Strategies for Conversations

So while it is important to continue studying vocabulary and grammar, there are also strategies you can use to improve your communication right now, making the most of the language you have already acquired. 

Learning and using communication strategies can help you to:

  • Perform better on oral proficiency evaluations by effectively demonstrating what you know.

  • Interact with native speakers, making casual conversation more enjoyable and logistical situations easier to navigate.
  • Make better conversation at any level of language learning, whether you are a beginner or an advanced speaker of the language.


The suggestions in this section are based in part on experience helping students prepare for Oral Proficiency Interviews and in part on Boris Shekhtman’s book How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately: Foreign Language Communication Tools. The book is a quick read and relatively inexpensive, so you might want to read it yourself.  

We especially recommend this book for any student who will be taking an Oral Proficiency Interview or other oral language examination for U.S. government sponsored scholarships, fellowships, or jobs