With more than 1.8 billion speakers around the world, English is the most popular language in human history. As the world becomes more globalized, having English language skills is no longer an option – it’s a must for many job opportunities.
It’s easy to learn the basics of English, only to stop improving. Since you don’t need total English proficiency for basic conversations, many learners of English forget to continually challenge themselves and improve their communications skills.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to improve your English communication using a series of eight simple tactics. Enroll in our 8 Secrets to English Success course and read on to get started mastering the art of communicating in English.
Dedicate 30 minutes each day to pronunciation
Pronunciation plays a huge role in English proficiency. Almost all non-native English speakers have an accent, whether they know it or not! Many people are ashamed of their accents, and feel that they need to eliminate them through practice.
Try not to fall into this mode of thinking. Having an accent is nothing to be ashamed of, as long as your pronunciation is clear and easy to understand. Dedicate about 30 minutes each day to pronunciation and you’ll quickly master the toughest words.
Pronunciation practice doesn’t need to be boring. One of the best ways to enhance your pronunciation is by reading aloud. Pick up your favorite English book and let yourself read it out loud with a focus on clear and consistent pronunciation.
Our course, Accent Artisan: English Pronunciation Mastery, shows you exactly how to master English pronunciation using simple exercises
Speak and interact with native English speakers
The most effective way to improve your English communication skills is by talking to native English speakers. Be direct and clear, and ask them to inform you of any pronunciation or grammar mistakes you make during conversation.
Ready to start? One of the best ways to practice with native English speakers is by traveling to a country where English is the official language. Enroll in our course, Travel English, to master the basics of English for traveling the world.
Read English books, newspapers, and magazines
There’s more to English communication than just speaking clearly. With email and online messengers playing such an important role in modern business, it’s now just as important to write English fluently as it is to speak it.
One of the best ways to improve your written English is by reading English books, magazines, and newspapers. Start by reading the news online in English, and then try reading short books and English magazine articles.
If you’re not confident in your written English, start by reading material you already know. Books you’ve already read – particularly children’s books – are excellent tools for mastering written English.
Chat with English speakers using an instant messenger
Do you struggle with written English? Just like talking to native English speakers is the best way to improve your spoken English, communicating with native speakers via text is the best way to improve your written English.
Make friends with native English speakers and keep in touch with them using an instant messenger like Skype, Yahoo!, or Facebook Chat. The short sentences and rapid-fire communication will force you to think on your feet when responding.
One of the most important aspects of fluent written English is grammar. Enroll in our course, An Introduction to English Grammar, to master important aspects of grammar such as tenses, forms of speech, and punctuation.
Record yourself speaking to discover your strong and weak points
Are you afraid of making a mistake in conversation? Does your accent make you feel embarrassed or shy when you speak in English? These are common issues for non-native English speakers, and they’re easy to combat using one simple tactic.
Record yourself speaking – either at home or in the workplace – and listen to your own voice in your free time. You’ll quickly notice your strong points – from tone of voice to pronunciation – and your weaknesses.
Being aware of your strong points and weaknesses makes it easy to improve your spoken English and enhance your communication skills. This tactic has been used endlessly by actors, politicians, and other people that frequently speak in public.
Do you struggle with anxiety and fear when you need to speak English in public or for work? Our course, Public Speaking Made Easy, will help you conquer your fear and speak confidently with friends, coworkers, and new acquaintances.
Take online English classes to improve your speaking skills
Have you ever mispronounced a word you’ve only seen written down? Sometimes, even the best training in written English can leave you at a loss when it comes time to start speaking.
Improve your spoken English skills by taking online classes with native speakers to master pronunciation, phrasing, and tone of voice. Often just a few minutes invested in listening to a native English speaker will reverse your pronunciation issues.
Our course, Learn to Speak Fluent English, includes video examples of conversations between fluent English speakers. Master pronunciation and conversation using this powerful, effective instructional course.
Watch English TV shows and movies to improve your listening
Don’t have time to chat with native speakers? If you live in a country where English isn’t widely spoken, finding friends to chat with can be difficult. One of the best ways to improve your spoken English is to watch English TV shows and movies.
From Hollywood blockbusters to independent productions, start adding TV shows and movies in English to your weekly routine. Start with subtitles on, and gradually switch them off as you become more familiar with English vocabulary.
Try to watch movies from the United States, the UK, Australia, and other countries that speak English. This will expose you to a wide variety of accents and help you understand spoken English from any type of native speaker.
Write a personal diary in English to enhance your vocabulary
Can you confidently read English? Improve your written English skills by recording your own thoughts and ideas in a diary. Keeping a journal is one of the best ways to master written English and expand your vocabulary.
Write a short journal entry every day, and try to use a new word in each entry you add to your diary. Over the course of the year, you’ll add over 300 new words and phrases to your personal vocabulary using this simple method.
Need help keeping a diary? Our blog post, How to Write a Journal, explains how you can record your thoughts, theories, and ideas in a personal journal. Keeping a diary is therapeutic and fun, as well as an effective way to learn English vocabulary.