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Why do you have difficulty speaking English even though you’re quite good at grammar?

September 16, 2021 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

The honest answer is that you’re probably focused TOO much on grammar rules.

You’ve spent too much time studying it, so you’re overly reliant on it. And it’s not really your fault… especially if you learned English by focusing on grammar rules.

But speaking English is more than just knowing grammar rules. Most of us native English speakers don’t default to computing sentences. We don’t learn it by using individual words to sound natural. Instead, we store large blocks of language (or what I call “chunks”, which I talk more about in this video) in our long-term memory.

And if we feel the need to say something in English, we just pull out these chunks of words and naturally speak in wholes.

See, grammar rules don’t really explain how we native speakers sound so natural. Kind of like how we usually say the sentence “could you help me with this?” instead of “would you aid me on this task?” – both are equally grammatically correct, but the latter sounds very weird, while the former sounds natural.

See the difference?

So instead of focusing ONLY on grammar, use English as a system of high-frequency, highly natural chunks instead. And once you’re good at this, your fluency and naturalness in English will just follow along.

And to get you started with this, I put together a free guide on how you can speak like a native English speaker by doing proper “chunking”. Go here if you’re interested.

Hope that helps.

Dr Julian Northbrook

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