I am pretty much sure you can understand English when you read some written material. However, you want to take your English to the next level, and for that, you want to know how to improve English communication skills.
Yes, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article, I am sharing some typical ways of improving communication skills in the English language.
I am sharing my self-applied ways which helped me to become better in written English and fluent in spoken English.
You will know the right ways of improving written and verbal English communication skills.
These are the self-applied tips which can help you to speak like a native English speaker and understand English movies, shows, songs, and real-life English of native English people.
You will also learn some proven ways of improving English communication skills at home on your own.
So, without further ado, let’s jump in;
Why English Language
English is popular and one of the important languages spoken around the world. It has become a common language in today’s world and a professional without English is like a handicapped.
English is a global language and can help to convey your message nationally and internationally. English is the language of computer and data science and recognized globally for communication.
Learning the English language will break your barriers to international boundaries, and you will be able to learn and share knowledge worldwide.
Moreover, if you want to speak with a person other than from your home country, most probably you have to communicate in English. That’s why it has become the most demanding language in today’s market.
Benefits of good English communication skills
There are several benefits to improving your English communication skills. Being good at English can benefit you in both your personal and professional life.
- As per the learning concern, your brain will be more active and flexible when learning a second language. As per a scientific study, a person who knows more than one language becomes better in focus and creativity.
- You will get good jobs in your home country and abroad as most of the multinational companies’ priority is English Communication skill.
- Your chances will be increased for business and you will be able to deal online with your clients or customers if you are good at English. That means you can make more money by competing in the international market with your English communication skills.
- Being good in English communication, you can travel around the world with no worry about communication barriers and can make friends around the world.
- You can study abroad in English speaking countries and can read books written in English knowledge to gain knowledge from other people than in your home country.
- Being good in English communication, you can easily learn the computer and science and benefited from the internet in a broader way.
- Being good at English writing, you can sell your book globally and can get more readers around the world.
- Enjoy English entertainment resources like movies, English TV shows, songs, and other classical literature and drama.
- After improving English communication skills, you can learn about different cultures around the world.
- You can teach English and make it your earning resource, also, your family and loved ones will be benefited in their English communication skills because of you.
- Knowing a second language, people will respect you and want to learn from you, consequently, you will have more friends and confidence to influence others.
How To Improve Communication Skills In English
Here are some useful tips you can apply to improve your English communication.
1. Find your purpose
Why do you want to learn English?
It is most important to know first why do you want to improve your English communication skills?
First clear that “why” and write down the benefits of being good in English.
Knowing your goals of learning English will help you to stay motivated when facing some challenges in learning a new language and replacing it with the native language in your daily communication.
2. Know your level of English
Write down your weak point before working on your English communication skills.
Find out, what you need to improve first. Whether it is pronunciation, grammar, fluency, vocabulary, writing better English, listening, comprehension, or any other.
If you work on all the parts at the same time, it might exhaust and de-motivate you, so work upon your weak points one by one as per their priority in your goal.
So, decide why do you want to improve your English communication skills, and write them down. You can refer to the benefits of the English communication skills above.
3. Select Study Material As Per Your Current Level In English
It is always good to select the appropriate study material as per your comprehension level.
Choose the material which is not easier and not more challenging. Because if you choose an easier one it will not help you to step up to the next level of your English communication skills, and if choose more difficult, it will make you tired and de-motivated.
In the initial stage, you can start reading children’s books and watch and listen to kid’s shows on a cartoon network. If you directly start from watching movies or reading a novel, it will seem tougher to improve your English communication skills.
So, start from small and then keep making it little challenging as you improve. Keep upgrading your study material when the current one remains challenging enough.
The bottom line is;
keep upgrading your study material to upgrade the level of your English communication skills step by step.
Take it easy;
Don’t jump directly to a harder level of content, like movies, real-life native conversation, or English songs. Yes, one day you will definitely reach there, but first, know your level of English, and then step up gradually.
4. Don’t Think Too Much, Just Get Started
Don’t think too much that you’re not good at English, and you are losing many opportunities just because of that.
No worries, just start from today and prepare yourself for the upcoming opportunities in the future.
Thinking too much and stressing will just waste your time and energy and take you nowhere. So, start working on your English today.
5. Don’t afraid of making mistakes
Yes, everyone makes mistakes when learning a new skill or language, and it is not possible to learn something without making mistakes, so why worrying about making mistakes.
Making mistake is the only way to progress, if you don’t make mistakes you will not learn anything.
