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3 Root Causes Hindering International Student's English Speaking Skills

Updated: Oct 1, 2022

The best 5 tips to improve Your English-Speaking Skills


Are you not confident in speaking English? Are you worried that people do not understand your spoken English? Even if you dare to speak the language, you find it hard to understand the English spoken by the locals.

No worries! You are not alone. Studies have shown that overseas students from Asia face severe studying difficulties in Australia. They are not confident in speaking English and do not play an active role in the class. However, these studies only explore why international students speak English poorly, rather than the root causes of poor spoken English for these students.

In fact, the research of Sawir discovered that the prior learning environment of international students contributes to the root cause of their poor spoken English. The three factors are as follow.

  1. Their classroom instruction in their home country focuses primarily on teaching grammar rules rather than taking the form of dialogue.

  2. Some students perceive that grammar is the most important aspect of English learning, which seems to be shaped by their classroom activity back home.

  3. The belief that grammar is most important in English learning seems to be reflected in their communicative behaviour, leading to a lack of social and academic communication, as well as a delay in the acquisition of conversational skills.

Now that you the understanding the root cause of poor spoken English, it is time to change the way you think and communicate in English. Your prior learning experience should not hinder your English-speaking ability.

Globalization is increasingly emphasizing the speaking and listening of English. Therefore, as a new international student in Australia, having good spoken English is necessary, not only for your university education but in your daily life too. With good English speaking skills, you can compete with the locals to get your first job in Australia. Below are the best five tips for international students to improve and master their spoken English skills.

1. Don't overthink it.

Be bold and step out. When you speak to someone in English, if you feel nervous and your mind goes blank or, you simply stumble with your words, do not worry, you are not alone. The best way to solve this problem is to face it bravely, not to run away from it. In fact, native speakers are used to hearing different types of accents. You wouldn't say anything they have not heard before.

2. Be confident in speaking English

This is the most important step because one of the biggest barriers to developing spoken English skills is confidence. All non-native English speakers face this problem at one point or another.

Listening and speaking skills work hand in hand. If you are worried about your poor listening skills, you can ask the other party to repeat or paraphrase their words. If you are afraid of your accent not being understood, no worries. Most locals are quite accommodating. They know you are trying to speak their language and welcome it. In fact, they truly respect you for your courage.

3. Start speaking more often in English

Owing to poor English speaking skills, most international students try to mix with other students from their home countries. They live and play together, even their project group members are from their home countries. As a result, they never have a chance to improve their English speaking skills.

Try your best to speak more often in English. Get involved in an English-speaking environment. Form a project group with university students from other countries, not from your home country. This will force you to speak in English. They will also be very accommodating with you as they are trying their best to speak in English.

On the other hand, if you feel shy or have few people to speak with you, a good way is to record your voice and then listen to it. For example, you can read the news and record it, then listen to it again and again. You would always find the issues here each time. Having more practice can cultivate a sense of language, which makes spoken English more fluent.

4. Learn to speak English through imitation

In other words, use your own words to tell a story that you have heard. It is important to have the ability to express yourself. If you can describe the meaning of these books yourself, it means that you can learn and use these words and sentences.

5. Attend more local events in real life

Finally, try to find an environment that allows you to speak in English. Attending more offline events or English-speaking communities (social groups or churches) is a good idea. For example, when I first arrived in Sydney, I was afraid of speaking with others in English. As I have poor listening skills, I cannot understand what people were saying. As a result, I encourage myself to attend offline activities. I find this method very useful as a new person living here.

Now that you have learnt the tips and if you wish to have a nurturing environment to master your spoken English, MARKCubator can help you. Join their monthly meetup session to improve your English communication and presentation skills. Register for the event today!

Wishing all of you a happy living in Australia. The bridge is not built overnight. I believe as long as you try your best, you will surely gain confidence and fluently speak English one day! Many international students have overcome their language barriers, you can too! Apply the tips and see yourself integrating and enjoying life in Australia, speaking in English as a way of life! :D

Get help today? Book a free consultation with us! MARKCubator, Your Aussie Partner!

Author: Jingtong (Sarah) Ma

Date Published: 18 Sep 2022



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