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Enhancing your English proficiency is one of the best ways to accelerate your career, especially if you work for an English-speaking company. English is the most spoken language in the world and has over 1.4 billion speakers. By adding yourself to the list, you set yourself apart from less-fluent competitors, gain access to many different resources on the web, and open yourself up to negotiation and interactions with thousands of English speakers across the globe.
If that sounds appealing, then take the time to read our four business language tips for working in an English-speaking company below.
Read business news from English publications
Want a never-ending resource wherein you can learn unique insights about your industry as well as practise your English? Look no further than your nearest English newspaper. Reading the business section there will guarantee that you learn the technical language in its correct context and form, which is especially important if you’re starting out from scratch. You’ll also receive updated knowledge on a subject that’s directly relevant to your professional life, which can help you engage with the material more than if you’d been reading from a phrasebook. Plus, you automatically have a conversation starter you can use with your colleagues or boss.
Leverage online resources
As an English language learner in the 21st century, you have access to an unimaginable amount of language-learning materials—all you have to do is look. To start, take note that language learning consists of four processes: reading, writing, speaking, and listening. When you begin your resource search, try to find study supplements that support each process. For example, a study published by Taylor and Francis Online reports that learners who watched YouTube videos for English learning—which supports listening skills—found that doing so was more flexible and interesting than learning in a traditional classroom setup. You can do the same and search for videos relevant to your business’s industry.
For reading skills, you can choose from a number of self-correcting reading comprehension tests on the web. You can also post your writing in language forums for helpful native speakers to correct it. As for speaking, you can record yourself with your phone and assess how well you are improving as you continue on your language-learning journey. Free apps like Duolingo or HelloTalk abound for your additional self-studying needs.
Take a business English course
Self-studying is an essential part of language learning. However, there are nuances of business English you might not be able to catch on your own. This is where courses come in. An excellent place to start is your local British Council, which can provide a test to assess your current English skill level and courses according to your needs, such as business writing or public speaking. Likewise, the British Study Centres organisation offers skill-specific courses like negotiating, both offline and online.
If you’re aiming for a leadership position, you might want to try one-on-one sessions within programmes such as St George International for better executive coaching. Not only will this mentorship help you improve your language skills as needed—it will also help you balance social development with your work engagement and career satisfaction, as well as teach you strategies related to spearheading projects and adapting to challenging situations. A good course will help you enhance your language and leadership skills simultaneously.
Practise with a partner
The cornerstone of language learning and improving your fluency is using the language with native speakers. You can ask a friend or colleague to aid you by role-playing presentations or business negotiations. Additionally, you can check if your local community has language exchange programmes. Practising one can assist you in expanding your network, communicating in a variety of contexts, and improving your speaking and listening abilities overall.
Fluency in business English is a critical skill in your professional toolbox. Follow these four tips and gain that skill for yourself.
Article written by Rose Jennings