English Conversation

The Importance of English Conversation

English Conversation is not the same as IELTS, OET, or Business English. It’s casual English you can use with friends, lovers, potential friends/lovers, or work mates when you’re out of the work place. It’s also a good way to get a job as well.

Why learn it?

  1. People will not always speak in formal English. They will have moments when they relax, when they break the “rules” of English, when they “misuse” it, when they have a good time. If you want to communicate with them, you need to know what they’re talking about. If someone says another person is “as rough as rags” it means that person is strong willed, stubborn, uncouth, has a gruff voice, is resilient, and/or hard working. To someone was shot down in flames, does not mean they were in the air force. It means they were defeated in a debate, argument or intention. However the expression “to get on like a house on fire” might sound like a bad thing but it’s actually a good thing. It means to get along really well.
  2. You may want to use these expressions as well. You want to make your feelings known. You may want to be quick and straight to the point. If you want to talk about people who insult you and criticise you, then you could say you “cop flack”, and they “rubbish” you or “burn” you. If you were in trouble but now you aren’t any more, tell people you’re “off the hook.”
  3. Slang language comes in different varieties, it depends on the country and community you are with. “Off the hook” is Australian slang for not being in trouble anymore, while in America in means “excellent, fun.” Even within countries you will find different slang. People who enjoy electronic games will know the word “noob” to mean someone who has played games or a certain game for a short period of time.
  4. Social media is an important part in people’s life. If people want to express your opinions and/or feelings on Facebook or YouTube then they normally use abbreviations such as “fyi”, “omg”, “atm”, and “ftw” etc. Get to know these expressions, understand them, use them, save time, get your point across and don’t feel left out.
  5. There may come times when you want to talk to people about serious or enjoyable moments. These may be problems at work or in relationships, or recounting a holiday. Good conversation skills help get the point across. These are times to let your emotions come out. Formal language may not be ideal in these interactions.
  6. A job interview also requires good conversation skills. You don’t want to sound rehearsed, you want to sound natural. You’re not there to be the interviewers best friend, but you don’t want to sound indifferent. They need to know you care about the job, about the tasks, about the responsibilities, about the customers and other staff. Don’t be a passive observer, but be enthusiastic about the job they’re offering. You don’t need to be excited, just positive and serious.
  7. When you’re negotiating in your job interviews, potential business deals, presentations, reporting your scientific findings, or convincing people they need to take safety seriously, conversation is important. You need to know more than the facts. People already HAVE to hear you. Make them WANT to hear you.

Those are the reasons for the importance of good conversation skills. You need them for getting a job, doing a job, and relaxing outside the job. Different types of conversation are needed for different situations.

Ways to improve your English conversation skills

Write your own blog

You may not know that writing is actually a good way to improve your vocabulary. When you want to describe something but get stuck, you will have to look at the dictionary. By writing your own blog, after a period of time, you will be surprised in the way you can express your idea in a conversation.

A meet up group

Join an English conversation meet up group to meet with people who want to practise their English speaking skills and you certainly will learn a lot from each other.

Sing karaoke

Learning through singing is such an effective way to improve your pronunciation and confidence. Why not surprise your friends in a party night singing your most favourite song?

Take an English conversation course

It is a good way to start, if you have no idea at all. The tutor in the class will guide you on what to do and correct your individual common mistakes. Later on, you can learn by yourself easily.

Think in English

Try to force yourself to think in English but not your own native language. It will likely be hard initially, but this will be a great way to learn more things around you which you didn’t really actually think of in the past. Later on, you will find more things to say when you speak in English

Pick up your favourite movies

Watching movies in the English language with English subtitles may help you to understand the movie and help you to know how people actually converse in real life. We always learn from something and someone, so this is one of the many ways.

Vocabulary list

Building up your own vocab list will help you a lot in the long run. Don’t forget to go through the list whenever you have spare time. Make the most of your smart phone, iphone and iPad apps such as note taking app, and to do list.


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January 2018
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