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English Fluency Blueprint

English Fluency Blueprint

Date: Jan 29 2017

Topic: Conversational English

Author: englishteacher24/7


This forum is created for those who aspire to speak English fluently. Many people want to improve their English; however, this forum is not for just improving your English but primarily for those who want to attain a level of fluency. It will require sacrifices to reach this goal.

I intend to post strategies, tips, and information sources to take the reader from the beginning stage to English fluency. Return often for on-going information.


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07:33 PM Jul 24 2017 |


United States

Meyban, you’re welcome. I am delighted the explanation on Clauses and Noun Clauses were helpful for you.

10:26 PM Jul 19 2017 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Thank you so much 

02:19 AM Jul 16 2017 |


United States

Meyban, here is your explanation of a clause and noun clause.

First, let’s review what a sentence is.

A sentence is a group of words that contain a subject which is what the sentence is about and a predicate which is what is said about the subject. Within the predicate is a verb that performs the action.

For example, in the sentence “You speak English,” “You” is the subject, “speak” is the verb, and “speak English” is the predicate

clause is the smallest grammatical unit that expresses a complete thought which contains a subject and verb (predicate) which in the above example would be “You speak English.”

A noun is a person, place, thing or idea. A noun clause is a clause that acts as a noun that begins with words such as: how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, and why.

Clause examples (bolded):

Whichever restaurant you pick is fine with me.

Whoever thought of that idea is a genius.

I wonder how long we should wait here.

Hopefully, this explanation will help you. Clauses have a lot of additional sub-categories that unless you have an academic need to know, it is more beneficial for you to invest the time in conversational English rather than the details of grammar.

Sorry for the delay in answering your post, I was absent for two weeks during that time.

Eduardosouto, thanks for your compliment.

02:12 AM Jul 13 2017 |



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Dear Alston 

Can you explain clause and noun clause?

09:09 PM Jun 10 2017 |

eduardosoutoSuper Member!


Great forum, thanks a lot for all the content you update here teacher <3

01:57 AM Jun 07 2017 |


United States

Welcome Gohar1. Sure you or anyone can join the forum, just start posting comments or ask questions of something you don’t understand about English.

10:41 AM Jun 03 2017 |



can  I  joun  your group  now? 

06:57 AM Jun 03 2017 |


United States

Step 7 of the English Fluency Blueprint has been posted.

08:16 PM Jun 02 2017 |


United States

Step 7 – Engage Frequently with English

Overview/Additional Information/Final Thoughts

This is the final step of the English Fluency Blueprint. Many thoughts, suggestions, and recommendation have been posted not only by me but by some of the readers. Engaging frequently with listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking in English will yield the results you are looking for to become fluent in English.

Below are the previous 6 steps and the forum posted dates:

Step 1 - Preparation   2/19/17

Step 2 - English Overview   3/4/17

Step 3 - Grammar Review and Related Items   3/11/17

Step 4 - How to Train your Ears to Understand English   3/24/17

Step 5 - How to Speak English   4/15/17

Step 6 - The Relationship between English, Culture, and the Basis of Phrases, Idioms, and Slang   5/7/17

A. Overview:

The point has been made of the importance of locating people to practice speaking English. It is also important to receive feedback to be able to make corrections in your speech. It is not impossible to learn English without a speaking partner, however, it does allow you to learn some things that are unique to the society and how they are expressed in the language. Step 6 goes into this aspect. I encourage you to read the previous steps and try to implement them into your English learning.

B. Additional Information:


A lot can be learned from taking small portions of speech and analyzing them for pronunciation, emphasis on syllables, and rate of speed of which the word(s) is spoken.

Keep in mind that different people may say the same word in different ways. For example, the singer Michael McDonald has a unique singing style where he doesn’t always fully articulate the words in his songs. Listen to his song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and compare his pronunciation with those of his background singers. Another one of his songs “I Keep Forgettin (Every time you’re near)” likewise you can hear how he has a tendency to reduce the emphasis on the syllables.

Nevertheless, he is a popular singer of Soul Music despite that fact that he is Caucasian.

The song, “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” was first sung by the group “Gladys Knight and the Pips.” Additional groups such as “The Miracles” and even by the rock group “Credence Clearwater Revival” also sung this song.

If you listen to these versions, you can compare how they pronounce the lyrics. This is a good strategy to train your ears to listening to English words because some speakers may speak in a way that requires you to discern the words they are speaking, especially if they have a strong regional accent.

C. Final Thoughts

If there is one thing that I can communicate to you of my discovery from interacting with ESL/EFL students that hinders their progression of English would be the fear of making mistakes. The key is to make mistakes and then learn from mistakes. A bigger mistake is to limit you in this fashion.

Another suggestion is to have multiple sources of English information and teachers. Sometimes a certain English topic can be presented in a more understandable way by another person or source.

There is an enormous amount of information on the internet, therefore, make good use of it and take notes.

Well, that’s it for this topic. Please feel free to make comments and add your own suggestions and recommendations for learning English.

