Communication is the very foundation based on which human societies are built. It doesn’t just act as a natural medium of informational exchange, but also serves as the integrative cornerstone of shared knowledge. As a unifying element that connects various histories, ideologies, traditions and belief systems, communication functions are the primary instrument of facilitating cross-cultural interaction and enhancing global understanding.
Although communication can acquire a variety of verbal & non-verbal forms, the most important way in which it is carried out is via the stream of modern language. At present, there are about 6900 different languages, spoken by more than 7 billion people across the world. These languages are quite distinctive in terms of their semantics, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and expression.
However, there is one universal language that resonates with multiple speakers, irrespective of their race, region, religion, ethnicity or geography. This lingua franca undoubtedly is – English.
Spoken by over 1121 million people internationally, English is the crucial glue that binds countries, continents, organizations, and individuals into a single thread. One out of every five people worldwide, are known to at least speak or understand English properly. English isn’t just a language of science, literature, aviation, media or diplomacy anymore. Instead, it has turned into a language of computers, internet, software and all other architectures of the contemporary digital landscape. In other words, English is ubiquitous, universal & popular.
So, if you too, are looking to improve your English communication skills to enhance your professional and social prospects, here is a definitive guide to help you walk through the choppy waters of linguistic proficiency.
1. Learn The Basics
The strength of your English communication skills relies entirely on the strength of your grammatical basics. The greater your understanding of the founding principles of English grammar, the better will be your ability to speak English like a native.
Therefore, the main building blocks that you must focus on learning are:
- The 3 major tenses – Past, Present and Future
- The 4 sub-tenses – simple, perfect, continuous, perfect continuous
- The sentence constituents – subjects, objects, actions, predicates
- The 8 parts of speech – nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions, interjections
- The 4 types of sentence structures – declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, imperative
- The rules of punctuation
Once you gain mastery over these principal grammatical elements, bolstering your English communication skills would become an easy job.
2. Expand Your Vocabulary
The next step to improve your English communication skills is to expand your vocabulary. If you know more words, you will obviously be able to express yourself effectively. So, begin by learning a few new words each day. These words could be similar, dissimilar, synonyms, antonyms, related or unrelated. Make sure that you commit to learning and writing them down, on a regular basis. This will ensure that you can revise them at will, while tracking your progress, systematically.
In fact, if possible, try to learn new words in groups & chunks. For example, if the word that you have just learnt is ‘moon’, familiarize yourself with the four phases of the moon as well i.e. waxing, waning, crescent and gibbon. This way, your English communication skills‘ learning process would become much more productive, quicker and efficient.
3. Grasp The Natural Flow
Quite like other common tongues, English has a natural, almost seamless flow. This allows its speakers to form fluent sentences without compromising on the language’s innate poise and eloquence. Hence, the best way to develop your English communication skills is by grasping this organic flow and inculcating it, in your manner of speaking.
In order to do this, you should pay particular attention to:
- How native speakers join or separate two words/sentences
- How phonetics are employed to link or alter sound patterns
- The specific syllables which are stressed upon while forming a sentence
- The overall rhythm, pattern, and tempo of the language
Being familiar with these natural flows woul