improvement at a faster rate. Simple structures and learning chunks of typical questions and responses are a good place to start before looking at the synonyms and more complex grammar seen here.
So, there you have it! We really hope you’ve enjoyed it!
See you for our next post! #staysafe