At this point, I’ll resume writing on my other forums such as “Do you understand this dialogue?” as well as other topics.

I want to thank everyone who has offered their support, comments, and recommendations for the advancement of learning English.

10:33 PM May 27 2017 |


United States

Hello Claudio!

Welcome back, and I thank you for your expression of appreciation. As I read your comments I must say your assessment of achieving fluency is right on target and focused like a laser beam.

Furthermore, your written English is superb as you expressed your thoughts on the topic of fluency. I appreciate the fact that you made a distinction between fluency and mastering a language.

Most native speakers have not “mastered” English, especially in written English as is evidenced by reading comments on various news topics such as Yahoo News and other news stories.

The main point is ESL/EFL students don’t have to be worried about “making mistakes” in speaking English because they have a lot of native speaking company, myself included,

It was a pleasure to read your writing, thanks for posting it.

To everyone, I’m back now, and for those who have been waiting for Step 7 on the English Fluency Blueprint I intend to post it by this weekend, sorry for my delay.

One final word, I would like to encourage everyone who aspire a level of English fluency to implement the first 6 steps and take this opportunity to write in the forum.

03:13 AM May 24 2017 |




Hi, Mr. Gray.

  I want to thank you for your kindness committing yourself with this project which represents for us all, and I dare to speak on the behalf of everyone who’s joined this forum, a great opportunity to enhance our learning skills. 

  I’m aware of the fact that in order to meet fluency in a foreign language, one will necessarily have to be willing to invest both time and effort. Moreover, probably the highest challenge to accomplish such a big undertaking like this is to keep on motivated, despite all the difficulties one will have to tackle. Paraphrasing our dear Mr. Gray: ‘to keep on keeping on’.

  And of course, I plenty agree with you that no one will be able to understand what he doesn’t know or has never seen or even heard about. Therefore, to learn a language involves much more than simply memorize words and phrases.

It’s about learning the culture, the history, the climate and even the geography of the country or countries where the language is spoken.

   But let’s be straight about something: there’s a level one can reach in speaking a language that’s not his own.

   My mother language, for example, is Portuguese, a language spoken for roughly 270 million people in 7 more countries besides Portugal and Brazil, where I was born and raised. 

It doesn’t necessarily means that someone from Angola, also a former Portuguese colony in Africa, would understand everything a Brazilian would speak.

   I’m the opinion that one can learn how to speak fluently and really get through to everyone, including native Americans, Britons, Aussies, Irish and others. I would say that’s satisfactory, whereas to master a language in all its aspects is an upper level and I think you would agree that this should not be the goal of any English student.

   Bearing this in mind and working hard every day (“use it or lose it”), seize all the opportunities one has to practice and using the amazing help this forum provides, one will surely succeed in learning.

   Thanks again, Mr. Gray. I’m pretty sure we can carry on counting on you.  


03:49 AM May 23 2017 |


United States

Hello Paradizo, you’re welcome, and I’m glad you enjoyed the lessons. I am also a student of English and endeavor to pass along information that I have in combination with Englishbaby’s lessons and information from the readers.

In this fashion, we all benefit and the show goes on!

06:51 AM May 13 2017 |

1 person likes this



Iran, Islamic Republic Of

Dear alston

I just read your step 6 post and i found it

so useful.thanks so much .

keep on posting such posts .👍👍👍👍👌👌👌

11:11 AM May 11 2017 |


United States

Welcome Atash_kerimov, Step 6 has been posted for the English Fluency Blueprint. To join just read the lesson steps and make comments or ask questions if you would like an explanation.

The main thing is to participate and practice writing your English. Don’t worry about making mistakes, we all make them!

06:14 AM May 11 2017 |



Hello, Just want to join your lessons. How can i do?

03:55 AM May 11 2017 |


United States

Amira, you’re welcome. You are correct to use the words and phrases you already have. Remember, that even for native speakers we basically use the same words, and most words we don’t use often. However, keep yourself fresh by reviewing words that you hear or come across in your reading.

If you haven’t already read the phrase lessons in the Understanding American English Phrases, I invite you to read them and copy the lessons. It gives an explanation of certain phrases, here’s the link:  http://englishbaby.com/lessons/5744/member_submitted/understanding_american_english_phrases

For those endeavoring to achieve a level of fluency in English, make it a goal to find someone to communicate with in English on a regular basis. Steps 1-5 should be helpful in assisting you to find a speaking partner(s).

10:23 PM May 09 2017 |

1 person likes this

La Princesse de la vie


Again, practice is the key. I know a lot of idioms and expressions already and keep them in a file, but I noticed that the ones I used more than one time are sticking deeper in my mind than those I’ve just written at first sight and never used them. So use what you have.

Thank you Mr. Alston for your patience and efforts with us in this forum and the others.

02:11 PM May 08 2017 |


United States

Step 6 - The relationship between English, Culture, and the basis of Phrases, Idioms, and Slang.


There are many instances where the relationship between American English and American culture is revealed. However, the question can be asked “what is American culture.” Since the United States is a nation of immigrants (with the exception of native American Indians) there isn’t one ethnicity that defines American culture although there is a perception that there is.

