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Fluentzy.com > English > Fluency Facts > English environment is an effective training ground...
 
  Back to index of questions   Fluency Facts >> 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15    
  Answer to Q9.
 
English environment is an effective training ground, but not practical for non-native adults

 
  Q9. Some people say that if I want to learn to speak fluent English, I must live in an environment where people normally speak in English. If what they say is true, how can a self-study course help me?
 
  Answer:
 
  This route will take years
  The Fluentzy system: The only quick and easy route
  English environment in second-language countries
  English environment in English-speaking countries
  A practical difficulty (in using English environment as a training ground)
 
 
Perhaps what you have in mind is this: If you live in an environment where people speak English, you'll be able to keep on listening to spoken English and you'll find yourself forced to speak in English. And this listening experience and speaking experience would give you a sort of training, and this training would help you speak fluent English. Is this what you mean by the question?

This route will take years
Of course, it'll certainly be very helpful if you can live for a long period of time in an environment where people speak genuine English. Yes, for a long period of time. There's no doubt about it.

But don't let this fact mislead you or give you a wrong idea. Mind you, just because you spend your time with people who speak English for a short period like 3 or 6 months, that alone is not going to help you become fluent. No. Of course, that'll help you speak a few isolated sentences here and there. But don't think that it'll give you the skill of speaking English fluently.

Suppose you want to gain the skill of speaking English fluently, and suppose you want to do it by living and working in an English environment and by actually trying to speak in English. Mind you, that'll take a long time. That'll take at least 5 years, if the English environment is ideal. Otherwise, it'll take a longer time. Now, can educated adult speakers afford to spend that much time - in order to become fluent?

The Fluentzy system: The only quick and easy route
That's why you need the Fluentzy books. They’re intended to train you to become fluent in a short period of time.

The very reason why the Fluentzy books have been so popular is this: Without the Fluentzy books, your only alternative would have been to spend years and years listening to others speaking in English and attempting to speak to them in English. And even then, the end result may not be as satisfactory as that the Fluentzy books can produce. So you can see that the Fluentzy books meet a pressing need.

English environment in second-language countries
First let's consider the kind of English environment you get in a country like India where English is a second language.

Suppose that you live or work for several years in such a country among people who often speak in English. Of course, you'll then have the opportunity of listening to English spoken by others. And you'll also find yourself forced to speak in English in various communicative situations. But are you under the impression that such an experience is going to make you able to speak English at length spontaneously - in a short period of 3 months or 6 months or one year?

Mind you, even if you live and work in such an environment for several years (say 5 years or more), the chances are that you'll only become able to communicate certain essential things in English through one-line or two-line utterances. That too, in similar communicative situations - and not in new or unfamiliar situations. The chances are that this sort of experience in listening and speaking may not take you to a stage when you can call yourself fluent - even in 5 or 10 years. If you want to call yourself fluent, you must have the skill of speaking English easily and continuously, at least for a few seconds at a time, in almost all the real-life situations you face every day.

For example, in India, there are a large number of English-educated people from 'non-Hindi' states (like Kerala or Tamil Nadu) working in Hindi-speaking cities like Bombay and Delhi. Most of them can't speak Hindi very well. And so English is their chief medium of interaction with people from outside their own states. So they have plenty of opportunity of interacting in English - inside their own offices and in other places. But do you think they all become fluent in English at the end of five years or more? All that they're normally able to do is to communicate certain essential things in English through one-line or two-line utterances. And even to reach that level of competence, they normally take several years - and not a short period of just 3 months or 6 months or even one year.

Actually, this is true not only of people from non-Hindi states working in Hindi-speaking states, but also of Hindi-speaking people working in non-Hindi states. And this is true of large groups of English-educated non-native speakers of English who are similarly-placed everywhere in the world.

English environment in English-speaking countries
Of course, the situation would be quite different if you can live for a few years in a country like England or America - where people speak English as their native or first language.

If you live in one of these English-speaking countries for about five years or more and are able to have conversations with the English-speaking people there regularly, then you're likely to become fluent in everyday conversational English. Yes, in everyday conversational speech. Of course, not in a short period of 3 or 6 months, but in about 3 to 5 years. But mind you, even then, you may not become fluent enough to speak English in detail spontaneously - to describe or explain things or to argue or to have a serious conversation. If you want to reach that stage, you may need to learn fluency techniques.

Of course, all this also depends on the type of environment you live and work in. If you live and work in an environment where you have to make heavy use of oral English, you're likely to become quite fluent (in that kind of English). Otherwise, you'll only become fluent in communicating your essential needs and in performing everyday functions in English. And you'll only be able to communicate in good English if you live and work in an educated environment. But if you live and work in places where living and working conditions are bad, and where people speak non-standard English, the English you'll learn to communicate in will also be non-standard English. This then becomes a liability, rather than an advantage.

A practical difficulty (in using English environment as a training ground)
Now just think about this: Even if you go to England or America, how are you going to start communicating in English if you're not already fluent at least to some extent? If you're already somewhat fluent, then of course, living and working with educated native speakers of English will certainly help you become more fluent - over the years. But if you're not already somewhat fluent, won't your progress be difficult?

So remember this: You'll be able to become fluent in one-line or two-line functional English if you live and work in an English-speaking environment - for a long period of time. But simply by living in an English speaking environment alone, you may not become fluent in speaking spontaneously and at length. To reach that stage, you may have to learn fluency techniques.

 
 

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