Language is a great tool to utilize to communicate with others. Through language, we can efficiently convey and express our feelings, moods, ideas, experiences, information, and so on. I can say that the English language plays a vital role in our life.
English is the universal language considering it is understood to many people. Therefore knowing the English language increases your opportunities especially of getting your ideal job in multinational or international organizations in your home country or overseas.
I’m a Filipino so my native language is Kapampangan, and next to it is Filipino (Tagalog). Although English is widely used in our country (Philippines), we do not use it daily. We normally use the English language in school during subjects that are taught in English, if your profession requires it, or if we get a chance to speak with foreigners (which is in a rare scenario). Normally, English is used for written messages on billboards, other signs, or tarp (that’s it).
So, it was my problem too. I wanted a strong fix. I’m about to enter my university days back then and I thought that I should get started in improving my English. Otherwise, it will be a serious problem for me. I’m happy to share with you how I fixed my English communication skill.
English? Here’s How to Fix It
My goal was to understand how native English speakers converse and to neutralize my accent so most people would understand me; particularly native English speakers.
1. Watch English Movies
Cliché but effective. I began to watch English movies (American and British are my suggestions). I’ve noticed that watching such movies can help you pick up how they enunciate words and phrases. It’s a good practice for you to hear and learn how they speak and construct their sentences. You can also get to know their expressions and idioms. So, in my case, I mimic how it was done as much as I can. And practice!
2. Watch English News and Documentaries
English news and documentaries helped me tremendously in widening my vocabulary. I used to take note words and phrases that I don’t understand. Search for the meaning and how it is being used. Besides news and documentaries are never-ending resources of relevant information. These are great sources of knowledge both in communication and general information.
What I also like about watching news and documentaries, you can enhance your mind culturally. As you learn about the language, you’ll also acquire info about current affairs, entertainment, economy status, sports, pretty much everything you are interested within the English country of your choice. This is hitting two birds even three in one stone, my friend!
3. Watch Stand-up Comedy
I think watching stand-up comedy can help you improve your ‘common sense’ in terms of communication. Remember that communication is two-way. English is no different from other languages. For you to effectively communicate, your mind must identify and evaluate things being said. Stand-up comedy stimulates the mind. It gives training to your brain and let it think. Think English. So, I highly urge you to watch English Stand-ups. Besides, laughter is the best medicine. It can also help you reduce stress while learning the language.
Here are my favorite standup comedians:
- Trevor Noah
- Anjela Johnson
- Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias
- Kevin Hart
- Maz Jobrani
- Tiffany Haddish
Note: This blog is NOT paid or sponsored by any of the names mentioned. The aim is to share with you some of my favorite comedians in the industry.
4. Reading English articles, contents, etc.
Reading English is a significant part of language learning because it helps you progress other related skills like grammar, vocabulary, and writing. An article stated that there are 5 benefits of reading English materials:
- Help you develop a habit of thinking in English
- Helps you learn new vocabulary
- Builds your skill
- Improves memory
- Improves writing skills
5. Practice, Practice, Practice
I recommend you practice regularly. There are two easy ways: (1) reading with a voice out at least 15 minutes daily or (2) speaking out loud in front of the mirror at least 15 minutes daily. The point is you should hear your voice and practice your mouth and jaw movements until you will reach your point of comfort when conversing. Talk about what interests you. Listen and repeat. This will help you improve your fluency.
So, there you have it! A friendly reminder. Do not be hard on yourself. One thing you can do first is to focus on your English Fluency, not the grammar. Focusing on grammar will lead you to stop when speaking. Stopping will hit your confidence. Even native speakers have incorrect grammar too. And grammar can be fixed subsequently.
Most importantly, do not be afraid of committing mistakes. Pronunciation, enunciation, sentence structures, you’ll commit mistakes. So what? That’s how you will learn. And English is not a measurement of one’s intelligence. Continue to practice, practice, and practice.
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