Elementary, my dear Watson. It's writing, of course.
People tend to get so obsessed with becoming “fluent” (whatever that means) that they focus almost entirely on speaking. Next comes listening, which tends to happen automatically as you're out on the street or watching movies. Reading? Well, you have to read in order to work your way through a textbook, although how many people ever sit down and really read?
Last, comes writing. I guess there are lots of reasons why people don't write. It's hard work, for one thing. Getting your writing corrected is a hassle if you don't have someone around who can do that for you. It's a slow process and can be very frustrating if you focus a lot on accuracy.
Writing has some serious benefits. Whereas when you're speaking you don't get the chance to backtrack, re-listen, or have another go, you can do all of these things with writing and this process gives you the opportunity to analyse the language you're using on a much deeper level.
Luckily, with the advent of some awesome websites, writing is starting to make more and more sense for language learners as they can get corrections on anything they write quickly, easily and, perhaps most importantly, for free!
The activities such as the one below may take you time to do to completion, but are very powerful ways to improve your language core. I really believe that time spent on substantial activities like this are infinitely more powerful than a number of “quick fix” activities.
You're going to go through a process of writing about something that interests you, getting it corrected and then integrating that into your speaking. Totally up to you what the topic is, but one good option is to talk about your language progress, because this is something we tend to talk about a lot with native speakers and is a good idea to be able to talk about convincingly.
Learning “speeches” gets your brain and your mouth to do things it wouldn't normally do. In normal speech we use only familiar language, hesitate and add all kinds of fillers, delaying tactics etc. With this, you've got to train yourself to come out with the right words at the right time, and this will pump your speaking ability!
So, would you try this? Please…
People speak too fast?
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