Work and Study at the same time. Do you work in an office? Do you have a managerial position? Is it important for you to speak good English but you have problems with your language skills? Don’t worry. You are not alone.
In the last 10 years as a Business English teacher I have seen quite a lot of cases. I have seen managers scared to death by the idea of an English language presentation. Or managers who did not want to go to a job interview as they were too shy to speak English. Or bank managers afraid to speak to their foreign bosses. On the other hand, I have also seen middle-aged managers who studied and improved so much that they finally got a job with a company that had English as the official language.
I can definitely say that if you have regular lessons with a private teacher and invest some time and energy into the process you will surely reach your goals to become a confident professional with high level language skills. So what should be done?
First of all, find a private teacher. In my experience it is very important that your lessons are tailor-made to suit your individual needs. This way you can involve your teacher into your job more. A traditional course with several students and general textbooks are not what you need. And be realistic. You do not really have time to go to the language school after work.
My advice is: work and study English at the same time in highly flexible English lessons.
As you probably do not have enough time to study at home or in the office you may combine work and study in a comfortable way. There are mobile apps and useful books for Business English students. I can highly recommend the In Company series with their authentic and useful listening materials to expand your vocabulary. But what is most efficient in my experience is to focus on the job and related issues in the English lesson.
1. Before the lesson collect what is urgent and important. It is you who knows best what you need. Then tell the teacher what you would like to deal with. You give the professional part. The teacher gives the language part.
2. Read and write your company emails together with your teacher. Correct mistakes and focus on what gaps you find in grammar or vocab. Accuracy is really important but easier to remember if you have example sentences from your daily work.
3. To improve your speaking skills explain all the details of the job to your teacher in English. If you can do that, you will be able to speak about it in a business context as well. Focus on all the little details.
4. Prepare for negotations and presentations together in the lesson. Read and translate professional journals and company documents even if the level of the language is far beyond your knowledge at the moment. You will be surprised how fast you can improve. The words will just get stuck in your mind.
This way you will work and study at the same time. You will be more motivated and interested. You will immediately see the improvement in your English language communication. And you will also feel more confident in your job.
Using this job based and flexible approach I have seen several managers improve and become confident English speakers. I have often seen that they are grateful as they can share their professional issues with an outsider who helps to improve their English. At the same time I am also grateful to have had a glance into all those professions and specializations. I firmly believe in the tailor-made lesson. The best method is the one that serves the student’s needs best.
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