How to improve communication skills in English?
An effective communication is the main aim of every foreign language learner. It can occur in two ways: written and oral, both of which require a special set of skills, adapted to a given situation and to a specific person.
It seems that the oral use of foreign language appears to be more problematic for the majority of students, for it is closely connected with an internal uneasiness that appears during the personal interaction face-to-face. However, it can quite effectively be taken care of by improving English speaking skills. Below you will find some useful tips how to do it.
First and foremost: to improve communication skills in English just do something! Sitting before TV and thinking “How to improve spoken English” isn’t going to take you anywhere. Sure, it is easier to do so, but it won’t bear any fruits. Therefore, stand up and make up a plan that you will follow. And no excuses. When you finally have it, stick to it with all your might and determination. Only then it will be effective.
But drawing up a plan does not mean that you have to see a process of learning of English as a hard chore, a homework or a job that needs to be done; nothing of this sort. It would be much better if you would make it your very own hobby, a thing that brings you fun and great pleasure.
How to do it? Well, for starters, every place is good to learn English. Are you sitting on a delayed train, stuck in a traffic jam, going to work or school and do not have anything interesting to do? Wouldn’t it be better to put on the headphones and listen to something in English – not necessary a script of a dialogue, but maybe a song or an audio book? In that way you can listen to the natural pronunciation of native speakers and learn new words from context, without looking into the dictionary. You can also train your understanding of the spoken English: just try to understand as much as you can and then, if you have any uncertainties, you can look up unknown vocabulary in the dictionary. All above-mentioned elements are important in the oral communication in English, and practicing them in such a way is a good idea. Plus, you feel that you aren’t wasting your time, stuck in the vehicle. Good, isn’t it?
It may also happen that you are a kinesthetic learner. That means that you remember things and acquire new knowledge easier when you are walking, tapping your feet or clicking your pen; to put it simple, when you are moving even one part of your body. Doing this, you experience the world around you and keep up your level of concentration for a longer period of time, without getting distracted. There is nothing wrong with such method, do not try to fight it, better use it creatively. So, listen to the broadcasts mentioned in the above paragraph while you are running, cleaning you flat. You can even try going in circles if you wish. Whatever works for you will be fine, as long as the process bears fruits.
Another crucial thing for improving your English speaking skills – is accurate motivation. You need it to be able to do this “first step” mentioned above. It is a motor that will move the whole process of learning. While finding your motivation, questions such as the following can be answered:
- Why do I need to improve my spoken English? Is it for work, for school, or because I feel the internal need to do something with it? Maybe you are going abroad on holidays and want to be able to go by in everyday conversations? Or you have friends from other countries and you will visit them in the near future?
- What skills do I need to improve? Speaking, that’s for sure, but you cannot forget that speaking is closely connected with other parts of the language; language is a great and complicated unit and its components cannot be viewed and treated separately. Therefore, while aiming to improve your communication skills, you should also take care of vocabulary (because how can you communicate anything if you don’t know the appropriate words?), listening (to understand correctly what your communication partner is saying) and grammar (although it is not as important as in writing, its wrong usage may in some cases lead to serious misunderstandings).
- How soon do I need to see the results? Remember that the less time you have, the more intensified your work schedule will be. And try not to think that your skills will improve greatly after one week of training one hour per day; you will see more effects after a month or two. In the process of language learning you will need patience.
- How much time you can devote to improve communication skills in English? It is closely related to the previous question. Again, the less time you can devote, the longer the process will be. And remember: a short time each day will bring better outcomes than the whole weekend of learning and then two weeks of doing nothing. Your brain needs about six days of repetition to store new information in the long-term memory. Otherwise, you will remember it for two days and then quickly forget it.
After having found the motivation to improve your English speaking skills, you can start thinking about appropriate spoken English exercises.