With around 240 million speakers, English is by far the most commonly utilized language in the United States. However, not every English speaker in the US is fluent. Many individuals struggle with anything beyond the basics, while countless more are limited to conversational levels of fluency.
Regardless of the reasons for this, developing English skills beyond rudimentary proficiency is fairly straightforward. With countless online resources to take advantage of, not to mention the potential of virtual learning, getting to grips with conversational English has never been easier.
Start Studying with a Tutor
If your spoken English skills are particularly poor, you may want to start your journey toward conversational fluency by seeking out a language tutor. However, studying at a language school or college isn’t an option for anyone. This approach to learning isn’t an affordable option for many, while others may struggle to find enough time in a busy schedule to commit to a traditional learning model.
According to some studies, around 8.5 percent of the population struggle to speak English particularly well. If you’re one of the millions of Americans who live in a multilingual household, you may find it difficult to practice your developing English skills at home. Engaging with English speakers is crucial if you want to practice what you’ve learned and maintain your skills.
Even if your English skills aren’t particularly fluent yet, don’t be afraid to put what you’ve learned into practice. Strike up a conversation with the cashier when you’re shopping at the store or make more of an effort to engage with coworkers. Engaging with native speakers will also introduce you to the nuances of accents and regional dialects and a broader vocabulary.
Start Building Your Vocabulary
Speaking of vocabularies, it’s time to start expanding yours. It’s estimated that there are around a quarter of a million words currently in use in the English language. You won’t need to be familiar with all of them, but filing away variations on basic words will take your conversations to the next level. There are numerous ways you can work on your vocabulary. Investing in a dictionary or thesaurus is a good option for those who want physical resources to hand. However, downloading a vocabulary app to your smartphone means you can continue your studies from just about anywhere.
You can also enhance your vocabulary by exposing yourself to more English content. Watch more television, listen to more podcasts and read more articles produced in English. Eager for a challenge? Head to your nearest bookstore or library and stock up on a few classics of American English literature. Initially, you may struggle to wrap your head around the more challenging excerpts, but you will be giving your gray matter a real workout and expanding your vocabulary to boot.