Learning English, as a non-native speaker

As a 21-year-old fresh out of college, I couldn’t speak English well. Mastering it was crucial to my career. I’ll tell you how I did it.

I started by reading the Bible in Tamil and English. I’d compare each sentence in both languages so I’d get a sense of the words and grammar. In order to learn English, I memorized passages and recited them.

Second, I watched the TV series Friends. People say you’re fluent when you can crack jokes in a language. I learned their phrases and slang and cracked jokes with my colleagues. It helped me improve my English.

But I turned to writing to express myself. I started a blog 15 years ago – not for money or branding, but to learn English. Writing let me play around with sentence structure, metaphors, and more. Editing and re-editing helped me perfect my skills.

At last, I grasped speaking. Forming sentences quickly while speaking is tougher than writing. Pronunciation and delivery are important too. In my room, I practiced repeating phrases from great speakers like Martin Luther King and Billy Graham in front of a mirror.

Even now, my English isn’t perfect, but it works. Every day, I keep improving it to communicate better and follow the four practices I mentioned earlier.

And that’s how I mastered English as a non-native speaker.