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Ways to practise your English skills

One of the most important skills needed when you move to Australia as an international student is the ability to speak the English language. Australia is an English-speaking country and lessons in universities will usually only be taught in English. Whether you are moving alone or with your family, having a grasp of English conversation is important for you to be able to settle in without problems. 

Many students who haven’t even arrived in Australia yet prepare early by enrolling in English classes. However, most language centres may require you pay fees for classes. Still, there are many ways to master the language even with a small budget, or no budget at all. Experts agree that when it comes to language skills, practice makes perfect!

Speak English as much as possible

It is natural that you will be inclined to speak your native (first) language, especially if you are not yet in Australia. Try to start speaking English even when you are just at home or with your friends. If you have friends or family members who are familiar with the language, converse in English with them as much as possible. Start by practising standard expressions such as greetings. By practising English before coming to Australia, it will help you get a feel for the language and become more confident. 

Participate in a language exchange program

All around the world, there are language exchange programs that you can participate in. You can teach an English speaker your first language, and in return you can practise your English-speaking skills with them. You can easily plan a one-hour conversation that could involve 30 minutes in English and 30 minutes in your first language. 

Make use of the Internet

There are plenty of websites and social media platforms where you can advertise a language exchange program. You can post on social networking sites and even use free calling software such as Skype. Another way to use the Internet is to watch videos on platforms such as YouTube. These days there are millions of English-speakers who regularly post videos online and it is a great opportunity to pick up on English expressions. Some even post video lessons that you can take to learn English as a second language.

Volunteer your skills

A great way to practise your English-speaking skills is to volunteer. For example, if you know someone who has guests who speak English, you can guide them on a tour around your home city or simply spend some time with them.  

Practising your English skills is easy and it does not have to be costly. Studying in Australia gives you huge opportunities for the future, and learning the English language is a skill that you can use all over the world. 

To know more about your study opportunities in Australia, visit our blog or contact our IDP counsellors

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John Blake, Study abroad expert

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