So, go ahead and start speaking in English from today, make some mistakes, if someone corrects you, that’s great as you will learn and improve if someone corrects you.
The faster you want to improve your English communication skills, the earlier is better for making mistakes.
Because, as said earlier, making mistakes is the only way of learning new skills, whether it is an English communication skill or any other skills.
Don’t worry about other people’s judgement, if they laugh on you, it’s their weakness, not yours, so why worrying for someone else’s week point.
If they criticize and correct you, take it positively and thank them for correcting your wrong grammar or pronunciation.
In the end, they are helping you by criticizing or telling it politely.
So, throw the fear of making mistakes out, don’t get bound from this bad enemy, “fear,” and start communicating in English.
6. Communicate With Confidence Don’t Hesitate
When you communicate in English, be frank and confident as you do when communicating in your native language.
Match your words and body language to be understood clearly.
If someone gets you wrong, correct yourself then and there, by repeating and re-framing your sentence.
Slow down, don’t try to finish speaking, speak clearly with the correct pronunciation.
Be calm and patient, don’t be in a hurry, give yourself time. Don’t be nervous when communicating.
Use Bilingual formula when feeling nervous in English communication. Learn to switch the languages when you see the people around can communicate in both English and your local language.
When you get stuck, use the local language but don’t forget to switch back to English. When doing formal communication, take pauses, or long breath, and use some filler words, and be relaxed.
Know that English isn’t your first language and you can’t be perfect every time. Mistakes will happen.
Secondly, you are learning to communicate in English, so when you make a mistake, you can directly say you are improving your English communication skills.
7. Immersion Is The Key
Create an environment to communicate in English. Practice whenever you find an opportunity, also, seek an opportunity to communicate in English.
Start speaking in English in your family, friend circle, and at work.
Start from a single word and then sentences, and gradually you will see yourself making long conversations in English.
Here are the 5 habits you need to immerse yourself in English to improve your communication skills:
Start speaking in casual conversation with your family, friends, and peer groups. Then, make a habit of speaking English in your office with your boss or seniors.
If you are a student, then speak English with everyone you meet, special with your English teacher and in the classes.
Make friends who are improving their English communication skills. Make a group for practising your English. In that group, you can punishment trick of treating others. Ask your friends, if someone in the group communicates any language other than English, he or she has to give a small party.
Yes, you can do this, this worked for me and many of my friends.
If you get stuck when speaking in English, you can use some filler words like um, uh, right, you know, makes sense, and so on.
This will add spontaneity in your spoken English and give you some time to think and frame the next sentence. But for good practice, you should not use them a lot.
Another way is, you can practice on your own at home by speaking on a topic and recoding it on your phone.
Initially, do it for one minute and listen to that recording and check how often you get stuck and take a pause, and then improve it.
When preparing for an interview, speak in front of the mirror imagining the interviewer in front of you. Remember, practice always makes progress, so do the practice.
If you don’t understand when someone speaks, ask them to repeat, or paraphrase to confirm whether you understood them correctly. Don’t just assume and answer and don’t remain silent.
Don’t miss a chance of meeting native English speakers, or others who only have the option to use English to interact with you. Also, hang out with those people who are good in English around you.
Listen to English audios, and watch movies with sub-titles initially.
Listen to podcasts when travelling to utilize the time, don’t listen to songs in your native language, listen to English songs.
Listen to people’s interview in English. Yes, your brain will oppose you in the beginning but gradually, it will become your habit of listening to content in English.
Read books and articles written in English. Reading out loud will build your muscle’s memory and improve your pronunciation.
Reading will also increase your knowledge and help you to expand your vocabulary.
Read about the subject which interests you most, and you want to be an expert in.
Write in English. Start writing the summary of your day in a journal in English. This way you will develop the vocabulary to use in your daily life. Also, you will not run out of words when introducing you or telling about your routine in English.
Also, write messages in English when texting someone or chatting on social media. Create a social media group and share your thoughts in English at least once a day.
The best thing is;
Writing consistently is the best way to learn spelling and grammar.
Think in English
Don’t always use the translation method to improve your English communication skills.
Start thinking in English. If you start thinking in English, you will not get stuck to convey your message in lesser time and you will able to speak more fluently.
Yes, you have to immerse yourself in English Communication completely with the five habits above.
Make it a habit of consuming and producing English in your daily life. It means you have to read and listen to English and write and speak in the English language.
