Effective communication (for non-natives)

hanso6's picture
Rank: Senior Monkey | banana points 91

Hi,

I was wondering if someone can recommend a source or way to improve ones fluency in spoken English? I consume almost all media, books, papers etc in English and have no significant difficulties doing so. But as I'm barely exposed to taking the active part, my level of fluency is mediocre at most.

In Relation to upcoming internships, I am extremely worried. So, have you guys any advice for effective communication on the job? Has anyone ever stumbled upon something like a collection of day to day phrases that are actually applicable? I've found a few in regard to talking on the phone, but using those I would probably sound like a creep.

Comments (11)

Most Helpful
Dec 5, 2018

If you don't have someone that you can speak to and practice your fluency, there are other ways.

  • Read out loud.
  • Listen to English-spoken business news shows and watch business topics on TED talks and pod casts.
  • Record yourself on your smart phone to gauge your pronunciation.
  • Check youtube, Quora and the app store on your phone for any tips/apps on improving your fluency.

There are also very inexpensive online classes where you can speak with a native English speaker, either one-on-one or in a group setting. There's www.spokenenglishpractice.com, www.englishlive.ef.com, www.fluentu.com and www.bbc.co.uk/learningenglish to name a few.

Good luck!

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Dec 5, 2018

(I spent 5 years in Japan and learned Japanese) Dont use phrases you read in a book, they will come out awkward. The most ideal way to learn conversational english will be to have good friends that you spend a lot of time with and you can immerse yourself in the spoken language. I was with many peers in Japan who were also learning Japanese, the peers that excelled were the ones who enjoyed speaking in general. Outside of having a lot of friends and speaking significantly in natural settings, watching modern TV shows will help your comprehension.

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Dec 6, 2018

I'm assuming you live in a non-English speaking country, but most major cities have a decent native-English expat community, you could try looking into that if you live in a major city?

Singapore isn't the best example as a lot of people speak English anyway but there were certain areas/bars you would hear a lot more English people than others. Maybe try finding a bar/gym/sports club where English speaking expats go? (most places have an Irish pub, go check that out)

Dec 6, 2018

If you are a foreigner living in an English speaking country, I recommend you associate yourself with native English speakers, this is the best and quickest way for you start feeling comfortable and fluent.

If you aren't living in an Enlgish speaking country, I would recommend that you read and whatever TV you consume, you do it in English

Dec 6, 2018

Find someone learning your language and offer to do a swap on Skype, half an hour of English conversation for half an hour of your native tongue. That's assuming you're located outside the US/UK/Other English Speaking nation. If you're in an English speaking country just force yourself into situations where you have to speak English.

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Dec 6, 2018

Yeah, here's some advice.

GO BACK

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Dec 6, 2018

When I first moved to the US. I learned by listening to UK Prime Minister Questions and watching Davos panels. Just learn your vocabulary and speaking patterns from distinguished people in your chosen field. In time you would have enough practices to speak more eloquently than even the Americans.

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Dec 6, 2018

Foreign-born myself, I cannot recommend enough reaching out to expat clubs in your region. The nice thing is they're pretty much everywhere. Mingling casually with English speakers will do you a lot of good. I'm assuming you're outside an all English-speaking country, so try joining something like InterNations for an event or two. What's great is you get to explain your situation half in your native language and they'll understand and kind of guide you.

Memorizing phrases out of textbooks won't work too well because half the time they're too awkward for every-day settings, or use a different dialect of English from your target country. Like when I came to the US I kept saying "what is your surname?" and nobody would even know what the hell is a surname. But reading web newspapers like WSJ is a great idea.

Another tip, and this is kinda annoying a bit, but have someone ask you a basic question in your native language and try to answer in English out loud. That way it will flow naturally with enough practice.

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Dec 6, 2018

Foreign born here too. Believe it or not, watching a lot of movies in English or just generally being exposed to a lot of media in English can be the next best thing when you're not mingling with native speakers as suggested. I personally learnt a lot about accents and culture by watching a lot of American films overseas.

Carl Van Loon
Van Loon & Associates

Dec 7, 2018

Second this but also add subtitles.

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Dec 7, 2018