July 1

Advanced English conversation: Stop sounding dumb in English

By Dr Julian Northbrook

Advanced English Conversation
Not sounding dumb in English is not about good grammar or big words: it’s about clarity and the quality of your ideas.

I work with high-level English as a second language learners, helping them excel in business and work situations in English.

And for these people, speaking English at an advanced level is important.

But what is the key to advanced English conversation?

Here are the two main things:

  1. Understand what it means to be “advanced” in speaking
  2. Understand the concept of the “LKC Triangle”

Let’s break these down:

Understand what it means to be “advanced” in speaking

Basic knowledge of advanced English does not make an advanced speaker. Advanced knowledge of basic English does.

This is especially true of vocabulary, as the research discussed here clearly shows.

People tend to try too hard to sound intelligent in English, but get it totally wrong. They use big complex words or rare grammar patterns and tenses – whereas good speakers use simple language to explain intelligent ideas.

Understand the concept of the “LKC Triangle”

You need more than language (the words, phrases and expressions of English) to speak a language well.

Yes, you do need language (L).

If you don’t have the words, phrases and expressions you need to express the ideas you want to express… you won’t do very well. But this by itself is not enough.

You also need knowledge (K).

Content in your head to talk about. Ideas. Interesting things to discuss with people. Knowledge of what you’re actually talking about (I can talk about English education and linguistics in English and my second language, Japanese, better than almost anyone because it’s my profession – politics? I can’t speak about that well in ANY language).

You also need to understand culture (C).

Most of the “big” mistakes people make that upset people are cultural (I mean, it’s how wars start). This isn’t just country-level culture (e.g. Japanese vs. British, though that is important), but is also really related to how certain people and groups of people think and behave. When I talk about my research with my clients, for example, it’s very different from discussing it with another academic.

But if you don’t want to look dumb in English, these things are far, far more important than the typical surface-level stuff most people worry about: how many words you know, their accent… etc.

The Rocket Launch Method

Julian Northbrook

Getting Help Mastering Spoken English

If you're looking for help speaking extraordinary English with confidence, here's where you need to go:

  1. Start with my free Rocket Launch Method training.
  2. For most people, then going on to the MEF Accelerator course is going to be the best option.
  3. If you’ve graduated MEFA (with at least an 80% completion rate), already know what to do, but need more help getting it done consistently (or you’ve come across new challenges since finishing the course) Extraordinary English Speakers is the place for you.
  4. If you're a non-native English teacher who wants to feel confident teaching in class, and also apply my methods to what you do: contact me

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