Can I Sound Like A Native Speaker?
It is possible to sound like a native speaker without using words. Generally, being understood by native speakers is one of the goals of learning English. There are many ways to do this: you can practice your conversation with others, you can listen and repeat words that you hear, and maybe you can listen to English-speaking media like music or television. There’s a tip that often isn’t found in textbooks that can help you sound like a native speaker without using words.
So, what is this tip?
Active Listening: Verbal Interest
When you’re having a conversation with someone (or with a group of people), not only is it very important to understand what they’re saying, but it’s also important to be interested in what they’re saying.
How? English has many different phrases and sounds that you can use to express your understanding of the conversation. So, maybe you’re wondering why is it important to express this in a conversation? Imagine yourself in their situation. If you’re talking to someone who is not interested in what you are saying, would you continue talking to this person? Of course not! Learning how to express interest can keep a conversation going, and that means you can practice your English more.
Here are several different words and expressions you can use after someone expresses an idea or opinion:
“OK / Okay”
“That’s a good point”
“I never thought of that”
Active Listening: Physical Interest
Another way to show that you understand the conversation is through physical actions (actions that you do with your body). A very common method that native speakers use to visualize their interest and understanding is to…
Nod your head back and forth, occasionally.
Native speakers love to use this. It’s a simple but effective way to tell someone that you understand what they’re saying, and it also tells someone that you’re interested in what they’re saying. Just remember to do this only after someone finishes expressing their thoughts!
While these tips are small, they will help you tremendously in helping you sound more like a native speaker. Also, these tips are small enough that you can start using them in your next conversation! Watch below and give them a try!