You probably realize that English conversation practice is very important, especially if you want to speak more fluently. However, if you are studying English online, you may be wondering how to have English conversations. It’s simpler if you are in an English class, or live in an English speaking country-- but it’s not easy even then! Here are some hints for getting started.
Look for chances to talk with native English speakers. Maybe there is someone in your city-- or online via Skype or a chat program-- who would be glad to talk with you.
Many English speakers enjoy sharing ideas and experiences with someone from a different background. You might even find someone trying to learn your language. You could help each other and take turns practicing each language.
Talking with a friend (native speaker or not) is a great way to practice expressing yourself in English. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The more you try, the faster you’ll learn. (It’s also true that fear of making mistakes has hindered many people from becoming fluent in a second language.)
Ask your study partner to tell you if you make a mistake or if he or she can’t understand you. Correct it and try again. Ask for a repeat or an explanation if you don’t understand something-- and enjoy the conversation! A new language can give a whole new perspective on so many things!
Having trouble finding an English conversation partner? If your friends and local organizations can’t help you, try an online English forum or one or more sites recommended by FluentU. (Some of these 13 sites for finding partners are free, and some charge-- look through them to find the best one for you. I'd start with the free forum at Fluentin3months.)
You might also try talking with the robot at ESL Fast, and see how it works for you.
“Could you repeat that a little more slowly?”
“So we should meet next Thursday at 3 PM.”
“So you’re saying it’s important to invest in staff development. Is that right?”
There are lots of short examples of English conversations on EnglishHints, especially in the Idioms, Grammar, and Grammar Practice sections. (See the Sitemap.) For somewhat longer conversations, see
Here are a few contractions that you will hear (written as pronounced.) These are often used in casual conversation but not correct in written English:
Several readers have asked me for advice on becoming fluent in English. Here are my suggestions for ways to improve your English fluency (as well as vocabulary and comprehension.)
Difficulty with fluency is a frustrating but common problem. Two things help the most with fluency:
See all the suggestions above for using English whenever you can. Especially practice with friends or Internet practice partners who are also learning, so you will not feel pressured to speak perfectly, without mistakes. Keep using English and you will become more comfortable with it-- and more fluent!
Also read and listen to all the English you can. Your mind will absorb the usual rhythms and patterns and over time find them natural to use. As you listen, notice the stress on different words. Word stress is an important way to keep messages clear, even when talking quickly or in difficult, noisy conditions.
You'll understand better, and your listeners will understand you better, as you learn to emphasize certain syllables the way native English speakers do. To learn more, see the excellent explanation and short quiz on word stress at English Club.
I highly recommend listening to news reports, the BBC and Voice of America, NPR (American public radio), and TED talks. Many of these also have transcripts, so you can read along and check if you understood (or look a word up, if necessary.)
See Listening & Reading Comprehension Exercises for links and more ideas.