by Jonathan Bara
Strong communication skills are an invaluable asset in various aspects of life, including the workplace. While good communication is paramount to professional life regardless of which field you decide to pursue, mastering such skills takes a lot of time and practice. Therefore, high school students need to take active steps towards improving their communication skills.
Developing stellar communication skills requires dedication, but it's not complicated. Below is a guide on how to improve communication skills in English as a high school student in 5 easy methods.
Communication is a two-way street, and being an active listener gets you halfway towards becoming an effective communicator. Active listening entails making a conscious effort to not only hear what's being uttered but also comprehend and retain the message being communicated.
You can train yourself to become an attentive and engaged listener by listening to podcasts and audiobooks and then discussing their content with your friends or classmates. You can also make an effort to put aside any distracting thoughts and instead maintain eye contact with whoever is speaking to you.
As a high school student, it's essential to do your day-to-day homework, especially when it improves your communication skills. For example, writing an analytical essay can teach you to think critically and explain your ideas and arguments concisely and cohesively.
You can also participate in class presentations and other oral activities. This way, your time at school can be used to further hone your communication skills by learning how to work in groups, take turns, and express your opinions.
In fact, schools play an essential role in helping students develop the right communication skills in English. Life skills programs are implemented in schools to help high schoolers achieve their full potential by relying on games and activities that foster critical thinking and encourage reflective learning.
Maintaining good communication skills in conflict-free situations is relatively easy. The real test comes in high-stakes scenarios and moments of high conflict. By joining your high school's debate club, you can partake in simulations of such scenarios.
Debating fosters your public speaking, presentation, and argumentation skills since it usually focuses on complex, often challenging topics on which people can't agree. This way, you can rehearse how to voice your opinion on sensitive issues without coming off as impolite.
Moreover, debating teaches you to think on your feet and anticipate the other team's argument to come up with well-supported counter-arguments.
Role-play is an effective method of preparing for unfamiliar situations and overall improving communication skills. It allows you to look at problems from different perspectives and figure out which approaches are effective or counter-productive.
Practicing a particularly challenging scenario beforehand in a small group and a safe, controlled environment can help you feel more prepared and at ease, especially in emotionally-charged conversations.
You can also take turns role-playing each person. This way, you can gauge how others are likely to respond to different situations and scenarios.
Watching English movies can be a great way to have fun and hone your English communication skills simultaneously. The reason for this is that movies portray natural-sounding conversations that don't feel stilted or rehearsed beforehand.
Effective communication doesn't only take place on a verbal level. To have a successful conversation, one must also have an understanding of non-verbal cues such as facial expressions, gestures, and body movement.
Even knowing how and when to take turns in conversations can be tricky, and the overlap or interruption resulting from failure to take turns at the right moment can come off as rude. Thankfully, movies can familiarize you with the natural flow of conversations and even allow you to analyze the characters' body language and expressions.
Now that you know how to improve English communication skills as a high school student, it's time to put these 5 methods into practice. While there's no denying that building strong communication skills takes time and effort, starting at a young age helps tremendously. Start today so that your future self will thank you.
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