English is the lingua franca of business, academia, and just about every other sector that exists today. English is spoken by about 1.35 billion people worldwide, making it one of the most widely-spoken languages in the world today. That’s why it’s very important to improve English communication skills nowadays. After all, English communication skills are a lot more important than you might think.
Even though English isn’t your first language, a lack of good communication skills will limit your capacity to succeed in other areas of your life. This article explains step by step guide on how you can improve your English communication skills in 30 days. Whether you’re new to English or need a refresher on grammar and vocabulary, you can do it with the right strategies. Read on to find out more!
What Does Good English Communication Look Like?
The most important quality in any language is clarity—clarity of message, message framing, and tone. If you can communicate clearly, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and get more results. When you communicate in English, you want to avoid language that is not only inaccurate but also impolite. Impolite language is any word or phrase that could be viewed as negative or rude.
Good English communication involves effectively using grammar, vocabulary, and language structure to convey a clear and concise message. It also involves actively listening to others, asking questions, and using appropriate body language and tone. Some specific characteristics of good English communication include:
- Using correct grammar and syntax, including proper verb tense and subject-verb agreement.
- Use a diverse vocabulary and choose the most appropriate words to convey your meaning.
- Organizing your thoughts and expressing them in a logical order.
- Using appropriate tone and adjusting it according to the context and audience
- Actively listening to others and showing understanding through verbal and nonverbal cues.
- Asking clarifying questions when necessary.
- Use appropriate body language, such as maintaining eye contact and facial expressions, to show engagement.
- Avoid slang, jargon, or other languages that all listeners may not understand.
How to Start Improving your English Communication Skills
We must improve our English communication skills to start a smooth English conversation. It can’t be done overnight. But it’s possible within 30 days if your basic English skills (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) are good enough. We have to keep patience and follow some reliable strategies. Let us see some advanced tips to improve English communication skills:
1. Assume you’re speaking to a native speaker
Most people don’t try this when they’re getting to know native speakers. Assume you’re speaking to a native speaker and in a similar situation to how native speakers would communicate. This will help you break out of your perspective and better understand how native speakers communicate.
As you practice assuming you’re speaking to a native speaker, you’ll notice that your communication skills will improve. This helps because you’re not comparing your communication skills to someone else. Instead, you’re comparing them to how you communicate with yourself.
2. Improve Your Body Language
Without improving your body language, it’ll be not easy to conduct a natural conversation in English or any other language. Your body language will play a vital role in your communication skills. Improving your body language in a conversation can be a useful way to communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships. Here are a few tips for improving your body language:
- Make eye contact: Eye contact shows that you are paying attention and interested in what the other person is saying.
- Use open body language: Keep your arms uncrossed and avoid folding your arms or crossing your legs, as this can make you seem closed off or unapproachable.
- Pay attention to your posture: Stand or sit up straight and maintain an open posture to show that you are engaged and interested.
- Use gestures to emphasize your points: Use hand gestures to help illustrate your points and make your conversation more engaging.
- Keep your facial expressions positive: Smiling, nodding, and maintaining a positive facial expression can make you seem more approachable and help improve the conversation’s overall tone.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can improve your body language and communicate more effectively in your conversations.
3. Improve Your Vocabulary
Vocabulary is the fundamental pillar of any language. Without improving your vocabulary, you’ll survive to make a smooth conversation in English. Vocabulary plays a significant role in improving English communication skills. Many of us don’t know how to improve our English vocabulary in the proper ways. Here are a few tips to improve English vocabulary:
- Read, read, read! The more you read, the more exposed you are to a wide range of words and their usage. This will help you naturally learn new words and how to use them correctly.
- Keep a vocabulary journal. When you come across a new word, write it down in a journal along with its definition and a sentence using it. Review your vocabulary journal regularly to reinforce your learning.
- Use a dictionary and thesaurus. A dictionary will give you the definition of a word, and a thesaurus will give you synonyms and antonyms. This can help you expand your vocabulary and find the perfect word for any situation.
- Play word games. Word games and puzzles like crosswords, Scrabble, and Boggle can be fun for learning new words and improving your vocabulary.
- Take an online course or class. There are many online resources available that can help you improve your vocabulary. Look for a course or class that fits your learning style and schedule.
