It feels embarrassing when you stay behind just because of not able to speak in English.
You can understand English.
You can read and write well.
But, when it comes to speaking you get nervous and afraid of being incorrect.
I used to feel the same. Because English is my third language after my local language and Hindi.
I tried hard to improve my English and I often used to search “how to improve English communication skills.”
After using so many methods and putting consistent effort; finally, I’m able to read, write and speak in English fluently.
In this article, I am sharing the same tips and tactics that helped me to become better in written English and fluent in spoken English.
You will learn how to take your English to the next level following this step by step guide.
These tips will help you to speak like a native English speaker, and help you to understand English movies, shows, songs, and real-life English.
On top of that;
Most of these techniques are proven ways of improving English communication skills at home on your own.
Let’s get started.
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 undervalued often.
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 is 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 enhancing 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.
- Becoming good in English will open more opportunities for you in your home country and as well as abroad. Because most multinational companies give priority to people who know English.
- You can spread your business globally and English can benefit you in effective business communication. That means you can make more money by competing in the international market with your English communication skills.
- You can travel anywhere in the world without worrying about communication barriers.
- You can study in English speaking countries and choose the best university to pursue your career with.
- Being good in English communication, you can easily learn computer and data science and can get the best out of technology.
- 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 to make it earning source. Also, you can help your loved ones in improving their English.
- Knowing a second language, people will respect you and want to learn from you. 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
Before knowing how to improve English communication skills, know 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. See, how can being better in English can help you in your career.
I remember, when I started learning English, first it was for cracking job interview in a call centre.
Later on, I became more focused on learning English with the desire of how to speak native-like English. I started focusing on American English to join an international call centre.
Setting up my goal helped me to achieve my goal of learning English and I’m able to improve my communication skills in English.
You can set up a goal like that too. Not necessarily to work in a call centre but to succeed in any other job opportunity or business goal.
Knowing your goals of learning English will help you to stay motivated and you will be consistent even when facing challenges in learning a new language.
2. Know your level of English
After setting up a goal, write down your weak points before working on your English communication skills.
Find out, which part of the language you need to work on first?
It can be pronunciation part, grammar, fluency, vocabulary, writing better English, listening, comprehension, etc.
If you work on all the parts at the same time, it will exhaust and de-motivate you. So, first, find out the weak points and then start working on them one by one as per their priority.
You can refer to the benefits of improving English communication skills above to clarify why you want to learn English.
3. Select Study Material As Per Your Current Level In English
It is always good to select an 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, 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 a little challenging as you improve.
Keep upgrading your study material when the current one doesn’t remain challenging.
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 reach there, but start small and keep raising the bar as you make the progress.
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.
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 from today.
Yes, you’re working on your English since you are reading this complete guide on improving your English communication skills.
5. Don’t be 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 worry?
Making mistakes is the way to progress, if you don’t make mistakes you will not learn anything.
Remember, when a child learns to walk. He keeps falling and keeps trying again, right? The same goes for learning a new language.
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.
The faster you want to improve your English communication skills, the earlier it is better to make mistakes.
Don’t worry about other people’s judgement, if they laugh at you, it’s their weakness, not yours. So why should you care about someone else’s weak point?
It doesn’t matter, right? Because you are improving.
If someone criticizes and corrects 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 off, and start speaking in English now.
6. Communicate With Confidence
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 communicate effectively.
If you get it that you’ve made a mistake, 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.
After speaking consistently in English your mouth muscles will get trained and one day you will be able to speak fluently.
Be calm and patient, give yourself time. Don’t be nervous when communicating.
Use the 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 breaths, 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 without hesitation.
English is not the first language in your country, at some point, everyone had to learn it the way you are learning. So, they will understand you are learning it.
7. Immersion Is The Key
Create an environment to communicate in English. Practice whenever you find an opportunity. At the same time, seek an opportunity to communicate in English.
Start speaking in English in your family, friend circle, and with your peer group at work.
Start with a single word and then sentences, and gradually you will see yourself making long conversations in English.
Develop these 5 habits to immerse yourself in English
Using these exercises consistently will improve your English
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 classmates.
Find people who are improving their English make them your friends.
Make a group for practising your English. In that group, you can use a punishment trick of treating others.
Ask your friends, if someone in the group communicates in 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 make a flow in your spoken English and give you some time to think and frame the next sentence. But for good practice, you should not use filler words a lot.
Another way is, you can practice on your own at home by speaking on a topic and recording 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 or 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 at English around you.
Listen to English audios, and watch movies with sub-titles at the initial stage of language learning.
Listen to podcasts when travelling to utilize the time, don’t listen to songs in your native language, listen to English songs and try to understand as many words as you can.
Listen to interviews in English. Yes, your brain will oppose you in the beginning but gradually, it will become your habit of listening to the English content.
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 yourself or telling about your routine in English.
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 conveying your message in lesser time which will improve your fluency in English.
You have to immerse yourself in English Communication completely with these five habits above.
Make it a habit of consuming and producing English in your daily life.
That means you have to read and listen to English and write and speak in the English language to improve your English communication skills.
8. Be consistent to improve your English
Consistency always leads to success, 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 all the available forms like noun, adj, verb, prefixes, suffixes with the words and, so on then use them in your daily life.
Don’t try to learn every single word when reading, go by the context instead. Just learn 4-5 new words every day.
9. Improve Different Parts Of English Communication
Keep practising and improving different parts of English communication.
