improve your English communication skills

Setting realistic goals to improve your English communication skills

Learning English, or any language, can seem very overwhelming. There is just so much to learn and you really want to improve quickly and be able to have perfect English conversations with everyone you meet. Unfortunately, putting that pressure on yourself can make you feel useless and frustrated which often means you learn less or even give up on learning English altogether.

So I suggest trying this approach to improve your English communication skills…..

Set yourself a few LITTLE, REALISTIC goals!

Think about the last time you had an English conversation with somebody. Was there a point in the conversation where you couldn’t say what you wanted? Ok, just focus on that language and make that your next goal.

Perhaps you wanted to describe your family but you didn’t have the right English vocabulary – So make that your goal:

Learn how to say how many people are in my family, what their jobs are and how we usually spend our time together.

Perhaps you wanted to give somebody directions and you had no idea how – Make that your next goal:

Learn how to give basic directions and describe landmarks and local facilities.

Perhaps you wanted to explain that you were ill but you didn’t know how to say what was wrong with you – So make that your next goal:

Learn how to describe common illnesses and talk about medicine and treatments.

Do you get the idea?

Make yourself a list of goals to improve your English communication skills!

You can make yourself a list of things you want to be able to do in English and then just focus on the language for those goals one at a time. For example:

☑ English language for describing my home town and my childhood
☑ English language for talking about my family
☑ Phrases to use in the supermarket when I go shopping
☑ English language for talking about my plans for the future
☑ Phrases to use when I’m buying a train or bus ticket
☑ Phrases to use when I’m negotiating in a business meeting

Why does this approach work?

1. Gradually, you will start to notice set phrases and common vocabulary in English that you can just re-use when you are in that situation again or talking about that topic again.

2. By setting yourself these little, realistic goals you will feel more focused and less overwhelmed, which will definitely help you to improve your English communication skills more quickly….. and with a positive feeling on the way! 🙂

If you think this approach to learning English could work for you, have a look at my Everyday English posts because some of your goals might be in there!

What do you think of this approach? Let me know in the comments section below, I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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Nicki is a Cambridge qualified, experienced English teacher for foreign learners. She loves helping English learners to learn real English and communicate with confidence!

7 thoughts on “Setting realistic goals to improve your English communication skills

  1. Hi Nicki,
    Yes, this approach is really effective for those who are trying to improve their English communication skills.
    I also do like that.
    If I have to meet my foreign clients,
    I prepare the potential conversations with them and make a list of it.
    When I meet them, I can communicate them effectively with less mistake:)

  2. If there is a word I don’t know I try to describe the item or action and then someone will be nice enough to come up with the right word.

    1. That’s a great approach Grace and paraphrasing is such a useful skill when you are speaking a foreign language. Well done you! And thanks for sharing your approach 🙂

  3. Totally agree! I often see people freaking out because they focus on what they CAN’T do. Smaller, realistic goals allow them to focus on what they CAN do.

    1. Exactly! That’s a great way to look at it I think and it makes the learning experience much more positive. Thanks for your comment Mark 🙂

  4. I love this article, thank you so much! Setting small realistic goals feel much less overwhelming 😊

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