- Use new words in conversation. Once you learn a new word, try to use it in conversation or writing to reinforce your learning. This will also help you become more confident in using your new vocabulary.
4. Make an English Speaking Partner
The best way to improve your English communication skills is to practice them with a real-life partner. This could be your best friend, spouse, or even a stranger on the street. This person can act as a real-life sounding board to help you identify problems with your communication and offer constructive criticism. You can also use a partner to practice your pronunciation, help you with your vocabulary, and practice your structure.
This will help you identify areas where you need work, as well as give you practice in dealing with each issue. If you’re looking for a partner, try asking at your local meet-up group for people who want to practice conversation skills. You can also try online forums, Reddit, or Twitter. Here are a few tips for improving your English communication skills by practicing with a partner:
- Have regular conversation practice sessions with a native or fluent English speaker. This will help you get used to the natural rhythm and flow of the language.
- Discuss various topics to expand your vocabulary and improve your ability to express yourself in different situations.
- Pay attention to your partner’s nonverbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions. This will help you understand how your words are received and adjust your communication accordingly.
- Practice active listening by fully engaging with your partner and showing that you are interested in what they have to say.
- Use speaking and listening exercises to improve specific skills, such as pronunciation, grammar, and clarity.
- Give and receive constructive feedback to help each other identify areas for improvement.
- Have fun! The more enjoyable your practice sessions are, the more motivated you will be to continue improving your communication skills.
5. Stay flexible and practice often
The best way to improve your English communication skills is to stay flexible and practice often. That doesn’t mean you need to practice more frequently, but it does mean that you need to practice often. Many people set a specific time per day for language practice, which is an ideal time for them to practice. You can also set a time for yourself to practice.
This might be reading a short article, listening to a podcast, or watching a video. You don’t need to do much prep work, pick something you want to communicate well, and then practice doing it well. How often you should practice depends on your situation. If you have time before work or during your lunch break, try practicing for 30 minutes. If you have a few minutes before dinner, try practicing. If you have a few minutes before bed, try practicing.
6. Improve Your Pronunciation
Good pronunciation will emphasize your words and make them more interesting. It can also help you stand out as a speaker in a crowd. But what else if you fail to pronounce the English accent correctly? It sounds unnatural if you can’t pronounce the English accent accurately. However, it’s not difficult to improve pronunciation in English. If we can follow some useful tips and execute them, we will improve our pronunciation skills. Here are some tips to help you improve your English pronunciation:
- Listen to native English speakers in person and through audio/video recordings.
- Learn the phonetic alphabet to help you understand the sounds of English.
- Learn to break words down into syllables and pronounce each syllable correctly.
- Practice tongue twisters to help you learn the different sounds.
- Record yourself speaking and listen back to it to identify and correct mistakes.
- Use English pronunciation dictionaries, such as Google Translate, FluentU, Forvo, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, WordReference, Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries, and Collins Online Dictionary, to help you with pronunciation.
- Notice how your mouth and lips move when you pronounce certain sounds.
- Pay attention to where your tongue is placed when you make certain sounds.
- Exaggerate certain sounds to help you be more accurate.
- Speak as much as you can in English to get more practice.
7. Take a Class or Online Course
If self-study methods aren’t working, you can take a class or an online course. Classes are great if you have a lot of free time and want to learn at your own pace. They can also be a good way to meet other students pursuing your goals. Online courses are great if you have a busy schedule but want to learn at the same pace as everyone else. Here are some tips for getting the most out of your online course:
- Set realistic goals and establish a study plan.
- Follow the course structure and take notes.
- Ask questions and participate in online discussions.
- Practice the skills you learn in the course with other English learners.
- Find native English speakers to practice with.
- Take practice tests to assess your progress and identify weaknesses.
- Watch English videos and movies to enhance your listening comprehension.
- Read English books and newspapers to improve your reading and writing skills.
- Use online resources such as pronunciation and grammar guides.
- Find an online English tutor for additional support.
Many things can hold you back when learning English, but you can’t let your communication skills get in the way. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can improve your English communication skills in 30 days. They don’t have to be difficult, either. Focus on improving your pronunciation, vocabulary, and flexibility, and you can easily become a better speaker.
Azizul Hakim is the founder & CEO of englishfinders.com. He is a passionate writer, English instructor, and content creator. He has completed his graduation and post-graduation in English language and literature.