8. Go Step by step and Be consistent
Consistency always leads to a breakthrough, so be consistent with your practice.
Learn continuously, and execute what you learn. If you read a lot but don’t speak, you won’t be fluent in English communication.
Keep your practice up, take a break but don’t procrastinate to resume your learning.
Learn new words with it’s all the available forms like noun, adj, verb, prefixes, suffixes with the words and, so on then learn to use it in sentences you use in your daily life.
Don’t try to learn every single word when reading, go by the context.
9. Improve Different Parts Of English Communication
Keep practising and improving different parts of English communication.
Grammar and spelling
Improve grammar and spellings and learn the proper use of punctuation marks. Without knowing the correct grammar, you can’t be good at English communication.
People will assume your level of English, the way you speak it.
So, learn the correct sound of the particular word with exact syllable stress.
Learn IPA (International Phonetic Alphabets)and try to imitate sounds using some online app, or simply searching the words on google to know the correct pronunciation.
Learn to differentiate words with the same pronunciation, and different spelling and meanings.
Don’t sound rude when communicating in English, learn the power of intonation. Learn when to raise your voice, and when to let it fall.
Intonation is also important to have an attractive conversation. Without knowing the right pattern of intonation, your communication will sound monotonous, and people will not listen to you.
Keep expanding your word power along the way of your continuous learning.
Only grammar and punctuation will not Help you to have good communication skills in English. Develop fluency through continuous practice.
To be perfect in English communication and get the best benefit of it, you have to develop the fluency in your speaking English.
Most of the people won’t pay attention if they found you with a lack of fluency. To crack a job interview or win a business conversation, you have to work on your fluency.
10. Follow These Techniques To Improve Spoken English
These are some techniques which I personally followed to improve my English communication skills:
In this technique, you need to imitate the speaker to improve your spoken English.
Choose a video, let the speaker speak a sentence, pause the video, and repeat the wording of the speaker, and repeat the same.
Start imitating with small pieces of a sentence, and then increase it as your catching power develops.
In this technique, you need to speak with the speaker by matching the pace and intonation.
You can watch youtube videos or a movie with subtitles and read the subtitle out loud following the speech.
Recording And Listening
Record your voice clip of 2-3 minutes, and listen to it. Check the errors and improve them by continuous practice.
Reading Out Loud
Read books, articles, newspapers out loud. By reading out loud you will develop the muscles’ memory and habit of speaking.
Follow just a minute technique to improve your Spoken English.
Choose a subject and speak on it for a minute on a daily basis.
You can also record your one-minute speech to see the progress day by day.
Speaking in English when calling to customer care
When you need support for products or services you are using and you need to reach out to customer support, reach out to them by giving a call and communicate in English.
Debate or discussion
Debate or discussion is also a good way to improve your communication skills in English.
Take some of your friends or colleague or classmates to have a discussion on a topic and try to correct each other if someone makes an error.
Use certain applications like Duolingo, FluentU, and Cambly to improve your English communication skills.
Meeting Native English Speakers
Go to popular tourist places in your country where people from other countries come to visit. Interact with foreigners and native English speakers visiting there.
Also, you can visit English speaking countries to learn English where you would have no chance of speaking other languages than English.
11. Some Exercises To Improve Your English Listening skills
It is essential to understand other people speaking to interact with them.
They might be good at English and speak faster than you. Or You might have a comprehension problem when you listen to natives communicating and their fluency might make you uncomfortable. Or, you might not be able to understand fast speaking native speakers due to a different accent.
In this case, you can ask them to repeat or slow down their rate of speech.
To avoid this problem of comprehension, you have to improve your listening skills in English. You can’t always ask people to repeat and slow down.
Here are some exercises to improve your listening skills in English:
Listen a lot, whenever you find the time, plug your earpieces in and listen to English speeches, podcasts, radio, songs, and so on.
You can listen to English material during commute time, when doing household work, at the time of workout, and any other time you find suitable to listen to.
Getting into the listening habit will improve your comprehension power, and you will be able to understand English conversations.
Initially, watch movies with subtitles, find short videos with subtitles or transcripts, listen to songs that are slow and clear, listen to songs reading their lyrics.
Don’t worry, in starting it might take some time to understand and you might understand some part of the audio or video. But as you continue your listening practice and make it your habit, you will be able to understand more of it.
Once you develop the habit of listening English, increase the level of it. Start watching TV shows, movies without subtitles, listen to podcasts without transcripts, listen to songs without lyrics, listen to real-life conversations, interviews, and speeches of influencers.
