ESL Communication Tips!

Communication is a multifaceted tool that goes beyond listening and speaking. Here are some tips to help strengthen communication and further understanding between you and a speaker of another language.

  • Find Their Preferred Communication Style

When learning a new language, we all have different strengths; listening, speaking, reading, writing, etc. Finding someone’s communication strength in English will set them up for success. Perhaps they aren’t a strong speaker; have them write out their question. Maybe listening to English pronunciation is difficult for them; use your body to act out what you’re trying to convey. They could prefer to read, so you can write things down for them.

  • Slow Down

When we speak our native language we tend to speak quickly. Slowing down allows us to enunciate each word. It also allows the listener time to translate what we are saying.

  • Use Common Words

Switching up vocabulary may help the other person understand your meaning. Gargantuan vs. Big. Using simpler words increases the chance that the ESL speaker knows the word and its meaning.

  • Use Your Body Language

We are able to convey so many things with our bodies; emotions, directions, instructions, and more! Don’t be shy in using your body to help convey your meaning. Your facial expressions can add meaning to what you are saying where tone may not be enough.

We hope you enjoyed these tips! If you have other tips you would like to suggest, please send an email to:

Written by: Brittany Boland.

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