English Conversation Practice

Understanding the words of a language – in our case, English -improving your grammar and building your vocabulary are, of course, the main ways to improve your spoken English. However, you may know people who know and understand English, but don’t seem able to communicate very well. This might be a matter of their confidence (which I’ll be covering in another article). It might also be that they don’t understand two other very important parts of communication.

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When you listen to someone speaking face to face, what are you actually listening to and observing?

Think about it for a moment, and you’ll know that you are listening not only to the words that the person is saying, but the tone of voice that they are using, and their body language, facial expression and so on 원어민 영어회화.

Tone of voice and body language are both very important when we are trying to understanding someone’s feelings about what they are saying. By observing them closely, it is possible to tell if someone is lying, if they are pleased about what they are saying, fearful, angry and so on.

You can see some of the limitations of words themselves in this article. You can understand the content, of course, but you cannot tell how I FEEL about it (the fact that I am enthusiastic about communication skills and the English language!)

If you heard me reading the article aloud over the phone, perhaps, you would begin to hear some of these things in my tone of voice.

If we were speaking face to face, you would be able to tell from my body language and facial expression, how I felt about the subject matter.

So, what does this mean to the non-native speaker of English?

Everyone gives away feelings through their tone of voice and body language, even speakers of Chinese, where the tones are part of the language itself. Sometimes, though, there are cultural differences in tone of voice and body language.

I’ve delivered training courses to delegates from around the world, and I’ve noticed that some nationalities are more expressive than others. Chinese and Russian participants often don’t give away as much through body language, whereas Spanish and Italians often do.

Also, people are much more likely to demonstrate a varied tone of voice and body language when they are speaking their own language than if they are speaking English as as a second language.

Here are the key things to remember. If you are listening to a speaker of English as a second language, remember that they will be using the tones of voice and body language conventions of their mother tongue, and you should not be too quick to misinterpret these.

If you ARE a speaker of English as a second language, remember that English speakers will be interpreting your tone of voice and body language according to their own ideas, which his why speakers of some languages can come across as angry or aggressive to native English speakers.

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