Grammar and spelling
Improve grammar and spelling and learn the proper use of punctuation marks. Without knowing the correct grammar, you can’t be good at English communication.
People will consider your level of English, the way you speak it.
So, learn the correct sound of any particular word with exact syllable stress.
Learn IPA (International Phonetic Alphabets)and try to imitate sounds using some online app, or simply search 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 (when to end a sentence with a rising tone and when to use it with a falling tone).
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 by practising consistently.
To be perfect in English communication and get the best benefit of it, you have to develop fluency in your spoken English.
Most 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 that I 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, repeat the wording of the speaker, and do the same again.
Start imitating with small pieces of a sentence, and then increase it as your ability of comprehension improves.
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” of JAM technique to improve your Spoken English.
Choose a subject and speak on it for a minute daily.
You can also record your one-minute speech to see the progress day by day.
Speaking in English when calling 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 communicating in English.
They will not judge your English, but answer your question even if you speak in broken sentences.
Debate or discussion
Debate or discussion is also a good way to improve your communication skills in English.
Take some of your friends 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.
Also, you can visit English speaking countries to learn English where you would have no chance of speaking other languages than English.
11. How To Improve English Listening skills
It is essential to understand other people speaking to interact with them.
If someone is good at English and speak faster than you. Or You haven’t developed good listening skills yet.
You listen to natives English speakers communicating and their fluency makes you uncomfortable.
Or, you cannot understand speakers because of different accents.
In these cases, you can ask the speaker to repeat or slow down the pace. If you are listening to a YouTube video, change the speed to lower on and turn on subtitles.
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.
Practice these exercises to improve your English listening skills
- 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.
- Get into the listening habits to improve your comprehension power and to understand English conversations better.
- Initially, watch movies, videos with subtitles or transcripts, listen to songs that are slow and clear, listen to songs reading the lyrics.
- Once you developed the habit of listening to 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.
- Immerse yourself in listening to understand native English speakers and to learn new phrases and slang.
- When you start understanding 50-70% of 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.
Don’t worry, starting it will take time to understand but gradually you will understand more and more.
12. Best Tips To Improve English Writing Skills
To improve your written communication skills in English, you have to write.
Start writing, and be consistent with your writing drill.
1. To write, you can maintain a journal or a notebook, or you can post on social media in English.
2. Start writing on the topic you know about and you feel comfortable writing 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 in English when interacting with your family or friends.
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, and learn to put contraction correctly.
6. Start writing your daily activities and to-do lists in English.
7. Increase the level of your writing, 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 on 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 the Hemingway app.
11. If you want to write English professionally then you need to read a lot. Read books and articles on that particular subject you want to write about.
The bottom line is;
“You have to write a lot to develop your English writing skills.”
13. Expand Your Vocabulary
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 notepad, or a flashcard if you want to.
- Learn all the forms of the word which you chose to learn like noun form, verb form, adjective form etc.
- 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 the best out of them.
- Learn commonly used words by listening to English conversation.
14. Learn The difference between written and spoken English
Some languages are phonetic, which means they are spoken the same way they are written. But, this is not the case in English.
The spellings and pronunciations of many English words are not the same. To be good at English communication skills, you have to learn the language the way it is.
You will observe it on the way when listening and reading English consistently.
Read a lot and observe the spelling and grammar at the same time. Listen a lot and observe the pronunciation and intonation when listening.
When you speak English, don’t go with the spelling, 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 pronunciations. 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 between written and spoken English.
One difference in spoken and written English is, you can speak incomplete sentences sometimes with certain expressions 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.
Learn the silent letters and syllables of English words to find the difference between written and verbal English.
15. Difference between Real-life English and 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 and grammar in the initial stage. Once you learned the basic grammar and certain sentence formation rules, start learning from daily English conversation.
To learn advanced English learn from day to day conversation or 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, collocations, and popular slang. But be careful when using them, don’t make your language complicated and awful for others.
16. What is the difference between American and British English
You will often find spelling differences for certain words in American and British English. You can choose either American or British English as your writing style.
Also, the pronunciation of both the accents is different like American stress on ‘r’ and British keeps it silent in most of the cases.
There are several other examples. Know the basic difference and follow one which you prefer.
If you need to have business communication with US people, then it is better to write in American style.
Learn both styles, but follow one that goes well with your purpose of improving English communication skills.
When it comes to written English, there are a few words and suffixes only, so it is not tough to know how they are written in both 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 to communicate and understand people from different origins.
I prefer American English in Speaking and the British style of writing. If you want you can go with that as well.
18. Don’t Rush, Get Things Clear One By One
If you need to improve all the parts of your English communication, don’t get overwhelmed.
Select one part that is most important for your purpose of learning the language and as per your level of English.
Know your weak point and learn one by one like reading or listing or speaking. Trying everything in one go will make you stressed and demotivated.
Implement what you learn daily. 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.
These are some you can try at home on your own:
- 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: speak as the speaker speaks following the rhythm and reading subtitles or transcript.
- Speak, record your voice, listen to that voice clip, find errors and improve them.
- 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 about 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.
- 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, slang, and phrasal verbs at home. Also, practice tongue twisters of certain sounds you make mistakes for.
- Telling stories or life experiences in English is good 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 on your own to improve your communication skills in English at home.
Just know the weak point 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 hire 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 or hire 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 communication skills in English.
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 that work for you, and maintain consistency.
Learn something new daily and develop your English communication skills. If you need more clarity, don’t forget to put it down below in the comment box.