Speaking a foreign language in another part of the world can not only be incredibly difficult, but it can also be a highly daunting and frustrating task. While many international students possess a number of useful skills that employers may find desirable, language is undoubtedly one of the most challenging obstacles one may face.
As per PGP Australia who offers internships for students who don’t speak English as the first language, the truth of the matter is that the more you practice your English, the better you will get. And the best part is that it doesn’t have to be a difficult, time consuming or strenuous task. Here are a number of simple and easy ways you can improve your English today!
- Speak Up!
The only way for you to improve your English is to put it into practice as much as you can. Practice makes perfect! Be confident and speak as often as possible to whoever you can! Go for a walk in the city; try speaking to people at shops! Or alternatively, if you’re not the most confident person, no problem! You can always practice having conversations with yourself in the mirror at home. Being in a more comfortable and low-pressure situation is a fantastic way to practice, as no one will hear your mistakes. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be.
- Listen Closely:
Listening is another fantastic way to improve your comprehension and understanding of the English language; the more exposure you gain to it, the more you’ll understand, and the more you understand, the better you’ll get! As an exercise, pay close attention to your surroundings whenever you’re out in public. What are people saying? What are the expressions are they using? Listen to their conversations and identify unfamiliar terms for you to look up later.
If you’re looking for other fun and engaging ways to improve your comprehension skills, as well as your pronunciation of words, you could always try listening to songs, watching TV shows and movies. This is also a fantastic way for you to learn new words and expressions! Pay specific attention to the way singers or actors stress certain words and phrases. Try your best to imitate them and just have fun with it!
- Read, Read, Read!
Make the effort to read as many things as you can in your day to day. Not only with this drastically increase your comprehension skills, but it will greatly assist in expanding your vocabulary. Anything you can get your hands on, be it newspapers, magazines, a good book, an article on Facebook or even a blog (much like this one) is incredibly valuable and will go a long way in improving your understanding of English.
- Think In English
Hear us out on this one. The more you think in English, the more confident you can potentially be when expressing yourself. A way to help you to ‘think in English’ is to change the settings of your phone to English. This will push and encourage you to carefully consider each word when you need to do something on your device. If you use Facebook, WhatsApp or WeChat, make sure to set the language to English. Additionally, you can always join Facebook pages or discussion groups related to a particular interest. This will force you to once more think, read as well as write in English. If you use these platforms regularly, they’ll greatly assist you to ‘think in English’.
- Write it down!
Practice your writing! As per Kev’s Best, a good way to do this is to recount your day in a diary and write down what you saw, smelled, and touched. Another way to expand your vocabulary is to learn a new word each day. This could be a random word from the dictionary, or could be a word you don’t understand. Find a word, and write its meaning down in a notebook.
- Make friends!
Australians are a very welcoming and friendly people, and greatly appreciate you making the effort to speak English. If you have a favourite sport or hobby, go out there and join a society or club related to it! You will have a lot in common with the people involved, and it is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Most of all, it is another fantastic opportunity to practice your speaking skills!
Using a combination of these tips and tricks, you’ll be excelling in English in no time!