Fluency is, in most cases the desired end result of learning a second language. The ability to speak English like a native will surely not be easy to attain, however, it can open a world of possibilities, form new jobs to new forms of entertainment and new sources of information.
To achieve fluency a student must completely master almost all aspects of the second language he is learning. This means a firm grasp on grammar, speech, pronunciation, accent as well as a large vocabulary. The key, however, to actually sounding like a native isn’t necessarily the mastery of grammar but more likely a strong baggage of idioms that can easily be used in everyday conversation.
Of course, mastery of the technical aspects of English are what is needed if you intend to go to University, follow any kind of education in the English language or get a job that requires you to know English. However, to truly sound like a native even after your 9 to 5 job is over a firm grasp of idioms and knowledge of slang will make all the difference.
Students Should Never Ignore Slang
The importance of idioms reflects a sad truth of how English as a second language is being taught in most classroom. While teachers insist on technical issues, they rarely touch the subject of slang or present few idioms that are mostly dated and don’t stand up to modern speech trends.
This in turn leaves class-attested, fluent-speaking students almost helpless in real life situation where they have to converse with a native speaker outside of formal English. This comes from a complete disregard on the importance of idioms and slang in casual conversation. A native speaker will use an immense amount of idioms and slang terms, without even thinking twice about them because it is implied that a fluent speaker would understand.
The simplest method to learn idioms for any student, regardless of his level is to be immersed in the language. It is also extremely important to use it as often as possible regardless of how little you may know. If, for example you learned a single word in class, then try to use that word in a conversation.
Conversation Is The Best Way To Learn Relevant Idioms
This is why the easiest and most effective form of learning idioms is through conversation. The reason this is so important is that idioms and slang in general can expire or become irrelevant. There can’t be a set list of slang terms and idioms that are taught in class as they might sound outdated in a short period of time. This is why constant use of the language, conversation with native speakers or other students and immersion is so important. It can always present a fresh image of the particularities of slang and idioms, allowing students to use relevant terms that help them express more clearly what they want to express.
Another important aspect that puts even more importance on constant use of the language is that slang and idioms differ depending on dialect; so Australian idioms can be totally different from American ones.