This way you will be able to understand native English speakers and learn new phrases and slangs.
When you start understanding 50-70% what you listen to, start paying attention to the intonation part of English communication.
Identify the rise and fall of the language. Learn to differentiate the intonation of a question and statement.
Start listening to people speaking in different accents. No, it is not necessary to speak in many accents but you have to understand different kinds of accents to become good at English communication skills.
With all these habits, learn new words as well. It is very important to expand vocabulary to increase the level of your English communication skills. Write down a few words daily and learn the meaning and understand to use them in a sentence.
12. Best Tips To Improve Your English Writing Skills
To improve your written communication skills, you have to write. Start writing, and maintain consistency writing on a daily basis.
- To write, you can maintain a journal or a notebook, or you can simply write as a note on your mobile phone or computer.
2. Start writing on the topic you know about and you feel comfortable writing in. Start writing on the topic you’re interested in.
3. Read a topic and then summarize it in your own words by wiring on a piece of paper.
4. Replace English with your native language. Write messages, social media posts, etc in English.
5. Learn to write with phrasal verbs and collocations. Learn to differentiate formal and informal writing like not using SMS language and reduction of words like gonna, wanna in professional writing, or learn to put contraction correctly.
6. Start writing your daily activities and to-do lists in English.
7. Gradually, increase the level, and start writing on small topics, then increase it a little and write on a topic with some more details like this blog post.
8. Learn to write with correct grammar, correctly putting punctuation and spellings.
You no need to worry about it and no need to put too much stress on cramming spellings, they will come naturally once you start learning and maintain consistency.
9. To avoid spelling mistakes, follow the dictation technique. Ask someone to speak and then you write as they speak, then check the spelling mistakes you’ve made and work upon them.
10. Get your writing correct. For this; you can ask someone in your family or friends who are good at English. Or you can use some online software like Grammarly, or Hemingway app.
11. If you want to write English professionally then you need to read a lot. Read books and articles in that particular subject you want to write about.
Bottom line is;
“You have to write a lot to develop your English writing skills.”
13. Expand Your Vocabulary
Yes, it is important to increase your vocabulary size to improve your communication skills in English. Here are my personally applied methods to expand vocabulary, which I still follow:
- Read a lot and write down 5-10 words from your reading, and summarize what you read using those words. I mostly do this on the notepad of my cellphone and in my free time, I scroll my notes. For this, you can use a journal or physical not pad, or a flashcard if you want to.
- Learn all the forms of the word which I chose to learn.
- Search new words in an online dictionary app, and scroll the search history to revise what you learn on the current day.
- You can summarize your day using a new set of words you learned before going to your bed.
- Use some online dictionaries like dictionary.com, Cambridge dictionary app, U-dictionary, etc. Most of the online dictionaries are available with pronunciation as well, so you can get best out of them.
- Learn commonly used words by listening to others to speak in a conversation, in an interview, or listening to the news, etc.
14. English is not spoken the same way the way it is written
Some languages are phonetic, which means, some languages are spoken the same way they are written. But, this is not the case of English.
To be good in English communication skills, you have to learn it the way it is. You no need to worry about it, just develop the habit of listening and reading you will start observing and learning it.
Read a lot and observe the spelling and grammar while reading. Listen a lot and observe the pronunciation and intonation.
When you speak English, don’t go with the spellings, learn the way it sounds. Practice the right pronunciation of a word. Learn all 40-44 sounds in the English language.
Learn words with the same spellings and different pronunciation, at the same time understand them when words are written with different spelling and but pronounced the same way. Learn homophones.
Learn syllable stress and the reduction of unimportant words. To Be good in English communication skills, it is significant to know the difference in written and spoken English.
One difference in spoken and written English is, you can speak incomplete sentence sometimes with certain expression in an informal conversation. You can use your statement as a question raising the intonation at the end, but in writing, you have to write a complete sentence with proper grammar.
Many words of English are not pronounced the way they are written like words with silent letters.
15. Understand real-life English vs bookish English
Books can only provide you with general ideas and rules. If you copy the same in your communication you will sound robotic.
Books are good to learn the rules in the initial stage, once you would have learned them jump into daily English conversation.
It’s better to learn grammar and basic English communication skills from books, but if you want to be more advance in English communication, you have to learn real-life English.
Learn English the way people speak it, learn from great speeches, professional interviews, news, movies, etc.
