Are you having trouble finding partners for English conversation practice? You probably know it's important, especially if you want to speak more fluently. But getting that practice can be hard! Here are some hints for getting started.
(If you don't need help starting, you can jump directly to
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 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 your English. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. The more you try, the faster you’ll learn.
(Fear of making mistakes hinders many people from ever becoming fluent in a second language.)
Ask your English conversation practice 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 practice 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?”
Would you like more tips like this-- plus a copy of these that you can keep for when you need it?
This free e-book on small talk can help you feel more comfortable during casual conversations in English.
It explains why small talk is important, suggests topics to talk about, and gives more details about what is appropriate and what's not.
Fill in your email below to have it sent to your inbox.
There are lots of short examples of English conversations on EnglishHints. See especially 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 are not correct in written English:
Several readers have asked me for advice on becoming fluent in English. Here are my suggestions. (They'll improve your English vocabulary and comprehension, as well.)
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 English. That way, you will not feel pressured to speak 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, especially in difficult, noisy conditions.
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
Many of these also have transcripts, so you can read along and check if you understood (or look a word up, if necessary.)
I also offer individual lessons if you want to improve your English speaking and conversation skills as quickly as possible.
See Listening & Reading Comprehension Exercises for links and more ideas.
Two phone and two in-person conversations demonstrate common idiom examples.
Review ways of giving advice in English, then practice by completing a conversation between a discharge nurse and a patient.
Practice your listening & reading comprehension with these exercises based on various reading sources and talks.