It is fun to learn new words, but oh so hard to remember them! Even worse, the right ones never seem to come out when they should. And., adding insult to injury, the person I am talking to, uses my idea and the blessed word. Argghhh… How miserable can life get? To speak English fluently you need to be armed with the right words. This is easier said than done! How often have you resolved to learn TEN new words a day; struggled against forgetting them, writing, making lists, conjuring up crazy formulae for memorising the bombastic beasts, and then, sadly using in sentences far from impressive? One of the reasons why this occurs is that you are probably trying to memorise words out of context. This is just rote learning and the content is hard to recall at the right moment, because, in your mind there is no connection between the word and its usage. Words are, in a way like us, social beings. They like to hang out with friends in particular places. Put them randomly and they look and sound miserable. So, for smooth, natural sounding language, one first needs to select the right kind of words to learn. (No one needs all of them, and trying to cram ten per day is simply too much). One way to do this is to listen to yourself as you speak. Are there some words that you repeat very often? Try to identify these words, sorry, expressions and look for synonyms. There are several excellent sites online. A quick look at the lists will show you numerous options. Choose one or two appropriate ones and substitute. “It is fun to learn new words phrases but oh so hard to remember them! Even worse, they never come out when they should. Also, adding insult to injury- the person you are talking to uses your idea and the blessed word lexeme. “ ‘Lexeme’, sounds weird! Chuck it. Stick to word or expression or phrase. Happily, now you have three very usable words options. These are not monumental changes; but I am sure you agree, that they make the whole passage less repetitive and thereby more interesting. Now you might say, writing is no big deal, speaking is the problem. Well, record your voice, listen to yourself, think of substitutes and then as step two, google synonyms, sorry alternatives. Use the right word in the context and soon you will be speaking English fluently. Record! Such a drag! I am no sound engineer! Relax, you don’t need to be. Thanks to technology, recording is no big deal. Just whip out your cell-phone and get going! Moreover no one need know you are practicing English speaking. On the road, in the metro or park, while waiting for friends to turn up, each useless, boring minute can be made productive. Instead of just twiddling your thumbs, you will actively be in the process of enhancing your communication skills while people think you are merely chatting on the phone. Speak better English right now!

Surabhi Sharma, 24 July, 2017 (12:22 PM)

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