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  1. #1
    Quest Guest

    Unhappy help me to improve my oral communication

    Hi:

    I am from South India and English is my second language. I started learning English at my 3rd standard. However I studied other subjects in Tamil, which is my mother tongue. When I joined the college for a degree program, I took English medium. I struggled so much and finally passed out with 80% marks in Physics. Than I have completed MCA with good marks.

    Now I am working in a good company with a good salary. When the review meeting happened last week, for the confirmation of my job, I was not able to prove myself because of my poor oral communication. The worst part is that I have to look for a new job now.

    Over the period I learned to write in English. But oral communication seems to be tough for me. I joined the course for improving my accent. I practiced so much that I am able to read a paragraph with the good American accent. But I find it difficult, when I have to have a conversation with a colleague or a friend. When a situation comes for me to talk something in English, my heart started beating fast and my lips are dried; I was not able to open my mouth. By the time I open, the other person at the listening end lost the interest.

    I am not in a position to spend more money on online courses. I just started earning money. I am trying the simple and economical methods: reading the newspaper aloud and practicing before the mirror. But it seems it takes too much of time to improve my oral communication. Employers want me to talk. Of course, I cannot show my written English to prove my communication skill. Soon I will be starving without a job. I have all the required skills to have a job of my interest but words to speak.

    I would appreciate your valuable suggestions.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    There are some sites where people can speak: http://www.language-exchanges.org/
    This one is a language exchange where you try to teach each other. (Using Skype)
    Other than that, I am afraid that online stuff with voice tends to be expensive because it requires dedicated time.

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Ask yourself what makes you so nervous about communicating in English? (The dry lips and rapid heartbeat sound like a bona fide panic attack!) Is it strictly your accent that concerns you? Or are you worried that the listener won't understand you? It's more important to use the words and grammar correctly, and you'll be understood no matter what type of accent you have. I know it's easier for someone else to tell you to "relax" and "don't be nervous" than it is for you to actually do it, but in reality, that's the best advice for you right now. Speaking English will come more naturally if you don't "think" about it too much, and just go ahead and "do" it.

  4. #4
    jessychitra Guest

    Question Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch
    Speaking English will come more naturally if you don't "think" about it too much, and just go ahead and "do" it.
    Are you trying to say that we (English learners) should think in English? I heard that people, whose second language is English, think in their mother tongue and then translate the words to English. Is this a basic problem?
    Cheers,
    Jessy

  5. #5
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    Thumbs up Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    I agree with jessychitra.I also hail from India. The basic problem with us is that we think in our mother tongues and try translating it in English. The day when you start thinking in English you will see the spontaneity for yourself.

    In order to improve your comm skills you will have to make English a cliche .Dont worry about the accent. Every country has its own accent. If you are able to speak english in a comprensible manner that will suffice.

    Speak,speak and speak......or rather think think and think

    Athikh

  6. #6
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Quest, first of all, I admire your dedication
    and tenacity. It is good that you are aware of
    your strengths and weaknesses. It seems that
    you need lots and lots of practice. All
    the people who responded above have
    very valid and useful points. Have you
    observed if you have dry lips and rapid
    heartbeat even while speaking in English
    with your friends? Or only when speaking
    with strangers and superiors - that is,
    someone you think will judge you?

    If you are able to practice one-on-one
    as tdol suggested, that would be very good.
    So, language exchange is a very good way.

    Next, I agree with Ouisch about speaking without
    trying to form sentences (thinking). This will
    come if you expose yourself to the language a lot
    by listening to the news and watching movies.
    I am not a linguist, but somehow there is some
    relation between listening and speaking. That is
    what we do when we learn our mother tongue
    as a child, right? We don't learn grammar rules
    and correct accent, but we can still learn to
    speak. That is NATURAL language to me.

    Finally, try to find a Toastmasters Club in
    your area if you can. You can find a club
    from their website - http://www.toastmasters.org/
    The advantage of going there is that it helps
    to improve your communication. It is NOT
    a language school, and it seems you don't need
    one. You just need a supportive environment.
    At the Toastmasters, you can learn public speaking
    and giving short extempore speaches. Since
    everyone is there to improve, and they have
    specific ways to help by way of suggestions
    (about language, body language, if you exceed
    your alloted time, etc), and since there are
    senior members to help, you can learn a lot. Once
    you can speak to a group, speaking to
    individuals won't be a problem. :)

    Good luck to you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Quote Originally Posted by englishstudent
    Quest, first of all, I admire your dedication
    and tenacity. It is good that you are aware of
    your strengths and weaknesses. It seems that
    you need lots and lots of practice. All
    the people who responded above have
    very valid and useful points. Have you
    observed if you have dry lips and rapid
    heartbeat even while speaking in English
    with your friends? Or only when speaking
    with strangers and superiors - that is,
    someone you think will judge you?
    Good luck to you.
    Thank you!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Hi all:

    Please give me the information about the institutions, where I can join and improve my written and oral communication.
    I am not able to find a good institution. I have joined an institution and had a bad experience. They have given all the necessary materials, which didnít help me much though I am a good self-learner.
    Besides, I am working hard to improve my written skills so that I will be a good writer tomorrow. This is relatively easy for me, since I am able to find lot of free resources available in the Internet.
    I am willing to spend my energy and money (not too much) for improving my skills, especially my oral communication.

    Thanks,
    Quest

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch
    Ask yourself what makes you so nervous about communicating in English? (The dry lips and rapid heartbeat sound like a bona fide panic attack!) Is it strictly your accent that concerns you? Or are you worried that the listener won't understand you? It's more important to use the words and grammar correctly, and you'll be understood no matter what type of accent you have. I know it's easier for someone else to tell you to "relax" and "don't be nervous" than it is for you to actually do it, but in reality, that's the best advice for you right now. Speaking English will come more naturally if you don't "think" about it too much, and just go ahead and "do" it.
    Thanks Ouisch. You understand me better.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: help me to improve my oral communication

    Your topic is quite interesting because i got a same problem too.I'm taking TESL but i don't really practise to speak English because i'm very shy.I afraid that my grammar and pronunciation is wrong even though i`ve learned English since i was in kindergarten and English is my second language.In college, i speak English with lecturers when i want to ask them regarding my studies.back to your problem, i know how you feel.I have an Indian lecturer and collegemates who speak English with Tamil accent.It's quite strange for us (students) to hear someone who speaks English with Tamil accent.I think one way to solve your problem is to learn phonetics. It teaches you to pronounce English words correctly or you can access to any websites which provide phonetics learning.There, you can listen to how native speakers pronounce the words.

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