Conversing with ease in a new language is highly desirable for most language learners. Once a foundation in basic vocabulary and grammar is built, students are equipped with the tools to start conversing in their target language. However, there are numerous obstacles students must tackle to engage in conversation: anxiety over proper grammar, finding someone to practice with, or receiving feedback on pronunciation. Read on for tips on how to develop and master conversational language skills.
Take a Trip!
Immersing yourself in the language, you’re studying is one of the most effective ways to improve listening comprehension and speaking ability. Being abroad forces language learners to use their skills to ask for directions, order food, ask for assistance while shopping, and more. Complete immersion forces language skills to develop at a rapid pace. Although grammar and sentences may be simple at first, using the language nonstop for an extended period will help a student on their journey towards fluency. It is essential, too, for students to rid themselves of the fear of making mistakes. Consider grammar in your first language – it’s probably not perfect all the time! Native speakers will understand and appreciate the effort made in trying. Further, completing daily tasks and expressing yourself in the target language will build newfound confidence that enables conversations to flow with ease.
Converse with a Native Speaker or Peers
Many things may impede a trip abroad, but practicing language skills with a native speaker is still possible. Check with community centers or search for online groups that meet regularly to practice with native speakers and other language learners.
Chat Lessons via Online Video
Online video chat lessons are convenient for engaging in conversation with a native speaker. Conversation lessons may complement a course for credit to give a student additional speaking practice, or students may simply be looking to enhance their comprehension. Chatting online in a one-to-one format helps lower students’ pressure when practicing their conversation skills. Students who engage in online lessons with native speakers receive a culturally immersive experience without stepping foot outside the door!
Practice and Perfect Your Pronunciation
Pronunciation is a critical component to making sure that your speech is understood. For example, a French learner may similarly pronounce the words vent (wind) and vin (wine). To a native French speaker, they are distinctly different sounds. The Spanish language has many homophones, including caro (expensive) and carro (car). The difference in pronunciation comes from the ability to roll the double-r in carro – it may be tricky at first, but with practice, the correct pronunciation will come. The clear pronunciation will make conversations flow more easily without stopping and clarifying what the speaker means.
Reinforce Your Language Skills with Language Bird
Conversational lessons with LanguageBird are an excellent tool to reinforce language skills between courses for credit, practice phrases, and learn colloquialisms before traveling abroad or engaging with a native speaker. They can also strengthen speaking skills for students enrolled in a regular course for credit. Our conversation lessons are taught on your schedule, at your pace – contact us to learn more or sign up now!