Learn daily life English, learn phrasal verbs, allocations, and popular slangs. But be careful when using them, don’t make your language complicated and awful for others.
16. Spelling difference in American and British English
Yes, there are some spelling differences for certain words in American and British English. You can choose one of them as your writing style. Whichever goes well in your country, use it.
If you need to have business communication with US people, then it is better to write in American style.
Learn both the style, but follow one as per the situation. There are some words and suffixes only, so it is not tough to know them that how they are written in both the styles.
17. Don’t get trapped with too many accents
When it comes to spoken English, don’t try to learn more than one accent at a time. Just go with that which sounds easier to you.
You can go with one which people use in your country, or if your purpose is going to a specific country, you can go with their accent.
Or, you can use a neutral accent and learn to comprehend other popular accents around the world, so that you can communicate and understand people from different countries with different accents.
I personally, prefer American English in Speaking and British style of writing. If you want you can go with that as well.
18. Don’t Rush, Get Things Clear One By One
You might think that you need to improve all the parts of your communication, but take it easy. Select one, whichever is most important as per your goal for which you are improving your communication skills in English.
Know your pain point and learn one by one like reading or listing or speaking. Don’t get overwhelmed by practising the whole of it simultaneously.
Implement what you learn on a daily basis. Learn new rules and practice with them doing a lot of exercises. Don’t move to next until you are clear about the topic. Learn in a way that you no need to learn that topic again.
Learn and implement things regularly. Learn the same topic from different resources but don’t learn too many topics on the same day.
How to improve your English communication skills at home
Most of the above methods can be practised at home to improve English communication skills. Using the internet and mobile, you can improve your communication skills in English. Let me reiterate some of them for you:
- Imitating the speaker, You can imitate your favourite speaker, TV anchor, or actor to improve your English communication skills at home. By imitating, you will learn grammar, pronunciation, and even intonation altogether practising at home.
- Shadowing technique
- Recording, and improving
- Reading out loud can be performed at home to speak better English.
- Also, you can use some apps to improve your communication skills in English like Duolingo App to find a partner to speak at home. You can use Cambly App to find a native English speaker to correct your mistakes, and so on.
- When there is no one to practice with, you can think of your current activities in English and speak that out loud what you’re thinking.
- When you get stuck or don’t know what to call certain things in English, you can use some online dictionary Apps like U-dictionary, Cambridge dictionary app, Merriam Webster dictionary app for American English, and other popular apps.
- Talk in front of the mirror, doing so will help you to overcome the nervousness. Also, pay attention to your mouth movement and body language, and see if you need to improve your expressions and body language when communicating in English.
- You can try to make sentences with newly learned words, practice the use of frequently used collocations, slangs, and phrasal verbs at home. Also, practice tongue twisters of certain sounds you make mistakes for.
- Telling stories or life experience in English to prepare your mind to think in English.
- Write everything in English until it is not necessary to write it in any other language.
These are some of the techniques you can try at home on your own to improve your communication skills in English.
Just know your weak point in that is stopping you in English communication, and start working on it. Check out what you need to improve first as per your goal of learning English like speaking, writing, pronunciation, intonation, comprehension, and others.
Sign Up For a Course Or higher an English Coach
If you feel exhausted, or when it seems difficult to understand something, seek an expert to guide you. You can sign up for courses from the experts and find a community to practice with.
Learning on your own will make you exhausted sometimes, so it is better to invest money and buy someone else’s time to make your learning easier.
Yes, you can improve your English communication skills on your own but if you want to do it in lesser time by putting your energy in the right direction, it is always good to sign up for a course a higher a private tutor.
Don’t make excuses: don’t procrastinate:
Start learning form today. Start working on your English communication skills. Don’t make excuses for time and resources.
Find out why is it important to improve your English and start. Start practising on your own from now. Procrastination kills our time and decisiveness, so stop thinking too much, don’t waste more time now, go for it.
It’s a language you can learn it using the right resources, just like you learned other languages. Try to enjoy your learning journey. Laugh on your own mistakes when correcting them. When someone corrects you, just say thank you.
When you feel tired by practising alone, take a break, go find someone. There are lots of people like you who are learning and improving their English communication skills.
Join some Facebook groups, interact with people, and you will see there is a huge crowd you can learn with.
This is how you can improve your English communication skills. choose the methods listed above which work for you, and maintain the consistency.
Learn something new on a daily basis and develop your English communication skills. If you need more clarity, don’t forget to put it down below in the comment box.