You’ve been speaking English for a while now and can blend in well with the locals, but you know there are still some missing skills, words, and phrases, and you’re falling just a little short of truly advanced English.
That’s okay! It took a lot of hard work and dedication to get where you are now, but let’s look to the future. What does it mean to want to learn advanced English?
This is a short guide on how to ascend (There’s an advanced word! It means go up or climb.) to the next level.
Practice Advanced English with Immersion
Getting discouraged and feeling like you’re “stuck” at a certain level of English is common, but don’t worry. We will go through some methods to help you push through to the next level. Just keep your goals in mind and your eyes on the prize (an idiom meaning to stay focused on your goal even when there are problems or setbacks).
Advanced English Content = Native Level Content
Ultimately, native-level English is the best measure of truly advanced English. Let’s look at a few ways you can build native-like fluency.
English-speaking cultures have a wide selection of TV shows, books, movies, podcasts, magazines, and blogs where you can instantly immerse yourself in content. It’s a great way to learn idioms and slang. It’s also helpful for understanding the rhythm that English speakers use when speaking. Plus, you’ll gain new vocabulary to use in conversation.
Also, native content is a means of listening to different accents. As you advance your English, it’s important to understand people from different regions. Everyone won’t sound sound exactly the same. Movies are a great way to focus on learning a specific accent if you’re spending more time in one region. And remember: native English content is not just the sound of an accent. You should also recognize regional phrases and sayings. Here is a nice advanced English article on American regional slang to help you.
The idea is to communicate using the kinds of full sentences that native speakers use. This is also an opportunity to fill gaps in your communication and learn to use words that you might otherwise tumble over or skip using. Here are some common reasons that non-native English speakers skip words:
You can use native-level content to improve your fluency and address any of these issues.
Practice Everything You See, Read, or Hear!
Different speakers have difficulty pronouncing different parts of English (again, that’s okay!) because of the mouth and tongue movements they became most comfortable with when they spoke their native language. Through repeating words out loud, you’ll be able to memorize the unique tongue and mouth movements need for the sounds of English. This will help when you use the same sounds again in the future.
For example: Many English learners have difficulty pronouncing the American “R,” as it isn’t a sound commonly used in other languages. Here is a video on how to make the proper sound, and it’s also an example of what you can listen for and repeat when watching native content.
Another way to practice is to write English language summaries and opinions on the content that you watch, read, or hear. This is a great way to develop your ability to think in English. The idea is to speak as quickly as you think. There’s no better way to develop those skills than by writing out the thoughts in your head.
Here’s a link to some great online journaling resources.But if you’re not into typing things out, you can always get a journal and pen from a local department store. When you write, think about advanced grammar structures you’ve learned and put them into practice. If you need a reference, here is a great list of books that can help you polish your grammar skills. The idea is to experiment with using different tenses, commands, and conditional statements.
The last tip for practice is to speak with English speakers. After all, you just watched new movies and read new books. I’m sure you’ll have a lot to talk about! With practice, the confidence you need to develop your communication skills will increase. Here are 3 ways you can talk to native speakers:
Prove Your Advanced English!
It’s great to advance in your language learning journey, but don’t forget that it’s important to know WHY you’re learning a new language. What are your goals for advancing your English skills? Do you want to be proficient for a job opportunity? Do you want to teach others in your profession? Do you want to teach English to others? When you advance a level, it will be important to prove to yourself that you can use the skills you’ve learned in a real-world setting.
A great way to prove your advanced English skills is to take the TOEFL Test. You can use your test results to get admitted into school, land a job with international companies that require English speaking, or even teach English to others who need the skill. Whatever your goals, the TOEFL test is a great way to prove to yourself and others that you have mastery of the English language.