Why and how to improve communication skills for international students? Moving to a foreign country to pursue an education can undoubtedly be an exhilarating experience – however, it can also be one fraught with many challenges and difficulties.
Many people, especially parents of international students, believe that these problems are related to social interactions and cultural differences, or even the inability to be fluent in English. But in truth, it has more to do with communicating with confidence and using the appropriate body language as well as voice control, to get a point across or start an engaging and productive conversation with someone.
Communicating with confidence is one of the greatest challenges international students face in the UK, particularly those who have come here to pursue a university degree. The art of communicating and storytelling are among two key life skills international students must develop – to successfully complete their education and join the workforce as a productive individual who also contributes positively to the economy.
How can we improve communication skills for international students?
In order to facilitate the development of key life skills, especially the ability to communicate with confidence, parents must ensure that their college and university going children are doing the following:
A good way for your child to become a good communicator is to be an attentive listener. For example, while listening to their university professors, peers and fellow students, they should particularly pay attention to body language, intonation and the general tone of voice when spoken to. Listening this way will allow them to think objectively so that when they respond, they do so with confidence and the appropriate voice control.
Engaging with others
Undeniably, one of the greatest qualities needed to communication skills is to actively engage with others. Foreign students tend to be shy and often worry that they will be judged the moment they start speaking. Explain to your child that it’s okay to make mistakes and language slurs when speaking, but they should never shy away from engaging with others. This will provide them with some wonderful opportunities to get exposed to challenging, stimulating and educative discussions, which can help them build confidence, and even make them good storytellers to quickly get a point across.
Practising proper tone and voice control
When it comes to communication, the tone and pitch of your voice are absolutely essential. Therefore, tell your UK university going children that they need to be mindful of both voice control and (again) body language because these two can mean the difference between being understood and misunderstood.
Learning to communicate with confidence in a foreign country can be quite the challenge. Even if your child isn’t 100% conversant or too big on engaging with others, tell him/her that they must make an attempt to convey their thoughts, opinions or points of view. Being a part of a discussion is one of the best ways to build confidence and develop the essential life skills that come with it – such as managing conflict at work or explaining your position on a specific issue.
Who AM I?
I’m an award-winning public speaking expert for children and adults. Many international students studying in the UK have benefitted from my know-how and expertise and I absolutely love nurturing young minds to become confident speakers. Get in touch with me on +44 (0)7940715666 and I’d be happy to show you how I can help your child build the essential life skills needed to become a confident communicator.