How to Become Fluent When you Move to an English-Speaking Country

November 10, 2021
By Francesca Spreafico
Have you ever considered moving to Australia, America, or another English-speaking country? It can definitely be an incredible opportunity to improve your English fluency! 

But, as I found out... Just because you move there, it doesn't necessarily mean that you will suddenly speak perfect English, like magic. It takes motivation, courage and a lot of hard work.

My story

I am Italian, but it’s been a while since I left Italy. 

Back in 2013, I decided it was time for a change. My dream was to spend some time abroad in an English-speaking country and then come back home speaking “perfect” English. 

I recognise now that I was too ambitious to think that 15 months is enough time to master a foreign language, but I can definitely say that my experience in Australia was the turning point in my English language journey!

So, today I'm going to share with you 5 tips that helped me to improve my fluency and confidence when I moved to Australia. Be ready to go through changes and step out of your comfort zone all the time!

1. Get involved in your community

Joining communities or or connecting with groups of people who speak your native language is really helpful to build new connections in the beginning, but remember: you are in another country, and this is your chance to put your English into practice! 

So, start locally! 

Explore your neighbourhood. Get to know your neighbours, regularly visit local shops, find places where you can follow your interests - go to the library, the gym, the sport centre, the cafè, or the pub - and meet new people. Leave your shyness behind and get involved in the daily life of your community!   

If the pandemic and lockdowns don’t allow you to do so, find an English-speaking community online (of course, you’re always welcome to join Hey Lady!). You might come across other learners living in the same country as you, or even the same city! You will be surprised by how many people are sharing a similar experience!

2. Make connections with people from all over the world

One benefit of living in an English-speaking country is being a part of a multicultural environment.

You get to meet not only locals, but also people from all over the world. And, quite often, they are there because they have the same goal as you: they want to become more fluent and speak English confidently!

This is why being part of a multicultural environment is really fun and truly inspiring! You can learn a lot simply by sharing about yourself, your country and your culture… in English! 

And these conversations don't necessarily need to happen face-to-face. The internet is a multicultural environment, too. You can make connections online and practise with hundreds of learners of English around the world. 

3. Create daily habits to stay motivated

Whether it means carrying around a little notepad in your bag, or taking notes on your phone, it's really important to keep track of new English words or questions that come up when you are out and about so that you can go home and find the answers.

You could even set up a daily challenge that motivates you to be curious and observant. I personally enjoy  the ‘Word of the day’ challenge. Each day, choose one of the new words you hear or read, and pay attention to how other English speakers use it. Then, look up their meaning and try to make new sentences yourself, including the new word. 

You will be amazed at how you’ll keep learning and improving your English with each passing day!

4. Find a space or situation that requires you to speak English every day

A challenging but very effective way to boost your English fluency is to find a job. It holds you accountable and gives you motivation to continue learning and improving your English skills.

You could also enrol in a course at school or university, take up a sport, or participate in clubs or meetups. These are fantastic opportunities that are worth considering when you want to create situations for yourself to practise and advance your English. 

Something I found really useful was house-sharing with other people from different countries. We decided to make our home an English-only environment, which helped me feel more comfortable speaking, and it really expanded my fluency.  

The important thing is to create the space where you can use English every day and look at your progress. You’ll soon feel more motivated and confident when you are speaking!

5. Embrace your mistakes… And learn from them!

Last, but not least, be open to making mistakes

Always remember that you are a language learner, and it is totally OK to be unsure about grammar, vocabulary or pronunciation.

You are allowed to make mistakes! See them as a great opportunity for learning and improving. 

And keep in mind that you are not alone on your journey! Don’t be afraid to ask some more proficient friends or colleagues for help when you feel hesitant about your English.

A supportive community, whether it be online or face-to-face, is a great place for you to meet open-minded friends and companions who are in the same boat and can understand you. They will be on hand to help and support you, and grow with you!

Well, there you go! 

These are my 5 tips to becoming fluent when you move to an English-speaking country! 

I'd love to hear about your experiences moving to an English-speaking country. And if you know someone who is living abroad right now or is planning on moving to an English-speaking country, then make sure you share this article with them!

A bit about me

My name is Francesca - I am one of the English teachers inside Hey Lady! 

I actually joined this community as a member back in 2019, when I was teaching English in Brazil. I wanted to get more experience speaking English, and this community was the perfect place to do so! 

It is here that I built the confidence to undertake CELTA - an internationally-recognised teaching course - to become a certified English teacher. 

And, as they say, “the rest is history”!

Now, I love that I can help other ladies build their confidence and achieve their English goals inside Hey Lady!… Just like I did!

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