The main goal of doing your studying abroad is to improve your English skills. However even after going in your classes regularly, feeling comfortable to speak with the citizens in Ireland feels a bit hard. Having said that, there are many tips that can help you improve your English speaking and make you sound more like a local. Here are some that you can start using now:

1. Try studying after your class hours

English can be a tricky language and for some, it takes more hard work to start to really understand it. You should start studying a bit more after class, reviewing the content taken during the classes and check if you have any doubts or points that aren’t clear for you. Then you can either try to get these topics on your own, watching some YouTube tutorials or researching English grammar websites, or ask for help from your teacher on the next class day.

2. Make English a part of your everyday life

Even the fact that you are living in Dublin isn’t guaranteeing that you will acquire fluent English unless you set a goal to constantly use it in your everyday life. There are people from all the world living here and staying and your comfort zone can be much easier than you think. To avoid that and really step up your English level, make the language something you are always in contact with. Start listening more and more English music, try to understand the lyrics and read the translate when you can’t understand it by ear. Try changing the subtitles of the movies and series you’re watching to English, so you can still learn the grammar and many new words in your spare time (if you have such 🙂 ).

3. Start thinking in English!

Right now you probably think about words and phrases in your native language first, and then try to translate them to the correct words in English. And that’s a normal thing when you’re first living abroad. However, if you start trying to do it in English first, it can make you sound more confident when speaking. Even when you are alone, try to think in English aloud and constantly strive to add new words and phrases that you learned and keep them in your mind. Real fluency happens when you stop mentally translating conversations.

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4. Improve your English by making new friends

During your study abroad it will be a lot easier to meet people from all the parts of the world that also study English, and also some native speakers from Dublin. Those new friends can help you practice your language in more informal situations, and if you’re not sure about the pronunciation and meaning of a word, you can just ask them. It will improve your skills beyond textbooks and teachers, besides being a lot more fun.

5. Listening carefully is very important

Most students, when talking to a native English speaker, try to understand the words they’re saying, and that’s very important, but there’s more you can learn from that. One of the things to keep an eye on is how they pronounce some words, and how they link the ends for some of them. In those situations, also try to absorb as much as you could of the informal English they use (changing “you” for “ya”, for example), and start trying to insert those expressions on your vocabulary. In no time, you will be sounding like a local.

6. Believe in yourself

The right attitude can make the difference when learning English. Stop thinking you are a novice, instead consider yourself as someone who already practices better and better English with each new day. It’s not a big change, but it will make you feel more confident and help you build better sentences quicker and without hesitation instead of feeling constant doubt.

Author: Juliana Hansen