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Make the English in Your Head Active and Speak English Fluently

April 9, 2018 , by Dr Julian Northbrook

Just putting English in your head isn’t enough.

To speak English fluently, you also need to ‘activate’ that English so that it is automatic and habitual.

Marielis Sifontes asks:

Often, I feel my brain full of information, but when I try to speak, to transfer it from my brain to my mouth and formulate a phrase, it’s not easy, I need to take some time to structure them and I speak like a robot. Any advice to improve? Thanks!!

There are two reasons this might happen…

And I talk about both in this video:

So as you see, it’s not a simple case of whether English is in your brain or not.

To Speak English Fluently Where in Your Head Matters

The Hippocampus is what moves information from short-term memory to long-term memory.

What matters, is WHERE in your brain it is.

When you first learn something, it goes into short-term memory. But short-term memory is extremely limited. It’s conscious – meaning you try to use language in short-term memory, you actually have to think about it — and it doesn’t last long (meaning you forget, fast). So basically, the simple answer to Marielis’ question is that yes, you’ve learned stuff… but no, you haven’t TRUELY learned it.

You’ve only gone half way.

For something learned to become automatic and UNconcious it needs to be moved from short-term memory to long-term memory where it becomes hard-wired.

Make sense?


The Two Simple Steps to Mastering English

Mastering a language is a simple two-step process.

  1. Learn the language you need.
  2. Then automate it with practice.

When we first learn something, it goes into short-term memory. Then, with practise, it becomes hard-wired as an automatic (fluent) action in long-term memory.

Not sure what to learn or how to practise?

I talk about what language to learn, and how to practise in my book, Master English FAST, but both of these steps are necessary. Otherwise, you just end up with passive language stuck in your head that you can’t use.

Again, see my book for the what and the how of this.



P.S. You can read the first chapter of my best-selling book, Master English FAST by going here.


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