Languages are an effective means of communication which helps us convey our ideas as well as understand others carefully. However, this is only true when all people involved in a dialogue know the same language. What if they come from different countries and know nothing or little about each other’s mother tongue? The result is language barriers.
This phenomenon makes it hard for both speakers and listeners to comprehend each other’s intentions. In today’s post, we will offer some helpful tips to help you minimize the impacts of language barriers so that you can achieve effective communication.
Overcome obstacles in speaking English as a speaker
If you are from an English-speaking country or a good learner already, bear these tips in mind when you talk to beginners:
- Speak clearly
When your partners have just started pursuing English, it is necessary for you to pronounce every word clearly. Talking fast does not give any time for listeners to digest what they have just heard, not to mention the possibility of their confusion between words. For example, “allowed” and “aloud” sound exactly the same if you do not read the ending sounds.
You should also speak loud enough so that your friends can hear you. Mumbling only irritates the others involved in the dialogue, thus not obtaining the desired results.
- Pick the most simple words
You may already know this on your own. Indeed, you can easily understand foreigners if the discussion is about daily life issues, as they always want to avoid confusion. Beginners are in the process of familiarizing themselves with English, so understanding difficult words is quite an impossible task.
Therefore, try to use simple words and expressions instead of advanced vocabulary. To give a clear illustration, you should say “improve” instead of “enhance” or “try hard” to replace “strive”, although they are prevalent when your partners reach upper levels.
- Be patient in explaining vague terms to your partners
There are quite a lot English terms that have no alternatives, so the only way to express them is to give their easy-to-understand definitions. For example, when you discuss global problems such as air pollution, a person will likely refer to “global warming” and “greenhouse effects”, which can be unheard-of for beginners.
They may need your help to make out these terms, so make sure you do not appear to be irritated, which makes you come over as unfriendly. Helping others is helping yourself, so do not view it as displeasure to achieve the aim of effective communications.
- Check regularly whether listeners understand you
Some of your partners may be too shy to ask for your help when they are unclear about something. Therefore, when you realize that they seem distracted or confused, stop to help them with their problems. By doing this, not only will you make a good impression on others but they will also feel a sense of intimacy, thus making your relationships better.
Overcome obstacles in speaking English as a listener
- Feel free to ask questions
When you are not sure about what the speakers mean, ask them immediately. They do not mind answering your questions and do not think that they will look down on you. When you accidentally use phrases that are strange to you, you can acquire new expressions on asking them to explain their meanings.
For example, “my cup of tea” is an idiom whose meaning is “my favorite”, What do one’s hobby and a cup of tea have in common? Well, it is hard to come up with the answer, and English rules are the only explanation. Learning such funny expressions are an effective way to learn new things and relax at the same time.
• Always be eager to learn new things
When your friends understand you after many times of explaining, do not think that you are hopeless in English. Only through mistakes can you learn everything faster and memorize them longer. Hardly anyone can be successful at their first attempt, so your weaknesses are entirely reasonable; you just need to make some efforts and have the right attitude to overcome them.
Also, do not feel insulted when someone gives positive comments on your performance. Indeed, take it easy and think of them as a crucial part of your progress. If you keep such a positive mind, you will make marked improvements very soon, even without your awareness.
Overcome obstacles in speaking English in general
The following methods apply to anyone, whether you are a speaker or listener
- Learn the language
Obviously, you and your partners cannot fully express yourself if you are not good at English. Therefore, it is advisable to spend more time practicing it. It helps with improving the quality of your communications no matter what aspect you choose to train yourself, so go for any exercise that interests you.
For example, if you enrich your vocabulary, you will have more chances to get your message over. If you learn pronunciation and listening, you can know what your foreign partners mean very quickly.
What’s more, being an excellent English learner presents various chances to boost personal development. You can travel around the globe and meet people from different cultural backgrounds, thus gathering valuable experience. You also stand a chance of being recruited into such big cooperations as Facebook and Unilever. The list goes on and on, so what are you waiting for? Do not waste your chances and regret later.
- Have approachable body language
Show interest in each other’s story is a powerful tool to remove the gaps between you and your partners. Important factors include eye contact, a cheerful smile, an upright posture, etc. which creates a sense of friendliness. If you meet the above requirements, your conversation will be much more comfortable, thus helping you to convey your messages more effectively. Needless to say, every one of us achieves better results when we are in a relaxing environment.
A lot of potential language learners still meet a lot of difficulties because of language barriers. Because of this reason, we recommended helpful methods to help remove barriers in English communication, and I hope they can help you become both a competent speaker and listener.