You know more and more English words, you understand individual phrases, but you cannot speak in any way. This is a "silent period" – a necessary stage in the development of a foreign language, in particular, English. Do not force events, do not try to constrain yourself. The speech will appear naturally when you are ready. However, if you do not want to wait too long for the next stage – the reproduction of speech – there are ways to gently "push" yourself towards it. We will talk about these methods today.
It is believed that the most effective way to learn English is to go to an English-speaking country, cutting off all connections with relatives and friends. Life will put a choice here – either to speak or be hungry and lonely. This is really the most effective way to some extent, the same as jumping in the deepest place from the shore is the most effective way to learn how to swim. However, if you prefer less radical and more comfortable methods, here are some tips on how to quickly leave the "silence period" behind.
Watch and Listen Much and Regularly
We will immediately say that we do not take into account many factors in the following assessment, for example, such as shyness/relaxedness, the surrounding situation, previous experience in learning the language. Such an "abstract model in a vacuum", learning English.
So, simplistically, the situation looks like this: to naturally and effortlessly start talking, you need to listen for about 200 hours of other people’s speech.
If you listen to English speech twice a week for two hours (this is how much you will get by attending courses, for example) – 200 hours you will gain in about a year. Then the first connected speech will appear. If you want to do it faster – watch your favorite movies and TV shows, listen to the news, podcasts – anything. It is important that the material you are listening to be understandable at least in general terms so that the language does not become "white noise", from which there will be little sense.
Movies and TV show that you have already seen in your native language can help you here – you are already roughly oriented in dialogues and characters, so it will be much easier not to get lost in the English version. Watching your favorite TV shows a couple of hours a day – and the "period of silence" can be reduced to 2-3 months.
Pronounce the English Words Loudly (Until No One Hears)
Do you have the experience of communicating with a foreigner, when after the first word said "I... I am... Oh, I cannot, I do not remember anything" all the words have successfully flown out of your head? No wonder – you are not ready to hear yourself speaking a foreign language yet.
The problem is solved very simply – it is necessary to survive the shock "I speak English" not in the company of an alien, but in proud solitude. Just regularly speak aloud in English – do not mutter under your breath, but talk namely loud and clear to say simple phrases (you can do it in front of the mirror). Hear how your voice sounds when you pronounce sentences that you think will be useful in communicating with a foreigner. Say aloud and out loud everything that you know – the days of the week, the names of animals, phrases like "how to get to the library". Let the dialogue be meaningless – the main thing is to speak loudly and clearly just to get used to the fact that you can pronounce foreign words.
We will underline once again – it is necessary to do it in a loud voice. The phrase said "in the head" is not the deal. It is essential that this phrase is mastered not by the head, but by the organs of speech. You must hear yourself and not panic. By the way, when you repeat the words together with the class on language courses, it is necessary for this purpose in the first place – in order to accustom yourself to the possibility of pronouncing foreign words.
Comment the Life Around You in English (Under Your Breath)
The possibility to find the right word at the right moment is the skill, it can be developed if you exercise regularly. Listen to what your friends, who are already familiar with free speech, say in English. There are hardly any very clever and unfamiliar words in it – they just know how to pick them out in time.
And you can learn this if you train regularly. The good news is that you do not need any special time or place for such training. Just describe in a free minute what you see or think about in English. Start with individual words, then add actions and definitions.
If you cannot find the desired word in your vocabulary – try to explain it in more simple words. Again, if it does not work out – it is okay, skip the complex sentence and go on to the next one. You can feel free to make mistakes since this monologue happens only in your head. The main thing is to do this constantly and the skill of finding the right words in English (or picking out explanations for unfamiliar words) will appear by itself after a couple of months or even weeks of such exercises.
So, the "period of silence" is the first stage in the process of mastering a foreign language. Your ability to understand English is developing at a rapid pace, but you are not ready to start talking yet.
First, do not lose faith in yourself – it is not your fault, it is a normal stage of learning the language.
And secondly, several tips about how to comfortably and successfully move on to the next, conversational stage: listen and watch a lot in English, loudly pronounce simple phrases when no one hears you, select English words to what surrounds you all the time.