True, Europeans have been the majority since the founding of the country; however, they are rapidly heading towards being a minority and already are in many cities and states. Even among European ancestry, there are vast cultural differences. When you enter their communities you see begin to see their culture.

Therefore, to get a sense of the interrelation between American English and culture as it relates to a common denominator I will focus on aspects of American culture that transcends the culture of various nationalities.

American English and Culture

The relationship of American English and the influence of culture can be found in some of the following areas:

    • Naming babies - The Bible influences the naming of babies, many whose names are direct biblical names such as: Abraham, Aaron, Caesar, David, Dan, Daniel, John, Mark, Paul, Matthew, James, Peter, Mary, Sarah, Elizabeth, Deborah, Julie, Martha, Rachel, Ruth and others.

    • Naming of places - Many cities and towns have used biblical names such as: Philadelphia, Mt. Zion, Carmel, Temple City, Joshua Tree, Bishop, Galilee, Nazareth, Calvary, and others.

    • Familiar Expressions - The Bible has influenced the language in everyday expressions, many have come directly from the Bible such as: Apple of his eye, blind leading the blind, eye for an eye, Good Samaritan, handwriting on the wall, my brother’s keeper, out of the mouth of babes, signs of the times, strait and narrow, sweat of your brow, thorn in the flesh, drop in the bucket, at your wits end, holier than thou, and others.

    • American Film - Some notable movie themes are stories from the Bible, such as: The Ten Commandments, The Passion of the Christ, King of Kings, The Bible, King David, Solomon, Moses, Ben Hur, Quo Vadis, and others. The most notable biblical theme is Good versus Evil where this theme is among the most profitable for movie producers, some movie examples are: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Spiderman, Batman, Superman and others.

    • Judicial System - The Old Testament of the Bible influenced some US laws based on the Ten Commandments.

    • Financial System - US bankruptcy laws has some biblical principles and US money has “In God We Trust” printed on coins and paper money.

    • Calendar Method - The US and many countries use the Gregorian calendar which relates years to the period before Jesus Christ (BC) and after the death of Jesus Christ (AD-in the year of our Lord). Therefore, the year of 2014 means it’s been approximately 2,014 years since the death of Christ.

  • English Literature - Besides the religious aspect, the Bible contains some worthy English literature. It includes history, prose, drama, poetry, and prophecy in one book. Actually the Bible is not a continuous book but a collection of 66 books written by approximately 40 authors over a period of about 1,500 years.

Detailed information on culture is provided in the Culture Forum 


The basis of phrases, idioms, and slang

First let’s define what a phrase is. A phrase is a group of words that do not have a subject and verb. For example, the phrase, “on the way” means you’re coming, or the phrase, “up in the air” means something hasn’t been decided.

An idiom is a word or group of words that doesn’t mean what each word mean. For example, “the blues” means you’re feeling sad” or the idiom “pay the piper” means you have to face the consequences of your actions.

slang word is a word created by pop culture to substitute for the actual thing. Many in the subculture have used words that are not traditional but are understood among that particular group.

For example, the slang word “hang out” means to spend time with someone or the slang word “chill out” means to relax.

American culture finds its way into the various phrases, idioms, and slang.There isn’t a rule or logic to these types of expressions, although some do have a logical basis of their existence or a basis according to the following reasons:

1. Shortcuts- Instead of speaking complete sentences or communicating detailed information, a shorter way is created to express the same thought. 

2. Expressing negativity- You will find more ways to communicate something that is displeasure or complaint against someone than you will find about expressing something positive.

For example, the phrase “I was ripped off” means you were cheated in a transaction with someone or a business. Another example, “he was thrown under the bus” means someone that was faithful was sacrificed to save another person or organization.

3. Humor- Making a joke out of expressing a thought is another basis for the use of phrases, idioms, or slang.For example, the expression “laughing all the way to the bank” means someone made a lot of money from something that seemed unlikely.

Concluding thoughts

The main thing to know is that American and British English is full of phrases, idioms, and slang. This type of English is used in mainstream society and it varies depending on the audience.Therefore it is advisable not to limit your study of English to standard English; otherwise, you will not be able to understand native speakers.

A strategy to learn these expressions is to be active in your exposure to English in everyday life. If you’re watching a movie and hear a phrase that you are not aware of, write it down and search out the meaning by asking an English speaker or on the internet.

Englishbaby regularly provide lessons on everyday expressions; therefore, start a list of these words and their meanings.

Step 7 will be an overview, final thoughts, and additional information on the last step of this English Blueprint series.

Afterwards I intend to resume writng on the “Do you understand this dialgoue” and other forums on my profile page.

Thank you for your patience.

09:45 PM May 07 2017 |


United States

Hello Samine, it was good to hear from you again. Thanks for your compliment and feedback as we learn English together drawing from many sources, especially the contributions of the readers and the Englishbaby website.

Step 6 is a challenge for me to write, please bear with me in posting it.

12:23 AM Apr 29 2017 |

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