As an international student, I often use lots of "Chinese " expressions that sound awkward to Native English speakers. Since I live in a Chinese speaking environment, I always speak in Chinese, when writing, my brain could not adjust to English Mode. This is the biggest reason that harms my writing. But, I have a neighbour, she learned English much earlier than I do, and lives in Chinese-speaking surrounding too and she speaks Chinese every single day. But, her writing is just like native English Speaker. The different between us makes me curious. How can this happen?
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I think there are a lot of factors to consider in that. I, for one, am not a native English speaker but I live in a country with English as one of its major languages. When I was a toddler, all my books from school and manuals from my toys were written in English. I can say my mastery in the language was harnessed in those stage since I was exposed to English at a young age. There were also times when I travel and met some foreigners which made me familiar with their accents. I also like watching movies in English.
Probably her stepping stone was just like what I had. I cannot say for one but there's a possibility her vocabulary was influenced by the things she have read or watched. When I was starting to read, I prefer not to use the dictionary at times unless the situation calls for it. I try to decipher the meanings, as much as possible, with the context of the sentence. And when I watch foreign movies, I always make sure it has a subtext so when I hear an unfamiliar word, I can easily take note of that especially when the actors are British. At times, I'm having a hard time understanding them because I'm more exposed to the American accent and before my ears adjust and take in their words, they're already finish talking so I really do not grasp any-- at times. You can also try watching those without subtexts but for me, I prefer the ones which have subtexts.
I say you should read books and watch movies in English so you can develop your skills more. There are also a lot of ways to improve but those ways above really did help me. :)
You know what they say: Practice makes perfect. Just polish your skills and you'll do well. :)
I'm pretty sure that @SweetsAndEverything is right. However, if your looking for an easier way to get though this then just try to explain to people why you sound a little funny when you talk to people and I'm sure that they will understand and everything will work out just fine! I really hope this helps!! :D