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Top Tips to Overcome English Language Barriers

Mon April 6, 2020     517

As an international student in Canada, one of the most difficult challenges you face is the English language barrier. Even if you are very comfortable speaking in English, you might still encounter problems while conversing with native speakers.

english barriers

There can be ‘n’ number of factors like different accents, or you might be in more sync with a British accent or so. But do not fret! Fortunately, there are many ways you can overcome English language barriers.

We bring you top tips on how international students can overcome English language barriers.


1.      Accepting that you will fail:

Learning a new language can be tough and can take a long time. It is no doubt a difficult process; therefore, there is no point in being hard on yourself. You should cut out some slack for you! Even students who are fluent in English face issues or hit cultural barriers, they didn’t know. Students should keep in mind that rather than getting frustrated or irritated with yourself, accept that it is okay not to know something. Accept it as a part of your new experience of living in a different country. It will be hard, no doubt, but don’t worry! You will be able to pick up their English in no time if you keep on practicing.


2.      Join a club

As soon as you start your college or university, make sure to join a club that interests you. It can be anything, movies club, debate club, sports club, or anything.  With the help of these clubs, you will be able to make friends quickly, and it will be an excellent start to your study abroad journey. It will give you time and confidence to adapt to Canadian culture. Therefore, in time no time, you will be able to communicate in English fluently even with the locals.


3.      Prepare an icebreaker phrase for difficult situations

Just imagine you are lost in your new city, and you need to ask directions to your apartment or university. You are all alone and some native English speakers! What will you do? Make sure you always have a phrase ready if you are not confident about your English language skills. Learn phrases like, “do you know English’ or ‘do you speak English?’ These phrases will help you get started. In this way, the other person will understand that you are a foreigner, and you are free to do whatever is necessary to communicate or to put across your thing.


4.      Ask people to slow down

The native English speakers will be quite fast while speaking, and it is tough for international students to keep up with their speed. And it becomes frustrating for the students. It is okay; if you ask them to slow down to understand their point. If you want to improve your speaking skills, you should tell them to slow down by telling them politely, ‘I am Sorry! English is not my first language. Could you slow down a bit?’
In this way, you will let them know that you are not a native English speaker, and also it will improve the chances of understanding each other better. IF you are not fluent, the worst thing you could do is ‘Pretend to be fluent.’  Do not do it! It does not help anyone; instead, it will harm you and your experience of studying in Canada.


5.      Use translations tools

It is imperative to be able to communicate in a new country; therefore, we should not be hesitant to use all tools available to us like Google translators and more. Imagine having a conversation about directions to your university or about a fruit market, but it is breaking down, then what? Why don’t you pull out your phone with a translation app and communicate through it?
Or another way of saving your conversation is with pen and paper. If you are looking for a shop or an address or anything, you can have people write down for you or also write down a word if you are having trouble understanding it.


6.      Hang out with people of another ethnicity as well

It is understandable that as a newcomer, you would want to hang out with people belonging to your home country to be comfortable. Well, honestly, it can backfire and can also stall your progress in adjusting to a whole new country. To grow, you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you hang out with students from different ethnicities, not only your English language skills will improve, but your ability to understand diverse customs and cultures will also improve.


If you are planning to study in Canada, then it is pretty evident that you will face language barriers. But don’t lose your heart. We are sure this blog will help you overcome English Language barriers. If you are also planning to study in Canada, then fill in your details at our iApply call back form to get a call back from us. We will help you look for top academic institutes and courses matching your eligibility criteria, and you can apply from the comfort of your home. For us, your future is important, and so is your health, therefore, you can apply online!