5 Ways International Students can Improve their Conversational Skills

Communication skills are an important survival tool for every animal. The mechanism of communication used by the human is extremely rich, with the use of meaningful words to exchange ideas and feelings. The evolution of society based on unique social norms, cultures, and traditions led to the creation of different languages. Today, all countries and regions have their own languages characterized by unique slang, phrases, words, and other linguistic traits. 

• English as a Second Language 
Mastering a language is always difficult, especially when it is not your native language. Fortunately, there are several ways international students can improve their conversational skills and take them to the next level. Most international students are quite comfortable writing and reading in English; however, they tend to have a more difficult time holding a conversation in the language or composing essays (that’s where services like come into play).

Once they move to a country where English is the native language, they quickly realize that the level of English that helped them ace their exams is woefully inadequate when it comes to holding an easy and comfortable conversation in their new environment. The language barrier, however, needs not to be an obstacle preventing international students from learning, holding a conversation, and enjoying life in their new surroundings.

1. Befriending Locals
The practice is the best way to perfect your conversational skills. The more you talk with other people in English, especially to native English speakers, the better your conversational skills will get. Unfortunately, most international students tend to befriend only fellow international students, which is not always helpful when it comes to improving their English language skills.

In addition to noticing social and cultural cues, hanging out with natives encourages international students to improve their conversational English. A great sign that you are beginning to master any language has the ability to make a joke in that particular language. 

2. Learn from the Natives
International students studying in the U.S. should ask their American friends to help them improve their English speaking and listening skills. A friend will tell you when you use an idiom incorrectly or mispronounce a word, which will help improve your conversational skills faster. 

3. Download and use a Language App or Listen to an English Podcast
International students can access many language apps to help them develop their conversational skills on Apple's App Store or Google's Play Store. English language podcasts such as the LearnEnglish podcast from the British Council can be helpful as well. Effective communication in any language requires people to understand what others are saying, in addition to making themselves understood by others. The process of improving conversational skills, therefore, involves training in both speaking and listening, which is why language apps and podcasts are so effective.

4. Learn from Instructors
International students who want to master a second language to improve their conversational skills should consider learning from professional instructors. Some colleges in the U.S. offer summer programs geared towards helping international students improve their English language proficiency. School mentors can also help international students learn how to hold conversations or interact with everyone, from fellow students to store owners.

5. Sit Back and Enjoy Some Television
According to many language and communication experts, TV shows, especially sitcoms with realistic contexts, can help international students learn about different cultural references, develop their conversational skills, and understand various types of humor.

Today, English is more or less a universal language. People from all corners of the globe want to learn English as an important communication, learning, and business tool. Instead of focusing solely on newspapers and/or complex academic papers, international students can use the strategies outlined above to improve their conversational skills. Even before joining an American school, international students can start working on their English conversational skills through television shows and movies, podcasts, and ESL apps. Essentially, they can develop their English conversational skills while making friends and having fun at the same time.

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